Not content to just identify problems, Margaret Azevedo has always
been one of the few who solves them. Ms. Azevedo moved to Marin
County in 1951 and became involved with the local Democratic Party.
She chaired the successful campaign for reelection of Vera Schultz
to the Board of Supervisors in 1956. Shortly thereafter, she
was appointed to the Marin County Planning Commission where she served
almost continuously until 1979.
Her early experiences on the Planning Commission
prompted her to spearhead a drive to develop a Countywide Plan.
This plan, the first of its kind in the state, defined corridors of
land use in the county - inland, agricultural and urban. She
worked during the 1960's and 1970's to conserve the coast of Marin
as a founding member of the Point Reyes National Seashore. In this
capacity she helped to preserve the inland agricultural areas through
the creation of Agricultural Preserves in central and west Marin,
enhanced the urban corridor with open space zoning and greenbelts,
and expanded public transportation and programs for affordable
housing. As chair of the Transportation Committee of the Marin
Council of Civic Affairs, she played a pivotal role in the drive to
bring public transportation to Marin. Ms. Azevedo continues
to serve the community today as a member of the State Coastal Conservancy.
Read the extended biography by Nancy Smith Harris
Member of a pioneer Mill Valley family, Jean Barnard graduated from
Vassar College in 1940 Phi Beta Kappa and first in her class with
degrees in political science and music. Concern for good government
and the environment led her to monitor board meetings at various levels
of local government which ultimately resulted in her election to the
Mill Valley City Council, on which she served for 8 years, including
2 years as mayor. In 1982, she ran unopposed for the Marin Municipal
Water District Board and served two terms.
Ms. Barnard has worked on a variety of environmental
causes including the creation of the Marin County Open Space District.
She led the battle to keep a high-rise community from being built
in the Marin Headlands and the struggle to keep Bolinas Lagoon from
being turned into a yacht harbor. She pioneered the early recycling
efforts in Mill Valley, and the effort to convince Congress to finish
acquiring Pt. Reyes National Seashore.
She has been active in the AAUW since 1970
and was president of the Southern Marin Branch. She has been
Chair of Common Cause Marin and the Marin Chapter of the World Federalist
Movement. Ms. Barnard was active in the early years of Planned
Parenthood of Marin and the League of Women Voters, and helped to
launch the National Women's Political Caucus of Marin.
A 1962 graduate of Brooklyn College with a B.S. degree in Economics,
Ms. Boxer stepped into the Wall Street scene as a stockbroker and
economic researcher. As an award-winning journalist in the 1970's,
Ms. Boxer's special assignment at the Pacific Sun was to report the
activities of the County Board of Supervisors. Active in community
affairs, she was a founding member of the Marin Economic Corps which
provided job training for low-income women, the National Women's Political
Caucus of Marin, and Marin Community Video. After two years
as a Congressional Aide to John Burton, Ms. Boxer was elected to the
Marin County Board of Supervisors where she was the first woman to
ever become its president.
In 1982, Ms. Boxer was elected to represent
the Sixth Congressional District. She became known as an effective
and strong advocate for women, children, peace and the environment.
In 1992, she was elected to the United States Senate.
Barbara Boxer has been honored in Congress
by the Consumer Federation of America, the Coalition to Stop Government
Waste, Planned Parenthood, the League of Conservation Voters, Public
Citizen, Sierra Club, the Center for Environmental Education, the
Center for Defense Information and the American Association of University
Women. She has been recognized as a champion of Human rights
by the Anti-Defamation League, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and
the Leadership Council on Civil Rights.
Born in Iowa, the third oldest of ten sisters and brothers, Joan
Capurro says she comes from a typical Midwestern family - spiritually
wealthy and financially poor but is anything but “typical.”
Her banking career began as a page at Wells Fargo’s head office
in San Francisco at age nineteen. She moved to Marin County in 1962 with
her new husband, Bob. She then went to work for Crocker Anglo Bank in
1963 as a bookkeeper and worked her way up to Area Market Manager in San
Rafael. After working at a Savings & Loan in San Anselmo for two
years, in 1990, she was hired as one of the managers at the new Bank of
Marin. She wholeheartedly believes her current job, as Bank of Marin
Community Relations Director is the ideal job; as the bank’s philosophy,
values, and mission match her own beliefs.
Joan experienced many challenges in her career, which gave her
the resiliency to keep working hard to prove her worth. Russell A.
Colombo, President and CEO of Bank of Marin promoted her to Senior Vice
President in 2007, giving her validation. When the news was announced at
the monthly Bank of Marin staff meeting, Joan got a standing ovation.
She believes that too often, these valuable signs of recognition are
missed in the business world.
Joan feels her most valuable contribution to the Marin community
and Bank of Marin employees is her mentoring and networking skills.
Her work hours are long since she turns no one away.
She has never turned down a request to meet with people who want to
discuss a possible project, their career, fundraising, or what they
might need to start a business or non-profit organization. She thrives
on helping people who want to learn, to advance in the workplace, and
make things better for the community.
Because Joan has been a banker in Marin for over forty years, she
knows most everyone and has worked on more committees than she can
remember. Though often mistaken for Jan Wahl, since they both wear
colorful hats, neither one mind the mistake for they both is strong
women fully involved in the local community and making a difference.
Joan hopes to write a book one day about her experiences in
banking - her many rewarding relationships with customers and employees
but also her own experiences with discrimination. She has a special
empathy for women trying to advance in their careers, since she herself
was told by a manager early in her career that she couldn’t be a bank
officer because it was a “man’s job.”
Current community involvement:
- Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership-Nominating Chair
- Community Action Marin-Prosperity Partners
- Dominican University-Women, Leadership and Philanthropy Council-Chair Sponsorship and Membership Committee
- San Rafael Chamber of Commerce-Governmental Affairs Committee, co-chair Leadership Institute
- Rotary Club of Ross Valley-co-president (and 2nd woman in club)
- United Way-Community Investment Committee
- Workforce Investment Board–Nominating Chair
Prior service in Marin organizations:
- American Banker’s Association-chair-women’s committee
- American heart Association – celebrity waiter fundraiser
- American Cancer Society – committee member
- American Red Cross – board chair
- Marin County School Volunteer’s-past chair
- Marin Forum – past president – joined in 1987
- Matrix – fundraising committee member
- Novato Youth Center fundraising & emcee
- Salvation Army-1st women board chair in Marin
- San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce - board chair twice
- San Rafael Chamber of Commerce – Past Board member and Auctioneer
- Sunnyhills Children’s Center – fundraising committee 14 years
Anne was an ardent feminist whose indomitable spirit and political
skills advanced the cause of human rights for everyone.
She broke ground in the women's movement. As a member of Marin's first
Women's Commission in 1974, she started a county process that brought
women's issues to public attention. As Chair of the Commission's
Affirmative Action Committee, she led the fight that resulted in Marin
County hiring female department directors.
Anne was constantly testing limits by venturing
into areas dominated by men. Her vision of what women could
accomplish encouraged them to venture goals previously thought unattainable.
She believed in making the world a better place for women and had
a passion for getting good women into elected office.
As part of her multitude of civic activities,
she served as Executive Director of Falkirk, formed the Marin Arts
Council and became its first Executive Director after a nation-wide
search. She broke ground as the first female President of the
Boyd Science Museum.
She founded and empowered several organizations
that continue to advance the cause of equality and access for all.
As a skillful and organized administrator she served our community
as well as the State Bar of California with verve and focus.
She did all this along with her responsibilities to her husband and
Anne is remembered as a woman of great style
and panache, a witty and loving person.
A long-time political activist, Elizabeth Smith Gatov served as Democratic
Committeewoman for California from 1956 - 1965. In 1960, she
was appointed by President Kennedy as the Treasurer of the United
States, becoming the highest placed woman in that administration.
In her early years, Ms. Gatov was active
in civic activities such as the Junior League, Red Cross and Sunny
Hills. In 1948, she became involved in the congressional campaign
of her neighbor, Roger Kent and learned that "intimately everything
that's important and lasting, if it has any social impact, gets into
the political field."
With her return from Washington, Ms. Gatov
became extremely involved with Planned Parenthood, ultimately becoming
the national organization's first Public Affairs Director. Her
advocacy on the issue of reproductive rights was responsible for enactment
of progressive legislation at the state and federal level.
Upon the death of her husband, Ms. Gatov
wrote "Windows in the Dark", a primer on the fundamentals
of money management designed to help women take charge of their financial
On her death in 1997, one historian's words
were recounted, "Widely read in both domestic and international
policy issues, deeply dedicated to the battle against social injustice,
experienced in the 'old politics' of party and precinct organization
and the 'new politics' of television...Libby Gatov represents all
that is best in American politics. Respect, trust and integrity
- her life is a personal testimonial to the glory of the democratic
process at its best."
Read the extended biography by Nancy Nakai
TV journalism is synonymous with the name Cheryl Jennings. Behind
the success is her heart, evident in her extensive service to the
community of Marin and beyond.
Jennings began her career at KNBR radio in 1974. Moving to K101,
she became the station’s first ever female news director and
the second female news director in the Bay market. She began working
at KPIX TV while still on the radio! In 1979 she moved to KGO and
rose from general assignment reporter to co-anchor to anchor. She
also files special reports and hosts Beyond the Headlines, a community
Cheryl pioneered in reporting on children’s issues, women’s
rights and domestic violence, for which she’s been recognized
locally and nationally. In 1998, Cheryl won an Emmy for a show on
caring for aging parents and in 1996, another for a report on a
camp for children with AIDS, and a third Emmy for a segment of the
program Straight Talk N’ Teens—hosted by teens she trained
In 2002, Cheryl received the Gracie Allen Award for “superior
quality and stellar portrayal of the changing roles and concerns
of women” for Behind Bars: Battered Women Who Kill Their Abusers.
The program profiled women serving life terms for killing their
abusive partners before the “battered woman’s syndrome”
law was passed.
Jennings won another Emmy in 2005 for Beyond the Headlines, a program
on youth and steroids featuring 49er Coach Bill Walsh. In 2004,
The American Women in Radio and Television honored Cheryl with its
KUDO Award for Best TV Public Affairs Program, Sunday on Seven.
In 2007 Marin’s Search for the Cause against breast cancer
included Cheryl in its “100 Magnificent Marin Women”
Cheryl also went to Kosovo twice. Her six-part series on the children
of Kosovo earned her an Emmy nomination. In 2003, Cheryl co-founded
“Pennies for Peace,” a campaign to help mend the ravages
of war. “Pennies,” an offshoot of the Marin-based Roots
of Peace, invites children to donate their change to help de-mine
the playgrounds, soccer fields and schools in Afghanistan. Jennings
reported on it from Afghanistan in 2005. This unique child-centered
peace program was honored by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan. San Rafael also recognized her work for the Roots of Peace
Penny Campaign by declaring a “Cheryl Jennings Day”
in April 2007.
The Marin Women’s Hall of Fame is honored to include Cheryl
Jennings among its members.
PAULA FRESCHI KAMENA
The first woman elected District Attorney in the history of Marin County, Paula Freschi Kamena, demonstrated in so many ways her desire to make a difference for others. As a successful prosecutor, Paula made sure that those who needed treatment in lieu of prosecution received it. She stressed prevention and protection, not just prosecution as a solution, creating a new template for the County.
As a former juvenile probation officer who interviewed child victims of sexual abuse, Paula garnered the support of the Chiefs of Police, other County leaders and Soroptimist of Marin to raise funds to help establish the Jeannette Prandi Children’s Center. At this state-of-the-art center, children who have been sexually assaulted must no longer endure the terrifying experience of multiple interviews by multiple people and agencies. This method has proven to reduce trauma to the child and to help begin the healing process for more than 500 children to date.
As an active member in the Soroptimist Club, Paula spearheaded fund-raising efforts during her membership and leadership in the club, raising nearly $200,000, all of which has gone to support programs focusing on women and girls.
Paula’s perseverance and vision has improved the criminal justice system in Marin. She was the founding member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), Adult Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Mental Health Court, California Community Partnership for the Prevention of Financial Elder Abuse, Marin City Fatherhood Program, Share the Road Bicycle campaign, North Bay High Tech Task Force to fight computer crime. Before Paula, none of these programs existed in Marin.
She served as the first woman president of the Marin County Police Chiefs Association, Commissioner on the California State Council on Mentally Ill Offenders and as a board member on the California District Attorney’s Association.
"Can we do this better?" Paula advocates raising social consciousness, with an emphasis on the advancement of women’s rights and promotion of opportunities for women and girls. Since Paula joined The Soroptimist Club, more emphasis has been placed on Domestic Violence. More programs and speakers reach a greater number of women, particularly since the domestic violence symposium which Paula created caused a far-reaching "ripple" effect among other Soroptimist Clubs. Many victims have reported that the video-taped coverage of this event shown on local channels has saved their lives.
For these efforts and others, Paula has been honored by receiving the Soroptimist Club’s Women of Distinction Award. For Public Affairs: the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame welcomes Paula Freschi Kamena, motivator of change and advocate for women and girls.
HON. JOYCE LUTHER KENNARD
Joyce Luther Kennard's journey through life has been remarkable:
from early childhood spent in an internment camp in West Java during
World War II; to preadolescence spent in the jungles of New
Guinea with her widowed mother and four other families in a small
Quonset hut with no running water; to an American immigrant;
and to a California Supreme Court Justice. In April 1989, Governor
Deukmejian appointed Kennard to the California Supreme Court, making
her the second woman and the first individual of Eurasian descent
(Dutch-Indonesian-Chinese) to serve as a justice on the state high
court. She has been re-elected twice.
Kennard's early education had been limited
and all schooling ended shortly before her 16th birthday when an infection
resulted in the amputation of her right leg. At age 20, Kennard
immigrated to America where she worked as a secretary in Los Angeles.
Seven years later, her mother died in Holland leaving Kennard her
life savings of $5,000. She enrolled in college, and finished
in three years, while working part time. She graduated magna
cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Kennard then attended
law school at the University of Southern California and, simultaneously,
obtained a Master's in Public Administration, receiving the school's
"Outstanding Thesis" award.
Kennard is a frequent dissenter on the state
high court where her opinions reflect a fierce independence.
She has been described as a "judge's judge," an apolitical
purist. She has received numerous honors and awards.
Read the extended biography by Nancy Smith Harris
Helen Nelson has devoted most of
her adult life to consumer advocacy and education. With a focus on
American consumer, she has promoted fairness and truth. Often in the
public spotlight, she has held press conferences, testified before state
legislatures and the U.S. Congress, addressed countless audiences and
worked with numerous national and international leaders. Helen began
her consumer work by becoming Consumer Counsel to California Governor
Edmund Brown. In this position - the first of its kind in the
country - she drafted and recommended consumer legislation. She had
to work against "special interest" lobbyists, especially those
representing industries who did not want to label the contents in their
products (such as the food and cosmetics industries), who did not want to
provide the actual cost of credit ("truth in lending") and who
did not want to otherwise inform the spending public.
In addition to her work in Sacramento, Helen
served on the Consumer Advisory Council to Presidents John F. Kennedy and
Lyndon B. Johnson. Later, she was the Public Governor of the
American Stock Exchange from 1972 - 1978, as well as Consumer Consultant
to the U.S. Congress. For fifteen years she served on the Board of
the Consumers Union. Under President Jimmy Carter, she was appointed
a member of the President's Export Council, as well as Consumer Advisor to
the Federal Reserve Board. In 1979, she founded the Consumer
Research Foundation, which makes policy recommendations on consumer
matters throughout the world. In 1996, she was featured as the
commentator on a video of the history of the American consumer movement
entitled "Change Makers: The Struggle for Consumer Rights".
Read Helen Nelson's extended biography
Vera Schultz was a trailblazer for Marin County women's involvement
in politics. During her lifetime, she was a living demonstration
that women can make a constructive contribution to society.
She was first elected to the Mill Valley City Council. Within
a few years, she became the first woman ever elected to the Marin
County Board of Supervisors. She distinguished herself quickly,
pushing for the professionalization of services offered by the county
government. She was instrumental in the creation of the County
Administrator, Public Works Commissioner and County Counsel positions
and she actively supported the establishment of a County Personnel
Commission. She served on the ad hoc committee that formed the
Marin Women's Commission. She was selected as a director of
the California State Supervisors Association, again one of the first
women to serve in that role. Ms. Schultz was also active in
the Marin leadership of the League of Women Voters and was involved
with the creation of Marin General Hospital.
For all of her numerous contributions to
Marin, Vera Schultz, is best remembered for her leadership in obtaining
the services of world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design
the Marin County Civic Center. Through numerous obstacles, Ms.
Schultz' enthusiasm and drive kept the construction on track.
The Civic Center is a landmark building that is now visited by lovers
of architecture from around the world. It is this legacy to
Marin of which Vera Schultz was most proud.
Read the extended biography by Ms Sally Hauser