Shantay Davies-Balch (BA ’15) is among The Marjaree Mason Center’s 38th annual Top Ten Professional Women and Leading Business Awards. The event took place October 14 at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno.

The awards pay tribute to women who have excelled professionally, served as role models and given back to their communities. A Leading Business of the Year is also honored for its support of women and women’s issues.

Davies-Balch is the African American Coalition Director at the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and CEO of the BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center, the first community business organization in Fresno County established to serve the unmet needs of African American women and babies. She also created a scholarship at FPU.

2021 Top Ten Professional Women

  • Rama Ambati, president, Ambati Properties
  • Colleen Curtis, president and CEO, United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley
  • Dr. Teresa Daniele, chief of cardiology, UCSF-Fresno
  • Shantay R. Davies-Balch, president & CEO, BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center and Founding Director, African American Coalition, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission
  • Valerie F. Davis, president, Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees
  • Ivonne Der Torosian, vice president, Community Health & Well-being, Saint Agnes Medical Center
  • Dr. Luz E. Gonzalez, dean, Fresno State Visalia Campus, California State University, Fresno
  • Sara Mirhadi, chief program officer, Poverello House
  • Sally Orme-Moreno, district attorney, Madera County
  • Lorna Roush, secretary/treasurer, Schultz Ranch, Inc.

The leading business was Central California Food Bank, co-CEOs Kym Dildine and Natalie Caples.

CalViva Health was the presenting sponsor for the October 14 event. The keynote speaker, sponsored by Valley Children’s Healthcare, was April Hernandez-Castillo, actress and public speaker. More at



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations