A Woodmere resident has been chosen to lead the largest grass-roots organization of Republican women in the U.S. Ann Schockett was elected president of the National Federation of Republican Women at its 40th Biennial Convention last month.
Schockett’s two-year term will begin in January. The 66-year-old is now NFRW’s 4th vice president, overseeing the organization’s 5th Region, which encompasses Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“Ann has been a dedicated and distinguished leader of the National Federation of Republican Women for many years,” current NFRW President Jody Rushton said, “and is committed to continuing to build the federation’s legacy of empowering women from all backgrounds in the political process and providing a forum for women to serve as leaders in their communities. Ann has the vision and the background to chart a path of success for the next two years, and she has an excellent team in place to meet the challenges of the critical 2020 elections.”
The NFRW, which is headquartered in Virginia, was founded in 1938, and its mission is to help train and elect GOP candidates, promote the party’s ideals and policies and offer a forum for women to serve in leadership positions in the political arena.
“We’re a sisterhood that focuses on much more than politics,” said Schockett, who has been involved with the organization for 11 years. “We try to do things such as help veterans and rebuild libraries around the country.”
She said her desire to help others dates to her childhood in Far Rockaway, where she grew up. Her father, Burton Salpeter, served in the Army in World War II, and her mother, Lucy, was a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Naval Reserves’ WAVES — Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service — and helped rehabilitate the wounded. “By the time I could walk and talk, I wanted to help others,” Schockett recalled. “My parents instilled that in me right away.”
Among the efforts that she is most proud of took place in the Five Towns just before Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “I had started a community enrichment mini-center for startup businesses to use,” Schockett recounted. “When the storm hit, the center quickly shifted into a hurricane support center that people not only in the Five Towns used, but also people from areas such as Rockville Centre and Lynbrook.”
Schockett is a veteran of 40 years in public service and business, specializing in public relations and multimedia productions. In 1979 she was elected the youngest Republican committee member in New York state history under State Senate Majority leader Warren M. Anderson. She described her introduction as happening by chance. “A person I knew who worked under Warren Anderson thought I’d be good as a committee person,” she said. “Sometimes things just come your way, and you don’t question it. You just say, ‘Here I am and I’m going to do my best.’”
Brian Shapiro, New York state’s director for the Humane Society of the United States, a group that Shockett is also involved with, has known her for roughly a decade, and described working alongside her as a pleasure. “Ann is a solid supporter and advocate of sound animal-protection policies, and has lobbied these issues in both Albany and Washington, D.C., for years,” Shapiro said. “Her ability to understand complex legislation and effectively communicate with our representatives has made a real difference in the lives of so many animals. It also helps that she is a very approachable person and has a great sense of humor.”
Now, in a time of political upheaval, with President Trump facing an impeachment inquiry and a presidential election a year away, the federation, Schockett said, stands behind the administration and will continue to do so when her term begins. “The economy has come back to life and unemployment has decreased,” she said. “We will continue to do everything possible to stand by this administration.”
Schockett will move to NFRW headquarters in Alexandria, Va., when her term begins. There, she acknowledged, much work lies ahead. “I’m going to try to get as much sleep as I can during the next few weeks,” she said jokingly. “Our membership is close to 60,000 women nationwide, and I’m hoping to expand that number by working more with media, public and elected officials. It’s a privilege to be serving all these women involved with NFRW.”