Askren, Faught, Gavenman, Jauregui, McCoy: SISP Women of Distinction lauded

March 02, 2001
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesWomen of Distinction were honored by Soroptimist International of Santa Paula, elected officials and the community at a gala dinner celebration held at the Community Center on Feb. 21 where Carol Askren, Jean Faught, Ilene Gavenman, Wannette Jauregui and Marie McCoy were lauded for their contributions to society.“It's a thrill to see the room so full,” Event Co-Chairwoman Leslie Cornejo noted in her greeting to the audience. She said SISP's “tireless president” President Jane Lax was doing triple duty for the evening, helping with the dinner, decorating the room and running the show.Cornejo noted the dedication of the recipients and their efforts to make a difference.Many elected officials and honored guests were present, had sent representatives or greetings to the honorees, said Cornejo, including Soroptimist International Camino Real Region 4 District Director Jammie Cotton, Supervisor Kathy Long, Senator Barbara Boxer, Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, Rep. Elton Gallegly, Rep. Elton Gallegly, Santa Paula Mayor Don Johnson and Councilwoman Laura Flores Espinosa.During the Invocation, SISP Ruby Vogt noted the inspiration of those that serve.Each recipient was escorted to the stage by a Soroptimist and gifted with flowers and proclamations. Moderator Peggy Kelly noted their contributions to the community, whether it be local or the community of the world.
Askren, an RN honored for Health, is Santa Paula Memorial Hospital’s Assistant Director of Nursing and Emergency Room/ICU/House Supervisor. A native of Fillmore who married her high school sweetheart - Fire Chief Pat Askren with whom she has three children - she also co-owns The Treasure Station in Fillmore, featuring antiques and gifts. She began her SPMH career 1978, and quickly rose through the ranks and remains devoted to the patients. Able to step into any position effortlessly, Askren is known to confront any crisis situation with utmost calm and levelheadedness. And she's a good boss: there has been zero Emergency Room staff turnover during her six-years of leadership. Acutely aware of happenings around her, Askren is able to effortlessly step into any position and when the 1994 Northridge Earthquake struck Fillmore, on her accord she rushed to SPMH to establish the first community triage center. In addition, she has anticipated the needs of patients outside SPMH, arranged ER clothing donations to fill the needs of released trauma and needy patients. Askren has an effortless ability to function well at any level that makes her an invaluable SPMH asset.Faught was honored for International Goodwill & Understanding for her efforts to inspire and empower women. While young girl, she helped to take care of the family and business when her father was a World War II POW; her businessman grandfather, an ally and hero, nurtured her rebellious nature and belief she could do anything, even in a man’s world. She married, had two children and worked to put her husband through college while she studied accounting. The couple divorced and her second husband, Paul, made it possible for Faught to pursue a college education; she obtained twin degrees and did graduate work in Language and Interior Design. They purchased an orange ranch to grow and sell ornamental plants, which Faught oversaw when they weren't traveling. She became an English teacher when Paul became ill; after his death, she resumed traveling with a purpose, and in 1994 joined with Women to Women International to visit Russia on a mission to meet women interested in beginning businesses. Faught became an expert on Russian women; she also realized that women the world over love lingerie: she founded Santa Barbara Exclusives in 1994. She remarried and is still ranching.Gavenman, honored for Education, was a book lover at an early age and the library her second home. A children’s room library page while in high school and at UCLA, she married fellow student Howard Gavenman and moved to Ventura in 1976; in 1977, she started part-time at Blanchard Community Library and sees her years at BCL as an extraordinary experience. Gavenman has especially enjoyed interacting with patrons helping them to connect with favorite books and information. She is the leader of Teen Scene, a young BCL program nationally recognized for excellence by the American Library Association. Two years ago she became the Children’s Librarian. Gavenman has devoted herself to the duty and has recognized the opportunity for personal growth. She is described as great source of encouragement to all, and devotes herself to kids, encouraging them firmly to read, broaden their horizons and do the best they can. The children love and respect her Gavenman, and the parents are thankful for her efforts. Gavenman is serving her second term on the City of Ventura Library Advisory Commission, among her other activities. The Gavenman's have three children.Jauregui, honored for Education, is co-founder of the annual Santa Paula Women of History salute, highlighting all women of accomplishment and providing young women awareness and role models of great women. Jauregui also oversees the annual and eagerly anticipated Women of History exhibit at California Oil Museum,which showcases local and national women. In 1949, Jauregui traveled to California and after college became a Licensed Vocational Nurse; she lived outside London when she worked for an Air Force hospital. She moved to Ventura County in 1970 and when a volunteer at the Free Clinic, met another volunteer, Joe. They married in 1972, moving to his hometown of Santa Paula and had three children. Jauregui became very active in school groups, President of Co-op, Glen City Parent Group and Vice President of the Isbell PTA. She fulfilled her desire to make education better for children by being elected a District Trustee in 1981; she retired in 1998 after 16 years. A quiet, dedicated worker, Juaregui's devotion to the school district and her dogged efforts to improve education is legendary; she approached being a Trustee as a full-time job, every issue captured her immediate attention, whether it be major or minor.Economic & Social Development honoree McCoy has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, politics and youth groups. McCoy's family came to Santa Paula by train when she 2. Before entering 12th grade, she married Jim, transferred to SPUHS and graduated nine months later. In 1960, the couple started McCoy’s Automotive, a small enterprise that is now a mainstay of the business community. The McCoys had two children, and she worked at the business around the children’s busy schedule and studied bookkeeping at night school. Retired after 30 years from the business, McCoy is Vice President of SISP, a Hospice Board Director and on the SPMH 2001 Committee. A founder of the Santa Paula Youth Employment Service in the 1970s, McCoy helped young people find work that led to careers or helped them pay the bills to stay in college. As the Mayor's wife in 1983, she got more involved in politics. Being a member of SISP opened her eyes to the status of women, as did a meeting with then San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein. Her present goal is to enlarge the SISP Endowment Fund that awards scholarships to graduating students and women reentering the work force.

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