2020 Women of the Year



Pastor Jean Burch, 2020 Woman of the Year, Pasadena – Pastor Jean Burch is the Senior Pastor of the Community Bible Church of Greater Pasadena. She is the President/CEO of the Community Bible Community Development Corporation that provides affordable housing and social services for over 1500 Pasadena residents. She is also a founding member of the Community Clergy Coalition, a group of pastors striving to improve the quality of life in Pasadena.



Judy Matthews, Woman of Distinction, Altadena – Throughout Judy’s years of service and involvement with local and national organizations, she has remained true to the people she has been entrusted to serve. Among her many contributions is initiating and leading Altadena’s homeless count in partnership with Greater Los Angeles and continues this project annually. Judy has been recognized by Congresswoman Chu as the 2017 “Congressional Woman of the Year” along with the Pasadena-Altadena Community Endowment Fund’s “Community Gem.”



Dr. Anne Turner, Woman of Distinction, Claremont – Dr. Turner works tirelessly on homeless issues in the San Gabriel Valley by supporting the City of Claremont elected officials in their effort to create a lasting infrastructure and a continuum of care for unsheltered residents. She is a staunch advocate for Claremont’s homeless population. Dr. Turner is a well-respected leader and brings confidence and exuberance to her role as Human Services Director. She has made a positive impact on our community and strives to promote a culture of inclusion and respect.



Barbara Smythe, Woman of Distinction, La Verne – Barbara Smythe is a community activist who is passionate about providing access to the arts. She is the Founding Chair of the Cultural Arts Society of La Verne. She opened the doors to an important partnership with the Bonita Unified School District, the City of La Verne, the Historical Society of La Verne, the University of La Verne, and Hillcrest. Her outreach also includes a pilot after-school art program taught by local artists to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. The pilot program was so successful that the Pomona Unified School District continued to support the program on an ongoing basis. She inspires thousands of individuals through her efforts and creates an affordable and enjoyable way for artists and art patrons to connect, as well as for students of all ages to participate in and enjoy the arts.



Keisha Bowen, Woman of Distinction, Monrovia – Keisha is the owner of Simply Divine Hair & Barber Salon and has been in business for over 20 years. Ms. Carter-Bowen is dedicated to serving the community as she works with students from Monrovia High School through an apprenticeship program, and participates in community events within the city and with Foothill Unity Center. She was the 2019 Business of Distinction from Monrovia.



Lissa Reynolds, Woman of Distinction, South Pasadena – Lissa is the President of the California Performing Arts Centre at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For 23 years, she has been its Co-Artistic Director and Manager. She has produced plays and has performed in numerous films, television productions, and commercials. She is Founding Director of the South Pasadena Arts Council, which she established in 2009. The nonprofit organization advocates for the arts in the city and schools, and works with the Chamber of Commerce on its popular arts and music focused festivals.



Beverly Maloof, Woman of Distinction, Rancho Cucamonga – Beverly Maloof is a Community Leader and Horticulturist. Currently, she is the Director of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. She was the founding President and Board Member of the Riverside Land Conservancy.  She was also a founding member of Riverside’s Citrus Heritage Park’s Board of Directors and she became the founder and designer of the Maloof drought tolerant demonstration garden.



Diane Koach, Woman of Distinction, San Dimas – Diane has been an active volunteer in the district and community for many years. She serves on the Bonita Unified School District school board, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the La Verne/San Dimas Educational Foundation and the San Dimas Festival of the Arts. She is also an active member of the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce.



Melissa Talwar, Woman of Distinction, Sierra Madre – Melissa heads the International Support Fibromyalgia Network, a patient-centered nonprofit dedicated to educating and inspiring the Fibromyalgia community. Melissa has survived Fibromyalgia since her teens. Melissa’s advocacy work started in the early 2000’s where she was part of the initial Fibromyalgia group in Sacramento for the first Fibromyalgia Proclamation. That day ignited a passion to pursue advocacy work and find better answers for the Fibromyalgia community.



Kati Parker, Woman of Distinction, Upland – Ms. Parker has 27 years of water resources leadership. In 2016, she was elected to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Board, where she currently serves as Board President representing the communities of Upland, Montclair and San Antonio Heights. Additionally, she served on the Chino Basin Water Conservation District’s Board for 16.5 years and as President for 8 years where she successfully implemented recycled water connection grants for schools and public parks to increase water sustainability in her area.