Photos courtesy of Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell's office.
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell honored 23 women at the Women of Distinction Recognition Ceremony Thursday night at the law office of Keesal, Young & Logan in Downtown Long Beach.
The 70th District assemblymember thanked the women on his staff, in his life and in the district, which includes most of Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island, for all the work they do.
“I want to thank the women in our lives for what they do to make the world a better place,” he said.
O’Donnell chose Martha Cota, a community activist and executive director of Latinos in Action, as Woman of the Year.
Cota works to engage the Latino community in the political process in an effort to train the next generation of Latino leaders.
Aside from Cota, O’Donnell also awarded 22 other women as 2017 Women of Distinction. Nominated by family and friends, the Women of Distinction have built reputations in medicine, law, community activism, charity, public safety and government.
The 2017 Women of Distinction are:
- Carol Churchill
- Gail Multke
- Gretchen Swanson
- Hazel Wallace
- Jinelle Brand
- Jo Murray
- Kate Marr
- Katherine McIlquham
- Kimberly Ritter
- Linda Simpkins
- Zulma Maria Teixeira de Lima
- Lisa Conner
- Mary Simmons
- Shannon Ross
- Sylvia Manheim
- Thary Ung
- Trudy Briscoe
- Kathleen Woodfield
- Stacey Morrison
- Netra Brown
- Catherine Plows
- Christina Lee
Sheila Levin, who nominated Linda Simpkins, said that it is important to acknowledge all the selfless work many women put into the community.
“Ever since I’ve known [Simpkins], since she was the PTA president at my daughter’s school, I noticed immediately that she was a giver, a volunteer,” Levin said. “She was the kind of PTA president that didn’t look for anything but to give to the children. Throughout the years I’ve known her, she has volunteered in one organization after another, tirelessly.”
All 23 nominees were given a plaque with the seal of the California State Assembly Thursday night, while friends and family celebrated their accomplishments.