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County, City of Campbell to Honor Five Outstanding Women at Annual Women of Distinction Awards


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – For the second year in a row, the City of Campbell and the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy will host the Annual Women of Distinction Awards to praise the outstanding work of women of all ages and walks of life in the Campbell community.

The Women of Distinction Awards program celebrates the commitment and passion of women and girls seeking equality and peace, pursuing justice, acting with unusual kindness, and displaying courage in daily life or perseverance in overcoming challenges. This year a committee of representatives from the City of Campbell, the County’s Office of Women’s Policy, and the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women selected five professional women for this recognition.

“There are so many unsung heroes in our community. This group exemplifies what can be possible when we think beyond our personal needs and dreams,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “These women are setting the bar high when it comes to being proactive and of service to others.”

“The vision and compassion of these women are inspiring,” said Ken Yeager, who represents Campbell on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “By sharing their time and talents, they have made a big difference in the lives of the people of this County.”

“I am very proud to be a part of this year's Campbell Women of Distinction Awards,” said Mayor Jason Baker. “As a former City commissioner and as Campbell's current Mayor, I have observed first hand the wonderful array of unique talent, strong leadership and warm generosity shown by women in this community who have been my esteemed colleagues or constituents. It’s important for us to take stock and recognize the hard work ethic and altruistic qualities that these special women possess.”

As part of the Women’s History Month county celebrations coordinated by the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, the Women of Distinction Awards recipients will be recognized tonight at 7:30 p.m., at the Campbell City Hall Council Chambers, during the Campbell City Council meeting.

“Initiatives to advance women are often overlooked and under-supported, even though they have proven to be effective strategies to meet the economic challenges we face locally and globally,” said Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Director of the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy. “We applaud the City of Campbell for supporting and recognizing the contributions of women as entrepreneurs, employees and civic leaders.”

About the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy

Developed in the spirit of cooperation between the County of Santa Clara and the community, the Office of Women’s Policy (OWP) addresses new and emerging issues affecting women and girls. The Office looks at the effectiveness of policy and systems in meeting the needs of women. OWP’s goal is to enhance existing cooperative efforts by serving as a catalyst for change, and providing a focal point for the coordination of programs and initiatives that support the progress of women and girls. Visit

About the Campbell’s 2011 Women of Distinction Awardees

Linda Ankeny has been a resident of Campbell since she was two years old, and had said that the sense of community that Campbell provides is fundamental to who she is.

Ms. Ankeny has devoted her life to improving health care services for people with cancer. She is a trained volunteer facilitator for support groups serving cancer patients and their families since 1985. From her earliest days as a front-line nurse at Stanford University Medical Center’s Oncology Unit to her current leadership role at Good Samaritan Hospital’s oncology nursing and palliative care. Ms. Ankeny not only provides the highest quality and compassionate care, but she actively works with other nurses, hospital leaders and the community to enhance services available to people living with cancer.

Ms. Ankeny has been a board member with the American Cancer Society since 1988, and is the President-elect of the Board.

Laura Champion says that her most important role is sharing with her husband the role of foster/adoptive parents to their two children. She is known in the community for taking risks to help others.

Having spent much of her 28 year-professional career assisting children in crisis and their families, Mrs. Champion is a relentless advocate for innovative services to help children stay out of the juvenile and social services systems, and remain in a safe home environment. Mrs. Champion led a team that developed several programs in the community with very positive outcomes.

Ms. Champion has been involved in the Receiving Center Stabilization Services, which help to transition children from a shelter to a home environment; the bilingual therapeutic services at Campbell’s elementary and middle schools; and the crisis prevention services in Campbell high schools, which have demonstrated a 70 percent hospital diversion rate for suicidal youth. Mrs. Champion also served on the Santa Clara County First 5 Commission, the Juvenile Justice Commission, and the Social Services Advisory Board.

Joan Goddard was born within 100 miles of Seneca Falls, New York. Her mother, an active League of Women Voters member, lived for decades within 25 miles from Susan B. Anthony’s home. One of Susan B. Anthony’s early efforts was to speak up in an 1850’s gender-segregated-seating state teachers’ meeting – for equal pay for women teachers. Almost 150 years later, Ms. Goddard co-founded the local Coalition for Equal Pay, gathering groups and individuals for annual Equal Pay Day public awareness activities and year-round projects regarding the women’s wage gap and all its causes.

Since retiring in 1998, Ms. Goddard has been active with 9to5 Bay Area, San Jose/South Bay NOW, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Several years ago, Ms. Goddard was diagnosed with breast cancer and she dealt with the experience in stride. Besides dealing with treatments, she made new friends and helped to inform others about support groups and free services offered by local organizations.

Elected in 2008, Adrienne Grey, the only woman serving on the Board of the West Valley Mission Community College. Growing up in the Bay Area, she has always been grateful for the state’s excellent community college network. This priceless resource helped shaped her life, starting with her first college class. She recalls how it felt on her first day at Foothill College as her first real sense of adulthood, with its freedoms and its responsibility. Now as a trustee of a community college board, she is “paying it forward” for other students to have the opportunity to continue their education and advance in their jobs.

For many years Ms. Grey has served as Director of Voter Registration and Community Services for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party executive board. Over the years, she has helped to register several thousands of new voters in the County. Today, she is a business management consultant, living in Campbell with her husband of 20 years (also a community college alum). Her daughter is completing the circle, as she starts her second year at Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo.

Charlene “Char” Silva has volunteered with the Campbell Friends of the Library for over 12 years. Some call her the most valuable and indispensable volunteer the Friends of Campbell Library have ever had. In today’s economic climate, libraries must rely more and more on the support of volunteers. Volunteering 60 hours per month has distinguished her from her peers, who on average contribute 20 hours per month. Her duties include sorting and organizing the many thousands of books and media donations the library receives, as well as contacting, training, and scheduling new volunteers to help in the effort. With a strong commitment and sense of humor Mr. Silva guides, nurtures, and inspires other volunteers.

Ms. Silva exemplifies all the altruistic qualities as she promotes the importance of reading throughout Santa Clara County. Her dedication is partially credited to the Friends of Campbell Library now earning over $1,500 per month through the monthly book sales and their ongoing sales within the library. All the money the Friends of the Library earns support library workshops and programs for the entire community, and has helped to increase the library’s budget to purchase items otherwise unaffordable.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Buu Thai, Office of Women’s Policy (408) 299-5135 Cell: (408)772-2825
Posted: March 21, 2011