Your Name: Judith Ellstrom Salter
Your bio: I grew up in the segregated South, the daughter of parents who came to believe early on in racial equality. Their actions greatly influenced my life, learning that standing up for what you believe in and working for social justice are very both important actions.
Community service was in their blood, even though they both worked full time. My brother and I were often helping them out at church or school or civic club events. It was a family affair. I like that so many young families in Redding are adopting this approach, as well. It’s how we build community.
My professional life was marvelously interesting, from working in the U.S. Senate to working on a presidential campaign to handling government affairs for Fortune 500 companies to having a hand in starting the Fort Mason complex in San Francisco to finishing out as the chief executive officer of Turtle Bay.
My career was like being paid to go to graduate school as I learned so very much in each job. I learned it’s important to show up. I learned that if you surround yourself with good people, good things happen. I learned that family is the basis of most smiles. I learned that the world will keep turning if I make a mistake or have to back down. I learned that life is better if you get your hands dirty in a good project. I learned just recently that “Democracy is not the right to be left alone; it’s a call to civic participation.” I believe that wholeheartedly.
And that is one of the reasons I am proud to be a founder of the Women’s Fund. Together, all 360-plus members of the Fund are working hard to make a difference in the lives of women and their families in Redding.
I have a simply splendid husband and we share six grandchildren between us. My dogs are a constant source of joy. I love to kayak, hike, work to protect and expand our open space and parks, attend the North State Symphony, listen to blues and R&B, go to museums and gardens, travel, and I am never without a book. My friends and my grandkids are the jewels in my crown. I am a Rotarian and a banjo/harmonica wannabe. I am Redding Proud.