Political Figures, Celebrities, Media & Entertainment Executives Came Together on May 5th to Celebrate Programming for, by and about Women

Los Angeles - May 11, 2016 - A reoccurring message of empowerment for women and the importance of opening doors for future generations resonated at the Alliance for Women in Media Southern California Foundation (AWM SoCal) 57th Annual Genii Awards held on May 5th during Digital Hollywood at the Skirball Cultural Center. The gala recognized the very best in media and entertainment and was a fundraiser for the nonprofit AWM SoCal Foundation and its student scholarship program. The Awards Ceremony was co-hosted by comedian Matt Iseman, host for American Ninja Warrior and Erica Olsen, Emmy�-nominated on-air host for CBS2/KCAL9 (and former AWM SoCal president).

The importance of women helping other women was the general buzz on the Red Carpet and in the Genii Awards Ceremony. AWM SoCal heard from several accomplished trailblazers in media and entertainment during the course of the evening:

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer presented the Excellence in Documentary Award to her daughter, Nicole Boxer at the gala. "If you really want to know what an excited mother looks like, I am the model. I am thrilled. It's one of those great moments, because Nicole has worked so hard and her subject matter has been difficult. She has taken issues not in the public eye, like homelessness for women and the trauma they went through, rape in the military, rape on college campuses - very tough issues - and she has brought them to light and I am so proud of her," stated Senator Barbara Boxer. "It's the perfect Mother's Day gift."

"Just having an evening like this and getting a chance to see other women that you admire and inspire you at this event, it's a reminder of the importance of connecting with other women and helping other women as well," stated Tracey Edmonds, co-host for Extra TV. Tracey and her fellow co-host Charissa Thompson took home the Excellence in Entertainment Award.

"I really like supporting women, especially those who are connected to the industry, because there aren't enough of them and the more we can put a spotlight on their achievements, the more we can gradually change the narrative," said Fran Drescher, actor and Founder of Cancer Schmancer. Drescher presented Lisa Meier, VP at Time Warner Cable with the Excellence in New Media Award at the gala and is a two-time Golden Globe, Emmy� nominee, best known for her role as "Miss Fine" on The Nanny, a show that she created and executive produced. 

"I really like the idea of the Rising Star Award and I think it's really important to support the people coming up the ranks that are trying to pursue their dreams and be excellent in media because they are our future," said Erica Olsen Genii co-host from the Red Carpet.

"Meet as many people as possible that are living your passion. There's nothing more flattering to a mentor, which I now am, than someone that wants to be you," stated Fran Zone, founder, Zone Communication. "So all you want to do is help them and help them find a better way faster."

"This organization (AWM SoCal) reflects women supporting women - really honoring the brilliance of who they are, "stated Gabrielle Carteris on the Red Carpet. "I'm here tonight to be a part of that, not only as a performer, but as the president of SAG-AFTRA, I want to go and recognize some of our members that have really done beautiful work."

"Girls should rule the world. This is just the beginning. It should be all women, all the time," said Tish Ciravolo, President of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars. "Just go after your dreams. Live it every day and drink lots of coffee."

"It's so wonderful to be a woman right now and a director and to have an organization like this (AWM SoCal) lifting other women up," stated Susan Davis award-winning film director and Honoree.

"It is so imperative that we lift each other up," stated Shaun Robinson Emmy� Award-winning journalist and TV host. "I'm really passionate about helping other women coming up in the business. I always mentor young girls and give them advice and try to do my best to empower them." Robinson, presented the Excellence in Entertainment Award to Extra TV co-hosts Tracey Edmonds and Charissa Thompson at the gala event.

"I would like to congratulate all of the Honorees and Presenters for their incredible contributions to our industry and for their participation in this year's Genii Awards, "said Bonnie Gallanter, AWM SoCal VP Programming and Genii Awards Producer. "It takes a village to produce an event like this, and we are so fortunate to have the support of these amazing men and women, our Genii co-hosts and the support of our incredible sponsors, volunteers and Board members that made an evening dedicated to 'celebrating women in media and entertainment' possible." 

 AWM SoCal Board of Directors and Genii Co-hosts
Congratulations to all of the
57th Annual Genii Awards Participants: 
Genii Awards Co-hosts
  • Erica Olsen, On-air for CBS2/KCAL9
  • Matt Iseman, Former doctor turned comedian, Matt Iseman currently hosts American Ninja Warrior and will be seen this fall on Celebrity Apprentice.
Excellence in Documentary Award

Film Competition Awards
  • Award Presentation by: Josh Welsh, President, Film Independent (which produces the Spirit Awards, LA Film Festival, Film Independent at LACMA and Project Involve)
  • Honorees:
Excellence in Entertainment Award
  • Award Presentation by: Shaun Robinson, Emmy Award-winning journalist, TV host, author, producer, philanthropist including a special congratulations video from Mario Lopez
  • Honorees: Tracey Edmonds and Charissa Thompson, Co-hosts, Extra TV 

Excellence in Journalism Award
  • Award Presentation by: Darnell J. Cates, Youth ambassador for the Freddie Mac Foundation Wednesday's Child program
  • Honoree: Christine Devine, News Anchor at Fox KTTV
 Excellence in Radio Award
  • Award Presentation by: Talaya Trigueros, On-air personality from 94.7 The Wave
  • Honoree: Pat Prescott, On-air personality from 94.7 The Wave 
Inspiration Award
  • Award Presentation by: Anne Sweeney, Netflix Board Member and former President of Disney ABC Television Networks
  • Honoree: Maggie Bellville, Vice President, Hitachi Consulting and member of the U.S. Communications, Media & Entertainment Industry executive team 
Excellence in New Media Award
  • Award Presentation by: Fran DrescherActor, Founder of Cancer Schmancer, Health Advocate, Activist
  • Honoree: Lisa Meier, Group Vice President, Time Warner Cable Media Sales, West Region 

Excellence in Advertising Award
Scholarship Presentations
  • Awards Presentation by: Fran Zone, Founder of Zone Communication and the creator of The Zone Method™
  • Honorees:
    • Paige Parker, Graduate student at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism  
    • Amia Yokoyama, Graduate student at California Institute of the Arts
    • Faith Strongheart, Graduate school student at UCLA 
Rising Star Award
  • Award Presentation by: Julie Kertes, General Manager, National Parenting Product Awards
  • Honoree: Annette Covarrubias, Digital Sales Planner at CBS Radio 
Excellence in Management Award
  • Award Presentation by: Donna Thomas, Senior Vice President of Sales, VUBIQUITY
  • Honoree: Sherry Brennan, Senior Vice President, Distribution Strategy & Development, Fox Networks

Genii Awards Red Carpet - Hosted by Laura Nickerson
Red Carpet Guests
  • Founder and President of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars
  • A European winner of the DANCING WITH THE STARS, Belarus, and also a top finalist on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance, Ukraine 
Red Carpet Guests
  • Lindsay McCormick
    Sports broadcaster and actress; Lindsay is starring in the upcoming film, "The Bounce Back."
  • Linebacker for the NFL 
    New Orleans Saints
Red Carpet Guests
  • Laura McKenzie
    Award winning television host, actress, writer, producer and director. Laura's long running travel program, Laura McKenzie's Traveler is in its 10th season.
  • Assistant Music Director for Power 106, known for her popular mid-day show from 10am to 3pm on Power 106.

Silent Auction supporters include: Adorkbale Apparel, Arbonne, Athleta Private Party/VIP Experience, Black Chateau Publishing, Candles by Dave, Catalina Film Festival, Cinedigm Movie Basket, CorePower Yoga, Daisy Rock Girl Guitars, DC Comics Wonder Woman Collection Package, Dr. Kourosh Maddahi DDS & Oral Essentials Inc, Evolue Beauty, Film Independent, Long Beach Bayou Festival, Marine Discovery Tours, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Nakeah Cosmetics of Hollywood, Naven, Ojai Film Festival, Pacific Palisades Woman's Club, Personal Training by Denise, R6S, the Premiere Digital Media Agency, Rick Steves' Europe, Inc., Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Tannenbaum Chiropractic, The Grove Date Night/Shopping Package, The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, Utah Office of Tourism & Utah Film Commission Gift Package, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Vicki Abelson, Author - Don't JumpWingspan Cyclery bike shop, Yoga Blend, Young Americans

Proceeds from the event supported the AWM SoCal Foundation and its Student Scholarship Fund. For more information about Alliance for Women in Media Southern California, please visit awmsocal.org.

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Kim Spence Dickey, Press & Community Outreach Director, AWM SoCal; 310.463.4201, [email protected]
Alliance for Women in Media | Southern California Affiliate |
 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Box 1261, Studio City, CA 91604 |
 [email protected] |  awmsocal.org