Assemblymember Das Williams has selected Cheryl Rollings, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood, Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc., to be the 2014 Woman of the Year.
“Ms. Rollings epitomizes everything about being a strong woman,” said Williams, D-Santa Barbara. “She’s a leader in fighting for basic family planning services. Many women and families have benefited from her passion and advocacy, and before health care reform, her clinics were the only way for many women to access birth control.”
Rollings began her career with Planned Parenthood in 1978 as a nurse and counselor for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado. She became CEO of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties in 1989.
During Rollings’ tenure as CEO, $15 million was raised through three capital campaigns to fund a decade-long expansion and renovation initiative. With its five state-of-the-art health centers located in the cities of San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Thousand Oaks, the organization has been able to provide compassionate, high quality medical and educational services to more than 1 million Tri-County residents and Rollings has led the organization to overcome many challenges, including the 1995 arson attack in San Luis Obispo.
Rollings has been awarded the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee “Roses Award,” received the Women of Distinction award by the Tres Condados Girl Scouts, and has been nominated (multiple times) for Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO of the Year.
Each member of the Assembly may select a woman of the year and all awardees are celebrated in a ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 10th.
“Ms. Rollings is a true role model for women across the state and I am proud to recognize her for her dedication and devotion to reproductive health.