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Alameda County unveils Women's Hall of Fame class of 2019

Three Tri-Valley women, one local teen among new inductees

Local leaders are honoring 12 women and two teenagers from throughout the county later this month with induction into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame.

The annual program, organized by the county's Board of Supervisors and the Commission on the Status of Women, aims to spotlight the accomplishments and inspiring stories of women in Alameda County while also raising funds to support organizations serving local women and families.

"Celebrating the inspiring achievements of this outstanding group of Women's Hall of Fame inductees will be the perfect way to recognize National Women's History Month in March," County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi, co-chair of the Women's Hall of Fame, said in a statement.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be honored during the 26th annual luncheon and awards ceremony March 30 in Oakland.

This year's class includes Pleasanton women Teri Johnson and Spojmie Nasiri, Livermore resident Kimberly Larson and Dublin teen Akemi Williams.

Being inducted in the Sports and Athletics category, Johnson is a well-known softball coach in the area and a teacher and coach at James Logan High School in Union City. In 32 years of coaching, Johnson has led her teams of girls to nearly 700 victories and a winning percentage of .805.

This year's Justice inductee, Nasiri has been lauded as a leading immigration attorney who conducts pro bono clinics in jails and in the community, while representing immigrants in federal detention and people affected by the federal travel ban.

Nasiri's experience as a first-generation immigrant from Afghanistan gives her a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by her clients.

Alameda County firefighter Larson is this year's Emerging Leader inductee. Described as a "textbook firefighter" devoted to her career, her family and mentoring others to follow her path, Larson also volunteers across the West Coast mentoring young women interested in careers in the fire service.

Williams, one of two Youth inductees this year, is a senior at Dublin High School and a seasoned volunteer who has given her time to community projects throughout Alameda County, and in Haiti and Ghana. When her school faced racial and social justice challenges, she organized a program to educate students about diversity and inclusion.

The 10 other members in the class of 2019 are:

* Kristin Groos Richmond, Business and Professions. She is co-founder and CEO of Revolution Foods, an Oakland company that serves 2 million healthy, affordable meals a week in 2,500 school and community sites. Her mission is to transform the way America eats by providing access to healthy, affordable meals.

* Moina Shaiq, Community Service. After mass shooting incidents, Shaiq, a Fremont resident, launched the "Meet a Muslim" program to dispel common misunderstandings about the Islamic faith. The program began in a Fremont coffee shop but has grown to reach at least 4,000 people in nine states.

* Carol A. Zilli, Culture and Art. Inspired by her lifelong love of music, Zilli is the founder and executive director of Music for Minors II, a volunteer program that provides music enrichment to more than 5,000 elementary school students each year in and around her hometown of Fremont.

* Margaret Dixon, Education. Dixon parlayed her love for teaching and police work into a career serving residents of her native Oakland. One of Oakland's first black female police officers, she now chairs the Administration of Justice Department at Merritt College, preparing a new generation for careers in criminal justice.

* Erica Mackie, Environment. Mackie is co-founder and CEO of GRID Alternatives of Oakland, the nation's largest nonprofit installer of solar power equipment.

* Maria G. Hernandez, Ph.D., Health. Hernandez is president of Impact4Health, an Oakland consulting firm that leverages innovation, strategy and community engagement to address healthcare disparities. She is also lead consultant for the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative.

* Thi Bui, Non-Traditional Careers. She is an award-winning cartoonist and author whose debut graphic memoir honors her family's immigration journey from war-torn Vietnam to the United States.

* Peggy Saika, Philanthropy. Saika is the CEO of the Oakland-based Common Counsel Foundation, which provides philanthropic support to grassroots organizations helping low-income people, women, youth, people of color, indigenous peoples and others working for justice, equity and a healthy, sustainable environment.

* Susan Hubbard, Ph.D., Science. Hubbard is associate laboratory director for earth and environmental sciences at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

* Laura Savio, Youth. Savio, 17, is a senior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont who, in the face of significant challenges at home, has become a community leader by educating others about teen dating violence, healthy relationships, anxiety and other topics.

The awards ceremony is set for 12:30 p.m. March 30 at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Lincoln Avenue in Oakland. Tickets, which cost $100 apiece, are available at http://acgov.org/whof/.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story included incorrect information from Alameda County officials about Kimberly Larson's city of residence. Larson, an Alameda County firefighter who is being inducted in the Emerging Leader category, lives in Livermore. The Pleasanton Weekly regrets the error.

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