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2010 Recipient of the Dr. Lois-Higgins Grote Heritage Award
Dr. Lois Higgins-Grote
Heritage Award Recipient
This recognition is named for past president Lois Higgins-Grote, who in 1956, revitalized and reorganized the IAWP
then served as its president for eight years and as executive director for twelve more years.
The Heritage Award is an honor bestowed upon an individual member when warranted due to substantial and significant contributions to women police and the International Association of Women Police over a period of years and especially during milestones of the organization. The honor is meant to ensure the recording, recognition, and appreciation for outstanding and dedicated service to IAWP. The IAWP's Heritage recognition is the highest tribute given by the IAWP.
Heritage Award winners represent the legacy of the IAWP. They are the historical memory of an organization that continues to grow.
By virtue of participating in its history and having a resolve that the
organization evolve, these leaders confront core goals and serve as
tangible evidence to the rest of us of the honor it is to serve the IAWP.
Chief Connie Maki
Retired Chief Connie Maki who was told during initial
training “We don’t want women here”, has been recognized for her contributions to women police and the IAWP.
The Heritage Recognition is meant to ensure the legacy of IAWP members for their outstanding and dedicated service to IAWP. The IAWP's Heritage recognition is the highest tribute given by the IAWP.
Chief Maki started her law enforcement career at the Chicago Branch of the United States Internal Revenue Service. From the beginning, she sought out and mentored women—both those who aspired to be in law enforcement and those who had achieved the goal, but faced difficulties along the path of their career.
In her initial training where she was the only female in the class, she was informed by the instructor that “we don’t want women.” She was given the most difficult questions and role plays in training scenarios. It was a difficult time for women entering law enforcement and few women even survived the training academy, which worked effectively to coach women out of the organization. Chief Maki believed she endured because she believed in what she was doing and she knew women could do the job if they were just given a chance. In this way, by challenging herself and those who would throw stones in her path, Connie was a mentor from the start. She did as Margaret Meed said to do, “Go where there is no path and leave a trail.” Indeed Chief Maki left a trail. She modeled the way for women to succeed in all facets of law enforcement.
Chief Maki joined the IAWP back in 1987 and quickly became acquainted with Board members who encouraged her to consider running for election to the Board of Directors. When the Regional Coordinator position in her area became available in 1988, Chief Maki ran and won the seat on the Board. In 1990, when the treasurer’s position became open, Chief Maki ran again and won that position. Chief Maki’s skills in finance and negotiation quickly shown when, after a major plane crash caused agencies to pull their officers from attendance, one of our conferences failed to meet projections. Chief Maki was able to effectively negotiate a settlement with the hotel that saved the organization from a lawsuit and potential bankruptcy. The deal allowed the organization, which didn’t have much money at the time, to grow and flourish. During her tenure, the accounts were audited, tax returns were completed in a timely manner, and the organization was solvent.
Chief Maki remained treasurer through four administrations and relinquished the position only when she was elected to president of the organization in 1996.
As president, Chief Maki continued to mentor women and challenge the process, both of which are sometimes difficult for those who view competition, debate, and conflict as negative things. She spoke her mind and did what was in her heart to do. Connie’s typical quips and self-effacing jabs were her wonderful way of leveling the playing field and strategically disarming a challenge.
Upon retiring from law enforcement, Chief Maki began volunteering her time to the Salvation Army where she continues to help, support and mentor others. She also remains an active member of the IAWP Board of Trustees (BOT). She continues to share her expertise, guidance and support to the Board through reports generated from meetings of the BOT.
We are so privileged and honored to have had Chief Maki’s participation for so many years. She is an enduring leader in the IAWP, the IRS, and now the Salvation Army, where she has mentored and encouraged women while challenging the process to be more accepting and valuing of them. As we recognize her today and the trails she has blazed, know too that there are more trails to blaze and paths to pave. You are encouraged to continue the momentum by encouraging, challenging and mentoring women in all facets of their careers so that together we can reach our highest goals, cherish them, and create new ones yet again.
Congratulations to Chief Connie Maki for being honored with this
very prestigious recognition.