2018 Women of Excellence

2018 Legacy Award

Manmohan Nayyar, MD

Dr. Manmohan Nayyar serves as the President of Choice Medical Group/Choice Physician Network/Horizon Valley Medical Group. He has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of medical care and access in the High Desert.
Dr. Nayyar is an avid supporter of charities and non-profits in the High Desert. He believes that a partnership between small business, care-givers, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations is paramount to their success and helps address community needs.

2018 Women of Excellence

Airabella Esparza

Airabella has an affection and love for animals and one of her major life goals is to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Bella also aspires to open an animal therapy center to help children and adults recover from illness and traumatic situations.

Asiah Medawar

Asiah is a Deputy Sheriff for the Victorville Police Department. A few years ago she was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident but Asiah retained a positive attitude, and a humble but fighting spirit throughout the recovery,

Careena Claridad

At the age of 7, Careena lost her Dad in a tragic accident as he saved two children. His memory inspired her to be a positive role model to her younger sisters. Careena's happiness comes from seeing others happy. Careena is pursuing a career in Dentistry.

Debbie Cannon

Debbie is a servant leader. Debbie serves as Chief Executive Officer at the Academy for Grassroots Organizations (Academy GO) where she provides invaluable training and tools to other non-profits to maximize their local community impact.

Ellie Millar

Ellie is the owner of Mobile Occupational Services, Inc. a drug and alcohol program management for employers. Her most impactful work has been the one on one coaching that she provides to families and individuals who have sought out her help.

Jennifer Hernandez

Jennifer serves as the Executive Director of Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Sunset Hills Children’s Foundation. Jennifer has a big compassionate heart for children and strives to helpmake their challenging and oftentimes painful experience better.

Julie Norton

As a founding member of the High Desert Phoenix Foundation, Julie serves as its Executive Director. She guides hundreds of families through the stress of laying a loved one to rest, Julie’s deep faith allow her to serve during challenging moments in peoples lives.

Madeline Yanez

Madeline’s mission is to help others develop and expand the self-esteem needed to overcome unfortunate challenges like bullying, depression, and low self-worth. She tirelessly guides other young people through a most challenging season.

Marilyn Drone

Marilyn serves as EVP, COO and CNO at St. Mary Hospital. In 2016, Marilyn established the Professional Advancement Program that encourages nurses to further their education and training to enhance the quality of care available in the High Desert.

Maryam Zand, MD

Dr. Zand has served the HD for over 20 years as a respected OBGYN. She also serves as a governing board member for Desert Valley Hospital. She mentors medical students and she works two days a week to treat underserved women at the county clinic.

Valerie Ruiz

Valerie is the co-owner of Collision Auto Repair Specialists (CARS) in Hesperia. They are generous supporters of local causes for children. Valerie is a founder of a local toy drive that provides disadvantaged children with gifts at Christmas.