Three SLO County women honored on county’s Women’s Wall of Fame
Winners named at luncheon on March 11
— Shirley Summers of Atascadero, Eloisa Medina of San Luis Obispo and Jill Bolster-White of San Luis Obispo were immortalized on the Women’s Wall of Fame in the San Luis Obispo County Government Building. The women were recognized as three of 2017’s most impressive county leaders, named at the Fourth Annual Women’s Wall of Fame Luncheon at Madonna Inn earlier this month.
The Women’s Wall of Fame Luncheon was sponsored by the County of San Luis Obispo Commission on the Status of Women (SLOCSW), an advisory board to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and the South Bay Women’s Network, an organization of county business women. Comissioners Christine Noffz and Julie Jones organized the event.
The luncheon drew local and national leaders, including County Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Lynn Compton; Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin, Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-24th District). Keynote Speaker Elmy Bermejo served as the regional representative for Secretary of Labor Tom Perez in President Barack Obama’s administration.
“How do we get involved?” Bermejo asked the sold-out crowd. “Whether it’s voting, volunteering, or running for local office … the voices of women are needed everywhere.”
“It’s important to recognize local women who are impacting our community in a positive way,” said Amanda King, chair of the County of San Luis Obispo Commission on the Status of Women. A total of 15 women were honored Saturday as nominees for the Women’s Wall of Fame.
- Candace Gammons of Paso Robles is a bank branch manager, volunteers all while attending college.
- Shirley Summers, MSW, LCSW of Atascadero has a lifelong commitment to volunteerism and community-building.
- Maria Garcia of Paso Robles helped found the Hispanic Business Association in Paso Robles. In her time as President, she has helped to award many students with scholarships, help business owners succeed, and help with the Mexican Consulate.
- Sue Benitez of Paso Robles is involved with Paso Robles Library, Friends of the Library, County Grand Jury, Traditions Home Owners Association, SESLOC Supervisory Committee, and the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation.
- Vera Wallen, Ph.D. of Cambria and Cayucos was superintendent of Schools for the Coast Union, Cambria, and Cayucos school districts from 1988 through 1997.
- Debra Balke of San Luis Obispo is the Central Coast’s one-and-only Pediatric Neurologist.
- Cathy Ahearn of San Luis Obispo is a teacher and as a community volunteer.
- Jessica Lorance of San Luis Obispo is the MASH (Mobile Assistance and Services Addressing Homelessness) event coordinator with the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services.
- Jill Bolster-White of San Luis Obispo has been the executive director of Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) for 25 years.
- Kaila Dettman of San Luis Obispo is involved in community service through her work at the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.
- Marie Wilson of San Luis Obispo has been a member of RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer
Program) since 1988.
- Mila Vujovich-La Barre of San Luis Obispo has served in the SLCUSD as a Spanish teacher for 33 years at SLO High School and Laguna Middle School.
- Ann Fryer of San Luis Obispo is a teacher, girl’s basketball coach, and a coach to children with learning disabilities.
- Diane Marchetti of San Luis Obispo is a volunteer for the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum and has served that organization in the capacity of museum manager for over three years.
- Eloisa Medina of San Luis Obispo began as a Lay Patient Navigator at French Hospital Medical Center the mammography screenings alone experienced a 118-percent increase in 2015.
The Women’s Wall of Fame award is an expansion of the annual SLOCSW “Woman of the Year Award.” Nominations are submitted to the commission from organizations throughout San Luis Obispo County of women who have given in an exemplary way to better the lives of others throughout the year. Entries are reviewed by a panel of commissioners from outside the county.
The Commission on the Status of Women is an official advisory group to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors since 1975. The Commission identifies issues of concern to the women of San Luis Obispo County that compliments the focus of other advocacy or advisory organizations or provides a new forum for additional issues women face.
On Tuesday, April 11, the commission will report results of its 2016 women’s survey. The public is invited to attend. All women living in SLO County are invited to take the 2017 survey online in English and Spanish on the SLOCSW website.
To contact the commission, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 788-3406.