Three Yucaipa women honored as Women of Distinction by California Senator Mike Morrell

By on November 5, 2017
Sen. Morrell Honors Local Women

Thirty-six women from throughout the California 23rd Senate District have been recognized as Women of Distinction by California Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) at the 13th annual awards event. Three of this year’s honorees are from Yucaipa and Sen. Morrell said prior to the awards dinner, “The women we recognize each year are regarded highly by family, friends, and colleagues. That they are nominated by their peers and loved ones speaks to the important role each of them plays in our community. They represent all that makes the 23rd Senate District, as well as the Inland Empire, such a great place to live. It is my privilege to acknowledge them for their dedication and service.”

The Yucaipa Women of Distinction for 2017 are: Brandy Amour Gomez-Ross, Rachael Gustuson and Mari Winter. These women are being recognized for their contributions to the community as follows:

Brandy Amour Gomez-Ross

Known for her incredible enthusiasm and dedication to her community, Brandy Amour Gomez-Ross has been a faithful volunteer and part of the Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce’s ambassador team for the past five years. As a military veteran herself, Gomez-Ross recognizes the sacrifices our veterans and their families go through and volunteers at the local VA Hospital in Redlands.  She is a Certified Paralegal for the family-owned practice of Roberts Ross Law Firm where she further donates her time assisting the elderly with estate planning, financial management, and notary services. Gomez-Ross is married to Jason Ross and they are parents to two daughters.

Rachael Gustuson

A native of nearby Beaumont, Rachael Gustuson has been a resident of Yucaipa since 1995. Gustuson enjoys working with children and, after earning degrees from Crafton Hills College and Cal State San Bernardino, she became a teacher. Later, while at home with her daughter, Miranda, Gustuson volunteered with several organizations involving children, including the Parent Teachers Association, the Yucaipa Branch Library and Conservatory of Dance, among others. She is also a member of Yucaipa’s Music and Arts Festival Ad Hoc committee as well as the Autumnfest, Winterfest, and Make-A Difference Day committees. Gustuson is currently the editor of the Yucaipa-Calimesa News Mirror having been with the paper for ten years. Gustuson and her high school sweetheart, Ben, have been married since 1993.

Mari Winter

From the time Mari Winter first moved to Yucaipa some two years ago she has devoted her time and energy to the community. Winter founded the “2 Way Street” program assisting local people who are homeless in getting back to work. She further serves them through “Faces of Yucaipa,” a Facebook group with over 1,000 members. She works individually with each homeless individual to guide them through the red tape of finding temporary to permanent housing and credits her success to sheer determination and perseverance. Winter recognizes the significance of enhancing her community and continues to make a significant difference by tackling issues such as homelessness.

The 13th Annual Women of Distinction Ceremony and Dinner was held Friday, Nov. 3 at the Rancho Cucamonga at the Goldy S. Lewis Community Center in the city’s Central Park. Shelley Burnach of San Bernardino was chosen as the 23rd Senate District Woman of the Year. Burnach is actively involved in and serves on numerous nonprofit boards including Friends of Santa Claus Inc., the St. Bernardine Medical Center Foundation and the Women of Dignity Health amongst others.