Flourishing Women of the Valley; Join the Fresno Women's Network under the stars in the tree lined St. George Patio Garden. We will celebrate the thriving community's countless women cultivating through business, education, and philanthropic efforts.
A starlight evening including hors d'oeuvres and "no host" bar, gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions; all while honoring Ashley Swearengin; former Fresno Mayor and current President & CEO of Central Valley Community Foundation, Katie Biehl; Co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of Fresno and Lisa Casarez, MSW; Founder & CEO of Grace Foster Family Agency.
Proceeds of the evening go towards FWN academic scholarships and developing programs designed to further our mission of supporting personal and professional growth of future generations.
The profits from this event are for additional scholarship funding in 2018. Scholarship applicants are considered on the basis of demonstrated scholastic merit, community involvement, future goals and career objectives. Both men and women are invited to apply.
PUBLIC SERVICEAshley is president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $100 m in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations over the last decade. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as mayor of Fresno from 2009 through 2016. As mayor, she implemented substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, address chronic homelessness, and stabilize the city's financial position. Before becoming mayor, Swearengin led many economic development initiatives in the Fresno region, including the Central Valley Business Incubator, Fresno State's Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Regional Jobs Initiative. She holds MBA and BS degrees from California State University, Fresno.
BUSINESS OWNERKatie is never shy about making her point, "I love Fresno!" It shows in her service to our community, in her work supporting hundreds of automotive customers and fellow team members each week, and home again as a Mom. Born and raised here, Katie graduated from Bullard High School in 1988 and went onto earn a BA degree from Fresno State in 1993. Katie's marriage of 24 years to Scott Biehl proves a partnership in balance between family and work is possible; raising now two college students—Matthew at UC Davis and Diana at Loyola Marymount - and working right alongside Scott in his automotive retailing career culminating in their purchase of Mercedes-Benz of Fresno in 2011. As a co-owner, Katie takes an active role in paying-off their promise that customer service is not a phrase but instead very much a hands-on commitment. That role has also meant being a bridge for female buyers who can be unnecessarily intimidated by the process of buying and servicing a car. Katie was named "Woman of the Year" in 2014 by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Central California, and has served on the Boards of Make-a-Wish of Central California and P.A.I.N., all in her mission to honor the gifts of our children to the community she loves. With the kids off to college, there are even fewer limits to what Katie will do next to serve.
Lisa is the founder and CEO of Angels of Grace Foster Family Agency, providing services to foster children, foster parents, and homeless families. In 2000, Lisa founded Angels of Grace Foster Family, with the goal to develop an agency that would provide a place of refuge and healing for foster children. Her culturally diverse treatment provides an array of services to families to sustain the needs of foster children. Her desire is to remain focused on the children’s emotional and physical needs. To love, nurture, and protect the mind, body, and spirit of the children that she serves. Lisa is on call 24 hours 7 days a week, for the Fresno County Child Protective Services, when a child needs to be placed in a safe loving home. Lisa has received numerous awards. To name a few Hispanic Central California Chamber of Commerce named her Business Woman of the Year 2010, Valley Public Television and Union Bank of California for the 5th annual Local Hero Award, Mother of the Year by the Fresno Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and in 2015 and 2016, Central California Women’s Conference proudly presented Angels of Grace a certificate of recognition for outstanding efforts, service, and commitment to the residents of the San Joaquin Valley.
Disclosure: Contributions or gifts to Fresno Women’s Network are normally viewed as business expenses. A detailed listing as to the amount of charitable deduction will be provided upon request.
• 2 complimentary dinners
• One fourth page ad in the Gala Program
• Recognition at the event
• 2 Social Media Posts to over 2,400 followers prior to the Gala