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Holden Names Billings Woman of Distinction

First published in the July 29 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

South Pasadena Library Director Cathy Billings received a certificate last week from Assemblyman Chris Holden designating her as a recipient of the 2022 Woman of Distinction Award for the 41st Assembly District representing South Pasadena.

The ceremony took place Saturday, July 23, at Holden’s annual community resource fair and block party on East Jackson Street in Pasadena. The ceremony had been postponed due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Lissa Reynolds, managing and artistic director of the Fremont Centre Theatre and founding director of the South Pasadena Arts Council, was scheduled to receive a certificate at the same event but was unable to attend. She had been named as Holden’s 2020 Woman of Distinction for South Pasadena. Due to the pandemic, the awards ceremony had been postponed until last weekend.

Representatives of the South Pasadena City Council, the City Manager’s Office, the Library Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Library and the Chamber of Commerce attended the event honoring Billings.

Since joining the South Pasadena Library in 2017 and becoming library director in 2019, Billings has overseen the implementation of significant improvements. Accomplishments cited at the ceremony included introducing a Facebook page, upgrading the library catalog interface, acquiring new Summer Reading Program software and implementing a self-check kiosk. Under her leadership, the library launched an app, instituted autorenewals for checked-out materials and eliminated overdue fines in January 2021. She is responsible for more than 31 full- and part-time employees. Billings has more than 30 years of experience in the field.

The Woman of Distinction awards are sponsored by the assemblymember’s office each year and nominations are open to residents in Holden’s Assembly District. Recipients from other cities and areas he represents were awarded certificates during the same ceremony at Holden’s block party. Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, Pasadena’s health director, was honored as the “Woman of the Year.”

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