The White House named Washoe Valley resident Jan Gilbert a "Champion of Change" inviting her to Washington DC this week to be recognized. She was all smiles Friday afternoon arriving at Reno Tahoe International Airport, after an impromptu trip to the nation’s capitol to be honored for 30 years of humanitarian work in Nevada. Gilbert didn't even know she had been nominated. She got the invitation to the White House while she was vacationing in Guatemala. “You know, I feel like I should attribute it to the whole organization,” she says about the award.
Gilbert is the co-founder of the group Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. Over her career she has worked primarily on health care issues, but PLAN also focuses on environmental justice, civil rights, and other causes important to the community. “We represent people who don't really have much of a voice,” she says. “These are people who go to work everyday barely make ends meet can't buy healthcare and so our voices are for them.”
Gilbert says she was thrilled to be one of just 10 people across the country honored as a Champion of Change for all of her hard work. Looking to the future, she says she plans to continue her work here in Nevada until next march when she is set to retire.