Ann Edenfield Sweet
Ann is an internationally recognized motivational keynote speaker, popular TV and radio show guest, and frequent leader of workshops and trainings at national and international conferences. Ann has had an interesting and varied life and uses her life experiences now to enrich her Wings’ work. Ann has been an international flight attendant for three major airlines, real estate broker, motel chain owner, director of development and grant writer for an art center, and church youth director. As special projects director for the LOGOS Ministry, an international ecumenical church youth program, she led ten trips to Russia. Ann has also served as VP of Sales for a publishing company and authored a book based on her personal life experiences titled Family Arrested: How to Survive the Incarceration of a Loved One. Ann’s involvement with radio has included VP of Sales, Program Director, and talk show host for a weekly radio program called Wings on the Air. She also hosted a weekly TV program called Wings on the Air where she interviewed guests who are experts in their field. The TV programs will be used for work in prisons, rural communities, and foreign countries. Ann’s newest book, Strengthening Families from the Inside Out – Wings For L.I.F.E. Leader’s Guide Book #1, helps congregations, corrections departments, and organizations around the world start programs for families of prisoners and returning citizens.
In 1995 Ann founded Wings For LIFE International (formerly known as Wings Ministry), a program for family members of inmates. Wings Family Days have been held in prisons and/or communities in 20 states, India, and Kenya. Ann was honored by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and received the ODRC Director’s Impact Award for her outstanding Wings’ work in Ohio. Wings For LIFE International has now expanded to Liberia, West Africa where Ann led a team of Americans and
Liberians across Liberia where she trained leaders how to hold prison and Community Family Days, as well as start the educational program Wings For L.I.F.E.
Ann also founded Wings’ second program, Wings For L.I.F.E. – Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education, which is an empowerment/support group for the entire family that builds Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets© and offers support and education for children, parents/caregivers, and returning citizens. Wings For L.I.F.E. won the prestigious American Probation and Parole Association’s National Award of Excellence in Crime Prevention, NM Innovative Behavioral Health Program Star, one of the top 10 Behavioral Health programs in NM, and is recognized as a National and State Best Practice Model. During COVID Ann started doing Zoom programming and live Facebook, which is now reaching 500+ people/week all over the world, and MDC (Metropolitan Detention Center), Albuquerque’s large jail, now has all Zoom and Wings on the Air programming on the inmate tablets.
Ann has been a member of the American Correction Association’s Religion and Faith Based Committee, on the Executive Committee of Operation Starting Line/Prison Fellowship, founder of the Returning Citizens Collaboration in New Mexico, and a member of the CTE Advisory Council of the NM Corrections Dept. Recently Ann has received the following awards: YWCA Women on the Move, Community Champions Award by Molina Healthcare, the PAYITFORWARD Award by KOB TV, recipient of the 2017 Children’s Law Institute’s Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Award, the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Keep the Dream Alive, 2017 Albuquerque Business First Woman of Influence Award, and 2020 New Mexico Magazine True Hero recipient.
Ann is the proud mother of four sons and is married to the Rev. Doug Sweet. Ann and Doug also lead marriage seminars in prisons for inmates and their wives.