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Marjaree Mason Center Unveils Top 10 Women Honorees



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Marjaree Mason Center has announced the honorees for its 36th Annual Top Ten Professional Women and Leading Business Awards.
Ten women and one local business made the list unveiled by the center, Fresno County’s only dedicated provider of domestic violence shelter and support services.
The honorees include Lindsay Callahan, president and CEO of United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties; Tara Lynn Gray, president and CEO of Fresno Metro Black Chamber; and Brandi Orth, Fresno County clerk and registrar of voters.
The insurance firm DiBuduo & DeFendis also is being honored for its support of women and women’s issues.

Keynote Speaker a Longtime Policy Advocate

The awards event, scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 15, at Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center, is expected to attract about 1,500 to celebrate the honorees while also raising awareness of domestic violence. Each of the winners has excelled professionally, served as a role model, and given back to their communities.
The event’s keynote speaker is Rosie Hildalgo, a veteran public interest attorney and national policy advocate who has worked to end domestic violence for more than 25 years. Hildalgo is senior director of public policy for Casa de Esperanza: National Latin Network for Healthy Families and Communities.
NFL Vice President Troy Vincent, who was announced as the keynote in February, canceled because of a scheduling conflict.
Each of the honorees was nominated by a community member. Nominations were reviewed by a committee of judges who are Fresno County community members and business professionals. After the judges’ review of criteria for each candidate, average rankings were processed.
Tickets for the awards event are $60 for individuals or $600 for a table of 10.

2019 Top Ten Professional Women

  • Raine Bumatay, principal, Fresno Adult School, Fresno Unified School District
  • Lindsay Callahan, president and CEO, United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties
  • Nené Casares, board president, Central California Women’s Conference
  • Kathryn Catania, Ed.D., deputy superintendent of educational services, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
  • Tara Lynn Gray, president and CEO, Fresno Metro Black Chamber, Fresno Metro Black Chamber Foundation
  • Beverly Hayden-Pugh, senior vice president, chief nursing officer, and chief transformation officer, Valley Children’s Healthcare
  • Kamaljit Kaur, community organizer, Jakara Movement
  • Amanda Nicholson, Ph.D., BCBA-D, founder and CEO, Swan Consulting
  • Brandi Orth, Fresno County clerk and registrar of voters
  • Raj Sodhi-Layne, vice president and branch manager, California Bank and Trust

2019 Leading Business

  • DiBuduo & DeFendis Insurance Brokers, LLC. Matt DeFendis and Mike DeFendis, principals