Read in English Leer en Español

Women’s History Month: Recognizing San Diegans Making an Impact

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the great contributions women have made to our nation.

In our community, San Diego’s list of influential women is ever-growing and includes notable names like Joan Kroc, Ellen Scripps, Katherine Sessions and Belle Benchley, among others.

Who are your favorite women in history?
Let us know in the comments below!

San Diego women today carry out the legacies of the females who came before them through activism, public service and philanthropy. In fact, several philanthropists at The San Diego Foundation are women who have made an impact in the region in their own right.

Check out the list of women at The Foundation who are helping to grow a vibrant San Diego region now and for future generations.

Women Philanthropists Making an Impact in San Diego

Alicia Gwynn Build Character Among San Diego Youth

Dr. Alicia Gwynn and her Family

Dr. Alicia Gwynn, wife of the late Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn, and her family have been making an impact in the San Diego community for years.

Alicia Gwynn, local businesswoman and wife of the late Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn, has made a major impact in the community for San Diego youth.

Learn About Alicia Gwynn

Lisa Ruder Personifies Community Giving

Lisa Ruder - Escondido Philanthropist

Escondido Charitable Foundation members Nicholas and Ruth Tsoulos (left) pose with Lisa and Jim Ruder (right) at a recent ECF event.

Lisa Ruder shares the personal and philanthropic benefits of being a Regional Affiliate member and describes how the Escondido Charitable Foundation strengthens the community.

Learn About Lisa Ruder

Janie DeCelles Carries on Aunt Hattie Ettinger’s Legacy

San Diego Philanthropist Janie Decelles

(Left to right) Mich Haggar, Janie DeCelles and Ted Chan share a moment during The San Diego Foundation Annual Meeting in 2015.

Janie DeCelles’ close relationship with her aunt, Hattie Ettinger, inspired Janie’s passion for the environment and for giving back to her community.

Learn About Janie DeCelles

Masako Kimura Streling: Following the Samurai Code of Service

Masako Kimura Streling

As one of the last surviving descendants of the Satsuma Samurai, Masako Kimura Streling’s success and life path is an outlier even in her own family history.

Oceanside’s Masako Kimura Streling overcame childhood hardships in Japan and lives out the Samurai Bushido code in her efforts to give back to her community.

Learn About Masako Kimura

How Jennifer Hunt Went the Extra Mile to Enhance the Lives of San Diego Students

Jennifer Hunt and Educators Connect

(Left to right) Educators Chris Villalobos, Liz Castagnera, Jennifer Hunt and Rita Krupp help families ensure that learning and communication continues long after special education students leave high school.

Jennifer Hunt’s passion for education and impactful ideas drove her to ensure San Diego’s classrooms provided the best learning environment for special needs students.

Learn About Jennifer Hunt

Cheryl Cox Believes Many Hands Make Community Work

Cheryl Cox' collective giving approach

As former Mayor of Chula Vista, Cheryl Cox (left) spent years working alongside business and community leaders to support the needs of the diverse community.

Former Mayor of Chula Vista Cheryl Cox’s collaborative approach and commitment to community building embodies the value of collective giving.

Learn About Cheryl Cox

Karen McElliott Leaves Life-Saving Legacy After Family Tragedy

San Diego Project Heart Beat

Karen McElliott (left) and Maureen O’Connor have been at the forefront of San Diego Project Heart Beat, helping to save 164 lives with AEDs in the region.

The sudden death of Karen McElliott’s husband from cardiac arrest helped lead to the creation of San Diego Project Heart Beat and save the lives of San Diegans region-wide.

Learn About Karen McElliot

Debbie Kurth Helps Make Rancho Bernardo One of Region’s Most Generous Communities

Debbie Kurth RBCF Chair

Debbie Kurth (right) poses with Trudy Armstrong (left) and Dr. Constance Carrol, Ph.D. at a Regional Affiliate event.

From Volunteer of the Year for the Rancho Bernardo Business Association to Honorary Mayor of the community of Rancho Bernardo, Debbie Kurth’s many accolades speak volumes.

Learn About Debbie Kurth

Who are your favorite women in history?
Let us know in the comments below!

Related Content