Rep. Schiff lauds local women for their ‘invaluable service’ to the community


Three local women were honored earlier this month by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) as part of his annual Women of the Year luncheon.

Fourteen women were honored at the event, nominated from across Schiff’s 28th congressional district.

“These women have worked to found or support a myriad of charitable organizations, started multiple businesses and given so much of themselves to improve the common good. They are all pillars of our communities and I thank them for their invaluable service,” Schiff said in a statement.

Vicky Marachelian of Burbank, Lori Hartwell of Glendale and Kiljoo Lee Kurumada of La Crescenta were honored for their commitment to their local communities.

Since 1995, Marachelian has helped her community both at home and abroad through her work with the Armenian Relief Society. She has served in various roles with the organization over the years and helped oversee construction of a Soseh Kindergarten in Stepanakert, Artsakh.

In addition to her work with the relief society, Marachelian also helped raise funds for construction of a new gym and library for the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Los Angeles, where her children attended.

Hartwell, who suffers from chronic kidney disease, has dedicated herself to helping others with chronic illnesses. In 1993, she started the Renal Support Network, an organization that provides aid to those with kidney disease.

She has also given presentations on dealing with chronic kidney disease and wrote a book about her own experiences.

Kurumada co-founded the Korean Resource Center in 1983 whose mission is to help immigrant, low-income, Asian-American, Pacific Islander and minority communities across Southern California.

The nonprofit works toward improving their lives through getting access to health insurance and affordable housing as well as holding voter registration drives, lobbying for immigration reform and senior advocacy.

Kurumada is also involved with the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, a group that helps promote the participation of Korean and other Asian-American to achieve economic and social justice.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc