Women of the Year Recipients 2018
- Mary Lou Batchelor (Dixon) is well known throughout the Solano County community, serving as the President of the Soroptimist International of Dixon and a leader of the both the League of Women Voters and Dixon’s Volunteer Program. Mary Lou is hard-working, responsible, compassionate, and an effective community leader who truly cares about her community and embodies all the qualities of a true public servant.
- Verneal Brumfield (Fairfield) retired as a Correctional Administrator with 28 years of service to the State of California, caring for thousands of inmates and staff. Verneal’s retirement may be as busy as her working years, where she has continued her service to the community in leadership positions with the National Council of Negro Women, the Tri-City NAACP, the Solano County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and Democratic Women in Action. Through these organizations, she has secured funding for STEM education collaborations and raised money for holiday meals and gifts for the underserved in our community.
- Gloria Diaz (Vacaville) serves as a Clinical Service Manager for the Vacaville Police Department, where she oversees more than twenty grants that provide funding to programs that are vital in assisting members in the community who need urgent care and aid during a crisis. She also serves as a leader at the Family Resource Center in Vacaville, dedicating her time selflessly to assist hundreds of individuals and families gain financial support and access needed services.
- Lisette Estrella-Henderson (Vacaville) serves as the Solano County Superintendent of Schools, where she has been vital in promoting education equality and increased educational resources within her community. She is also a leader in numerous organizations such as the Migrant Child Education Program, First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission, Solano College Education Foundation, Positive Youth Justice Initiative Leadership Team, Juvenile Justice Coordination Council, and Solano Coalition for Better Health
- Dr. Gail Feinberg (Fairfield) is the Chair of Primary Care for Touro University, where she utilizes her years of experience to train medical students in providing care for our underserved populations. On top of her service to the University – she serves as the medical director of the free student-run clinic for the underserved and for the diabetes research program.
- Emma Green (Vacaville)is a tireless advocate for the needy in Solano County, serving over 350 meals per week through the Community Meal Program at the Church of the Epiphany. In addition, she coordinates with other service providers to bring medical, dental, and transportation services to those in need. Ms. Green’s history of service also includes her time as President of Vaca Arts, serving on Boards of the Boys & Girls Club, performing vocational rehabilitation and job placement for the disabled, serving as a liaison to Travis Air Force Base Airmen, working with the Vacaville Community Outreach Program, and donating her time to many other service organizations.
- Dorothy Johnson (Vacaville) serves on the executive board of the Solano County Retired Teachers Association, working to support measures that advance the financial security of retired educators and further safeguarding the state’s commitment to these educators. Additionally, she generously volunteers supporting toy drives, fundraisers, and assisting the Vacaville Police Department during their community outreach events.
- Lauren Runow (Vacaville) has been imbedded in service to the Vacaville community since her parents took her to Rotary and Chamber of Commerce events as a little girl. Lauren was in the inaugural class of Vacaville’s Leadership Today program; and she is the founder and co-owner of Vacaville Magazine which highlights local businesses, upcoming community events, and celebrates Vacaville residents. Recently she created Vacaville Imagine That, where she has made learning fun at a non-profit children’s hands-on museum focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
- Rochelle Sherlock (Fairfield) has a long track record of starting critical groups that serve our community. She co-founded the Senior Coalition of Solano County, a volunteer-based group which advises the Solano County Board of Supervisors on how best to serve the senior community. She also created the Solano Commission for Women and Girls, which advances economic status, health and social welfare, and overall quality of life for women and girls in Solano County as well as 100 Women Who Care, a philanthropic organization which provides financial support for local charities doing important work.
- Judy Ycasas (Fairfield) serves as a Deputy District Attorney for Solano County. In 2013 Ms. Ycasas was recognized for her important work prosecuting fraud cases and protecting the community from becoming victims of these crimes of opportunity. She is now instrumental in keeping our community safe from the harm of intoxicated and reckless drivers. Ms. Ycasas truly embodies the qualities of a leader in her community by working diligently to save lives. She has committed her career to public service and displays an unparalleled dedication in her mission to safeguard our community.
Yolo (Davis only)
- Natalie Audage (Davis) is committed to serving her community through her career as a Child Abuse Prevention Coordinator for Yolo County Children’s Alliance. Through her work, Natalie aims to prevent child abuse by providing parents and caregivers with skills that encourage healthy interactions with their children.
- Professor Holly Cooper (Davis) is a professor at the UC Davis School of Law and a steadfast advocate for the legal rights of immigrants. As co-director of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic she has used her extensive legal experience to defend the rights of immigrants. Her work defending the rights of immigrants demonstrates her fearless commitment to preserving justice in the face of overwhelming opposition.
- Gina Daleiden (Davis) is a passionate and dedicated advocate for children and families. As Executive Director of First Five Yolo, she successfully raises awareness of the critical and foundational nature of early childhood for policy makers and community members alike. Additionally, she was instrumental in launching First Five’s Coordinated Healthy Interventions for Lifelong Development pilot project exploring ways to better coordinate identification, support, and interventions for high-risk families. Thank you, Gina, for your tireless work in advancing the education of our youth.
- Lisa DeAmicis (Davis) (has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of countless seniors throughout Davis. For thirteen years she has been committed to developing exciting programs to create a better experience for senior citizens in her community. Her enthusiasm for serving this community is exemplified through her unparalleled dedication and care for the individuals participating in her programs.
- Anoosh Jorjorian (Davis) is the coordinator of Yolo Rainbow Families, a support group for families with gender nonconforming children seeks to create safe-spaces at schools. Ms. Jorjorian has been a regular speaker as a devoted member of the Davis Phoenix Coalition, a community group that is dedicated to preventing hate-motivated violence.
- Bonnie Mintun (Davis) has been a lifetime advocate for children with disabilities. In 1989 she coalesced a small group of parents who were able to make Davis Joint Unified School District the first school district in California to provide inclusive education to students with moderate to severe disabilities. Afterwards she co-founded the Communication Technology Education Center connects individuals with disabilities to assistive technology and augmented alternative communication devices that allow their education to continue unimpeded.
- Professor Amagda Perez (Davis) is an instructor at the UC Davis School of Law and a committed advocate for the legal rights of immigrants. As co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis and as an attorney with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, she has mentored numerous law students and defended immigrants from deportation.
- Lucy Roberts (Davis) leads an organization dedicated to creating healthy, thriving families and communities by providing parents with the support and encouragement they need to raise their children in a healthy way. In addition, she serves as the Co-Chair of Resilient Yolo, educating people about the impact adverse childhood experiences have on shaping adult behavior and health. Lucy also volunteers with the Yolo County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative, an organization which promotes maternal wellness by developing a system of care for Yolo County mothers at risk of maternal mental health disorders.
- Cynthia Royval Unger (Davis) works tirelessly to serve the senior community. Since 1986, when she worked to help open one of the first care centers in California focused on individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, she has helped care providers, families, and the community understand and care for those suffering with the disease. Her work in my Senior Advisory Group, the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, and the Solano Senior Coalition has been essential to my awareness and understanding of the critical issues facing our senior communities.
- Anna Sutton (Davis) is a healthcare professional who has dedicated her career to the care of mothers and children. From her work as a school nurse to her current role as Director of Public Health Nursing at the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency, her goal has always been to improve the health and quality of life of families in her community. Ms. Sutton fulfills many roles, lending her time and expertise to the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program, the Yolo County Infectious Disease Programs, the Yolo County Help Me Grow Leadership Team, the Child Abuse Prevention Council, the Programs Benefitting Children Workgroup, Resilient Yolo, the American College of OB/GYNs Maternal Mental Health Expert Workgroup, and the Yolo County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative.
Yolo (Surrounding cities)
- “Trini” Campbell (Guinda) serves as the Yolo County Planning Commissioner, the chair to the Capay Valley Citizens Advisory Committee, treasurer of Capay Valley Vision, and a vital member of the Yolo Parks, Recreation, and Wildlife Advisory Committee. She has committed herself to the improvement of this community, most recently securing a $2.9 million dollar grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation for a new Esparto Community Park and Aquatic center.
- Tania Garcia-Cadena (Woodland) founded the Woodland Schools Foundation, an organization which works to support student educational opportunities by distributing community raised funds to vital programs and services within the Woodland Joint Unified School District. She has also been a longtime member Parent Teacher Associations at her children’s schools, Soroptimists International, Woodland Childcare Commission, Woodland Parks and Recreation Commission, and Yolo Connections.
- Sylvia Gomez Garcia (Woodland) is a dedicated teacher at Beamer Elementary School where she teaches using a dual English and Spanish immersion program. Sylvia has a very diverse classroom with a mix of students whose parents speak English and Spanish at home. Her bilingual teaching methods place all children on an equal footing where each come out with bilingual proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking setting all her students up for success in an increasingly global economy.
- Sue Heitman (Capay) has committed herself to improving Yolo county for over 20 years. At Yolo First 5, she helped grant over 30 million dollars for local child development programs. As a founder of Capay Valley Vision and board member of New Season Community Development Corporation, she has helped revitalize our region. Sue also fosters special needs children, caring for 27 children over the past 10 years.
- Lina Hernandez (Knights Landing) serves as the program director for the Knights Landing Family Resource Center where she improves the social, educational, and economic outcomes of Yolo County residents by helping them navigate the complexities of applying for federal, state, and local programs. Lina’s advocacy also resulted in the creation of the UC Davis Knights Landing One Health Center which brings accessible, holistic health services for the entire community.
- Katherine Laddish (Winters) serves as an In-Home Supportive Services advisory committee volunteer member and an indispensable advocate for smoke-free low-income housing and was successful in getting many low-income properties to go smoke-free. She also volunteers at The Palms Playhouse and writes for the Winters Express.
- Jesse Loren (Winters) is a career educator. She’s served both Esparto and Travis school districts and is someone who has always had a passion for volunteering her time – serving with the Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee, League of California Cities, Water Resources Association, and Yolo Solano Sustainable Groundwater Agency. In 2016, she doubled down on her service and won a seat on the Winters’ City Council where she serves as a strong advocate for effective water management and quality public education.
- Jayne Williams (Esparto) has devoted her time and her talent to helping people in need in a variety of ways. She has worked as a Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocate, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Chaplain for Grant High School, and consultant to Northern California teachers for the Anti-Defamation League. Since moving to her current community of Esparto, Ms. Williams has used her mentoring expertise in co-founding All Leaders Must Serve, a non-profit organization that helps young adults pursue fulfilling careers.
- Heidi Wheeler (Woodland) has spent her 22-year career providing care and support to seniors at St. John’s Retirement Village. She is now the Skilled Nursing Administrator responsible for the Stollwood Convalescent Hospital within St. John’s Village where she cares for some of her community’s most vulnerable. Both her professional life and personal time have been dedicated to improving the lives of seniors throughout Yolo County.
- Vera Correa (Marysville) serves as the Vice President of the Alliance for Hispanic Advancement which works to improve the quality of life for people of Hispanic heritage community involvement, educational enhancement, and economic promotion. She also gives her time organizing numerous community events such as the Kiwanis Italian Night, Hogs & Hula, the Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival, the Mexican Independence Day Festival, the Day of the Dead event, and the Binational Health Week Fair.
- Jackie Sillman (Marysville) is the Public Relations Manager for Yuba-Sutter Recology, where she educates community organizations, business associations, and school classes on topics related to recycling. Outside of work, she is devoted to helping others fundraise for various organizations including Pink October, Relay for Life, LEAD Yuba-Sutter, the Alzheimer’s Foundation. She is also a past President of the Soroptimist International in Yuba-Sutter and is currently the Chair of the Sierra-Nevada Regional Development Retreat.
- Elta Barber (Yuba City) serves by giving opportunities for young people to succeed both in Sutter County and around the world. Elta created the “Youth Explosion” event, which gives youth in the community an opportunity to showcase their talents. She also serves on the board of the annual fundraiser “To Tanzania with Love,” which pays for crucial educational supplies and other essentials to children living in an orphanage in Tanzania.
- Tejinder Kaur (Yuba City), through her work at the Sutter County Library Literacy Services Department she has helped a large immigrant population learn to speak, read, and write in English. She was also pivotal in establishing the Sutter County Library’s Literacy Services Citizenship Preparation class which has helped students pursuing United States Citizenship. The program has helped complete 6,386 applications for Naturalization, 740 applications for Certificates of Citizenship, and 4,000 fee waiver requests.
- Sara Sealander (Yuba City) has been promoting women in the arts for decades in Sutter County. As an instructor at Yuba Community college for 38 years, she has fostered a passion for art in countless students through her classes in both studio and art history. She also brings this passion outside of the classroom as the founder of the local chapter of Guerilla Girls, an international group of feminist activist artists and a key advocate for the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Sally Serger (Yuba City) has devoted over 25 years of her life to teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing special-needs children in Oroville for the Sutter County Office of Education. Ms. Serger also spends time volunteering in myriad other capacities throughout her community such as key positions with California Women for Agriculture, La Porte Snowmobile Club, and the local 4-H
Program as well as a key advocate for strengthening Sutter County’s levees.
- Heidi Shelton (Yuba City) the co-owner of NorCal Assets Solutions, a business founded, owned, and operated by women, Ms. Shelton is integral to providing seniors and families of the Yuba-Sutter area with information about a range of services, from Medicare planning and long-term care alternatives, to PG&E’s Medical program, and safe retirement planning. She also volunteers with the United Way, Alzheimer’s Association, Alliance for Hispanic Advancement, 14 forward, and Salvation Army.
- Wendy Zapata (Yuba City) is the co-owner of NorCal Assets Solutions, which she and her sister co-founded in 2012. She works helping individuals throughout her community make informed decisions about their future. Each year she helps organize a Senior Resource Fair where she makes countless seniors aware of the resources available to them. Wendy volunteers with a number of organizations in her community, including Soroptimist International, United Way, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alliance for Hispanic Advancement, and many more.
- Barbara Hankins (Meridian) has long served our children as the nurse for the Colusa Unified School District, providing careful medical attention to many who count on her alone for their care. In addition to her busy work, Barbara a steadfast supporter, volunteer, and organizer for various anti-drug groups and programs continuing her care to our children.
- Suzanne Lawry-Hall (Yuba City) oversees the critical CalFresh Nutrition Education Program in five counties, which aims to improve the diet, nutrition, self-sufficiency, and overall health of CalFresh recipients and their families. Under her supervision the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program has made significant gains in its outreach and education to low-income families, increasing youth participation by 10,104 and adult participation by 1,872.
- Joyce Overton (Clearlake) was the founder and past Executive Director of Lake County Youth Services, a nonprofit youth services center devoted to providing a positive support system to young people throughout Lake County. Joyce now serves as the Executive Director of Highland Senior Services Center, an essential lifeline to Lake County’s aging population ensuring the senior community has access to much needed resources and healthy meals. She was also elected to the Clearlake City Council where she has been critical in the reinvigoration of the Lakeshore Corridor and recovery efforts after the devastating fires and floods that have ravaged Lake County.
- Cathy Saderlund (Lakeport) serves as the Lake County Auditor-Controller and Disaster Finance Chief through the eight wildfire disasters Lake County faced over the past four fire seasons. Throughout these disasters exceeded expectations as she managed disaster spending, tracked reimbursements, and made certain that all available state and federal support would be in place for future recovery efforts. In addition to her official duties, Cathy has volunteered for 25 years as the Area Director for the local Special Olympics, spearheading year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
- Joanne Santandrea (Clearlake) has brought her skills as a healthcare provider to both her professional and personal life to help others. As the secretary and treasurer of Clearlake Oaks Women of the Moose she has gone above and beyond expectations. When fires broke out throughout Lake County she done everything from providing medical care to cooking and delivering hundreds of meals to evacuees.
- Salina Edwards, (Orland) currently serving her second four-year term on the Orland City Council, is an unflinchingly energetic and optimistic advocate for her community, building off her fourteen-years of service with the Glenn County Superior Court. Outside of council meetings, Salina serves on the Waste Management Board, the Glenn County Local Agency Formation Commission, the Orland Library Commission, the Glenn County Transportation Committee, and the Glenn County Regional Transportation Committee.
- Marylin Shult (Orland) has served over 25 years at the Passages Adult Resource Center and as a volunteer for the Glenn County Hospice Program and the salvation army – dedicating her time and energy to help our community’s most vulnerable.
- Raphael Turnbull (Orland) is a mother, grandmother, author, teacher, artist, and gallery director with an exceptionally wide range of personal and professional experience. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, where she met her husband, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Alongside her husband, Mrs. Turnbull raised two accomplished children who excel in their work, volunteer in their communities, and devote time to their families. For 20 years she wrote a syndicated poetic essay column which appeared in major newspapers throughout the country. Her essays and short stories have also appeared in popular magazines and she ultimately published several books of her collected essays. She had the honor of being featured as a Multiple Year Honoree in the national edition of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” She also devotes time to her community by serving as the Chairwoman of the Orland Arts Commission and the Gallery Director for the Orland Art Center where she uses her many artistic talents to teach others.
- Gina Taylor (Willows) is committed to serving children throughout her community and devotes her time to many volunteer organizations. As president of the Willows Unified School District Board she works with other board members to ensure the school district provides a safe and engaging learning environment for local students. Ms. Taylor was also a founding member of The Painted Ladies, a group that works to fill the gaps in school budgets by cleaning and painting classrooms throughout the district. This work helped to provide a positive learning environment for countless students.
- Pamela DaGrossa (Colusa) is a truly serves our most vulnerable. As a court appointed Special Advocate she mentors foster children during trying times. As an Animal Control Officer and volunteer with the Colusa County Animal Shelter, she helps countless shelter animals by providing foster care, medical treatment, vaccinations, and providing transportation to rescue organizations.
- Irmalee Schumacher (Colusa) is a dedicated educator and volunteer who for years has committed herself to making students in Colusa the best that they can be. For 21 years, she has led the Super Seven Awards Program, recognizing seven Juniors and Seniors at Colusa High School for their scholastic achievement. She has also been instrumental in coordinating the Colusa County Office of Education’s Scholastic Appreciation Day and generously co-funds a scholarship for Williams High School graduates who might otherwise not be able to move into higher education.
- Maryah Stoots (Williams) is a parent advocate with a heart of service and a strong desire to help others. She is Vice President of the Williams Parent Teacher Organization where she fundraises for school spirit wear and educational programs. She was instrumental in the introduction of Learning Dynamics, an early learning reading program designed to promote childhood and family literacy. Mayrah Stoots exemplifies the qualities of selfless service and embodies the qualities of a public servant.