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Senator Dave Min Honors Seven Women Of Distinction

by: Dave Min
Published: March 27, 2023



ORANGE COUNTY...Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine) today announced seven women of distinction in observation of Women’s History Month. These individuals each shine as leaders and pioneers in their respective fields, including healthcare, real estate, private philanthropy, nonprofit management, and the judicial system.

“Today, I am proud to announce these seven outstanding trailblazers as Women of Distinction for 2023,” Min said. “Their incredible accomplishments in each of their respective fields stand as a testament to the power and importance of women in Orange County, across different industries and activities. And just as importantly, these women leaders serve as role models for the next generation of women and girls, signaling the bright future that lies ahead. I look forward to continuing to follow their amazing careers and future successes.”

The 2023 Women of Distinction honorees for the 37th Senate District are:

Kate Wheeler – President & CEO at Crystal Cove Conservancy

Kate leads the organization's efforts to restore the beach cottages in the Historic District and protect the park's natural, cultural, and historic resources. Prior to joining The Conservancy, Kate led the International Fund for Animal Welfare's work in the western US to support conservation and animal rescue efforts around the world. She also focused on creating partnerships to provide equitable opportunities in literacy education for vulnerable young people. Kate earned a master's degree in nonprofit leadership from the University of San Diego and has a long history of community involvement, including serving on the board of directors for the California League of Park Associations.

Claudia Bonilla Keller – CEO at Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

An established nonprofit executive in Southern California with over two decades of experience in a senior leadership capacity, Claudia Bonilla Keller joined Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County as Chief Mission Officer in February 2020 and was named CEO on January 1, 2022. As CEO, Keller leads outreach to donors, community partners, volunteers and the public to educate, inform and inspire action on Second Harvest’s focus of ensuring that all Orange County residents in need are well fed.

Beth Hambelton – Senior Program and Community Outreach Liaison at MemorialCare  

Beth oversees the Community Benefit program at Orange Coast Medical Center, serving as community liaison to local nonprofits and municipalities that provide direct services to vulnerable seniors, individuals and families. Her passion for serving seniors in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and other cities across Orange County is driven by Beth’s desire to guide them to vital resources that will assist them to live as independently as possible for as long as possible in the homes of their choice.

Elizabeth Do – CEO of the "Elizabeth Do Team"

Earning accolades as one of the National Association of REALTORS®’ top agents is no small feat. For Elizabeth Do, being recognized as one of the organization’s “Top 30 Under 30″ is the result of a dedicated approach to cultivating a thriving, client-centric business. The graduate of California State University, Fullerton applies a background in finance, a thorough market knowledge and outstanding customer relations skills to provide her clients with exceptional real estate experiences. Despite a shifting market, Elizabeth has consistently earned recognition as a top producing agent, closing upwards of $1.3 billion in sales.

Susan Hsia Lew M.S – Director of Hsu Hwa Chao Foundation

Susan Hsia Lew, M.S., is a public health professional, philanthropy co-founder, science writer, children’s book author, musician, and activist. Currently, Susan is Director of the Hsu Hwa Chao Foundation, which funds medical research, climate change research, and Asian American causes. She is a co-founder and board co-chair of Asian American Futures, a nonprofit organization that ensures a robust future for Asian Americans through the promotion of philanthropy “for Asian Americans, by Asian Americans.” Susan has a BA from Brown University and a MS from Harvard School of Public Health, where she specialized in social determinants of health, behavior change, and health communication.

Allyson Sonenshine – Founding Director of the Orange County Women’s Health Project

As a lawyer, Allyson Sonenshine volunteered a great deal of time to pro bono work in the area of women’s health. While working as a consultant with the Merage Foundation, she helped to develop what is now the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center in Santa Ana. Sonenshine was a driving force behind the Orange County Women’s Health Project, founded in 2011 to serve as an umbrella group focusing on key issues affecting women’s health, resources and gaps in coverage. She and husband Coby Sonenshine are raising two teenage sons in Newport Beach.

Honorable Judge Lynne Riddle (ret.)

Judge Lynne Riddle has been a stalwart defender of justice in California. Judge Riddle served as Reproductive Justice Lecturer and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy – both at University of California School of Law, as well as a member of the National Leadership Council of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Moreover, she has served over the last eight years on the Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties Community Action Fund board of directors, where she’s been active as Legislative Chair, Advocacy Chair, and a member of the Electoral Committee. In 1988, Judge Riddle was appointed to serve as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California, Santa Ana Division.  She retired at the conclusion of her 14-year term in 2002. Photo:DaveMinPIO


Representing Orange County’s 37th State Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim Hills, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park.


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