Cuesta College and The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County’s Women’s Legacy Fund are excited to announce the recipients of the 41st Women of Distinction awards. This year, the awards honor four Central Coast women for their professional and civic contributions. The honorees were nominated by their peers and chosen by a selection committee. An awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, March 22, 2018, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus in Building 5400, Room 5401. The ceremony and awards celebrate Women’s History Month (March) and recognize the contribution that local women have made in the areas of volunteering in the community, their profession, and in philanthropy.

The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony. Tickets to the event cost $25 and are available for purchase on The Community Foundation SLO County’s website or by calling (805) 543-2323. Parking is free for attendees in lot 2. The ceremony will include appetizers, dessert, wine and other beverages.

 Community and Public Service Award, Volunteer: Anita Shower

Awarded to a woman who has distinguished herself as a volunteer by providing outstanding service to the community.

Anita Shower first became a volunteer in 1975 when she began serving pancake breakfasts with the Grover City Grange. Since then she has served with the Nipomo Dunes Center, the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition, Meals That Connect, The Central Coast Exchange Club, and The South County Family Educational, and Cultural Center's Exploration Station. Shower is the former president of the Pismo Beach-Five Cities Rotary Club and a board member of The Charles Paddock Zoo Society. In 2011, Shower founded and chartered the fourth Eco Rotary Club in the world, with an emphasis on being good stewards of the environment. Shower has achieved a multitude of recognitions, including Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year (2016), SLO County Board of Supervisors Recognition for Citizen of the Year (2016), and Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce Chief Ambassador (2014-currently). She is also a published author, penning three books: Images of America: Grover Beach, Socially Smart and Savvy, and Power of Civility. (Pictured above: bottom right)

Community and Public Service Award, Professional: Grace McIntosh

Awarded to a woman who has, by virtue of her profession, distinguished herself by providing outstanding professional service to the community.

Grace McIntosh has over 30 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, including as the current Deputy Director at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc. (CAPSLO). McIntosh oversees six CAPSLO divisions that operate 18 programs, and was instrumental in establishing a myriad of programs that will support San Luis Obispo County's homeless population at 40 Prado Road. McIntosh serves on the Homeless Services Oversight Council, Adult Services Oversight Council, Interfaith Coalition for the Homeless, and Emergency Food and Shelter Board. McIntosh was also highly involved in the creation of SLO Hub, a treatment/case-management program that supports housing, recovery, employment, and education for 130 chronically homeless individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders. She has earned many awards over the years, including the 2015 National Community Action Partnership Award of Excellence and was recognized in 2015 as a Certified Community Action Professional and in 2012 as a Pathways to Excellence Reviewer. (Pictured above: bottom left)

Progress for Women Award: Betsy Umhofer

Awarded to a woman whose commitment to a particular program or issue of special relevance to women has helped to improve the quality of life for women.

Betsy Umhofer began her public servie life in San Luis Obispo as the spokeswoman for Mothers for Peace, fighting to protect the coastline from nuclear contamination. She began working for the House of Representatives and spent 19 years working for Congressman Walter Capps and then Congresswoman Lois Capps. She has assisted thousands of residents in San Luis Obispo County experiencing difficulties with obtaining healthcare, facing homelessness and getting an education. She is a tireless advocate for individuals and organizations, seeking assistance locally and from the federal government. One example: Umhofer worked in coordination with Cal Poly and Congressional staff to obtain asylum for two women in Afghanistan living under threat of death for seeking an education. (Pictured above: top right)

Grace N. Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award: Phyllis Davies

Awarded to a woman with distinguished service and dedication to women in more than one of the three categories, and over an extended length of time throughout her professional or volunteer career.

Throughout a lifetime of volunteering, Phyllis Davies has worked locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally for many causes. She is a member of Women in Black, a global network of women who actively oppose injustice, war, militarism and violence. Davies spends much of her time volunteering with The Compassionate Friends, Bereaved Parents of America, Hospice and other support organizations. Her interest in education, peace, global hunger, and health have taken her into remote areas of 60 third-world countries. Davies was a delegate to the 1992 UN Summit in Brazil, which resulted in the adoption of the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security Treaties, and a delegate to the Fellowship of Reconciliation Citizens Diplomacy in Iran. In addition, Davies has authored three books: GRIEF: Climb Toward Understanding, When Someone Dies: What You Can Do, and When Someone Is Seriously Ill: What You Can Do. (Pictured above: top left)