San Bernardino

On October 18, 2002 Women in Focus: FORUM will recognize seven women from the Inland Empire at its Gala Dinner Award Ceremony.

Women in Focus: FORUM is proud to support women, students and teens who make great strides to invest in the success of their lives and others – serving their families and community constituents both personally and professionally, championing their self-esteem, commitment to education, leadership, mentorship, ethical posture and ability to transcend challenges.

PACIFICA, CA – La Keysha Peoples – Young Woman of Community Service & Advocacy: Peoples’ childhood dream has always been to help people. She currently attends San Francisco State University and has honed her service and advocacy skills there, while attending college full-time.

RIVERSIDE, CA – Shachi K. Khichadia – Young Woman of Leadership: “Poised, understanding, able to take charge, listen and learn,” is what is proclaimed about Khichadia. She’s an exemplary scholar with a spirit of humility. Khichadia led the American Marketing Association as President of the student chapter at U.C. Riverside — leading the Chapter to receive five awards, and a driving force in tripling student chapter membership. She also served on a General Motors Marketing Internship winning team, leading them to take first place in the nation for a national marketing case study. Khichadia is a proponent of diversity and cultural awareness, and always attributes her personal success to others.

RIVERSIDE, CA – Sonia Malhotra – Young Woman of Leadership: A leader and humanitarian by nature, Malhotra has served as Founder & Director of the Indian Dance team at U.C. Riverside for the last three years, promoting Indian culture and heritage through dance — attaining first place recognition two consecutive years at one of California’s largest dance competitions. She has since established a free dance instruction program at the Lakshmi Narayan Hinu Temple. In addition, Malhotra leads individuals and educational-based organizations to collaborate with one another to make a bigger difference (together) in the community.

MORENO VALLEY, CA – Mary E. McBean – Woman of Community Service & Advocacy: McBean is Founder and Executive Director of UNI-MACK Vocational Education Training Center in Moreno Valley, California. Despite her life obstacles such as dyslexia and breast cancer, she maintained her zeal and dedication to educating students and serving them well. She tells “one story at a time” and saves “one student at a time.” She champion’s the statement, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and has adopted this statement as her mantra.

CORONA, CA – Nancy Sidoruk – Woman of Leadership: “Appropriate skill, empathy, understanding, direction, getting to know people, eloquence, grace, analytics and understanding,” is what the American Marketing Association(AMA) had to say about Sidoruk’s leadership style. She took a Chapter of the AMA which was in jeapordy of losing its charter and turned it around. She pushed the Chapter leaders and members to excellence, so much that they increased regular membership by 40%, despite a challenging economy.

ONTARIO, CA – Gina Johnson Smith – Woman of Wisdom: Survivor and overcomer of cancer; God-fearing wife, mother, daughter and community leader; shares most of her life wisdom in her book, “100 Important Life Lessons for Everyone.” Johnson Smith travels throughout the state of California encouraging and transforming the lives of men and women, charging them with self-evaluation and growth. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

LA VERNE, CA – Kristy Cross – Woman of Community Service & Advocacy: Cross is dedicated to serving teens, young children and supporting the “special needs” of children and their parents. She has served the community as a foster parent, counselor and mentor, volunteered her heart and home to troubled teens, and empowered the lives of many with her love. Cross is the Founder of Ebony Foundation – Tilton Place (1999), a unique facility housing 6 seniors and 6 teens, meeting basic needs, built-in mentorship and modeling, forging friendships, leadership skills and personal commitment between elders, staff, family, peers and friends.

Plus! Surprise Honorary Awards Presented to some of the Inland Empire’s Finest Women! Don’t miss it!