The annual San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame, established in 1984, is an important and lasting way to recognize the incredible work of women of all ages and walks of life in our community. Every two years a new slate of *women, including outstanding high school students, join the ranks of some of San Mateo County’s greatest contributors, an honor roll that today reaches 295 individuals.
34th San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
We are excited to announce the Honorees for the 2022 Women's Hall of Fame!
Supervisor Carole Groom is serving her final year on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Carole Groom was elected to the Board of Supervisors in June 2010, served as President of the Board in 2011, 2015 and 2019. Prior to Supervisor Groom’s appointment in 2009, she served nine years on the San Mateo City Council, including two terms as Mayor, and on the San Mateo Planning and Public Works Commissions. Supervisor Groom has worked on many boards and issues while serving in county government; but will be especially remembered for her interest in supporting families and children. Since 2011, she has worked with the San Mateo County Office of Education and Silicon Valley Community Foundation to increase the reading proficiency of third graders countywide. This initiative, called The Big Lift, was formally launched in 2013 and seeks to raise the reading proficiency of third grade students in San Mateo County from 58% to 80% by 2020 through key interventions including access to preschool, inspiring summer experiences, reducing chronic absenteeism and increasing family engagement from preschool to third grade.
Manufou Liaiga-Anoa'i is a proud San Francisco native from the Excelsior District and first generation Samoan-American. Happily married and a mother of six, Manufou currently is the Regional Vice President of Innovate Public Schools in San Jose. A product of public education, she was re-elected in November 2020 garnering the most votes in the history of the local school board elections. She is now serving her third term as a Board Trustee and was Past President and Vice President on the Jefferson Elementary School District Governing Board in Daly City. Manufou wears several hats in the community as she believes in the value and importance of representation. She is easily found in service as a Commissioner on the Daly City Personnel Board, San Mateo County Arts Commission – District 5 Representative, Board Member to P.I.E.F.E.S.T. – Pacific Islanders Encouraging Fun, Engineering, Science & Technology and APAICS - Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and SF Pacific Islander Maternal Advisory Board.
For the past ten years she has been a Commissioner to the San Mateo County and Past Vice President on the Commission of Status Women, a Commissioner on the City of Daly City Arts and Culture Commission, Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center Board and Lowell High School Alumni Board of Directors and on the Board of Directors for REACH San Mateo County. In 2009, she founded Pacific Islander Community Partnership whose mission is to “Engage, Educate & Empower Our Pacific Communities” and in 2011 created Camp Unity – Polynesian Pacific Islander Summer Enrichment Program which has served 8,000 Bay Area students over the past ten years. In May of 2019, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond appointed her as Co-Chair to the Closing the Gap Initiative where she continues to advocate for equity, inclusion and access. Some of her past achievements and career highlights include being the first Samoan Pacific Islander Student Government President at San Francisco’s Lowell High School and the first Pacific Islander Liaison in the City & County of SF under Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. Her leadership has been recognized and celebrated as Woman of the Year in the California Assembly, in the City and County of San Francisco by Mayors Willie Brown and Edwin Lee, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, City of Daly City and South San Francisco, ABC 7 AAPI Unsung Heroes, Comcast Change Makers and nationally through the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Manufou Liaiga Anoa’i is currently running for a seat on the Daly City Council and if elected, will be the first Pacific Islander to serve in this capacity in the State of California.
Rowena (Reyna) Poti-Meafua is the Founder of Pacific Islanders Together (P.I.T.) and volunteers on various other boards and committees in San Mateo County. Through P.I.T., Rowena Poti-Meafua wanted to enrich the Polynesian Islanders community by developing programs that promote pride, visibility, and unity. One of P.I.T.’s signature events is the “Shine” Family Day Festival which celebrates indigenous heritage, highlighting the diversity of Polynesian culture and a space where thousands of people come together as community. Ms. Poti-Meafua is dedicated to filling gaps in the community that most need the support. With P.I.T., she has assisted after school programs, sports camps, academic enrichment programs and leads the Snack Shack which is the football team’s largest fundraiser. During COVID, she increased the Second Harvest food drive at Jefferson High School to feed hundreds of families. Rowena, also none with affection as Reyna, is dedicated to the community with her heart of service and love.
Eva Chen is originally from San Francisco and is currently a resident to Burlingame. It is important to note that she is the first youth poet to be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the 2020 Scholastics National Gold Medal, and her writing has been published by The Offing, Elan Literary Magazine, The Weight Journal, and streamed on KALW public radio. In addition, she co-founded the lit-mag Footprints on Jupiter, publishing 100+ youth pieces to raise funds for youth literacy, and formerly volunteered at the California State Treasurer’s Office, where she researched legislation regarding AB 369 (The Street Medicine Act). Currently, she volunteers at the Burlingame Public Library as a TAB member and is on a mission to actively advocate for poetry across the county.
** “Women / Girls” refers to gender expansive adults & youth (cis, trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender queer).
Women's Hall of Fame & Young Woman of Excellence Celebration!
Save the Date: May 10, 2022
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