published on July 8, 2021 - 11:27 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

With the spike in domestic violence associated with the coronavirus lockdown, this so-called “shadow pandemic” has once again come to the forefront.

With that in mind, the Marjaree Mason Center is once again seeking nominations for its annual Top Ten Professional Women and Leading Business Awards. Now in its 38th year, the event pays tribute to women who serve as role models in the community as well as one business for its support of women and women’s issues.

The event is scheduled for Oct. 14, but you only have until this Sunday, July 11 to submit a nomination.

The annual event will return to an in-person format after going virtual last year. The luncheon usually attracts more than 1,500 guests, and the Marjaree Mason Center anticipates an even bigger audience with a virtual component this year as well.

Past winners read like a who’s who of the Fresno community, including Elizabeth Lyles (1987), Nancy Hinds (1990), Cynthia A. Sterling (2004), Ashley Swearengin (2006), Dora Westerlund (2012), Jeanette Ishii (2016), Diane Phakonekham (2017) and Irma Olguin, Jr. (2020).

Past business winners include Ruiz Foods (2018), Facility Designs (2016) and Granville Homes (2009).

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is April Hernandez Castillo, an actress with credits including “Law & Order: SVU,” “Person of Interest,” “Dexter” and the movie “Freedom Writers” starring Hilary Swank.

“Her message of resilience, overcoming adversity, and the ability to move beyond trauma has taken April on a journey across the United States and internationally,” according to the Marjaree Mason Center.

The annual event supports a great cause and shines a bright spotlight on a local business and ten professional women making a difference in the community. If you know a woman or business who fits that bill, be sure to nominate them today.


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