03.24.09

Catherine Wills Named a "Woman of the Year" in the 29th Congressional District

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Catherine Wills Named a “Woman of the Year” in the 29th Congressional District

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday at a reception in Pasadena, Representative Adam Schiff honored Catherine Wills of Monterey Park for her commitment and service to our community by naming her a “Woman of the Year.”

“Whether as a homicide detective or a mentor for at-risk youth, Cathy devotes her time and energy well beyond what could be asked of her, and our community is safer and a better place as a result of her efforts,” said Schiff.  “I thank Cathy for all she has done, and it was an honor to name her ‘Woman of the Year.’”

Cathy was infused with the spirit of volunteerism from a very young age. As a young girl she watched her older sister, Charlotte, transform a personal struggle with spina bifida into success as a community activist. Cathy grew to share her father’s concern for social issues such as global poverty, illiteracy, and health care, and she joined Charlotte as a devoted advocate for the physically disabled.

Cathy’s thirty-plus years of local community outreach include serving as a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, where she became the first woman assigned to the Detective Division’s Homicide Bureau and spent her free time mentoring at-risk girls as a Pasadena YWCA “Big Sister.” Following retirement, Cathy has dedicated herself to the City and people of Monterey Park. She served on the board of directors of the Heritage Manor Convalescent Home, was a long-time appointee to the City’s Personnel Board, and wrote a community column for the local newspaper.

Armed with a lifetime of experience and gumption, Cathy faced her husband’s recent bouts with cancer head on and continues to support the City of Hope National Cancer Research Center. Her current roles include serving on city and county Election boards, volunteering as a member of the Soroptimist Club, and advocating for San Gabriel Valley causes as a founding member of the Concerned Citizens of Monterey Park. Cathy also honors outstanding volunteers as co-chair of the United Democratic Club’s annual “People Who Make a Difference” award.

Every March, during Women’s History Month, Rep. Schiff honors one outstanding woman from each of the communities in the 29th Congressional District.  These women come from all walks of life and represent the thousands of women who make a positive impact in our region.  While there are no specific criteria for nomination, Rep. Schiff looks for women who – through their work or volunteerism – have improved the quality of life for our community.

Rep. Schiff represents California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.