Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Honors Eight Fairfield Women at His Annual Women of the Year Awards

October 13, 2016
Press Release

WOODLAND, CA – Today, at his 3rd annual Women of the Year Event, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Yuba City, Davis, CA) honored 44 women, including eight Fairfield residents, who are leaders and inspirations in their communities. The women, from all eight counties in the district, have been trailblazers and advocates in community service, business, education, local government, and the military. The honorees from Fairfield are Helen Andrews, Rebecca Belk, Tara Dacus, Kay Green, Sandy Person, Yvonne Robbins, Keetra Welling, and Rosalind Young-Reid.

“This may be my favorite day of the year, because it always replenishes my faith in the selflessness and dedication of my constituents, and it inspires me to look within to see what more I can do to help the people I represent,” Congressman Garamendi said.  “In every community of this district, down every valley and up every mountain, there are women making a difference. The women we recognized today were nominated by their peers, and they come from every walk of life focused on virtually every major issue our diverse district faces.”

Following the introductory remarks and Congressional Commendation presentations, Congressman Garamendi and the women of the year discussed ways Congress and the federal government can do more to improve quality of life in the 3rd District. This conversation touched on increasing the Alzheimer’s budget, devoting more focus to mental health services, alleviating hunger, and tackling the homelessness crisis.

“Every topic you’ve brought up touches on many of the priorities of the women in this room. There’s an education piece, a community service piece, a research piece, a private sector piece, and a public sector piece. I want you to keep my office informed about your concerns, because you have your fingers on the pulse of your community,” Congressman Garamendi said.

Each year, Congressman Garamendi recognizes outstanding women of California’s 3rd Congressional district who have been nominated by their peers and have demonstrated a clear commitment to their community through their leadership and dedication to public service.

About the Women Leaders from Fairfield

Helen AndrewsHelen Andrews served as a recruiter for UC Davis for over twenty years. After moving to Solano County, she served in the Honorary Commander Program at Travis Air Force Base. Since then, Helen has virtually adopted the Travis Airmen’s Council. In this role, she helps young service members grow into future leaders. She also hosts military spouse groups to help recognize the sacrifices made by spouses and families of military members.

Rebecca Belk – Rebecca currently works for the Fairfield Police Department supervising the Personnel and Training Unit.  She is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training qualified law enforcement officers. She is also a Peer Support Team member as well as supervisor of the Crisis Negotiation Team, playing an important role in protecting her community.

Tara Dacus – Tara Dacus is the President of the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club, and she established the Rotary Success Scholarship and Rotary 4-Way test Good Citizenship Award program. Her work has made our local Rotary a model for the nation. Through her work, 13 area students have been awarded scholarships, with many more to come.

Kay Green – Kay Green is an inspiration to those around her and has dedicated her life to bringing happiness to others. At her local retirement home, she has brought art and gardens to public spaces, brightening up the lives of her neighbors. She also launched an initiative to place hummingbird feeders outside the windows of less mobile residents so that they too can find joy in nature.

Sandy Person – Sandy Person is a fixture in Solano County. Through her work as the President of the Solano County Economic Development Corporation, she has attracted countless new businesses to Solano County, creating hundreds of jobs for her neighbors. As an active member and former Chairperson of the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee, she continues to be a fierce advocate for the Travis Air Force Base community.

Yvonne Robbins – Yvonne Robbins is an active community member who visits the sick and isolated, people for whom a little kindness and empathy can go a long way. Through programs at St. Stephen Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Yvonne prepares and distributes food to the elderly and disabled, and mentors students in the community. She spent 37 years as a teacher at Fairfield-Unified School District and continues to contribute to the Assist-A-Grad Scholarship Foundation.

Keetra Welling – Keetra Welling is a member of the North Bay Stand Down Committee and serves as both the Military Liaison and the Logistics Coordinator.  Since 2010, she has organized ongoing fundraising events to support the Stand Down and has been instrumental in helping coordinate organizations, community members, and local leaders in support of the Stand Down

Rosalind Young-Reid – Rosalind began her public service as a San Francisco Police Officer, and after her career as a police officer was cut short due to an on-duty injury, Rosalind continued to serve our most vulnerable youth through our education system.  Rosalind volunteered as a Commissioner for the Solano County Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Commission, where she created partnerships with at risk youths and their families to determine how to best serve those at the Solano County Youth Facility.

Full biographies can be found here.


Full List of 2016’s Women of the Year from the 3rd Congressional District

Nancy Aaberg, Marysville, Yuba County

Helen Andrews, Fairfield, Solano County

Christina Baird, Vacaville, Solano County

Susan Barrett, Maxwell, Colusa County

Rebecca Belk, Fairfield, Solano County

Nicole Braddock, Vacaville, Solano County

Rosario Burton, Vacaville, Solano County

Mary Lou Byer, Yuba City, Sutter County

Nieckol Cook, Clearlake, Lake County

Donna Critchfield, Colusa, Colusa County

Erin Cucchi, Yuba City, Sutter County

Tara Dacus, Fairfield, Solano County

Carolyn Denton, Orland, Glenn County

Sandra  Esparza, Vacaville, Solano County

Elly Fairclough, Davis, Yolo County

Anne Fletcher, Yuba City, Sutter County

Kay Green, Fairfield, Solano County

M.R.C. Greenwood, Davis, Yolo County

Dilenna Harris, Vacaville, Solano County

Marilyn Hays, Woodland, Yolo County

Linda Hickman, Dixon, Solano County

Lynnette Irlmeier, Woodland, Yolo County

Jennifer Jelavich, Yuba City, Sutter County

Marsha Krouse-Taylor, Sutter, Sutter County

Julia Lopez, Vacaville, Solano County

Betsy Marchand, Davis, Yolo County

Jody Meza, Orland, Glenn County

Sandy Person, Fairfield, Solano County

Laura Petty, Vacaville, Solano County

Patricia Powell, Dixon, Solano County

Carol Pruett, Vacaville, Solano County

Nicole Riley, Yuba City, Sutter County

Terry Rivera, Colusa, Colusa County

Yvonne Robbins, Fairfield, Solano County

Lea Rosenberg, Davis, Yolo County

Estella San Juan, Vacaville, Solano County

Debbra Springsteen, Browns Valley, Yuba County

Christine Stifter, Orland, Glenn County

Jean VanderGheynst, Davis, Yolo County

Sandra  Waterhouse, Walnut Grove, Sacramento County

Keetra  Welling, Fairfield, Solano County

Kristy Wright, Woodland, Yolo County

Mariko Yamada, Davis, Yolo County

Rosalind Young-Reid, Fairfield, Solano County