News

Women of Distinction

Town and Gown

Continuing a 27-year University Town & Gown tradition of recognizing excellence and civic pride, nine honorees will be recognized as “Women of Distinction” for their diverse accomplishments, contributions, and dedication to our Inland Empire community at the Town & Gown luncheon Saturday, March 19 at the University of Redlands’ Orton Center. Proceeds benefit University students from the Inland Empire who demonstrate strength in community service through the Town & Gown Scholarship endowment. Tickets are $50 per person and reservations must be made by Wednesday, March 9. Early reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 909-748-8011.

Emcee for the event is June Durr, a 2003 Woman of Distinction, who has turned her humble background into a career in fashion, marketing, and motivational speaking.

Some of her topics include "Professional Packaging" and "Personal Branding" seminars and fashion and accessory workshops. June has lent her unique marketing and public relations skills throughout Southern California for over 35 years to diverse corporate clients that include the entertainment, motorsports and shopping center industries, where she established the first shopping center teen board with Teen Magazine. She also served as the City of San Bernardino's first marketing and public affairs director for Mayor Judith Valles, and the city's Economic Development Agency.

Her professional and philanthropic clients include Cal State University School of Business and International Affairs, University of Redlands Town & Gown, and The San Bernardino Symphony, where she established the Symphony Debs music appreciation program. Recently she chaired and was the emcee for the inaugural Exceptional Women of the Inland Empire event for The Business Press.

A two-time cancer survivor, June is working on a series of children’s books, the first of which will be published this year, that address social and medical issues. She is an alumna of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles and holds a certificate in marketing from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

2011 honorees

Joining the ranks of impressive and diverse local women honored in the past 25 years, this year’s honorees are no exception, boasting achievements in education, community service, business, art, volunteerism, law enforcement, and social services.

Marjorie Arnett was an educator for over 40 years– a classroom teacher, reading teacher, and reading specialist prior to coming to California, and a classroom teacher, program facilitator, and Title I reading resource teacher in San Bernardino for 22 years until her retirement in 2009.

Marjorie facilitates and hosts a children’s literature discussion group started by Charlotte S. Huck in 1988. She is a board member of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California, currently serves on their award selection committee and Fall Gala planning committee, and was one of the four people who helped begin and coordinates the planning committee for the Charlotte S. Huck Children’s Literature Festival held annually at the University of Redlands since 1997.

She holds a B.S. in elementary education from Ball State University, a M.S. in elementary education from Indiana University, a reading specialist credential from Cardinal Stitch College, a Ph.D. in urban education from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and an administrative services credential from the University of Redlands.

Sherrie L. Guerrero, Ed.D.
is an academic and public servant dedicated to bringing education to the community. Coming from a low-income background, Sherrie worked her way through community college and her long academic career.

She taught at her alma mater San Bernardino Valley College where she also served as the speech and performing arts department chair, followed by a position as dean of humanities. Sherrie then moved to Chaffey College as dean of language arts then as dean of instructional support. She is currently serving as the vice president of instruction and the vice president of student services.

Sherrie co-developed the Chaffey College Program at the California Institution for Women at Chino and created the Faculty Success Center at Chaffey. Sherrie holds an A.A .in liberal arts from San Bernardino Valley College, a B.A.in communication studies from California State University, San Bernardino, an M.A. in speech communication studies from California State University, Fullerton, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from University of Southern California.

Casey M. Kennedy-Oesterlein, M.D. is a dedicated physician, mentor, and educator. She has been an internal medicine physician since 1994 and chair of the utilization management committee for the last five years at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands. Casey serves on three committees at Beaver Medical Group, the continuing medical education committee of Redlands Community Hospital, and is a member of the American College of Physicians.

She mentors women medical students from Loma Linda University, allowing them to shadow her in her clinical work. Casey models wellness through her participation in health and wellness programs and has completed 23 marathons in 16 states. Casey received her B.A in biology and her M.D. from Loma Linda University. Casey completed her internship in internal medicine and psychiatry at University Medical Center of Eastern Carolina-Pitt County and her residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center. She also served as chief medical resident, internal medicine at Jerry L. Pettis Veterans Administration Hospital at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Heidi Mayer is the founder of YouthHope, an organization which helps homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth living in Redlands. Heidi has been a life-long volunteer. After much experience working with similar youths in San Francisco, she noticed a need in her own community, the City of Redlands, and YouthHope was begun in July of 2009.

In two short years, she has helped over 180 youths receive food, clothing, medical attention, re-entry into an education program, job training, or support for those with minor infractions against the law. Heidi engages local youth to help her, such as through the University of Redlands Youth Hope Club, and she has also worked with the youth of the Yucaipa Baptist Church for 27 years, as a youth group leader, a mentor to at-risk youth, and taking youth on mission tours to work with homeless teens in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Venice Beach.

Heidi cites her greatest experience as a mother and uses that knowledge in her work at YouthHope.

Ann McMahon is a tireless volunteer and staple in her local community. Ann has served as president and a board member with both Town & Gown and Redlands Day Nursery, a board member with Christian Counseling Service and Associates of the Redlands Bowl, and was a founding board member of the Redlands Educational Partnership Foundation.

Ann has served the PTA for 20 years at elementary, junior high, high school, council and district levels in positions of president, treasurer, and budget officer. She was also a one-day surgery volunteer with Redlands Community Hospital Auxiliary.

Currently, she is president of Family Service Association of Redlands and assistant art coordinator of NARSAD Artworks, which publishes artworks by people with mental illnesses. Ann is also a guide for Fourth-grade Heritage Tours for the Heritage Auxiliary of Assistance League of Redlands and serves on the Legal Aid and Home Tour YMCA Committees. Ann holds a B.A. in mathematics from Trinity Washington University.

Melinda Moneymaker is a community activist dedicated to changing her community. As a member of coalitions created as part of San Bernardino County’s environmental prevention efforts, she helps community leaders to change public policy regarding the sale and use of alcohol by minors. She currently serves as member or community partner of the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators, the Mentoring Taskforce Children’s Network, the Substance Abuse Provider Network, and Zonta Organization of San Bernardino and Zonta International.

Melinda has also volunteered in San Bernardino County with the Substance Abuse Provider Network, Gang and Drug Taskforce, and High Desert Resource Network, to name a few. Melinda is a human services faculty member at San Bernardino Valley College and is currently completing a master’s degree in education and curriculum Instruction. She holds a B.A. in psychology and human development from California State University San Bernardino and an A.A. in human services; and alcohol and drug certification from San Bernardino Valley College.

Cali Olsen-Binks is an energetic educator who has been employed by the Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) for more than 21 years. She began her career in 1990, teaching first grade and then special education as a resource specialist for a total of 10 years before becoming an assistant principal and then principal.

From there, Cali obtained a position at the district office as the categorical director and then an assistant superintendent's position of instruction and student services. She has now been the superintendent of Fontana Unified School District for three years, working with more than 4,000 employees who support 42,000 children.

Throughout her career, she has maintained the motto “Nice Matters” as she led the district through difficult times. Because of an idea of Cali’s, police lieutenants now serve as Chief of FUSD and a beneficial partnership was formed between the FUSD and the Fontana Police Department. Cali earned her B.A. from the University of California, Riverside and her M.A. in special education from Azusa Pacific University.

Sabine B. Robertson-Phillips, Ed.D. is a dynamic and tenacious educator. Sabine is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for Redlands Unified School District, a presenter at ACSA (Association of California School Administrators) Principal’s Academy, an adjunct professor at both University of Redlands and La Sierra University, has guest lectured at Cal State San Bernardino, is a member of ACSA, and scholarship chair for the Redlands Administrative Personnel Association.

She has been involved in coordinating the BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) program, as it has transformed from a mentoring program to a state-sponsored induction program which teachers must complete in order to receive their California Teaching Credentials.

In the past, Sabine has worked as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, assistant principal, and human resources coordinator for Redlands Unified School District, and an adjunct professor for Chapman University. Sabine holds a B.A. in liberal studies from University of Redlands, and a M.A. and Ed.D. in leadership and administration from La Sierra University.

Linda Stratton devoted over 30 years to medicine, public health, and the San Bernardino County Medical Society (SBCMS). Until her retirement this past October, she served as executive director of the SBCMS and its related corporations: the Inland Wellness Information Network (IWIN) and the Physicians Memorial, Gift & Benevolence Fund (PMGBF).

The San Bernardino County Sheriff Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) falls under IWIN where Linda assisted in managing over 100 volunteers to ensure incident response capabilities. Under PMGBF, Linda oversaw the Southern California Medical Museum and the Bangasser Medical Student Scholarship Fund. She also developed a nationally recognized physician membership recruitment program.

Linda is currently a board member on The Unforgettables Foundation, which helps pay burial costs for Inland Empire families who have lost a child and volunteers as an ex-officio member of the MRC Executive Committee. She has volunteered as Brownie and Girl Scout leader, the PTA, and held leadership roles within her church. Linda earned her B.A. in business administration from California State University, San Bernardino.


What started as a freshman prank in 1913?
The giant R

The giant "R" seen on the mountain north of the University that is about one-third the size of the Quad.

More »