Ten women and one business will be honored this fall by Marjaree Mason Center at its 34th Annual Top Ten Professional Women and Leading Business Awards ceremony, which honors women and business leaders in Fresno for their dedication to the community and to raising awareness of domestic violence.
The honorees were nominated by Fresno County community members. The nominees were then reviewed by a panel of five judges who are also community members and professionals.
The 10 honorees announced Thursday are: Mendy Laval Alkotob, partner at Laval Family Consulting and business instructor at Fresno State; Angie Barfield, student intervention and prevention coordinator at the Fresno County Office of Education; DeDe Darnell, interior designer and principal at Darden Architects; Dr. Katherine Flores, director at UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research; Linda Gleason, executive director at Fresno Cradle to Career Partnership and founding director at the Children’s Movement Fresno; Debbie Jacobsen, co-owner at J&L Vineyards; Catherine Lumsden-Dvorak, MediCare account manager at DiBuduo and DeFendis Insurance Brokers, LLC.; Karen Musson, managing partner at Gar Tootelian Inc. and CEO at Gar and Esther Tootelian Charitable Foundation; Diane Phakonekham, executive director at Big Brothers Big Sisters; Kathryn Phillips, children’s grief support group facilitator at Hinds Hospice.
The 2017 Leading Business honoree is the MJR Creative Group.
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The awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 13, will bring nearly 1,000 attendees to the Fresno Convention Center to honor the recipients.
Former WNBA player and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Ruthie Bolton, will be the keynote speaker. Bolton’s personal experience with domestic violence has made her an advocate in the community. Hearing her story will “make others feel empowered to turn their pain into power,” the Marjaree Mason Center said.
Tickets are $60 a person or $600 for a table of 10 and can be purchased online at www.mmcenter.org/top-ten
The Marjaree Mason Center has provided safe housing and support services to victims of domestic violence in Fresno County for near 40 years. The center is the only of its kind in the county.