11 Local Women Leaders Honored at Second Annual We Can Do It! Awards

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Second Annual We Can Do It! Awards Recipients

The Second Annual We Can Do It! Awards luncheon on October 18th, hosted an overflow crowd of community leaders and organizations who gathered to honor 11 outstanding women leaders and the Blue Collar Women organization. The event, sponsored by the Rosie the Riveter Foundation honors women who have blazed new trails in their professions and whose achievements serve as inspiration for women of all ages.

“These women exemplify the ‘We Can Do It!’ spirit of the women we now refer to as ‘Rosie the Riveters’, who worked on assembly lines rolling out airplanes, tanks, and military machinery to support our troops overseas during World War II. It is so important to remember how far we’ve come, and that the struggle for women to have the opportunity to achieve in any field they choose. These women demonstrate how far we’ve come, and that women follow their dreams and make them come true,” declared Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, President of the Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

The event included an inspiring presentation about the individual honorees, entertainment from the Swing Dolls, a vocal trio which pays tributes to the World War II era Andrews sisters, a dj, and a gourmet menu served by Keesal, Young, and Logan’s in-house chefs.

This year’s honorees are:

  • The Honorable Eunice Sato, the first woman elected as Long Beach Mayor – Public Service Award
  • Dr. Lynn Shaw, Electrical Technology Professor and President of the Faculty Association at Long Beach City College – Education Award
  • Carmen Perez, the first Hispanic to serve on the Port of Long Beach Commission – International Trade Award
  • Sister Gerard Earls, R.N., — Vice President of Mission Integration at St. Mary Medical Center – Healthcare Award
  • Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO – Labor Award
  • Julie Bartolotto, Executive Director, Historical Society of Long Beach – Historic Preservation Award
  • Neena Strichart, Publisher, The Signal Tribune – Local Business Award
  • Nien-Ling Wacker, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Laserfiche – Corporate Leader Award
  • Sue Ann Robinson, Director of Collections, Long Beach Museum of Art – Arts and Culture Award
  • Pat McCormick, Greatest female diver in U.S. history: only woman to win 4 Olympic Gold Medals in diving (1952 Olympic Gold Medalist in 3 meter Springboard, 10 meter Platform Diving, and 1956 Gold Medalist in 3 meter Springboard, 10 meter Platform Diving), founder, Pat McCormick Educational Foundation, Inducted in Olympic Hall of Fame, World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame – Sports Award
  • Jill Rosenberg – Long Beach realtor with 40 years of commitment to the Long Beach community because of her passion for volunteer service – Volunteerism Award
  • Blue Collar Women – organization which mentors young women seeking careers in blue collar and building trades jobs – Special Recognition

The awards were presented at the law offices of Keesal, Young and Logan, 400 Oceangate, Long Beach.

Proceeds from the luncheon go to The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works on enhancing the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center at Clark Avenue and Conant Street in east Long Beach. The Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center is the only public setting in the United States to honor the women who worked in the airplane factories in World War II. For more information call 562-570-6932. Read more about The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation at www.lbrosie.com.

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