SAN BERNARDINO, CA – In recognition of Women’s History Month, Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) honored groundbreaking women from the 47th Assembly District at her annual Women of Distinction event on Saturday, March 29, at the Sierra Lakes Country Club in Fontana.
The recognition event was attended by the honorees and their family members and included special guest appearances from Supervisor Janice Rutherford, chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors; Mayor Acquanetta Warren, City of Fontana; and Mayor Carey Davis, City of San Bernardino.
The 2014 honorees were: City Clerk Eileen Gomez, City of Colton; the Honorable Grace Vargas, former mayor of the City of Rialto; Jasmine Hall, a member of the board of directors at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency; Vicki Lee, a homeless student liaison at the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD); Sally McGuire, a business owner and president of the Grand Terrace Chamber of Commerce; and Marge Mendoza-Ware, a resident of Bloomington and longtime school board member of the Colton Joint Unified School District (CJUSD).
City Clerk Eileen Gomez, a long time Colton resident, was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. As the Colton city clerk, she provides quality public service to her constituents by accurately recording and maintaining the proceedings of the Colton City Council and providing accessibility to official records. As a community leader, she serves as a board member for various community service oriented groups such as the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, the Inland Empire Scholarship Fund, Youth for C.H.A.N.G.E., and Seeds of Hope, Inc., based in Colton.
Honorable Grace Vargas made history when she became Rialto’s first female mayor in 2000. She was later re-elected in 2004 and 2008. Born in Yuma, Arizona, Ms. Vargas moved to California in 1959 as a 22 year old single mother of seven children. While residing with her sister in the city of Fontana, she joined the California Employment Training Act (CETA) program, which became a major turning point in her life. She landed a job as a clerk for the City of Rialto and that position led her to several other promotions within the city’s administration. She was first elected to the Rialto City Council in 1998 before her election as Rialto’s first female mayor in 2000.
Jasmine Hall, a resident of Fontana, was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency board of directors in 2013. She was employed at Southern California Edison (SCE) for over 27 years as a business and utilities analyst. During her tenure at SCE, she promoted energy conservation initiatives to businesses and community members in the Inland Empire. She has also served on various boards and commissions including the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) Commission, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and the Association of California Water Agencies.
Vicki Lee, a native of San Bernardino, serves as a mentor to at-risk youth as the homeless liaison for the SBCUSD. Prior to this position, she worked with homeless youth and young adults as an evening manager at the Covenant House California for ten years. Ms. Lee is the coordinator of “Our Children Sing,” an annual program that’s held in San Bernardino around September 11. The program seeks to promote peace, unity and commemorate those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Ms. Lee is also an active member at her church, New Hope Missionary Baptist, where she serves as the director of the Drama Ministry.
Sally McGuire, a longtime Grand Terrace resident, currently serves as president of the Grand Terrace Chamber of Commerce. After 25 years of working at General Electric (GE) as a sales executive, Ms. McGuire decided to become a certified senior advisor and open her own business, Helping Hands Companion Care, to provide non-medical in-home support services to seniors. As a community leader, Ms. McGuire is greatly involved in the Grand Terrace Woman’s Club, the Foundation of Grand Terrace and the CJUSD Community Cabinet focusing on students’ mental and physical health.
Marge Mendoza-Ware, a Bloomington resident, is one of the longest serving school board members of the CJUSD. Her most notable accomplishment during her fifteen year tenure includes organizing the ROTC programs for the area high schools. Ms. Mendoza-Ware also worked in various leadership positions at the County of San Bernardino, Harvey Mudd College, the Claremont Colleges, and Bright Beginnings Preschool. As an active community member, she founded the Bloomington After School Program, which provides tutoring assistance to students. She also served on the CJUSD Health Advisory Committee, the Bloomington Save Our Youth, the Bloomington Municipal Advisory Committee, the Bloomington Woman’s Club, and the Republican Women Federated.
For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.