SACRAMENTO – At its 2014 Summit, “Bridging Gaps, Breaking Barriers,” the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) honors five individuals to receive CalVet annual awards.
Each recipient demonstrates exemplary commitment and passion serving California's veterans.
For the first time, there is a tie for Woman Veteran Leader of the Year.
The awards are part of the seventh annual Summit on Women Veterans, titled “Bridging Gaps, Breaking Barriers,” at the Sacramento Sheraton Grand Hotel on Aug. 24 to 25.
The summit features several important workshops for our California Women Veterans.
This year’s topics include educational benefits, financial literacy and starting a business.
Attendees also will hear from employers in several companies and industries who will share tips and answer questions about getting hired.
CalVet is honored to announce the following 2014 awardees:
Woman Veteran Leader of the Year (two awardees)
Irene Cruz of San Gabriel: A veteran advocate and former Marine, Irene Cruz organized the first ever Minority Women Veterans Conference in 2013. Irene devotes her time assisting women veterans with employment, housing and support.
Starlyn Lara of Hayward: U.S. Army Veteran Starlyn Lara served in the Iraq War and works as the program manager for women veterans at Swords to Plowshares in San Francisco. Starlyn serves women veterans as an advisor to Women Veterans Connect and other veteran-focused projects.
Robin Umberg of Villa Park: Brigadier General Robin Umberg U.S. Army, retired, served a total of 36 years as a U.S. Army Nurse and as the undersecretary for Veterans Homes at Calvet from 2011 to 2013. Her passion is advocating for veterans, ensuring they receive the respect and care they deserve.
California Outstanding Volunteer
Lisa Daniels of Sacramento: As the founder of Unsung Heroes Living History Project, Lisa Daniels focuses on recording stories of underrepresented veterans for the Library of Congress archives. Lisa’s grandmother, a Rosie the Riveter during World War II, inspired her to create the project.
California Corporate Leadership
Mike Mattoch of Sacramento: As the assistant vice president for USAA’s Western Region, Mike creates lasting partnerships in the private and public sectors supporting programs for Veterans and their families. Mike’s passion for veterans comes from his own military service as a former captain and judge advocate general with the California Army National Guard/California State Military Reserve.
The 2014 Summit on Women Veterans is open to the public, and scheduled at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, located at 1230 J St. in Sacramento from 10 a.m. Aug. 24 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 25. Check-in opens at 9 a.m. on Aug. 24.
To preregister for the summit, go to www.calvet.ca.gov/womenvets or call 916-503-8334 for more information.