Applauding Altruism 3

Warmhearted Women Step Up to Help Out


The Luxury Realtor

Rosemary Allison, Estate Director, Rosemary Allison – Realtor

Words to Live By: You get out of life what you have the courage to put into it.

Favorite Quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Greatest Accomplishment: My family. I am very proud of the adults that our children have become. They are caring, wonderful members of the community with strong integrity and good character.

How I Volunteer My Time: I have been a strong supporter of our local Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation to further their objective to promote civic spirit in support of the law. I have also chaired two successful galas for the American Cancer Society so that national research and local programs can continue to be funded. I am honored to have been chosen as the Chair for the 2018 and the 2019 For the Troops Gala.

I have received the Ventura County “Volunteer of the Year” award (in 2011) and the “Community Service of the Year” award (in 2013) from the Conejo Valley Board of Realtors. I am also an elected councilwoman in the Santa Rosa Valley Advisory Council.

Future Goals: I measure my success, one family at a time. Continue to ensure the financial success of my clients.


The Senior Care President

Andrea Gallagher, President, Senior Concerns

Words to Live By: The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Favorite Quote: “It can be done.” – Ronald Reagan

Greatest Accomplishment: Empowering the strengths of each person on my team to reach their goals.

How I Volunteer My Time: I enjoy lending my experience to local organizations such as the Conejo Senior Resource Network, Ventura County Compassionate Care Coalition, Life Planning Network, and International Conference on Positive Aging.

Getting older is a relatively new phenomenon. Two-thirds of all people who ever lived over the age of 65 are alive today. A hundred years ago the average life span was 30 years younger. It is a new world for aging, which comes with challenges and opportunities. The decisions seniors need to make are much more complex. If I can help make a senior’s journey a bit easier, I feel I will have made an important difference.

Future Goals: Continue to work and volunteer in ways that motivate and challenge me.

The Veterinarian Angel

Darlene Geekie, Veterinary Angels Inc., Founder/CEO The Little Angels Project

Words to Live By: It is what you make it.

Favorite Quote: “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison

Greatest Accomplishment: The birth of my daughter, Brooklyn. I’m also proud of Veterinary Angels Medical Center, voted the Best in Agoura Hills since 2013.

How I Volunteer My Time: I have been working with exotic animals for 16 years. Animals provide unconditional love that we all search for. I am on the board for the Monterey Zoo and I also opened a nonprofit for rescues and wildlife called The Little Angels Project. We are the Monterey Zoo’s veterinary staff through the nonprofit.

Future Goals: I want to continue to grow my business and nonprofit. I want my nonprofit to be global and help animals all over the world.


The Educational Publisher

Sara Miller McCune, Founder/Executive Chairwoman, SAGE Publishing

Words to Live By: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Favorite Quote: “We are all blind until we see/within the human plan/nothing is worth the building/if it doth not build the man.” – Edwin Markham

Greatest Accomplishment: Founding SAGE Publishing in January 1965 and building it into the global group it has become today, with nearly 2,000 colleagues advancing our goals in academic and educational publishing and professional development.

How I Volunteer My Time: Supporting our school district by bringing students and teachers into closer interactions with local performing arts organizations; the Social Science Research Council; the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford; and Shakespeare’s Globe Company in London. The Globe has an amazing educational outreach program and has visited Santa Barbara for the past two years. We expect to foster this program in the future as well.

Future Goals: To be a better great-grandmother.


The Mentoring CEO

Lynne West, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County

Words to Live By: It is what it is because it can’t be what it’s not.

Favorite Quote: “The definition of success is being the kind of woman that I would want to have as a friend.” – Maria Shriver

Greatest Accomplishment: Raising two amazing children. They have grown into incredible, caring adults and I couldn’t be prouder of all they have achieved so far.

How I Volunteer My Time: I am a member of Soroptimist International of Camarillo. We raise funds mostly through our bi-annual enchilada sales and give scholarships to women and girls. This year I chaired the “Dream It, Be It” event focused on empowering high school girls.

Having over 30 years’ experience at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, I am also part of a cadre of mentors across the country to mentor new CEOs. I feel that I have had the opportunity to mentor many colleagues, volunteers, children and staff so they could figure out their own path to success.

Future Goals: Creating a capital campaign so that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County can buy a building that would be fully paid for and house partners to holistically serve the families that need a variety of resources.

The Volunteering Dentist

Dr. Cristina Markiewicz, Integrative Dental Arts

Words to Live By: Everyday is another chance to do something great!

Favorite Quote: “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa

Greatest Accomplishment: Founding the American Cancer Society Relay For Life at California Lutheran University in 2012. Empowering young adults to come together for the common goal to save lives, celebrate life and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

How I Volunteer My Time: After being on the committee for the first California Lutheran University Hats and High Tea, I will be the Event Chair for the 9th Annual Hats and High Tea to benefit student scholarships and faculty grants.

I am the Director of Disbursements for Westlake Village Junior’s, a group dedicated to improving lives through volunteer service, and was honored by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce as one of their “40 under 40.”

I’ve also had the pleasure of helping to deliver dental care throughout California with CDA Cares, a program that allows volunteer dentists to provide free dental services. We were able to help 1,884 people receive dental services at last year’s event in Ventura.

Future Goals: To change lives, one smile at a time.