Woman of the Year 2016

Shaila Patankar, City of Artesia

Shaila Patankar, City of Artesia

Shaila Patankar is a member of the South Asian Help & Referral Agency (SAHARA) and South Asian Network (SAN). Through SAHARA, Shaila has volunteered several hours delivering talks on financial literacy and preventing elderly abuse and identity theft. She is part of the advisory council for SAN and works actively to promote social causes. Last year she donated and helped fundraise for the Akshyay Patra Foundation, as well as A3M, a bone marrow donor organization. Shaila also volunteers her time advising seniors at the Sanatan Hindu Temple and is a member of the Women's Innovative Network (WIN), an organization that consists of successful women executives and entrepreneurs. She is the First Vice-President & Relationship Manager of Hamni Bank. Shaila received her MBA in finance from India and has been an active member of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce.


Eva Hoffman-Murray, City of Bellflower

Eva Hoffman-Murray, City of Bellflower

Eva Hoffman-Murry is the proud owner of Kiddie Kare, Inc, a Licensed Family Childcare in Bellflower. She is a member of PHI THETA KAPPA SOCIETY. NAEYC, a member of Local 99, president of United Family Childcare Association Inc. and president of Myrtle Lacey Women’s Missionary Society at St. Mark AME Church. Eva does a lot of voluntary work for First AME Church, The Brotherhood Crusade and at St. Mark AME Church, where she is the First Lady. Eva holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in Human Service Management and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. She has lived in Bellflower for 28 years, with her husband The Reverend Rethis Murry, and their three children. Eva enjoys helping others by feeding the homeless, couponing and relaxing. But most of all, Eva loves The Lord and says without Him nothing would be possible. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


Susana Quintero, City of Bell Gardens

Susana Quintero, City of Bell Gardens

Susana Quintero is a Donor Coordinator at California Cryobank, currently the largest specimen provider in the nation. Previously, Susana worked as a clinic manager for the Genetics Department at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., and was a Ronald McDonald Volunteer to the children at the intensive care unit. In her spare time, she taught ESL night classes for adults in D.C. and then taught English in New Delhi India. In 2014, she traveled to rural villages of Papua New Guinea on a medical ship to set up vaccine and health clinics. Ms. Quintero graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Linguistics and a minor in Cognitive Science. In 2015, she graduated from the Latina Global Executive Leadership Institute, hosted by the USC Marshall School of Business, and now serves on the Alumnae Board of Directors. She attended Suva Intermediate, Bell Gardens High School and currently resides in Bell Gardens.


Cheri Luo, City of Cerritos

Cheri Luo, City of Cerritos

Cheri Luo was born and raised in Taiwan. When she moved to the US she started volunteering with the PTA in various capacities. Cheri soon became the PTA President and part of a team that focused on building a more involved parent community.  As PTA President, Cheri was able to support the school in obtaining recognition as a CA Distinguished School and receiving IB World School Authorization.  Cheri was also elected PTA President for Whitney HS and ABC Council.  She created the Unit Officers Training and built relationships between ABC Council PTA, the District, and the ABC Foundation. Cheri currently serves as co-chair for the Parent Leadership Planning Committee in ABCUSD. Cheri received her Master's Degree in Speech Communication and her teaching credential from CSU Fullerton. Cheri teaches Chinese at Bellflower Unified and works with the district to expand the Chinese Language Program.  Cheri resides in Cerritos with her husband and three wonderful children.


Ann Cruz-Berroteran, City of Commerce

Ann Cruz-Berroteran, City of Commerce

Ann Cruz-Berroteran has been the Senior Services Supervisor in the City of Commerce for over 20 years.  Ann plans and implements all of the programs in the center and promotes Healthy Aging by offering various classes. In her spare time, Ann mentors high school students. She instills in them a life-long commitment to volunteerism. Ann has been the Certified Handler of a National Animal Assisted Crisis Response Dog and worked as a first responder to the victims of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in Texas and Louisiana in 2005. Ann visits nursing homes and hospitals with her therapy dog. She also provides aquatic therapy for arthritis and post-stroke patients.  Ann has completed over 10 LA Marathons in honor of the CA Literacy Foundation and the Stroke Association of CA. Ann has a BA in Exercise Physiology from Cal State Fullerton and a Master’s Degree in Gerontology Administration from the University of La Verne.


Blanca Pacheco, City of Downey

Blanca Pacheco, City of Downey

Blanca Pacheco is a resident, business owner and a dedicated volunteer in the City of Downey.  She is a graduate of Downey High, earned an AA degree from Cerritos College and then received a BA in Political Science and a Specialization in Chicano/a Studies from UCLA.  Blanca earned a law degree from Loyola Law.  Blanca is a part-time instructor for Downey Adult Career and Education Center's Paralegal program, an active member of the CA State Bar, Mexican American Bar Association, Southeast District Bar Association, and CA Council for Adult Education. Blanca is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Downey and a commissioner of the Downey Public Works Committee. She is a supervising attorney for Teen Court at El Rancho HS and was instrumental in opening Teen Court in Downey.  As a member of the Stay Gallery Board of Directors, Blanca helps develop youth arts programs and supports the STEAM art and engineering integration opportunities in the Downey Unified. Whether she is providing legal counsel to aid her clients or serving her community at large, Blanca’s involvement always makes a positive impact in the City of Downey.


Janine Andrade, City of Montebello

Janine Andrade, City of Montebello

Janine has a love for her community and from a young age she engaged in opportunities that allowed her to give back. She began her volunteer work in the Summer Youth Employment Program and later became a Community Services Aide in Summer Day Camp. Today, Janine has over 25 years of experience as a Community Services Supervisor for Montebello Parks and Recreation Department. She enjoys making impacts in the lives of seniors and youth. Janine spends much of her free time mentoring youth and helps them apply for college. Janine also dedicates her time to Soroptimist International of Montebello. As a member, she has been given the opportunity to give back to the community both locally and globally. She is the chairperson of the annual ‘Thanksgiving Baskets’ and ‘Christmas at the Cannons’ events. Janine currently working on her MBA and is a mother of two great kids and grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter.


Martha Garcia, City of Norwalk

Martha Garcia, City of Norwalk

Martha Garcia is a long time resident of the City of Norwalk. A few years ago, Martha began to realize the importance of health and fitness so she began to do Zumba. Martha quickly fell in love with Zumba and became an instructor. Although, Martha understood the importance of promoting a healthier lifestyle within the Latino community, she also understood the lack of resources or funds available to her neighbors. She began to give free Zumba classes to the community, specifically to the mothers of students who attended schools within the district. She also coordinated “Zumbathons”, where she collected donations for someone in need. Overall, Martha promotes good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle for women and men throughout the community. She has the traits of a leader and she listens to the people’s needs.


Mary Eva Gomez, City of Pico Rivera

Mary Eva Gomez, City of Pico Rivera

Mary Eva Gomez is an educator and minister at St. Hilary Catholic Church, where she has raised over $1500 for its’ food for the homeless project. She is president of the St. Hilary’s Catholic V.I.P. Senior Club and a lifetime member of the St. Hilary’s perpetual adoration program. She serves as a lector of St. Hilary’s Church every Sunday and has volunteered her time as a catechist for many years. Mary Eva is an active member of the Pio Pico Woman’s Club where she works in coordinating volunteer opportunities for seniors from the surrounding area.  She is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 7734 (VFW), and a member of ACCW, a Catholic woman’s organization. From 1981-1995 Mary Eva was a strong advocate for the children of El Rancho Unified School District. From attending countless Parent Teacher Association meetings to serving as a distinguished member of the El Rancho Board of Education, Mary Eva has demonstrated genuine concern for children and youth in her community. In 2011, Rep. Grace Napolitano honored Mary as an “Unsung Heroine” for her exemplary service in Pico Rivera.