Bjorndal, Hopeman, Levy, Mangrum to be honored
The annual Pulse Award, given by the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, honors Sonoma Valley women who have made significant contributions to the community through their volunteerism, community involvement and philanthropy.
This year's honorees - Judith Bjorndal, Jean Hopeman, Marcia Levy and Yolanda Mangrum, DDS - will be honored at the sixth annual Celebration of Women luncheon on Friday, April 15, at 11:30 a.m. at Sonoma Golf Club.
Celebration of Women is an annual day of recognition and public tribute to ensure a day of praise and appreciation for the Valley's leading women. Past Pulse Award recipients include Julie Atwood, Kathy Benziger, Suzanne Brangham, Phyllis Carter, Susan Chew, Karen Collins, Helen Fernandez, Elsa Nelson, Marcia Nelson, Barbara Nobles, Rose Mary Schmidt, Jean Arnold Sessions, Carolyn Stone and Tina Wolfenden.
"All of these women contribute to the well-being of the community not only through their individual efforts, but also by serving as role models and inspiring others to help make the community a better place for everyone," said foundation Executive Director Harmony Plenty. "It is the foundation's honor to invite the community to celebrate and thank this year's honorees for all they do."
Tickets to Celebration of Women are $125, and proceeds will benefit women's health programs at Sonoma Valley Hospital, including the Birthplace and the Carolyn J. Stone Center for Women's Health and Wellness.
For more information, to make a reservation or to make a donation in honor of any of the honorees, contact Harmony Plenty at 935-5070 or email@example.com.
Judith C. Bjorndal, M.D.
A native Californian, Judith Bjorndal was born in Berkeley and grew up in the East Bay, moving to Sonoma in 1979. She is a pediatrician and lists the important focuses of her life as family, friends, community, travel and sports.
Having learned that there were no pediatricians in Sonoma, Bjorndal and a fellow resident opened a practice here. She will never forget her years in private practice and still enjoys being known as "Doctor Judy" around town to her many now-grown patients and their parents. It was during this time that she became involved in the Boys & Girls Club, joining its board of directors. She co-chaired the "Hit the Road Jack" run for many years, and was on the auction committee as well, again ultimately serving as chair.
In retirement, Bjorndal plans to indulge her love for the caring and nurturing Sonoma community by continuing to support nonprofits such as the Boys & Girls Club, La Luz and the Sonoma Valley Fund. She is also a founding member of Impact 100.
Jean Hopeman has lived in Sonoma for 28 years, where she moved after working around the Bay Area to develop business banking relationships. She was hired as the senior loan officer for Sonoma Valley Bank in 1988 and served as senior vice president and credit administrator until 2002 when she retired.
She has been a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church since 1984, where she has served as deacon, elder, treasurer and is a member of the St. Andrew Women's Fellowship. She co-chaired the popular "carriage house sale" and has been involved in the mission project in El Salvador. In 2001, she led a bone marrow drive and fundraiser for the Sonoma Children's Cancer Group, which was established by church members.
She has been a member of Sonoma Valley Soroptimist Club for 13 years. She was accepted in the Master Gardener program in 2003, volunteers at the Friday farmers market and works at the local MG office answering gardening questions for the public. She has served as an advisor for the Sonoma Garden Park and the Sonoma Ecology Center since 2008.
Hopeman has served on the board of directors for the Sonoma Valley Teen Services for more than 10 years and helped raise money to build the $1.2 million Teen Center.
Marcia Levy grew up in the Midwest, and learned the value of community service from her mother, who was involved in Girl Scouts, the church and the school board. She came west to attend graduate school. Seven years ago, the Levys moved to Sonoma - knowing no one except their banker and their realtor.
She quickly got immersed in the Sonoma International Film Society and joined the board of Sonoma Jazz Plus. Next came La Luz where she has been an advisor and volunteer. She helped organize Wet Paint to benefit the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. She also became an early supporter of the Sonoma Valley Fund as a board member and advocate.
She and husband, Jim, agreed that her work career should occupy no more than 80 percent of her time leaving her time to devote to the community.
In her professional career, Levy was most recently a venture partner of both Venture TDF and Vertex Management, venture capital firms based in Singapore, advising their investment staff and portfolio companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to that, she was an advisor to numerous Silicon Valley technology companies focusing on marketing, strategy and organizational development.
Yolanda Mangrum, DDS, MAGD
Born in Kentucky, Yolanda Mangrum was raised on a farm with her two sisters, until her family began their moving adventure. From sixth grade to ninth grade, Mangrum attended 13 different schools, which forced her to adapt and become comfortable with change.
She began her dental career in 1989 when she received on-the-job training as a dental assistant and later became a licensed registered dental assistant. While working as a dental assistant, she completed her degree in biology and completed the dental laboratory technician certificate. She entered UC San Francisco School of Dentistry in 1993.
She became assistant clinical professor just three months after graduating in 1997. Teaching is a passion of Mangrum's. She currently holds faculty positions at both UCSF and UOP Dental Schools.
In 1999, Mangrum opened her dental practice in Sonoma from scratch, and in 2009 she purchased Petaluma Dental Group. This year, she was awarded California Dentist of the Year by the Academy of General Dentistry.
Her commitment to community service shows through in the annual events she hosts at Synergy Dental Group such as "Give Kids a Smile," "Cash 4 Candy" and "Holiday Smiles." Just this last February, Mangrum and her staff donated more than $25,000 in free dentistry to kids who cannot afford dentistry.