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Garamendi Honors Ten Women from Yolo County at his Annual Women of the Year Awards

October 19, 2017
Press Release

WOODLAND, CA – Today, at his 4th annual Women of the Year event, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Yuba City, Davis, CA) honored 38 women, including ten residents from Yolo county, who are leaders and visionaries in their communities. The women have all made significant contributions to their communities through community service, business, education, local government, and the military. The honorees from Yolo county are Sheila Allen, Ronda DeRosa, Robin Dewey, Becky Marigo, Rita Montes Martin, Kate Mellon-Anibaba, Miriam Miller, Christine Ponce, Amanda Walsh and Cathie Wicks.

“It’s always a special privilege to celebrate our women of the year winners,” said Garamendi. “They are outstanding leaders from diverse backgrounds who have worked hard to improve the lives of the people around them. Every one of these remarkable people has made a real difference.”

Following the award ceremony, Congressman Garamendi facilitated a roundtable discussion on the issues many women face in the workplace and what the federal government can do to help more women succeed. Key areas of concern were health care policy, supporting caregivers, and wage and employment discrimination.

“These roundtable discussions are crucial to help me to my work in Congress,” continued Garamendi. “Hearing the concerns and ideas of community leaders like today’s honorees helps me work on solutions in Washington.”

About the Women Leaders from Yolo County

Sheila Allen – Sheila is currently the Executive Director of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance.  She has been instrumental in building an organization that serves as a vital voice for older adults in Yolo County, and many elected officials and community leaders consider her the expert in addressing senior issues. She also currently volunteers her time with ten different community boards and commissions.

Ronda DeRosa – Ronda currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent for the Yolo County Office of Education; a position that is well deserved.  In her capacity as an administrator, she is committed to providing quality education and delivers a wide range of services to the children, parents and K-12 school districts in Yolo County.

Robin Dewey – Robin is a dedicated advocate for individuals living with disabilities and is President of Team Davis, a nonprofit organization established to help enrich the lives of children and adults with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities.

Becky Marigo – A program supervisor and case manager at Davis Community Meals and Housing, Becky helps homeless individuals find permanent housing by coordinating resources and opportunities from government agencies, private businesses, and charitable organizations. Her work has helped many individuals to move beyond homelessness and find work providing for themselves.

Rita Montes Martin – An iconic personality in the Davis community, Rita has developed many relationships with community organizers, business leaders and elected officials; you will always find her advocating for a local initiative or even take on a national policy. If it’s good for the community then Rita will be involved.

Kate Mellon-Anibaba – Kate has made it her mission to bring people together in the name of tolerance and spread support for marginalized groups within her community. After this year’s violence against the Davis Islamic Center, Kate helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars to pay for repairs to businesses and places of worship targeted by hate-driven vandalism.

Miriam Miller – Miriam has spent many years serving the community of Woodland, working to revitalize the Woodland Downtown area and facilitate renovations to the Woodland Opera House State Historic Park.  While bringing Woodland’s facilities into the future, she has also endeavored to ensure her community never lost sight of its history, working as a docent at both the Yolo County Historical Museum and Opera House.

Christine Ponce – California’s first female rice miller, Christine has inspired many women to pursue a career that was once considered only for men. In her time as a rice miller, she also helped advocate for the rights of agricultural workers by serving as secretary for the ILWU Local 150.

Amanda Walsh – An educator at Pioneer Elementary School, Amanda embodies the values of a great teacher and mentor and has had a positive and lasting impact on the children she teaches every day. Beyond her work in the classroom, Amanda finds many ways to serve her community. Over the years, she has been actively involved with the Parent Teacher Association, Davis Little League, and Davis Soccer Club.

Cathie Wicks – The founder and immediate past Executive Director of RISE, Inc. (Rural Innovations in Social Economics, Inc.), Cathie is the face of non-profit success in rural Western Yolo County, building programs, trends, strong organizations, and fiscal success modes that have improved the quality of life in rural communities. She is also a lifetime mission-builder in innovative leadership programs for teens, with an interest in intervention models for motivated at- risk youth.

Full biographies can be found here.

Full List of 2017’s Women of the Year from the 3rd Congressional District

Sheila Allen, Davis, Yolo County

Barbara Beckworth, Dixon, Solano County

Michele Blake, Yuba City, Sutter County

Tranine Chisom, Fairfield, Solano County

Barbara “Babs” Cotter, Yuba City, Sutter County

Ronda DaRosa, Woodland, Yolo County

Robin Dewey, Davis, Yolo County

Baljinder Dhillon, Yuba City, Sutter County

Anna Eaton, Vacaville, Solano County

Laurie Goodman, Meridian, Sutter County

Barbara Graham, Vacaville, Solano County

Judith Holzapfel, Orland, Glenn County

Christine Ivory, Live Oak, Sutter County

Lynn Jewell, Vacaville, Solano County

Jeannie Klever, Sutter, Sutter County

Sakari Lyons, Suisun City, Solano County

Becky Marigo, Davis, Yolo County

Kate Mellon-Anibaba, Davis, Yolo County

Miriam Miller, Woodland, Yolo County

Rita Montes Martin, Davis, Yolo County

Catherine Morris, Dixon, Solano County

Sharon Phippens, Orland, Glenn County

Christine Ponce, Woodland, Yolo County

Kathleen Ramos, Vacaville, Solano County

Jody Samons, Willows, Glenn County

Jaswinder Sandhu, Yuba City, Sutter County

Susan Schwartz, Vacaville, Solano County

Susan Scott, Marysville, Yuba County

Michalle Shown-Rodriguez, Fairfield, Solano County

Tracee Stacy, Vacaville, Solano County

Brynda Stranix, Yuba City, Sutter County

Renee Tadlock, Fairfield, Solano County

Louise Walker, Dixon, Solano County

Amanda Walsh, Davis, Yolo County

Nancy Wells, Dixon, Solano County

Cathie Wicks, Esparto-Capay Valley, Yolo County

K. Patrice Williams, Fairfield, Solano County

Patricia Zetah, Vacaville, Solano County