The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the amendment which granted American women the right to vote and The Merced County Courthouse Museum has organized a fantastic exhibit spotlighting 40 admirable women from Merced County who, with courage and strength, led the effort for social, political, and gender equity. The exhibit will run from March 12 to June 14 at the Merced County Courthouse Museum.
March is #WomensHistoryMonth, and the Legislature will celebrate the accomplishments of women through California on March 23 at the 2020 Women of the Year Ceremony. Here is a highlight of women in our community who are a change makers, fighters, and who is pave the way for future generations. #AD21CommunityProfiles
Odessa Johnson has lived in Modesto for more than 50 years, and she has made countless contributions to our community that will live on forever. In 1967, she became the first African-American educator at Modesto High School, and eventually she rose to become Dean of Modesto Junior College, a Modesto City Schools Board Member, and a U.C. Regent. She is a civil rights leader who has dedicated her life to improving the world for future generations.
Captain Becky Hagen
Captain Becky Hagen began her career with the California Highway Patrol twenty years ago, but she made history when she became the first female commander of CHP – Merced Area in March 2018. Throughout her career, she has been assigned to several CHP area offices, but as commander of our area, one of her top priorities is driving down the death and collision rates on the county’s roads and highways. Captain Hagen has dedicated her to career to keeping Californians safe.
Alicia Rodriguez has been a cherished volunteer in and member of Planada for more than twenty years. Each day, she works to provide a safe and welcoming space for local families and to increase access to community resources for those who would otherwise be without. Her work as with our the St Vincent de Paul- Planada chapter has strengthened community ties.
Ms. Faye Lane has selflessly dedicated herself to shaping the lives of Ceres Unified School District students for decades, working for thirty-two years as a classified employee. She was elected to the School Board in 2007, and she continues to serve with distinction today.
Patty Castillo Davis
With accolades including opening for Dwight Yoakum, playing alongside Grand Old Opry performers, and singing at the Vatican, Ceres’s very own Patty Castillo Davis has made her mark in our community. In addition to her musical talents, she regularly serves the community by providing food, shelter, and clothing to those in need. Through her music, she creates a greater awareness for the arts while also highlighting social justice and gender inequities.
Modesto’s very own USA Olympian, Kendall Wesenberg, competed in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Though she played a variety of sports growing up, she didn’t pursue the sport that would make her an Olympian until she was in college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to her Olympic showing, Kendall is the first American woman to win the European Cup for skeleton.
A business owner, volunteer, and community organizer, Sue Emanivong is one of Merced’s hardest working residents. A first-generation Laotian whose parents immigrated from a refugee camp in the 1980s, and she is a lead organizers of the local Laotian New Year celebration. She’s also behind the summer Street Faire, Red Nose Day, Kid’s Day, and Back-to-School Supply Drive. Sue helps to unite our community and ensure a healthy, well-informed community.
Katrina K. Hoyer
Dr. Katrina K. Hoyer is an Assistant Professor and researcher at UC Merced (Ph.D. from UCLA) and is one of the leading immunologists studying the immune system’s response to Valley Fever — a disease which, until recently, has been little understood. Dr. Hoyer organized and hosted last year’s inaugural Valley Fever Summit at UC Merced and is the recipient of a major grant for Valley Fever research.
Livingston’s Martha Nateras is the founder and president of the Young Women’s Conference, a nonprofit organization which seeks to to empower, enrich, and inspire our world’s future, women leaders. She also works as a counselor at Livingston High School and is a local rotarian.
Necola Adams, a native of Merced and known locally as “the Cookie Lady,” is a successful small business owner that has been enriching lives and creating gourmet cookies for over 20 years. Serving freshly made cookies at two-dozen Hollywood sitcom sets doesn’t scratch the value she provides to our community. Necola is also a tremendous community activist, the founder of the Merced County Nut Festival, an active League of Women Voters member, and much more.
Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Awards Women That Help Their Community
The Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held it’s 2020 Latina Women’s Luncheon. Congratulations to the awardees: Lillian Sanchez-Ramos, Nereida Ochoa-Jantz, Nicole Lopez, and Sylvia Ruano. Their hard work uplifts not only other women and Latinas, but the whole community!