Thursday, March 17, 2016

County's outstanding women for 2016 to be feted

Monterey County's Commission on the Status of Women has named its Outstanding Women for 2016, and has set a Sunday reception and awards ceremony to honor them.
The ceremony, including a keynote address from Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System administrator Adrienne Laurent, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies' Irvine Auditorium, 499 Pierce Street in Monterey.
Among the women to be honored for their dedication to improving the quality of life for others in their community:
* Marina city councilwoman Nancy Amadeo, who is a founding member of the Marina in Motion and the Marina Youth Arts organizations, and worked on local veterans issues including the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery and creation of a Veterans Memorial Trail in Marina.
* Monterey County prosecutor Elaine McCleaf, an original member of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council who wrote the county law enforcement domestic violence protocol and offers training on the dynamics of domestic violence, along with volunteering for the last 18 years as the attorney coach for the Pacific Grove High School mock trial team.
* Salinas businesswoman and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System trustee Margaret D'Arrigo-Martin, who created the IMPOWER organization providing scholarships to women and girls, and is credited with developing a program to put salad bars in schools, along with serving on a number of area boards.
* Christian Women in Action advisor Ethel Davis, who is known for more than three decades of "mentorship, ministry and spirited service to the community," including coordinating outreach efforts for the homeless and less fortunate.
* North Monterey County community leader and volunteer Diane Franciscovich, who has worked as the Women's Crisis Center executive director and board member helping battered women and children, developed the North County Chamber newsletter, and served as president and board member of the Castroville Rotary Club.
* Monterey County Business Council board president and Monterey Peninsula Airport District director Mary Ann Leffel, who serves in a variety of capacities for a number of local business, community and government organizations ranging from the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the county's Overall Economic Development Commission to the Natividad Medical Center board and Interim, Inc.
* Monterey County Chief Probation Officer Marcia Parsons, who is the first woman to hold the post, and serves as chairwoman of the county Children's Council, which provides leadership and policy direction for the provision of youth services, and the county Community Corrections Partnership, a collaborative of local agencies working to rehabilitate and reintegrate adult offenders into society.
* Greenfield Union School District trustee and community volunteer Mayra Perez, who is known for establishing PTA chapters in her children's school district to advocate for children's rights, and has been an "outspoken voice" on women's issues including youth mothers, low-income families and at-risk youth.
* Retired educator Lucille Standifer, who organized a fundraising drive for a student diagnosed with cancer staying at Ronald McDonald House while undergoing treatment, along with volunteering for the Mission Ladies organization to ensure the sick and needy receive cards, and teaching Bible Study and her church.
* King City Union School District trustee Ana Vargas, who has organized the annual Dia del Trabajador Agricola and Adelante Con Orgullo Mujer Immigrante events, and leads an effort to improve health through organizing physical activity sessions and healthy eating workshops.

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