Women’s Herstory Month Notables for March 1 to March 7, 2015

We are celebrating Women's Herstory Month by posting tributes to the unsung heroines of San Diego County on our website. These are women who have been nominated for the Hall of Fame, but not inducted, so have made significant contributions locally.

March 1: Betty Albee, who serves as the President of the Institute of Metaphysical Science, has been a student of metaphysics since early childhood and was greatly influenced by the revolutionary writings of Margaret Laird from The Margaret Laird Foundation, now the Institute of Metaphysical Science. The Institute explores, lives, and teaches the science of being and the causal nature of Consciousness. In her book, “Mind Is The Athlete: An Exploration of Consciousness and Cause,” Albee presents Scientific Metaphysics in a new format from the perspective of being an active practitioner, leader, and teacher. We celebrate Albee for her work in searching for and disseminating definitive, meaningful, and useful avenues for self-discovery. See www.scientificmetaphysics.org/about-the-institute/Betty-Albee

March 2: An entrepreneur who writes regularly about succeeding as a woman in a man’s world, Donna Alm used her CPA and business background to start a successful venture for small business clients whose tax returns she completed. She started out in 1979 with one small item, garbage bags, something most companies need; found the source; and started selling them herself. Today, Alm runs an industrial business supply company, B&L Distributors, which routinely does seven figures in sales by supplying a business with everything for their own consumption -- from janitorial supplies and equipment to office furniture and supplies. The company helps clients with analysis/accounting, customized products, and finding solutions to various business challenges. A dominant force in business, we celebrate Alm for shaping the industrial business supply chain in San Diego and trailblazing a path for women entrepreneurs. See www.cmmonline.com/articles/230896-success-in-a-mans-world.

March 3: Susan E. Cayleff is a Professor of Women’s Studies and the Director of the Master’s Program at SDSU. Her research interests are American women’s history, genders and sexualities, and sports. Some of the courses she has taught are “Narrating Women’s Lives: Auto/Biography as History,” and “Women in Sport: Historical and Contemporary Issues.” In addition to teaching, Professor Cayleff has authored books such as “Babe: The Life and Legend of ‘Babe’ Iidrikson Zaharias 1911-1956.” She is also the founding member and co-chair of SAFE ZONES/SDSU, which works to create and maintain a safe, welcoming and supportive campus atmosphere for LGBTQI students, faculty, staff and administrators. We celebrate Professor Cayleff as an advocate for gender equality and social change. See www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~scayleff.

March 4: Nancy Casady is the general manager at the Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market, which, since 1971, has been buying local organic food and selling an all-vegetarian and organic menu competitively. Casady’s management and business style has strengthened the store; the store’s annual sales in 2006 were $10 million! Before working as general manager, Casady ran for the Democratic congressional primary in the then-49th District in San Diego County with a pro-choice and pro-working-class campaign. She was involved as a Lobbyist for the California affiliate of the National Abortion Rights Action League. We celebrate Casady for her business acumen and willingness to enter the political arena to advocate for women. See www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060926/news_1b26casady.html.

March 5: Born in northern England, Ashley Gardner moved to the United States as a young woman, and has been contributing to the San Diego Community since 1975. She trained in radio and television production, and began her broadcast career as a morning news anchor at KOWN-AM radio station in Escondido. In 1986, Gardner founded Downtown Productions, a video, film and multi-media production company. After selling Downtown Productions, she began to devote even more time to community projects, including her current role as the Executive Director of the Women’s Museum of California--one of the only five museums of women’s history in the country. We celebrate Gardner for striving to fulfil the Museum’s mission--to preserve women’s history and to raise public awareness about women’s long-overlooked and under-appreciated contributions. See www.ashleygardner.com/biography.html; www.ashleygardner.com; www.wrsc.org/people/ashley-gardner.

March 6: When Toni Atkins was elected to be the 69th Speaker of the California Assembly on March 17, 2014, she became the first lawmaker from San Diego, only the third woman, and the very first open lesbian to be elected. Speaker Atkins represents California’s 78th State Assembly district, the southern coastal San Diego County. She served on the San Diego City Council for eight years, stepped in as Acting Mayor in 2005, and served as acting governor in 2014 for nine hours when Governor Jerry Brown was in Mexico for a trade mission. We celebrate her for her demonstrated advocacy on behalf of women, against university tuition increases, and for bipartisanship. See www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/07/30/for-a-fleeting-moment... asmdc.org/speaker/about/biography/biography.

March 7: A Clinical Professor of Medicine at the UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Ellen Beck believes in providing the community free and fair access to excellent health care. Dr. Beck and her medical students collaborated to create the non-profit UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project. This Clinic provides “accessible, quality healthcare for the underserved” and has served over 7,500 underserved and uninsured patients, while also inspiring the creation of other free clinics across the nation. In 2011, Dr. Beck was named the “Health Hero” by WebMD Magazine. We celebrate her for her continuing efforts as an agent of change and inspiration to all. See www.fpmglobalhealth.ucsd.edu/ellen-beck-md.html; health.ucsd.edu/news/2011/Pages/11-09-11-health-hero-ellen-beck.aspx.

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