Farmers & Merchants Bank Honors Orange County “Women of Courage” at Third Annual Awards Program

Tustin, CA, October 22, 2011 --( Farmers & Merchants Bank celebrated 12 Orange County women at the third annual Women of Courage breakfast on Thursday, October 20 at Zov’s Bistro Café in Tustin. This exclusive event celebrates women who have displayed courage, tenacity and wisdom to make a lasting difference in both their business and community.

The recipients, who were selected by F&M branch managers throughout Orange County, are women from a broad array of age groups, cultural backgrounds and professions, with each making a significant contribution to their business and community.

“With October being Remarkable Women month, we felt it was the ideal opportunity to recognize and honor the dedicated women that we have seen come through the doors of our Orange County branches,” said F&M CEO W. Henry Walker. “These women have demonstrated remarkable courage – many in the face of formidable challenges – and they continue to inspire us in our everyday lives.”

F&M’s Women of Courage program has grown from the Bank’s continued involvement with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-OC) Remarkable Women event for the past eight years. F&M Bank is continuing its commitment to recognize outstanding women in the OC communities served by F&M Bank.

Farmers & Merchants Bank’s selections for the 2011 F&M Bank Women of Courage are:

· Garden Grove – Gene Widdicombe, owner of five McDonald’s restaurants in Garden Grove and the first female to open a McDonald’s franchise in the county

· Fullerton – Diane Masseth-Jones, Executive Director of the YWCA of North Orange County and advocate of breast cancer screening for minority women for nearly three decades

· Santa Ana – Nanci Masada-Okawa, district manager at Arbonne International, dedicated volunteer and full-time mother of triplets

· San Juan Capistrano – Diana Spitz, founder of Kathy’s House, a transitional home serving battered and abused women

· Rossmoor – Luciann Maulhardt, executive director of Casa Youth Shelter, an organization that provides temporary shelter and counseling services for young people in crisis

· Huntington Beach – Barbara Robinson, owner of Robinson Consultant Services, a business she founded to help disabled individuals manage their social security

· Laguna Hills – Mary Webb, president and founder of Recruit Networks LLC, who created and grew her business in the midst of a global recession

· Newport Beach – Judy Fox Brandt, founder and principal of Fox & Company and dedicated board member for the Orange County Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Heart Association

· San Clemente – Kristen Tetherton, co-founder of Triton Technology Solutions, a consulting, design and integration company that delivers high impact broadcast and audio/video systems

· Tustin – Trina Fleming, the director of operations and marketing for WHW (Women Helping Women/Men2Work), a nonprofit organization that empowers low-income individuals to attain economic self-sufficiency through employment success

· Orange – Susan VerBurg, owner of Merlex Stucco, one of Southern California’s largest stucco manufacturers

· Lake Forest – Rev. Lillian Lobb, founder of Christ Chapel of Laguna and Orange County Cornerstone Outreach, a nonprofit that provides a variety of services for those in need

“This year’s honorees have displayed exceptional courage in their business, their community and their family,” said F&M Chairman of the Board Daniel Walker. “We see these women as part of our extended F&M family and are inspired by their remarkable accomplishments.”

F&M Orange County branch managers attended the breakfast, accompanied by their Women of Courage honoree. The event also featured a keynote speech from Mari Kurtz, president and CEO of OC Metals Inc./Cal Pac Sheet Metal Inc. and recipient of the NAWBO-OC Innovator Award.

About Farmers & Merchants Bank
Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank has 22 branches in L.A. and Orange counties. The Bank specializes in commercial and small business banking along with business loan programs. Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach is a California state chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Member FDIC) and an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about F&M, please call the media contacts listed above or visit the website,

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