Senator Mike Morrell Honors 75 Inland Empire Residents as "Women of Distinction"

Awards presented during 10th annual celebration ceremony
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SAN BERNARDINO – On Friday, June 20, Senator Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, hosted the 10th Annual Women of Distinction Ceremony and Dinner, honoring 75 women from around the 23rd State Senate District for their work in the community. Over 350 guests filled the hall at the National Orange Show to mark the occasion.

“These women are making a huge difference in our region,” said Morrell. “I admire them for their selfless service and humility. They don’t ask for much in return and don’t seek recognition for their work. However, we can always say ‘thank you.’ This award is one small way we can do that. It was a distinct privilege to honor them.”

Each year, the Women of Distinction Ceremony showcases the service of women from throughout the region who demonstrate a strong commitment to their communities. Since the program began, over 500 women have been named “Women of Distinction.” Awardees are nominated by members of the public from business leaders and past winners to the volunteer at the local food bank.

This year’s ceremony highlighted the work of “Woman of the Year” Susan Zador of Loma Linda and her passion for serving nursing home residents through her nonprofit, “Visiting the Lonely Ones.” More information can be found at

The event also honored Highland resident and breast cancer survivor Christina Milian with the creation of the “Christina Milian Inspirational Scholarship” to benefit female trade school students whose families have been affected by cancer. The fund has so far raised $6,000. The money will be used to award scholarships at future Women of Distinction events.

“Year after year, I find it incredibly encouraging and moving to see the accomplishments of the women we honor,” continued Morrell. “America’s greatness comes from her people, those that go out of their way to better their community and help their neighbor. These women not only live up to that ideal, they exceed it. They set extraordinary examples for all of us to follow.”

For more information on individual honorees, please contact Nick Calero at (909) 801-5040 or

For the complete list of honorees by city, click here.

*** Photos for publication are attached.

Senator Mike Morrell (center) and Menifee City Council Member John Denver (far right) with the Menifee honorees (from left to right): Joan Wakeland, Ivette Barnett, Nicole Farrell, Claudia Fihe, Leslie Gugliemetti, Sue Lopez, Debbie McClure, Robbie Motter, Cynthia Nemelka, Jean Olexa, and Dorothy Wolons.

Senator Mike Morrell (center) and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Pro Tem Sam Spagnolo (far right) with the Rancho Cucamonga honorees (from left to right): Donna Pursell, Veronica Alderete, Amanda Balderama, Sarah Miles, Mary Faheem, Yoon Kim, Barbara Marino, Crystal Millan, Gina Molina, Carol Norris, Francie Ward, and Vivian Shiffman.

Senator Mike Morrell honors San Bernardino resident Tammy Martin-Ryles as a “Woman of Distinction.” Ryles is a teacher and president of the Inland Cities East Chapter of the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Mike Morrell honors Rancho Cucamonga resident Vivian Shiffman as a “Woman of Distinction.” Shiffman is a member of the National Association of Female Executives.

Senator Mike Morrell (left) and Highland City Council Member Penny Lilburn (right) present Highland resident Christina Milian (center) with a check for $6,000 to establish the “Christina Milian Inspirational Scholarship.” Milian is a six-year survivor of stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer who devotes her time to various organizations including the Inland Women Cancer Board and Stater Brothers Charities.