Top row: Sunny Beutler (left), Janet Payne (center), Mistee Ruiz (right)
Bottom row: Tamala Lewis (left), Melinda Fox (right)

The Women of Influence is an annual event that recognizes women for their leadership, dedication, and service to the South Bay. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 12:00 noon. Sunrider International will host the event.

A special thank you to AMAG Technology, Sunrider International, UCLA Health, Aura, El Camino College, Green Hills Memorial Park, Pelican, Bachem, Dignity Health Sports Park, Kinecta Federal Credit Union and Torrance Refining Company for sponsoring the event. To register for the event click here.

This year’s honoree’s include: Sunny Beutler, Janet Payne, Mistee Ruiz, Tamala Lewis, and Melinda Fox.

Sunny Beutler, Sunrider International, is the recipient of the Athena award. With over 15 years of experience, Sunny utilizes her business acumen as CEO to fulfill her mission of strengthening the position of Sunrider International as a world leader in health, wellness, and opportunity. Sunny has seamlessly managed the moving parts of Sunrider International’s operations, including the complex logistics of convention management, overseeing the affiliate offices of Sunrider and ABO, and aviation and hotel divisions. She is known for her ability to multi-task on a global level.

Janet Payne, Torrance Historical Society, is the recipient of the Community Catalyst award. She is described by colleagues as the backbone of the Torrance Historical Society, but is also known for her unwavering dedication to serve the surrounding community over the years. Janet began the walking tours of Old Torrance over the summer and continues to play a leading role in planning those events today. She is the Chair of the Annual Rock Around the Block fundraiser, and a former Volunteer Parks and Recreation Commission member. Janet was awarded YMCA Woman of the Year and was a founding member of the Torrance Cultural Arts Center Foundation.

Mistee Ruiz, Facio LLC, is the recipient of the Dedicated Leader Award. She is the founder and Chief People Officer of Facio LLC, a human resources and organization development firm based in Southern California. With over 25 years of experience, Mistee leads and manages a team that provides small to medium-sized businesses with HR support in multiple areas. She has successfully guided other business owners, executives, and stake holders by generating a strategy on building and keeping a cohesive team of employees and guarding against litigation. 

Tamala Lewis, AEG Dignity Health Sports Park, is the recipient of the Inspirational Leader Award. Dignity Health Sports Park is Southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate, and professional athletes. Tamala has been with AEG for about 19 years and is the Senior Director of Community Affairs and the Foundation. She oversees community affairs, public service events and charity events. She serves on several community boards, received several awards and honors, and provided community kids and families with countless donations and event opportunities for many years. Tamala works tirelessly providing holiday toys, food drives, Diversity Inclusion Listening Community Calls, Women Empowerment events and backpack drives through Covid-19, civil unrest and beyond.

Melinda Fox, Merle Norman Cosmetics, will be receiving the Small Business Award. She is the owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics Torrance and is celebrating her 30-year anniversary as a small business owner. Melinda’s passion for cosmetics and spa treatments began when she was 16 years old. Melinda’s history with Merle Norman began as a part-time employee for the store located in Del Amo Mall, where she worked to afford the products for herself. She worked her way up from part-time employee, to management, and eventually owner of the store located in Torrance Crossroads. All products sold at Merle Norman Cosmetics are made in California. It is Melinda’s passion for cosmetics and spa products that have kept her going during the pandemic, where simply hearing a customer say they feel better about themselves after purchasing cosmetics and services through her store have made the challenges caused by the pandemic worth it. 

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