TR Robertson — Streaming online last Saturday for 2021, the Woman’s Club of Vista announced the three nominees for their annual Women of Achievement Awards Ceremony and the selection of the Woman of the Year. The online program, shown in its entirety in this article, was filmed at the Vista Film Hub.
The Woman’s Club of Vista is 105 years old this year, beginning in 1916. The organization has been committed to their mission statement of “Enriching lives through philanthropy and volunteer service” throughout the years with volunteers donating thousands of hours yearly. The club assisted in unifying three separate school districts into the Vista Unified School District. They organized one of the first libraries in the city and during World War II helped build a canteen for Camp Pendleton Marines. The club sponsors programs like Heifer International, which provides animals for countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and East Africa, helping young women in programs that train them in gender equality, empowering them to attend school and to help provide food and other essentials for their families. The club also supports Pennies for Pines, supporting financial assistance to purchase trees for reforestation. Over the years, the Woman’s Club of Vista has donated more than $540,000 to 56 different community non-profits, helping families, youth groups, veterans, and women along with fire and police stations. They have also given more than $160,000 in scholarships to area high school students.
The three nominees for this years Women of Achievement were Judith Bird, Ellen Clark and Tammy Megison.
Woman the Year for the Woman’s Club of Vista was Tammy Megison
Judith Bird – a former Emergency Room Nurse who served as the Executive Director of the Golden Door Resort, also serving as a Fitness Health Instructor for four years and served as Manager of the Beauty and Massage Departments. Judith is on the HOA for Shadowridge Cottages and is a member and volunteer for the American Cancer Society, a participant in numerous Susan G. Komen walks raising funds and awareness for breast cancer awareness. She also became a practitioner teaching women how to do Breast Self-Exams. Another organization Judith supports is Habitat for Humanity. Judith is married to husband Richard since 1989. They have an adorable and smart 4-legged girl named Lola.
Ellen Clark – a passionate and engaged community member who uses her time for the betterment of society and our community. Ellen is a grant writer for Neighborhood Healthcare in Escondido and the former Director of Development for Boys & Girls Club of Vista. She is the founder of Girlfriends Care, a 501 C3 non-profit that connects volunteers to meaningful projects to help local women, children and the homeless. Girlfriends Care partners with 18 local agencies with physical resources and hands on assistance. Ellen is also an active member of Soroptimist International of Vista and North County Inland and a mentor to local women. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and helping her community. She is the proud mother of Matt and Mimi and has three beautiful granddaughters.
Tammy Megison – has dedicated over 30 years of her professional career to advancing the non-profit sector. Tammy is the co-founder and Senior Vice President of Solutions for Change, a community-based organization that transforms the nation’s most vulnerable people into the most empowered, equipped, and inspired Overcomers. Beginning as a small Vista shelter in 1999 with about a dozen families, they now impact the lives of over 200 families representing 600 parents and their children. The organization is now in seven cities and they have developed over 300,000 square feet of real estate. Solutions for Change now includes Solutions Academy, a vocational training school, and Solutions Farms, the nation’s largest aquaponics farming innovation focused on transforming lives of formerly homeless families. Solutions is not dependent on government funding generating over 95% of all revenue from the private sector. She is married and has raised 4 children.
Woman’s Club of Vista President, Karen Keusseyan, announced this year’s winner of Woman of the Year – Tammy Megison. Tammy said she was surprised at her nomination and was more of a behind the scenes person for this important organization and was extremely appreciative of the selection. Former winners of Woman of the Year include Vista Mayor Judy Ritter in 2019 and Eleanor Hutchins, The Vista Press owner, in 2020. Winning the Opportunity Drawing Pocketbook Full of Cash and the Sharif designer handbag was club member Nancy B. Jones.
The Woman’s Club of Vista is always looking for new members. They meet the second Wednesday of each month. Go to www.womansclubofvista.org for more information.