Rancho Palos Verdes resident William A. Baker, a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, has been promoted to chief of the department's Court Services Division by Sheriff Sherman Block. Baker and his wife, Pearl, have lived in Rancho Palos Verdes for 19 years and have two children, Arlyce, a business administrator with TRW, and William, an investment banker in San Francisco.
Torrance Mayor Katy Geissert and Mary Furutani of Gardena are among California women honored recently as Women of the Year, a program organized by the Women Legislators Caucus of the state Legislature. Geissert, a Torrance city councilwoman from 1974 to 1982 and mayor since 1986, was named for the 51st Assembly District by Assemblyman Gerald N. Felando (R-San Pedro). Furutani was named Woman of the Year for the 53rd Assembly District by Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd (D-Carson), in recognition of her community service.
The Torrance YWCA has named the following six women as 1990 Women of the Year Honorees:
Sister Nancy Boyle of Torrance has been chairman of the board of Little Company of Mary Hospital since 1986. She has served on the executive board of the Medical Explorer Program and was instrumental in instituting the Mary Potter Program for Human Dignity at the hospital.
Carolin Lott of Torrance, community relations manager for Epson America Inc., works with numerous nonprofit organizations in the community, such as the South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach Volunteer Center, the Retired Senior Program, the South Bay Advisory Council, chambers of commerce and local churches.
Nell Mirels of Rolling Hills Estates has taken on leadership roles as mayor of the city of Rolling Hills Estates, councilwoman and head of numerous committees and commissions. She is active in community service organizations.
Joan Moe of Rolling Hills Estates is co-founder of the Norris Theatre for the Performing Arts on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and has served there in many capacities. She has been chairman of the board of the Switzer Center in Torrance and is past president of the Rolling Hills Estates Woman's Club.
Janet Smith of Rancho Palos Verdes has worked with many community organizations and is currently involved with the Community Assn. of the Peninsula, the Norris Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Palos Verdes Library District, the American Assn. of University Women, the Palos Verdes Art Center, the League of Women Voters, and others.
LaVon Sutton of Redondo Beach, director of volunteer services at South Bay Hospital and a leader in the South Bay Hospital Auxiliary, has supported many projects in the South Bay. She coordinates health fairs, senior citizens' events, holiday aid to families and house calls to ailing seniors who live alone. She is an elected member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Redondo Beach Corps, and an honorary life member of the South Bay Hospital Auxiliary.
Virginia Wright will be honored Wednesday for her 50-year membership in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution during a meeting of El Redondo Chapter at 1 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Also honored will be fifth- and sixth-grade students from El Segundo Center and Middle schools for their winning essays on "What the Bill of Rights Means to Me." ROTC medals will be presented to Sea Cadets Brett D. Chauncey and Thomas W. Henneberg, El Segundo High School seniors.
Members of Temple Beth El in San Pedro have elected three people to receive the Zebulon Award for distinguished service and commitment to the temple and the Jewish community. They are Sharon and Morris Gross and Lou Marcus. Marcus, now living in Murietta Hot Springs with his wife, Esther, took an active part in the building of the temple and sanctuary. The Grosses are both active in many temple and community activities and helped raise the money for the expansion of the temple building. The Zebulon Award is named after the ancient seafaring tribe of Israel. Zebulon is also the name of the Menorah that adorns the temple's sanctuary.
Keith Thompson of Harbor City and Steven Beamer of Redondo Beach have become volunteers with Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles. Thompson is an employee of the Torrance Police Department and Beamer is an employee of Mobil Oil. Each man will spend half a day each week being a friend and a role model to a fatherless boy.