Inspirational Women’s Reception at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills.

Inspirational Women’s Reception at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills.

Six Valley area women were feted Thursday at the seventh annual “Inspirational Women’s Reception” by the United Chambers of Commerce.

More than 100 attended the in-person event, held at the outdoor Lou Bredlow Amphitheater at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills. The event honors local women who are making a significant positive impact.


This year’s honorees: Natalie Cortez of the Los Angeles Police Department, who is commander of the department’s Valley bureau; Mona Curry, who works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a division supervisor; Waltona Manion, a public relations consultant; Pegi Matsuda of Pegi Matsuda Consulting; Carolyn Rose, one of the founders of MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), a nonprofit that’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; and Nora Ross, chief executive of the Valley Cultural Foundation.


Nithya Raman, a Los Angeles City Councilmember, was the keynote speaker. She talked about how she became an activist fighting for the homeless who had begun living in her neighborhood. As a result, she decided to run for the City Council and last year beat an incumbent.


Among other speakers and presenters: Vahid Khorsand, who was a founder of the award series; Armida Colmenares Stafford, chair of the United Chambers; and Miri Rossitto, one of last year’s recipients who was master of ceremonies.


Elected representatives who spoke and presented awards, other than Raman, were City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel.