Emily Kane, President, New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association
The Challenge: New Mexico firefighters struggled to collect benefits.
How She Tackled It: Kane helped get state legislation passed that provides a $50,000 benefit to families of firefighters who died in the line of duty. She also lobbied for changes in workers' comp so that firefighters can now easily receive compensation if they fall victim to certain diseases. "We do our jobs in such an uncontrolled environment," says Kane, an 11-year veteran of the Albuquerque Fire Department. "You never know what you're exposed to."
Next Steps: Now running for a seat in the State House, Kane plans to retain her post as state association president. "I know the changes we've made have had a positive impact," she says proudly. —R.S.