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Roseville, Calif. – The Roseville South Placer branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently named Roseville Mayor Carol Garcia as one of its “Woman of Distinction” honorees.

Garcia (pictured) and Leilani Fratis, Chief Executive Officer of Placer SPCA, were the inaugural Women of Distinction award winners at the February luncheon at Whitney Oaks Golf Club in Rocklin.

The award recognizes important women leaders in Placer County who are working to improve opportunities for women and girls. Both Garcia and Fratis were honored based on their history as business leaders in Placer County and their volunteer efforts supporting the AAUW’s mission and goals in the community.

A Senior Vice President-Marketing and Business Development for Community 1st Bank, Garcia has served as President of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County (Kid’s First), and the Rotary Club of Roseville. As a 15-year breast cancer survivor, she is a co-founder and currently chairs the Placer Breast Cancer Foundation, raising $1.5 million for breast cancer research through UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Carol has been a role model for women and girls in everything she does,” said Jackie Lamb, Roseville South Placer AAUW Vice President of Philanthropy. “She has done extensive community service in Placer County as a woman in business, elected official, leader of the Placer Breast Cancer Foundation, and has served on numerous civic groups and local committees for many years.”

Garcia was born and raised in Roseville. She has served on various City of Roseville committees and commissions over the past 21 years and has been on the Roseville City Council since 2007, currently serving as Mayor through 2016.”I’m extremely honored to be singled out by such a wonderful organization that has been promoting and encouraging the efforts of women for five decades,” Garcia said. “The Roseville South Placer Branch of AAUW is a guiding light for many area women and girls, and is really engaged in the mentoring process.”

Under Fratis’s guidance, the Placer SPCA has increased its budget from a half-million dollars to $3 million. In addition to her responsibilities for the operation of the organization, Fratis is currently overseeing a $12 million capital campaign.

“Leilani is a mentor to her staff. She encourages them to rise as leaders and to seek opportunities to increase their skills in order to strengthen the SPCA team and ultimately themselves,” Lamb said. “Her commitment to the community is seen through her volunteerism with numerous local organizations.”

The Roseville South Placer Branch of AAUW, a 501c3 organization, was founded 47 years ago and now has over 250 members, plus 50 e-student affiliate members from the South Placer communities, including Roseville, Lincoln, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Loomis, and Newcastle.

AAUW members are primarily engaged in providing educational opportunities for women and girls. They provide scholarships to Sierra College for women who want to return to college. This year they will also be giving five college scholarships to female high school graduates and will send six middle school girls to a week-long STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program held at UC Davis.