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Top 20 women given grand salute

Business Life magazine recognizes more than 300 honorees over the last 20 years for their strides in business and leadership in community organizations.

September 24, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph
(Joyce Rudolph/News-Press )

Women from the Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena were recognized for displaying courage, strength and determination on the job and with local organizations during the Women Extraordinaire: Celebrating 20th Anniversary on Wednesday night at the Hilton Glendale.

The annual tradition is presented by the family-run Business Life magazine and leading the salute to more than 325 women was Executive Vice President Greg Krikorian, who served as master of ceremonies.

"When we first came to California from Connecticut, we came up with the concept of saluting women — women in business and leaders of organizations," Krikorian said. "It's been our foundation, saluting women in companies, small businesses and nonprofit organizations, and for 20 years we tirelessly supported women's organizations such as Zonta and Soroptimist International."

What made this year's celebration unique was that one woman from each past year, 1990 to 2010, was chosen to be among the top 20 achievers honored. And another 19 women were announced as the top achievers for 2010.


Attendance was expected to reach 350, but sold out at 600.

Mercy Velazquez of Glendale, who was honored in 2004, was one of the top 20 honorees.

"I am so appreciative and honored to be one of the 20," she said. "It's a big plus that [the magazine] is helping all our organizations. Community service is a circle. First, the community is good to you, and you have to pay it back by giving service. And you teach your children to give service to the community, and they will teach their children to do the same."

Brenda Lantieri, a Burbank resident and president of the Zonta Club of Burbank, was one of the 2010 honorees.

"I'm extremely excited, honored and humbled to receive the award," she said.

She is a past president of the Burbank Noon Lions, a member of the Cabrini Literary Guild and Eucharistic minister and past prayer group leader at St. Robert Bellarmine Church.

Zonta past President Grace Farenbaugh came to support Lantieri and Donna Anderson, named as one of the top 20 women achievers. Anderson is also the city treasurer of Burbank.

"I could not be prouder for all that Donna and Brenda have done for the community," Farenbaugh said. "You can feel the big energy in this room tonight. I didn't expect that."

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