Amy Blaisdell to be Honored as Woman of the Year Tuesday
RIVERSIDE – Amy Blaisdell, president of the Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley and communications director for the City of Palm Springs, will receive the Riverside County Commission for Women’s Woman of the Year Award for the Fourth District tomorrow.
The award will be presented at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, during the Board of Supervisors meeting in Riverside.
“The Woman of the Year awards recognize some truly special women whose community service and leadership on behalf of women make Riverside County a better place,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “A skillful communicator, Amy Blaisdell has done excellent work promoting the renaissance currently under way in Palm Springs. Her involvement in Women Leaders Forum is making a difference in young women’s lives, and it’s great she is receiving this recognition.”
Since 2008, Blaisdell has served as communications director for the City of Palm Springs. As the city’s official spokesperson, she keeps the public and the media informed about upcoming events and the operations and policies of Palm Springs local government.
Blaisdell is president of Women Leaders Forum (WLF), an organization that provides leadership training, educational events and networking to professional women in the Coachella Valley. Through its young women leaders program, girls in high school can receive on-the-job mentoring from adult professional women.
Blaisdell founded WLF’s “Women Who Rule!” awards luncheon which, over the past two years, has raised more than $250,000 for college scholarships for the young women leaders program. Local women of all ages should visit www.wlfdesert.org to get involved.
“Over the past two years, Amy Blaisdell has led WLF to tremendous heights,” said Indian Wells Councilmember Mary T. Roche, who founded WLF in 2001. “I can’t think of anyone who has worked harder to promote the WLF mission of empowering and developing women leaders of all ages and backgrounds in our community.”
Blaisdell is also on the board of directors of FIND Food Bank, and has made community service at their food pantry a requirement for WLF’s scholarship program.
A Coachella Valley native, Blaisdell graduated from Palm Desert High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Mary’s College of California and a master’s degree in broadcasting journalism from San Francisco State University. She worked as a print and TV news journalist in San Francisco and Palm Springs.
Thirty-seven women were nominated for the five awards. Blaisdell will be joined by honorees Lea Peterson (First District), Tish Hughes (Second District), Emily Shaw (Third District) and Brenda Freeman (Fifth District).
New this year, the Commission for Women is recognizing young ladies in each district with the Young Lady of the Year Awards. Brianna Erb, a seventh grader at James Workman Middle School in Cathedral City, will receive this award for the Fourth District.
Brianna is involved with several non-profit organizations, as a teacher’s aide for Stepping Stones, as a volunteer at the Christmas Store and as a food distributor and boxer for the Narrow Door. She sings for the elderly at rest homes and volunteers in food and clothing drives at men’s and women’s shelters. A straight-A student, she also plays saxophone in the school orchestra and is a part of the school’s peer counseling group.