top ten women

Local television personalities Margot Kim and Graciela Moreno host the 34th annual Top Ten Professional Women event in Fresno in 2018. MMC photo

published on August 10, 2021 - 2:35 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Marjaree Mason Center has announced its latest cohort of professional women and a business that embodies community engagement and success.

The 38th annual Top Ten Professional Women and Leading Business Awards — the Marjaree Mason Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year — will be held Tuesday, Oct. 14 from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a venue to be announced at a later date.

This event pays tribute to ten women who have excelled professionally, served as role models and given back to their communities. One business is also honored as the Leading Business of the Year for its support of women and women’s issues.

Each of the following honorees was nominated by a community member, who felt them deserving of such an achievement. All nominations were reviewed by a committee of judges who are Fresno County community members and business professionals.

2021 Top Ten Professional Women (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

Rama Ambati, President, Ambati Properties

Colleen Curtis, President and CEO , United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley

Dr. Teresa Daniele, Chief of Cardiology, UCSF – Fresno

Shantay R. Davies-Balch, President & CEO, BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center and Founding Director, African American Coalition, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Valerie F. Davis, President, Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees

Ivonne Der Torosian, Vice President, Community Health & Well-being, Saint Agnes Medical Center

Dr. Luz E. Gonzalez, Dean of the Fresno State Visalia Campus, California State University, Fresno

Sara Mirhadi, Chief Program Officer, Poverello House

Sally Orme-Moreno, District Attorney, Madera County

Lorna Roush, Secretary/Treasurer, Schultz Ranch, Inc.

2021 Leading Business:

Central California Food Bank, Co-CEO’s, Kym Dildine and Natalie Caples

“We are pleased to announce this year’s Top Ten award honorees and look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments in the months ahead. These leaders are deeply invested in the success of our community as professionals and citizens,” said Nicole Linder, Marjaree Mason Center’s Executive Director. “Marjaree Mason Center is honored to host this 38th annual event and asks the community to join us on October 14th.”

It is the fourth year that CalViva Health is the presenting sponsor for the event. This year’s featured keynote speaker, sponsored by Valley Children’s Healthcare, is April Hernandez-Castillo, an actress and pubic speaker. She is known for her appearances on Showtime’s Dexter, Law & Order: SVU, The Following, Person of Interest, Elementary, New Amsterdam and most recently appeared on Fox’s hit show, The Prodigal Son. She shares her message of resilience, overcoming adversity and the ability to move beyond trauma nationally and globally including audiences at universities and conferences, notably Harvard University, Q Conference and TEDx.

Individual tickets and tables of ten for the luncheon will soon be available for purchase at To sponsor the luncheon, contact Charity Susnick, Director of Development and Communication, or 559-487-1313.

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