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Independent Voice

Orr Chosen Woman of the Year

Apr 03, 2024 09:04AM ● By Debra Dingman
Jill Orr is honored as Solano County Woman of the Year by Rep. Mike Thompson. Photo by Victoria Ferguson Berggren

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Jill Orr was chosen as the 2024 Solano County Woman of the Year. Every year, Rep. Mike Thompson selects inspiring women from California’s Fourth District to recognize their outstanding work and effort to make our community a better place over the last year.

“Jill Orr has worked throughout her career to develop our local economy, support small businesses, and build a bright future for Solano County residents,” said Thompson. “She is a past president of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and current president of the Downtown Dixon Business Association. She also recently served as president of Native Daughters of the Golden West. Ms. Orr has given back to our Solano County community as an elected official having served as a Dixon City Councilwoman as well as a Dixon Planning Commissioner. Her dedicated involvement in our community is commendable. I am proud to recognize her as Solano County’s Woman of the Year.”

The Woman of the Year Recognition Ceremony was started in honor of Women’s History Month to recognize the service of women in our communities. Orr was one of six honored at an event recently in St. Helena at Trinchero Winery.

“About 95 percent of the businesses in our downtown are owned by women and I know what they had to do to get there and how hard they’ve worked for everyone. What we do is our passion and I’m proud they are successful and I’m proud of our community,” Orr told the audience.

Women’s History Month has its origin in California’s Fourth District. In 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women coordinated a “Woman’s History Week” during the week of March 8th to correspond with International Women’s Day. In 1980, a group of Sonoma County women founded the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) in Santa Rosa, California. The goal of this organization was to highlight and recognize the historical national achievements made by women.

In partnership with other women advocacy groups and historians, the NWHP successfully lobbied for national recognition, with President Jimmy Carter declaring the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. After this accomplishment, the NWHP began advocating for the entire month of March to be designated as Women’s History Month. Seven years later, Congress officially passed legislation designating the entire month of March as Women’s History Month. Every year since, Women’s History Month has been recognized in March to uplift and celebrate the incredible contributions and accomplishments of American women.

“I’m so grateful for everything and thankful they thought of me,” she said. The other honorees were Ana Santana from Lake County; Maria Cisneros from Napa County; Karen Collins from Sonoma County; and Karen Urbano from Yolo County.