by Tanya Beat, Director of the Commission on the Status of Women

REDWOOD CITY - The Commission on the Status of Women of San Mateo County received tremendous response for its vacancy recruitment. Over 24 applications were received from throughout San Mateo County and after a thorough review by a panel comprised of two County supervisors and representatives from the Commission and staff, seven applicants were offered appointments to the Commission.

The increase of interest in the Commission began after 2018’s Women’s Leadership Conference and Women’s Hall of Fame and continued with the Commission’s work in facilitating Community Conversations in San Bruno, Half Moon Bay and East Palo Alto. The Commission is very excited to bring on seven new commissioners to help in its work with the RISE 2020 Conference and Women’s Hall of Fame and in areas that impact the most vulnerable women and girls in San Mateo County

The seven new commissioners are:

Cheryl Fama has worked in healthcare and wellness over her entire career, first starting as a nurse and then most recently as the Chief Executive Officer for the Peninsula Health Care District.

Melissa Lukin has worked in the community for over 20 years. She is the former Executive Director of CORA and is currently the Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Peninsula.

Ei Ei Samai is an Early Learning and Family Resource Manager for Daly City Partnership. She leverages her expertise with facilitation and training in her work and with her volunteer experience with the community. She also is a small business owner with her husband.

Karen Pyles currently works with San Mateo County's Behavioral Health and Recovery Services in Daly City. She has spent her career working in mental health as a counselor and case manager, working with vulnerable populations. She has been a strong advocate for women and learned about the CSW while at the Women's Leadership Conference in 2018.

Sue Datta has over 20 years in technology and ecommerce and is currently the Director for Technology and Cyber security Audit for Gap, Inc. She brings extensive volunteer experience working with Girl Geeks and helping survivors of domestic violence.

Ellen Tafeen retired from Oracle Corp in 2003 and is very active with volunteering, teaching, and supporting senior women. She teaches Driver Safety classes and spends significant time bridging resources from the community to seniors.

Ann Girard has practiced law for over 23 years in the high tech industry. While very active with the San Mateo Public Library and the City of San Mateo, she wants to engage more with women from all over the county.

The Board of Supervisors approved these appointments at its August 6, 2019 Board meeting. The new commissioners will be sworn in by Supervisor Carole Groom at the next Commission on the Status of Women meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The Commission does not meet in the month of August.

The Commission reports and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding policies, programs, procedures and legislation affecting women and girls in San Mateo County. The Commission also provides a public forum for input from community to identify unmet needs. Among other initiatives, the Commission conducted the first Women’s Leadership Conference in March 2018 with a sold out audience and recognized three amazing women from the community in the Women’s Hall of Fame. Nominations for the 2020 Women’s Hall of Fame and Young Woman of Excellence will be available in August.

The Commission elected its officers for 2019: Anisha Weber as President who has been a commissioner since 2013 and served as Vice President in 2018. Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i is Vice-President and has been a commissioner since 2011.