Two Teton County women will soon join the Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues, boosting the county’s representation on the group and adding the first elected official.
Gov. Mark Gordon appointed Teton County Commissioner Natalia Macker and Kristin Walker, founder of Jackson-based Three Elephant Public Relations, to the council. Including Vice Chair Jen Simon, also of Teton County, the three will account for a fourth of the members on the statewide board.
Macker said she looks forward to learning about the struggles women face across the state and finding ways to address them via county and municipal government. Though the council is an arm of the Wyoming Business Council, the state-level economic development agency, she said she hopes to explore local options for helping women advance.
“Solutions are not just statewide,” Macker said. “There are opportunities for local communities to make adjustments.”
Both Macker and Walker suggested that as the state pushes for economic diversification — an effort to protect against the volatility of Wyoming’s traditional industrial giants, like coal and oil — women will increasingly play a key role. Walker said the council can help smooth the path for them.
“To make the transition successfully,” Walker said, “we have to make sure we have policies and infrastructure and culture in place to support them.”
One piece of that puzzle, Macker noted, is adequate and affordable child care, which she has advocated in her time as a commissioner. She wants to make further progress on expanding the child care system in Wyoming and Teton County during her tenure on the council.
“I know that they have done great work, and I’m really excited to be able to join that team,” she said. “I think the work the council can do can really benefit the economic diversification efforts of the state, while at the same time addressing the problems of women.”
Macker has also served on the Land Quality Advisory Board for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
Walker, a Jackson native, has worked on campaigns for businesses, nonprofits and politicians, including for recently elected Gov. Gordon. She is currently involved in former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis’ run for U.S. Senate. Walker has also worked with the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus.