Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Garamendi Honors Six Davis 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 six Davis 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 Davis are Elly Fairclough, M.R.C. Greenwood, Betsy Marchand, Lea Rosenberg, Jean VanderGheynst, and Mariko Yamada.

“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 Davis

Elly Fairclough – Elly Fairclough has faithfully served communities in Yolo County and Northern California for more than two decades. She served as my District Director and previously served for Assemblymember Helen Thomson and Congressman Mike Thompson. She helped spearhead the Women's Initiative Network and organized my first Women of the Year ceremony. She has also volunteered with the Yolo Community Foundation, Davis Schools Foundation, and Yolo Arts Council.

M.R.C. Greenwood – Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, nutrition, and health sciences. As a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our national health and scientific community. She served as the Associate Director of for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology under President Clinton and was even the first female President of the University of Hawai'i.

Betsy Marchand – Betsy Marchand has been a significant force within the public sector for more than 40 years.  She was the first woman elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and served six terms before retiring in 1997. She is a founding board member of the Yolo Basin Foundation and was instrumental in the formation of the Vic Fazio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

Lea Rosenberg – Lea Rosenberg is an inspiration who has been actively serving her community for over 40 years. She served as the President of two different Parent Teacher Associations. She also served as the President of the University Farm Circle, Davis Art Center, and Soroptimist International. She is also on the Board of the Yolo County SPCA. She has a special passion to help foster and disadvantaged children, raising money for a number of local nonprofits.

Jean VanderGheynst – Dr. Jean VanderGheynst has dedicated her career to the pursuit of science and engineering innovation and is determined to share the possibilities of STEM with as many people as possible. She is the founder of the Renewable Energy Systems Opportunity for Unified Research Collaboration and Education (RESOURCE) Program, which has reached 1,130 students through in-class science education, and partnered with 34 teachers at high percentage free and reduced price lunch recipient schools.  

Mariko Yamada –  Mariko Yamada was born in Denver, Colorado after her family’s release from the Manzanar War Relocation Center and later earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.  Mariko first began her public service career in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Census Bureau and later joined the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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