Assemblymember Chris Holden to Honor 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year and Women of Distinction at Annual Open House

Monday, March 18, 2019

Recognizing Women of Distinction

Pasadena, CA – In Celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2019, Assemblymember Chris Holden will recognize the 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year and Women of Distinction at his Annual Spring District Office Open House. The women are being recognized for their service that has a made a positive impact in the community.

Thursday, March 28
5:30 – 7 p.m.
(Program starts at 6 p.m.)

41st Assembly District Office
600 N. Rosemead Blvd., Suite 117
Pasadena, CA 91107

Tournament of Roses President and South Pasadena resident Laura Farber was named the 2019 Woman of the Year for the 41st Assembly District.

“I am thrilled to announce Laura Farber as Woman of the Year for the 41st Assembly District,” said Assemblymember Holden. “As the first Latina and third woman to serve as President of the Tournament of Roses, Ms. Farber will offer an important perspective and approach to the historic organization.”

Women of Distinction from throughout the district include Monica Hubbard (Altadena), Shelly Vander Veen (Claremont), Sabina Sullivan (La Verne), Christine Geltz (Monrovia), Dianne Cullinane M.D., (Pasadena), Diane Williams (Rancho Cucamonga), Laurie Brandler (San Dimas), Nancy Shollenberger (Sierra Madre), and Beatrice Casagran (Upland). Over 70 nominations were sent to Assemblymember Holden for the honor.

“The 2019 Women of Distinction are passionate leaders who improve the lives for thousands of individuals and families in the 41st Assembly District and beyond,” said Holden. “They demonstrate exceptional leadership that all of us should aspire to achieve.”

Click below to RSVP for the Spring Open House

The 41st Assembly District’s 2019 Woman of the Year and Women of Distinction:

Laura Farber, 2019 Woman of the Year, City of South Pasadena – Laura Farber serves as the President of the Tournament of Roses. She is the first Latina and third woman to serve in this position. Ms. Farber has been a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Association since 1993 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2012. Ms. Farber is also a leader in many organizations such as the American Bar Association and the recipient of numerous awards for her work as an attorney.




Monica Hubbard, Woman of Distinction, Altadena – Monica Hubbard is active in the Altadena community and publishes   two weekly e-newsletters with a focus on women.   The intent of both publications is to put a spotlight on women, their accomplishments, to connect women with information, and to encourage them to become more deeply involved in their communities. 




Chief Shelly Vander Veen, Woman of Distinction, Claremont – Shelly Vander Veen is a 25-year veteran of the Claremont Police Department and is the first female Chief of Police. Chief Vander Veen is a well-respected leader and has made a positive impact on the community as she embodies the spirit of community-based policing and promotes a culture of inclusion and respect.




Sabina Sullivan, Woman of Distinction, La Verne – Sabina Sullivan is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors for David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne. She is a longtime board member and is dedicated to supporting the essential social services this organization provides. In addition to her work with David & Margaret, Sabina is a member of the La Verne Land Conservancy, which is dedicated to preserving open space in La Verne.  




Christine Geltz, Woman of Distinction, Monrovia – Christine Geltz has served on the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Board since 2006 and is the current president. She also served as the chair of the Celebrate the Arts Show and ChalkFest. Christine has been building partnerships with the city, service organizations and the school district to expand arts opportunities and education for area residents including adults, college students, youth and children.



Diane Cullinane M.D., Woman of Distinction, Pasadena – Dr. Diane Cullinane co-founded Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) and has served as the Executive Director since its inception in 1997. She is a developmental pediatrician, and is board certified in pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disabilities. PCDA is a non-profit organization that provides multidisciplinary services for children with developmental disabilities.




Diane Williams, Woman of Distinction, Rancho Cucamonga – Diane Williams was a member of the Rancho Cucamonga City Council for 28 years and was involved in the drive to incorporate during the 1970’s.  She also served as Mayor Pro Tem for 8 years, a board member of Metrolink and the San Bernardino Association of Governments.  Diane, as a dedicated public servant, has made a significant difference by improving the quality of life in Rancho Cucamonga in many different ways.



Laurie Brandler, Woman of Distinction, San Dimas – Laurie Brandler teaches Foods and Culinary Restaurant Management in the Bonita Unified School District. She works with hundreds of students teaching culinary arts and the hospitality industry.  Students learn the basics of foods, food preparation, and culinary arts.  Her efforts are not only recognized within the school district, but by outside organizations who have given numerous awards to Laurie.




Nancy Shollenberger, Woman of Distinction, Sierra Madre – Nancy Shollenberger served as the City of Sierra Madre’s City Clerk for 32 years. Among its responsibilities are maintaining City records, ordinances, resolutions and other official City documents and conducting municipal elections. During her tenure, Nancy effectively managed 16 municipal elections. In addition to being City Clerk, Nancy served various community organizations. She was a dedicated public servant to the City of Sierra Madre and the larger community.




Beatrice Casagran, Woman of Distinction, Upland – Beatrice Casagran has been a lifelong advocate and creator of theatrical arts in small communities. She is one of the original founders and the Producing Artistic Director of Ophelia’s Jump Productions (OJP). OJP is a non-profit regional theatre company performing in Claremont and Upland. She is also actively involved in the Claremont community.