04.17.19

Rep. Schiff Honors 2019 Women of the Year

Los Angeles, CA – On Tuesday, April 16th, at a luncheon in Echo Park, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) honored 13 inspiring women from communities in the 28th Congressional District – Atwater Village, Burbank, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glendale, Hollywood, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Pasadena, Silver Lake, Sunland-Tujunga, and West Hollywood.

“Today, I met with remarkable women from my district who have all worked tirelessly to make our communities a better place,” said Rep. Schiff. “It was an honor to recognize their outstanding work in the 28th District. These women have worked to found or support a myriad of charitable organizations and given so much of themselves to improve the common good. They are all pillars of our communities and I thank them for their invaluable service.”

Below is a full list of honorees from this year:

Karen Knapp (Atwater Village), Joy Collins-Brodt (Burbank), Joelle Dobrow (Echo Park), Carrie Ann Sutkin (Elysian Valley), Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian (Glendale), Lara Yeretsian (Hollywood), Jeanne Broberg (La Cañada Flintridge), Dr. Diane L. Evans (La Crescenta), Lynn Alvarez (Los Feliz), Kathy Jane Onoye, Ed.D. (Pasadena), Cynthia Hubach (Silver Lake), Pat Kramer (Sunland-Tujunga), Sofiya Fikhman (West Hollywood).

To see a photo of the honorees, please click here.

Row seated left to right: Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian (Glendale), Pat Kramer (Sunland-Tujunga), Jeanne Broberg (La Cañada Flintridge), Lynn Alvarez (Los Feliz), Sofiya Fikhman (West Hollywood), Kathy Jane Onoye, Ed.D. (Pasadena).

Row standing left to right: Joy Collins-Brodt (Burbank), Cynthia Hubach (Silver Lake), Lara Yeretsian (Hollywood), Congressman Adam Schiff, Karen Knapp (Atwater Village), Dr. Diane L. Evans (La Crescenta), Joelle Dobrow (Echo Park)

Not pictured: Carrie Ann Sutkin (Elysian Valley)

A Tribute to Karen Knapp – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Karen Knapp of the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles.

Born in Levittown, New York, Karen’s family moved to California when she was five years old. She lived in Northern California until 1976 when she moved to Hollywood, California to work in the movie industry. Karen’s acting roles included the “Voice of the Devil” in the sequel movie to “The Exorcist,” a small part in “the Incredible Shrinking Woman” movie, roles on the stage and voice-over jobs, while working at various jobs as a restaurant manager, driving instructor and waitress to support herself. Karen then worked at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Publications Department as the Graphics Manager for fourteen years and after UCLA closed the department, began working for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the Graphics Manager in their Graphic Design Department.

A homeowner in Atwater Village since 2004, after Ms. Knapp retired, she became involved in national and local politics, and began volunteering for various organizations, such as the Sustainability Alliance and the Alliance of River Communities. In 2012, she was elected to the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council, where she is currently serving her third term. As a councilmember, Karen participates in a variety of committees, attends Los Angeles City Council meetings and organizes activities. In addition to her service on the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council, Karen has been a dedicated, hardworking volunteer for the Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Great Los Angeles River Cleanup, which is known as the largest urban river cleanup in the nation.

Ms. Knapp enjoys helping out her friends and neighbors, working on various home repair projects and gardening. She shares her home with her rescue cat and dog.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Karen Knapp.

A Tribute to Joy Collins-Brodt – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Joy Collins-Brodt of Burbank, California.

Ms. Collins-Brodt, along with her eight siblings were born and raised in Pomona, California. Joy’s mother, a native Floridian, and father, a Nigerian immigrant, taught their children to treat all people with dignity and respect. Living into the life lessons her parents taught her, Joy traveled to countries including Mexico and Bolivia to volunteer at local orphanages.

Upon graduating from high school, Joy attended Azusa Pacific University and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Film with a minor in Communication Studies. She was the first of her siblings to attend and graduate from a university. After her college graduation, Ms. Collins-Brodt moved to Burbank to begin her career in television production and entertainment.

Joy worked on a variety of television shows including “24” at NBC Universal and Fox Television. Outside of her work in television, Joy and a team of active women launched Darling Magazine, a women’s lifestyle magazine that featured body-positive photographs of women that were never photo-edited or altered. During this time in her professional career, she learned about human-trafficking issues and began volunteering for the International Justice Mission (IJM), the largest global anti-trafficking organization. Her passion to combat global human-trafficking grew and in 2015 she left her career in television to accept the Chief Operations Officer position at Treasures Ministries, an organization that serves as an outreach and support network for women who are victims of sex-trafficking and in the adult entertainment industry.

Ms. Collins-Brodt continues her volunteer work for the International Justice Mission now as the Advocacy Coordinator of Southern California. Joy has lobbied in Washington, D.C. for anti-trafficking legislation such as the Child Protection Compact Act, which helped create a trafficking task force in the Philippines that saves children from trafficking. She hopes that others use their voice and engage with policy leaders about legislation to see the end of human-trafficking.

Today, Joy lives in Burbank with her husband, Josh and they both enjoy long drives along the Pacific Coast.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Joy Collins-Brodt.

A Tribute to Joelle Dobrow – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Joelle Dobrow of the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in film and television, Ms. Dobrow became a pioneering activist in Hollywood. At a time when women simply didn’t have opportunities to produce and direct films, Joelle and five other female directors set out to make a change. The “Original Six,” as they’ve come to be known, decided to get organized in the fight against sexism and together, they formed the first Women’s Steering Committee of the Directors Guild of America. Decades before the Me Too movement forced a Hollywood reckoning, Dobrow and the Original Six spearheaded the first entertainment industry lawsuits against feature films studios for discrimination against women and ethnic minorities.

Ms. Dobrow and the Original Six received the recognition for their important activism efforts with the recent book Liberating Hollywood and upcoming documentary This Changes Everything, which features Joelle along with Meryl Streep and Geena Davis as feminist crusaders in Hollywood.

Joelle’s groundbreaking leadership is apparent in her television career as the first woman Producer/Director for the bay area television station KTEH, and later, the first woman Associate Director/Stage Manager at KABC-TV in Los Angeles. She continued to have an accomplished career as a television producer and director, including working for Noticiero Estudiantil—for which she won an Emmy—and Good Morning America among many others. She also helped produce live events such as TV Goes to the Hollywood Bowl and Hollywood Remembers the Blacklist.

Fifteen years ago, Ms. Dobrow founded the Edendale Library Friends Society (ELFS) in her neighborhood of Echo Park and has since led the organization as President. Joelle and the ELFS serve as a vital bridge between the Los Angeles Public Library, elected officials, Echo Park Neighborhood Council, other nearby non-profit organizations, and the local community. In addition to her volunteer service with ELFS, Joelle also served on the successful Yes on Measure L campaign, a measure which permanently increased library funding for the City of Los Angeles.

In 2013, Ms. Dobrow received an Executive Master of Arts in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University. She was recently the recipient of the Drucker Women in Leadership Fellowship, the Ahmanson Fellowship, and an Altrusa Richardson grant.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Joelle Dobrow.

A Tribute to Carrie Ann Sutkin – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Carrie Ann Sutkin of the Elysian Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Carrie Ann lived there until the age of fifteen, when her stepfather was offered a job as a health agency administrator in the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa and her family moved to Northern California. After volunteering as a health worker in the Dominican Republic, Ms. Sutkin learned the Spanish language at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and also in Mexico City where she lived and studied Latin American politics.

Carrie Ann completed her Bachelor of the Arts degree at UCSC in 1984 and moved to Los Angeles in 1986 for her first professional job in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Southern California. In 1990, she received a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning while interning for the City of Los Angeles Chief Legislative Analyst. In 1989, Ms. Sutkin joined Gloria Molina’s campaign for Los Angeles County Supervisor and after the successful election, joined Supervisor Molina’s staff. Carrie Ann began her Doctorate in 1995 in Planning and Policy Development with her Dissertation on how her Chicana colleagues in the county re-planned and redeveloped the East Los Angeles Civic Center and wrote another Dissertation in Planning and Development on Chicana feminist planning in 2015. From 2012 to 2018, Ms. Sutkin represented Los Angeles County on three Redevelopment Agency Oversight Committees: Pomona, El Monte and West Covina. She currently has a thriving consultant practice for non-profit organizations.

An Elysian Valley resident since 2010, Carrie Ann became involved in the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council in 2015 and was appointed two years later. She serves as a member of the steering committee of the Alliance for River Communities and helps the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council on their Community Plan Survey and the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council on Historic Preservation and has been a supporter and community activist for the Los Angeles River for over two decades.

Carrie Ann has one son, Samuel Sutkin Maier, who is attending college in Ohio.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Carrie Ann Sutkin.

A Tribute to Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian of Glendale, California.

Anita holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on finance and accounting from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Ms. Gabrielian had an exceptional career for thirty-three years at AT&T, where she held the position of Regional Vice President of External Affairs for the Los Angeles Market Area when she retired from the company in 2014. Currently, Ms. Gabrielian is the President/CEO of Gabrielian & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. and the co-founder and partner of CG Benefits Group.

Anita has been a dynamic force in the community, and her selfless service, expertise and incredible work ethic have benefitted many organizations over the years. She has served on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, and on the board of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. A staunch advocate for accessible quality education, Anita wholeheartedly enjoyed serving as a Member of the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees for fifteen years, including Board of Trustees President for three terms.

Ms. Gabrielian continues her invaluable service to the community and serves in various capacities including on the Advisory Boards of the Glendale Latino Association, the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, and on the Corporate Advisory Council of the USC Latino Alumni Association. She also serves as a board member of BREATHE California of Los Angeles County, Glendale College Foundation, and as the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation’s chairperson of the board of directors.  

Anita is married to her husband, Leo, and they have three daughters, Lauren, Jessica, and Ana Bella. They all love soccer and enjoy traveling.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Anita Quiñonez Gabrielian.

A Tribute to Lara Yeretsian – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Lara Yeretsian of Hollywood, California.

Before moving to the United States, Lara and her family experienced hardship during the civil war in Lebanon. Her parents, who were wholeheartedly devoted to giving Lara and her three sisters a good life and a loving home, established Sasoun Bakery, a renowned Armenian bakery in the Little Armenia area of Hollywood, and enrolled Lara and her siblings in the local Armenian school. Lara continued her education at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, and received her J.D. degree in 1997, followed by her LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center in 1998. She interned for Judge Bert Glennon of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in California, and for Judge Robert M. Takasugi of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

A well-respected and successful criminal defense attorney, and fluent in English, Armenian and Arabic, Lara spent a decade working on various high-profile cases at the law firm of Geragos & Geragos. Later, she founded her own firm, Yeretsian Law, and continues to work as an uplifting and compassionate guide for her clients. Recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer for 2019, Lara’s professionalism and achievements have not gone unnoticed. In addition to her many accomplishments as an attorney, Ms. Yeretsian has authored numerous articles regarding issues that impact the criminal justice system.

In spite of her tremendously successful career, Lara never lost sight of her passion to give back, and her benevolence, leadership and advocacy are reflected in her philanthropic work in the community. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and the Los Angeles City College Foundation, and as co-chair of the Hollywood chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America. Ms. Yeretsian also serves as chairperson of the Police Permit Review Panel of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Lara is married to Hratch Manuelian, and they have two sons, David and Christopher.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Lara Yeretsian.

A Tribute to Jeanne Broberg – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Jeanne Broberg of La Cañada Flintridge, California.

Born and raised in Glendale, California, Jeanne attended Glendale public schools, graduating from Herbert Hoover High School as Valedictorian prior to attending Brigham Young University and Glendale Community College. In 1970, Jeanne and her late husband, Dr. Charles Broberg, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist, settled in La Cañada Flintridge, where they raised eight children.  

A selfless advocate for children and committed to enriching the lives of children, Jeanne became active in the La Cañada Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA), where she worked on a successful effort to have sidewalks built on La Cañada Blvd., and eventually serving as President for a total of six terms of various PTAs and the Council PTA. Along with her husband, she volunteered with La Cañada Flintridge schools, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, YMCA day camps and sports programs, thespian and choral activities and the American Youth Soccer Organization.  

In 1993, Mrs. Broberg was elected to the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board, where she served two terms until 2001, was re-elected again in 2007 for a third term, serving as President for three various years. Jeanne was an active participant in the 5 Star Coalition, an affiliation of school officials from the La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank school districts that addresses regional issues.

A dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Cañada Flintridge, Jeanne taught seminary to young people, served as President of the Young Women’s Organization and President of the Church Relief Society Women’s Organization.  Jeanne and her husband, Charles served on a missionary trip where Dr. Broberg was a medical advisor in the Ukraine and Russia.

In addition to being a longtime volunteer with the Assistance League of Flintridge, where she served as its 2015-2016 President, Mrs. Broberg’s passion for genealogy and family history led her to become Director of the La Crescenta Family History Library in 2006 and eventually, a consultant at the Santa Monica Regional Family History Center from 2012 – 2014.

For her outstanding service to the community, Jeanne received the prestigious PTA Golden Oak Award in 2012 and the La Cañadan of the Year Award from the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada in 2016.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Jeanne Broberg.

A Tribute to Dr. Diane L. Evans – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Dr. Diane L. Evans of La Crescenta, California.

Dr. Evans has been the Director for Earth Science and Technology Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the last fifteen years, and is the first woman to lead the Earth Science activities at JPL. During her tenure, the Directorate has grown substantially in annual funding and the number of spaceborne missions in development has increased as well.   

Dr. Evans holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Occidental College in Los Angeles and both a Master of Science and a Ph.D degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington in Seattle. A member of many international science teams, Diane has been a principal investigator on several research activities sponsored by NASA.

Diane is responsible for the implementation, development and operations of JPL’s Earth Science flight experiments and missions. One such mission was entitled “Grace” and accomplished its main goal of measuring the Earth’s gravity field and measuring water loss from major aquifers and ice loss from Greenland. The Grace mission represents one mission whose science results have expended beyond its original objectives to include other crucial measurements, thus making key contributions to understanding our world. Dr. Evans has been instrumental in defining the missions, which often include domestic and foreign partnerships.

Earth Science research at JPL, which is also under Diane’s direction, includes research areas of oceanography, geophysics, climate, atmospheric composition and combines a wide spectrum of advanced technologies. Dr. Evans has chaired many planning committees for NASA and other academic institutions, has authored more than one hundred research publications and conference presentations in the areas of geologic and radar remote sensing and has presented many courses on these topics globally. For her outstanding leadership and accomplishments in the development of Earth science missions, Diane has received many awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Dr. Diane L. Evans.

A Tribute to Lynn Alvarez – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Lynn Alvarez of the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Alvarez has a long and distinguished career as a philanthropist, non-profit administrator, law professor, and legal activist. She has helped both public and private institutions advance and govern their own respective initiatives, helping them to prosper with her unique expertise.

After Lynn earned a Juris Doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, she headed off to New York City to join the litigation department of a major law firm, but soon realized her passion was more aligned with public interest law. She worked tirelessly as the legal director of a community-based organization representing Central American refugees, and subsequently worked on the national level in major class-action lawsuits representing the rights of immigrants. As a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, Ms. Alvarez taught courses on professional ethics and immigration law.

Having served as a Board Member of non-profit organizations including Human Rights Watch, Para Los Niños, the Central American Refugee Center, and the Los Angeles Education Partnership, Lynn is known for her consistent advocacy of human rights and dignity for all people. Lynn was appointed to the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and re-appointed as President of the Commission by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2013. The Commission’s jurisdiction includes oversight and management of all park and recreation sites, annexation of public land for recreational reasons, and implementation of legal contracts and obligations.

Lynn and her husband, Steve Nissen along with their three wonderful sons enjoy the outdoor splendor of the City of Los Angeles parks; most particularly her “backyard park,” Griffith Park.  

I ask all Members to join me in honoring an exceptional woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Lynn Alvarez.

A Tribute to Kathy Jane Onoye, Ed.D.  – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Kathy Jane Onoye, Ed.D of Pasadena, California.

Dr. Onoye holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a state Lifetime Elementary Teaching Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a state Administrative Service Credential and Master of Arts degree from the California State University, Los Angeles, a Master of Science degree from Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, and a Doctor of Education and a School Business Management Program Certificate of Completion from the University of Southern California (USC).

Kathy admirably served the Pasadena Unified School District for over four decades, beginning in 1971 as a classroom teacher at Audubon Primary School, then serving as a Principal, Curriculum Resource Teacher and Mathematics Resource Teacher at Willard Elementary School, until her retirement in 2014 as Executive Director, Elementary, K-6 & K-8 Curriculum and Instruction for PUSD. In addition, Kathy was a Master Teacher for USC, a Master Teacher for Pacific Oaks College, has conducted many educational conferences and workshops, and was instrumental in helping Willard Elementary School achieve its International Baccalaureate status.

A true leader in her profession, some of the educational organizations and committees Dr. Onoye has served on include the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the Association of Pasadena School Administrators, Member of PUSD’s Technology Committee, and a Member of the Advisory Committee for Professional Growth for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, State of California. Kathy’s past and present community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pasadena, Young and Healthy, Pasadena Educational Foundation and Delta Kappa Gamma, as a member of the Greater Pasadena Japanese American Citizens League and the San Rafael Library Associates, leadership positions at All Saints Episcopal Church and as a volunteer at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Onoye has been the recipient of numerous commendations, including PUSD and ACSA Administrator of the Year Awards, the PUSD Outstanding Teacher Award, several Title I Academic Achievement Awards, a California Business for Educational Excellence and Just for Kids Star Honor School Award, USC Research Awards and the Women’s Clubs Council of Pasadena’s Outstanding Community Service Award.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Dr. Kathy Jane Onoye.

A Tribute to Cynthia Hubach – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Cynthia Hubach of the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Cynthia Hubach grew up exploring nature and observing wildlife right in her own backyard, in the open spaces of the 1960s San Fernando Valley. From her father Richard, a rocket scientist and entrepreneur, Ms. Hubach learned to love and respect nature, developing a lifelong commitment to protecting and preserving open spaces. From her mother Gail, who was chief of pharmacy at Canoga Park Hospital for well over twenty years, Cynthia learned the crucial values of hard work, self-reliance, and caring for others.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley, her parents’ alma mater, Cynthia took an unusual step into a career in local news. At KCBS-TV News in Los Angeles, Cynthia produced the 6 p.m. newscast through historic periods of civic turmoil and natural disasters. She went on to produce scores of hours of television, from MTV’s Behind the Music to several reality shows; most notably The Apprentice.

In 2010, with her father in the final months of a long battle with cancer, she decided she needed to make more of a difference in the world. That year, she enrolled in a master’s program at Antioch University in Urban Sustainability. The coursework emphasized the connections among people, the economy and the planet, and how certain “leverage points” can have an outsized impact on all three. Community gardens are just that sort of leverage points, so in 2011, Cynthia started work to convert a quarter acre vacant lot she owned in Elysian Valley into a thriving community garden.

Cynthia has become increasingly involved in urban agriculture. She is an active member of the Master Gardener program and she has also served as co-chair of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s Urban Agriculture Working Group. She is a longtime board member and current Secretary of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council; an organization that supports about 40 community gardens with administrative and programming assistance.

Her love for nature and wildlife extends to her neighborhood in Silver Lake where she is the current Vice President of the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, which seeks to beautify the reservoir complex with native plantings, and responsibly expand areas of public access.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Cynthia Hubach.

A Tribute to Pat Kramer – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Pat Kramer of Sunland-Tujunga, California.

Pat Kramer is a communications expert who creates original content for business and corporate entities for their marketing, outreach and public relations efforts. For over thirty years, she has worked as a consultant to companies in education, entertainment, healthcare, financial services, real estate, transportation, politics, arts and culture, cities, agencies and non-profit organizations to improve their communications materials. Over the course of her career, Ms. Kramer has written for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, Variety, City News, and many industry-based publications.  

Today, Pat focuses on ghostwriting memoirs, books and articles for her clients, and especially enjoys writing memoirs for senior citizens to help preserve their legacy for future generations. Pat is a regular guest speaker at various business events, and shares her expertise educating public high school students who are interested in communications careers. Some of the professional organizations Pat has been a member of include the National Association of Women Business Owners, Entertainment Publicists Professional Society, Independent Writers of Southern California and Business & Professional Women of Sunland-Tujunga.

A dedicated volunteer in her community, Pat’s activities include over thirty years of participation in the Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter, where she has held leadership positions and advocates for issues affecting the quality of life in the foothills. A Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council (STNC) member for many years, some of her accomplishments on the council include helping to complete a decade-long project to create a new community park in Sunland, Oro Vista Park, as Inventory Chairperson, organizing the STNC’s 2017 move to North Valley City Hall, which involved managing volunteers, overseeing inventory of supplies and historical records, and co-chairing the 2018 STNC’s Emergency Preparedness Day. In addition, Pat chaired the Ad Hoc Signage Committee and currently chairs the STNC’s Safe Traffic and Transportation Committee, which creates informative monthly meetings about improving safety on Sunland-Tujunga’s streets.

In addition to her outstanding work in the community, Ms. Kramer is passionate about animal rescue work, and has been working to try to initiate the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Animal Service’s Volunteer Animal Officer program and supports other worthwhile animal rescue organizations.

Born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Pat credits her grandparents, immigrants from the Ukraine, with teaching her good values, instilling in her the importance of hard work, while encouraging her to follow her dreams. As a result of doing what she loves and thanks to her grandparents’ influence, Pat’s full life includes hiking, gardening and caring for her three rescue dogs.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Pat Kramer.

A Tribute to Sofiya Fikhman – 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year 

I rise today in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation’s women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Sofiya Fikhman of West Hollywood, California.

Born in the Ukraine in 1939, Sofiya was two years old when the war between the Soviet Union and Germany began. During World War II, she and her family, along with thirteen strangers, lived in the Bershad ghetto in a one-room tenement. After the Soviet army freed the ghetto in 1944, Sofiya and her family returned to Savran in 1945, where they lived until 1952, thereafter moving to Moldova to join her father’s family, where she pursued her education at a medical college to become a nurse.

Sofiya married her husband, Shmil, in 1958, and they had two children. Upon completing her degree that same year, she began work in a children’s hospital as a supervisor until 1967; then worked in early childhood education, retiring in 1988 to help raise her grandchildren. Ms. Fikhman was over fifty years old when she and her family moved to the United States in 1991, with the dream of creating a new life in a new country. She worked as a caregiver for the elderly, babysitter, and volunteered in her free time.

A tireless and dedicated volunteer, Ms. Fikhman has always enjoyed being of service to people in the community. She joined the Association of Holocaust Survivors from the Former Soviet Union in 1996, and two years later, started volunteering for the organization and undertook various tasks including answering telephone calls, curating events, assisting new immigrants, and visiting survivors in care facilities and hospitals. She expanded her volunteer work by visiting several Jewish day schools, where she educated young people about her experience during the Holocaust. Ms. Fikhman became a member of the City of West Hollywood Russian Advisory Board in 2006, where she continued to plan cultural events and assist immigrant families. Presently, Sofiya is a staunch volunteer at the City of West Hollywood’s Russian Language Public Library.

I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well-respected woman of California’s 28th Congressional District, Sofiya Fikhman.