Rep. Schiff Honors 2020 Women of the Year
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) honored 15 inspiring women from communities in the 28th Congressional District – Atwater Village, Burbank, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glendale, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Montrose, Pasadena, Silver Lake, Tujunga, and West Hollywood.
“Every year in March, in honor of Women’s History Month, my office hosts an event to honor our district’s Women of the Year,” said Rep. Adam Schiff. “Unfortunately, we had to postpone our celebration due to Coronavirus, but I wanted to make sure these outstanding women get the recognition they deserve. They are all pillars of our communities and I thank them for their invaluable service.”
Rep. Schiff released a video today in honor of the 2020 honorees.
Below is a full list of honorees from this year:
Flordelina “Lenni” Lara (Atwater Village), Brenda Burroughs (Burbank), Meymuna Hussein-Cattan (Echo Park), Janet Workman (Elysian Valley), Susana Reyes (Glendale), Shannon Geaney (Hollywood), Tami Kagan-Abrams (Hollywood Hills), Barbara Weber (La Canada Flintridge), Mary O’Keefe (La Crescenta), Alexis Sanchez (Los Feliz), Victoria Malone (Montrose), Claire Bogaard (Pasadena), Coralyn AndresTaylor (Silver Lake), Dr. Ani Halabi (Tujunga), Esther Baum (West Hollywood).
2020 Women of the Year Honorees
Flordelina “Lenni” Lara, Atwater Village
Flordelina has been a dedicated member of the Glenfeliz Boulevard Elementary School community. She has been a member of the school’s governance committee and has served as a Parent Teacher Association officer for three years. Flordelina volunteers with the school’s cooking classes. She also dedicates her time to helping the school organize activities, fundraisers, and projects that benefit the entire student body.
Brenda Burroughs, Burbank
Ms. Burroughs has devoted her time to volunteer with numerous organizations that help benefit schools and charities within her community. She has been an engaged volunteer with the Burbank Arts for All Foundation. Her extensive volunteer service list also includes the Burbank Educational Foundation, the Renal Support Network, and Relay for Life. Ms. Burroughs champions the Family Service Agency of Burbank by volunteering for the non-profit’s yearly Carewalk and Party with a Purpose to raise funds that underwrite community counseling and mental health care for the children, families, and veterans in Burbank.
Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, Echo Park
With generosity and public service as core principles and with the help of her mother, Owliya Dima, Meymuna made it her mission to assist refugees to find stability and navigate the similar complex challenges that her family went through. Meymuna is the co-founder and CEO of Tiyya, which has improved the lives of refugees in the greater Los Angeles area through the arts, education and recreational activities. Tiyya means “my love” in Oromo, which is one of the languages spoken in Ethiopia. A speaker at many organizations and universities, she enjoys sharing her insights and experience to motivate and inspire the future wave of human rights activists.
Janet Workman, Elysian Valley
Janet Workman started the Frogtown Art Walk with a group of neighbors, of which she was an essential planner for several years. She was also instrumental in restoring the Elysian Valley Community Garden, where she took a hands-on approach to rebuild the garden back into a resource for local residents. Janet is currently a board member of Friends of Silver Lake Library, a volunteer group dedicated in supporting special programs and cultural events at this branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.
Susana Reyes, Glendale
Susana Reyes has dedicated her life to working on issues that impact the environment. As a Sierra Club leader and activist, she is an advocate for the greater Los Angeles community in environmental justice issues. Susana was an elected member of the Sierra Club National Board of Directors where she served as Vice President and currently is the national volunteer co-lead for the Clean Transportation for All campaign. In 2019, she was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Board of Commissioners of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) making her the first Filipino-American LADWP Commissioner.
Shannon Geaney, Hollywood
Detective Shannon Geaney served as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps and has over two decades of service with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Detective Geaney has worked on numerous issues with the LAPD. She tackled the issue of homelessness by volunteering to begin a unit to strategically and successfully address the issue; the unit is now known as Hollywood’s Coordinated Outreach Resource and Enforcement (CORE) Unit. Last year in 2019, Shannon was promoted to Detective III at the Hollywood Division and placed in charge of the CORE Unit. Shannon volunteers with the non-profit organization, Arts Bridging the Gap, which creates murals through curriculum that offers arts enrichment for youth in under-served areas.
Tami Kagan-Abrams, Hollywood Hills
Tami spent 10 years working in program management at Yahoo, where she served on the board of directors for the Yahoo Employee Foundation. She also spent 6 years with the Walt Disney Company, where she participated with the Disney VoluntEARS program. A decade ago, Tami began volunteering with the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) Young Leader Group, and currently serves on the JFS board of directors.
Barbara Weber, La Canada Flintridge
Barbara’s volunteer work in the community is extensive. She has served on the boards of several La Canada Flintridge Parent-Teacher Associations and was a classroom volunteer at Paradise Canyon Elementary School. Other organizations that have benefitted from her volunteer service include Huntington Hospital, the Assistance League of Flintridge, and Caltech Women’s Club.
Mary O’Keefe, La Crescenta
Mary O’Keefe is an esteemed community volunteer and reporter for the Crescenta Valley Weekly. She is active in Prom Plus, a non-profit organization which holds a supervised after-prom event for Crescenta Valley High School seniors as well as their guests. When her daughter voiced interest in establishing a youth arm, Prom Plus Club, Mary became the Club’s mentor. Mary founded the Fire House Youth Center in La Crescenta, which welcomes youth to congregate and spend time with each other in a safe place. Mary also serves on the Crescenta Valley Prayer Breakfast Committee and Crescenta Valley Fire Safe Council Board.
Alexis Sanchez, Los Feliz
Alexis Sanchez is a transgender woman and a fearless supporter of transgender rights in her community. She is involved in planning the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. She is also a member of the City of West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board. Ms. Sanchez spends her free time as a volunteer and mentor with Brave Trails, a leadership camp for LGBTQ+ teenagers.
Victoria Malone, Montrose
Victoria is the Executive Director of the Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce. She also devotes her time to volunteering for several local events and organizations. She has volunteered for the Montrose Shopping Park Association Small Business Saturday and the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association event. She and her family have opened up their home to several rescue dogs who were in search of their forever homes.
Claire Bogaard, Pasadena
Claire is a Founding Member of Pasadena Heritage. Some of the many organizations and committees Claire has served on include as an Advisor and Trustee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Advisory Committee for the Restoration of Pasadena City Hall, Neighborhood Associations’ Board of Directors, and Chair of the No 710 Action Committee. In addition, Claire served on the Board of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association for several years.
Coralyn AndresTaylor, Silver Lake
Ms. AndresTaylor, MPH, RDN, CLE, CHES is currently the Department Administrator for PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital’s Community Health Education Department and Lactation Resource Center. She volunteers with LINC Housing to help the formerly homeless, and people in need of affordable housing move to a stable living environment. Coralyn in well-regarded in her faith-based community frequently serving as Lector at Sunday morning services, and volunteers as a Eucharistic minister at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Los Feliz.
Dr. Ani Halabi, Tujunga
Dr. Halabi has been a successful optometrist for fifteen years. She is an active volunteer and member of several local non-profit organizations. She is a member of the Armenian American Medical Society, where she has helped coordinate the vision clinic at the Glendale Health Festival. She is also a member of the Glendale Northwest Lions Club, where she is co-chair of the sight conservation committee, and under her leadership, the club has provided free eyeglasses to people in need. She has also volunteered at vision screenings at several schools.
Esther Baum, West Hollywood
At ninety-four years old, Esther is a dynamic force in the community. She is currently serving on the City of West Hollywood Senior Advisory Board and is active in the West Hollywood Seniors in Action program, where she plans programs for senior citizens to come together, make friends and share memories. Esther is also a longtime and valued member of Congregation Kol Ami.
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