The two women were chosen from a pool of less than a dozen nominees who either work, live or study in Glendale, but the decision was difficult to make because all of the women were outstanding, said Lana Haddad Lott, a staff member for the commission.
Lefkovits, who grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, moved to Glendale 30 years ago after a divorce left her as a single mom struggling to support herself and two boys.
"Looking back, truthfully, I could say that those were tough years," she said. "All I ever wanted to be was a housewife and a mother, and all of a sudden I have to leave my children [to work]."
Lefkovits began working for then Master Protection Enterprises as a sales person selling fire safety equipment. In an industry dominated by men, Lefkovits rose above co-workers, who didn't think she would make it, to become one of the company's top sales associates and the company's first female sales person in California, said Margo Bottcher, Lefkovits' sister.
"She was a pioneer," Bottcher said.
Since then, Lefkovits has become an active community member promoting local fundraisers and organizations, and is a member of Soroptimist International of Glendale.
Shine, also an active community member, has made her mark in Glendale through her work with local teens, Glendale Police Sgt. Ron Insalaco said.
"She has had an impact on scores of kids," he said, adding that Shine directs the Glendale Police Department's mentoring program for at-risk children ? Students Training As Role Models.
Shine, who grew up in a family that dealt with the challenges of alcoholism, poverty, drugs and violence, said the struggles she faced as a young person encouraged her to become a police officer.
"Being bred as an underdog, I started rooting for the underdogs," she said. "Once I got control of my life, I wanted to help do that for others."
Both women were given plaques at Thursday's event ? attended by more than 250 community members and city officials ? recognizing their achievements.
The commission, established more than two years ago to ensure quality of rights and opportunities for women and girls in Glendale, also spotlighted the wives of all five Glendale City Council members.
"It's really nice," said Darlene Najarian, Councilman Ara Najarian's wife.
"But really, all the women in Glendale are important. They are all doing an important job."gnp-jewel2.10-BPhotoInfoPN1OQ11H20060310ivw1makn(LA)Glendale Police Officer Sue Shine.gnp-jewel1.10-BPhotoInfoPN1OQ0TV20060310ivw1ldkn(LA)Realtor Kathy Lefkovits