Shanna Warren

Honoring 2012 Woman of the Year Shanna Warren, second from left, are Zonta President Grace Farenbaugh, left, Mayor Dave Golonski and former City Treasurer Donna Anderson. (Courtesy photo / November 6, 2012)

Shanna Warren began volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley in 2001, while working as a marketing director. That volunteer service changed the focus and direction of Warren’s life so much that she left her marketing career to take a full-time position with the club, and in 2004 was named the organization’s chief executive.

Warren, a part of the team that took the club from serving 75 youth at one location to more than 1,500 at 17 locations, was honored Saturday as the Zonta Club of Burbank’s 2012 Woman of the Year.

Convening in the Starlight Ballroom of the Castaway, more than 225 Zontians and their supporters joined the club’s president, Grace Farenbaugh, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and Mayor Dave Golonski to honor Warren for her leadership and commitment to the community.

Established in 1949 by the now-defunct Burbank Women’s Club, the Burbank Woman of the Year program was taken over by the Zontians in 1996. Among the past recipients in attendance at Saturday’s event were 1978 honoree Elaine Paonessa, 2001 honoree Joan Ortiz, 2008 honoree Lucy Burghdorf and 2009 honoree Barbara Howell.

Other notables who enjoyed the recognition luncheon included Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Councilman Jess Talamantes, former Councilman Tim Murphy, Warner Bros. Vice President of Public Affairs Michael Walbrecht, Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis and Zontians Donna Anderson, Margarita Campos, Alisa Cunningham, Jennifer Wyatt, Brenda Lantieri, Sharon Cohen, Connie Llana and Nickie Bonner.

Since receiving their charter in 1936, the Zonta Club of Burbank has brought together business executives and professionals to advance the status of women. During the decades they have also raised and distributed more than $100,000 to local charities, funded 50 scholarships for high school students pursuing higher education, provided books telling stories of women's achievements to local elementary schools, made annual donations of blankets, toiletries and other supplies to the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, and established a Zonta rose garden at the Buena Vista Library.

DAVID LAURELL can be reached by e-mail dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.