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Fifth Annual Women Who Rule!

The Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley (WLF) is proud to announce the 5th Annual “Women Who Rule” Awards Luncheon and Scholarship Fundraiser presented by Desert Regional Medical Center. Four incredible women serving the Coachella Valley and beyond will be honored for their extraordinary community leadership, philanthropy, commitment to education and visionary entrepreneurship on Friday, February 3, at Agua Caliente Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.

WLF Desert Visionary Award: Susie Harvey

As a founder of Leadership Coachella Valley and of the All Valley Legislative Committee, Susie Harvey has been vital in developing leaders in our desert communities. Employed as a professional non-profit manager from 1981 until her retirement in 2006, Susie was recently named Palm Desert Citizen of the Year by the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce and received the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Leadership Award.

Mary T. Roche Community Leadership Award: Jan Salta

Jan Salta’s philanthropy is well known in the Coachella Valley, but her charitable heart touches even further. She serves as President and Chairman of the M. F. Salta Company as well as the Jan and Mike Salta Foundation which are both based in Irvine, California. Jan looks forward to continuing her charitable work and encouraging the next generation to help make this world a little better.

Helene Galen Excellence in Education Award: Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty

Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty came to the Coachella Valley in July 2014 when she was appointed as the Dean of Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus. In addition to being an accomplished writer, editor, reviewer and presenter of educational leadership, Dr. Brown-Welty also extends her passion to community service.

WLF Inspiration Award: Melissa Neiderman

Melissa Neiderman was a teacher for 21 years, leading children to look beyond the school walls to lend a hand. Since retiring from teaching, she has become a full-time volunteer for the American Cancer Society in Palm Desert, and spearheaded the high-profile fundraising effort for Desi Cechin, a young local girl who was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma.

The luncheon is open to the public.  Proceeds, along with a matching donation from Pathways to Success, a division of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, will go directly towards college scholarships for the best and brightest members enrolled in WLF’s Young Women Leaders Mentoring Program.

“Each one of the honorees chosen has exemplified a dedication to our community and serving others,” said Event Chair Mahasti Islami. “We are honored to recognize them as women who rule.”

The event begins at 11 a.m. with an elegant reception and silent auction, followed by a 12 p.m. awards program and lunch. Luncheon ticket prices are $70 for WLF members, $80 for non-members and $800 for tables of ten until January 6. For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit

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