Garamendi recognizes Secrist as a 2022 Woman of the Year

Congressman John Garamendi (right) recognized Lynne Secrist as a 2022 Woman of the Year in Yolo County. (Courtesy photo)

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Congressman John Garamendi honored 58 women from the Third Congressional District of California who are leaders and visionaries in their communities, including a Winters woman. Lynne Secrist was recognized for her impact on supporting Winters youth through music education at the 9th annual Women of the Year Awards.

The women being honored are nominated and selected for making significant contributions to society through public service, business, education and local advocacy.

“Each year, I am privileged to recognize the selfless and devoted women who help make California’s 3rd district so special,” Garamendi said. “The invaluable service each honoree has given to their community is deserving of recognition. By presenting these women of the year with this award, their achievements will be recorded and preserved in the official Congressional Record.”

Garamendi said community members take a stand by recognizing the undeniable strength of women in their community and talk about the things they’re doing, and honor the example they are setting for others.

“The reality is when women succeed, America succeeds. It’s that straightforward. It’s that important,” Garamendi said.

A continued theme that each of the honorees shared was their efforts to reach forward to inspire, motivate, and support the next generation by introducing them to community service opportunities.

Secrist was co-nominated by Winters City Councilmember Jesse Loren and community member Kate Laddish. Both Loren and Laddish were honored with the award in October 2018.

“Lynne is a dedicated community servant, educator and musician whose positive impact can be felt throughout her community,” Garamendi said at the award ceremony on Oct. 13.

Garamendi and Secrist shared a chuckle when he said he played politics and discovered she plays the church organ.

Secrist served 30 years teaching her students music and self confidence in the Winters Joint Unified School District. Upon retirement, she continued to engage youth and the community in musical opportunities.

In their nomination letter, Laddish and Loren noted the “keys to her success include a knack for personalized encouragement and the ability to instill in her students a sense that music is for everyone, and that anyone can be involved in music. Students come away from her classes with confidence and a sense of belonging, in addition to knowing how to play tuba or guitar or carry a tune.”

“Beyond her teaching, Lynne has also spent years producing a “A Note of Elegance” (fundraiser event) where she brought together musicians throughout the community to perform and raise money to support music education,” Garamendi said.

Laddish and Loren raved that Secrist’s talents and enthusiasms aren’t limited to just music. As a dedicated community volunteers, Secrist works with the Guerilla Gardeners to bring beauty and color through flora and flower upkeep around town, steps up to help set up and/or clean up at local events, and drives residents to everything from the airport to medical appointments an hour or more away.

View the live stream of the Women of the Year ceremony on Garamendi’s facebook page at

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