4th Annual Inspirational Women of the S.F. Valley

March 19, 2018 ~ Sherman Oaks, CA. The United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley has selected five honorees as the 2018 Inspirational Women of the San Fernando Valley. The honorees will be recognized at a lunch on May 3rd sponsored by Wells Fargo and California State University of Northridge.

The committee sought out nominations from a wide array of industries including, but not limited to, business, social services, health care and medicine, education, community advocacy, and non-profit. The selection committee consisted of two past honorees and members of the United Chambers of Commerce, who independently evaluated each of the nominees.

The 2018 honorees are Wendy Greuel a Los Angeles City Commissioner and community leader, Tiffany Harris of Shane’s Inspiration, Laura Rathbone of Sisters on the Streets, Kathleen Sterling of Valley News Group, and Patti Jo Wolfson Bernstein of New Directions for Youth.

The 4th Annual Inspirational Women of the San Fernando Valley lunch will take place on May 3rd at the Hilton in Woodland Hills and will be emceed by comedienne Helen Hong. The lunch is open to the public and United Chambers of Commerce welcome sponsors. Proceeds of the event benefit efforts to enhance small businesses in the San Fernando Valley.

Inspirational Women was founded in 2015 and seeks to recognized women who have inspired and mentored others while tirelessly working to make their organization and the San Fernando Valley a better place for all.

Those interested in attending or seeking more information may contact the United Chambers of Commerce directly at 818-981-4491, or emailing Marian at marian@unitedchambers.org

The United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley represents 32 organization and over 21,000 businesses in the San Fernando Valley.

Wendy Greuel is a veteran housing and homelessness policy expert and was appointed to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Board of Commissioners (LAHSA) by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The LAHSA Commission has the authority to make budgetary, funding, planning and program policies for federal funding allocated to homelessness programming in the LA region. She had previously been a member of the Los Angele Council, Controller of the city of Los Angeles. She currently serves as a consultant for the Discovery Cube Los Angeles and also serves as an Executive in Residence at California State University, Northridge Nazarian School of Business and Economics.

Tiffany Harris is Co-Founder and CEO of Shane’s Inspiration. Her powerful leadership has guided an extraordinary team that has grown Shane’s Inspiration from a single legacy playground in Los Angeles to a social inclusion movement that has reached every single continent with almost 70 inclusive playgrounds open and created programs that are teaching compassion and respect in over 65 countries. Her vision and brilliance created strategic partnerships with the likes of The Clinton Global Initiative, Too Small To Fail, Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Carnegie Hall, Sesame Street, and the Fred Rogers Company.

Laura Rathbone is the Director of Northridge Beautifications Foundation’s program Clean Streets Clean Starts. She is a professional make up artist who spent 10 years working with Paul McCarthy. In 2016 she started volunteering at North Valley Caring Service, where her dad had been volunteering with the homeless feeding program for the past 25 years. She joined an outreach group led by Manny Flores, and to this day rarely misses the Wednesday evening’s bringing over 120 meals to women and children in crisis housing, as well as some of the hardest encampments in the trails, parks, and washes. She has started petitions, held counter marches, hosted self-defense classes for homeless women and holds regular community meetings in the hope of helping our houseless neighbors. Laura and her twin sister Alycia are the also founders of Sisters on the Street, collecting and distributing feminine hygiene products to homeless and low-income women, and to sober living homes. They have started a hygiene campaign with the LAUSD, and have already gotten three high schools to participate.

Kathleen Sterling is the publisher of the Valley News Group, Warner Center News, Valley Vantage and Las Virgenes Enterprise. She has served on the boards of the American Heart Association, Valley Cultural Center, Pacific Lodge Boys Home and Women’s Business Center of the Valley Economic and Development Council.For 10 years Kathleen was co-chair of the Heart Run & Walk, which raised over $1.5 million for the American Heart Association. Her latest cause is the grass roots program “Pass the Turkey” which she founded in 2004. Pass the Turkey collects free turkeys given away at local markets and delivers them to residential charities for Thanksgiving dinner. She arranges the donation of all the turkeys to the Calabasas Rotary’s Feed the Elderly at Thanksgiving event.

Patti Jo Wolfson Bernstein is co-chair of the board of directors of New Directions for Youth. She tutors our youth, plans parties for them, creates opportunities for them to have extraordinary experiences they would not otherwise be exposed to, arranged for college scholarships for NDY’s GED graduates. To date, she has been instrumental in raising over $1,000,000 for NDY. At Or Ami, her synagogue, she helped organize a campaign to aid the people of Darfur, designed and implemented a Speaker Series, is part of the Caring Committee which is devoted to social action projects, and teaches Bar and Bat Mitzvah classes. Other accomplishments include sitting on the Fernando Award Board of Directors, 13 years of planning and coordinating a food drive in Agoura, and four years of being a Rolling Reader and tutor/mentor at Winnetka Elementary School.