Laura McKeeman Rutledge, age 27, born in St. Petersburg, Florida is a graduate of the University of Florida. Having majored in broadcast journalism, she went on to become a reporter and host for CNN International, ESPN and the SEC Network, and also worked for Fox Sports. She married major league baseball player now with the Boston Red Sox, Josh Rutledge.
Perhaps Laura’s biggest claim to fame was as beauty pageant titleholder, Miss Florida 2012 whose competition talent was ballet. But Laura is more than a pretty face. She is an advocate for The Everglades Foundation and the Miss Florida Organization partnership. Her platform is “Everglades Restoration.” As an ambassador of the Everglades Foundation who wears a crown, she has taken her message on a national scale from swamp tours, classrooms, conferences, lobbyists, and Congress spending much of her time in Tallahassee and Washington.
The Everglades, River of Grass, part of the National Park system which is celebrating its 100 Year Anniversary, is the largest subtropical wetland system in North America that is in desperate need of help. It is the water supply of 7 million Floridians. Her mission is to educate on the vast importance of preserving this vital ecosystem. Laura McKeeman Rutledge also delivers her Everglades literacy message to at risk youth from Miami with personal tours of The Everglades.
In the words of famous conservationist and painter, John James Audubon: “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.” In this case, the true conservationist is a woman whose beauty emanates from within.
Also Diplomat Artist Category: “Environment Ambassadors”
Source: Presentation, “Everglades to the Keys & the Supply of Water” by author Dan Burkhardt, to the Key West Art & Historical Society from his book: “Florida Bay Forever”