SAN DIEGO–In celebration of Women’s History Month and as part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, Union Bank has partnered with KPBS to honor two exceptional women as local heroes.
The 2015 Women’s History Month honorees are: Shara Fisler, founder and executive director of the Ocean Discovery Institute, and Starla Lewis, founder of C.E.L.L (Celebration of Everlasting Love and Life). They will be recognized in March at a private dinner celebration with their families and executives from KPBS and Union Bank.
Since 1998, KPBS and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes program and recognized more than 200 honorees. The program pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their community, region and the world at large. The 2015 Women’s History Month honorees demonstrate a shared commitment to providing their communities with the tools to thrive in today’s changing world.
In addition to the Women’s History Month local heroes, honorees were also identified during Black History Month (February) and will also be recognized during Jewish American Heritage Month (May); Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May); LGBT Pride Month (June); Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October); Disability Awareness Month (October); and American Indian Heritage Month (November).
“We are inspired by the Women’s History Month honorees, and we applaud them for their commitment to our community and for embodying Union Bank’s values of giving back,” said Union Bank Managing Director and Head of Consumer and Business Banking Pierre P. Habis. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with KPBS as we celebrate all of the local heroes for their dedication.”
“We are delighted that our continued partnership with Union Bank allows us to showcase these local heroes,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. “It is a privilege to highlight the profiles and contributions of these extraordinary women within our programming.”
The 2015 honorees for Women’s History Month are:
Shara Fisler is founder and executive director of the Ocean Discovery Institute, a nonprofit organization that uses ocean science to empower young people from urban and diverse backgrounds to become the science and conservation leaders of tomorrow. Ms. Fisler, a former member of the adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego, has published multiple journal articles on the work of ocean discovery and has received several awards including: CBS Earth 8 Eco Ambassador Award (2012); Wetlands Recovery Program Community Stewardship Award (2011); Sunset magazine’s Coastal Heroes Award (2010); the Western Society of Naturalists’ Naturalist of the Year Award (2010); the San Diego County Clean Water Award (2004) and the San Diego River Park Foundation Education Award (2004). She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and master’s degree in marine resource management from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Starla Lewis is the founder of C.E.L.L (Celebration of Everlasting Love and Life), a human potential consultancy firm where she has worked for 30 years as a life mastery coach. Ms. Lewis is a former professor and department chair of black studies at San Diego Mesa College. Although she has retired from teaching, she still conducts three classes a year at the university, as she is an advocate for lifelong learning. In 2015, Ms. Lewis was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame. She has participated in several organizations, including the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the I Am My Sister mentor program, and the California Black Women’s Health Project.
KPBS features a wide range of programming during Women’s History Month (March).