Assemblymember Marc Levine honored Elece Hempel as the Woman of the Year from the 10th Assembly District (Marin County and southern Sonoma County).

Hempel serves as executive director of Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC). She was presented with a resolution today on the floor of the Assembly as part of a ceremony declaring March as "Woman's History Month."

"It was my privilege to honor Elece," said Levine. "Her work deserves this recognition and highlights outstanding women's leadership in our communities. The North Bay is incredibly fortunate to have such an active, dedicated and passionate public servant in our community."

"I am very grateful to receive this honor," said Hempel. "It is my pleasure to join women from all over California to celebrate woman's history and to recognize women who are leading today. I truly appreciate being chosen for this recognition."

Petaluma People Services Center (PPSC) is dedicated to improving the social and economic health of the Petaluma community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual. PPSC's goal is to reduce poverty, physical and mental abuse, chemical dependence, violence, ignorance, isolation and mental illness, among children, adults, families and seniors. Through its many programs, PPSC has been able to serve thousands of adults and children alike by offering vital resources such as counseling, employment assistance and Meals on Wheels for senior citizens.

Hempel, who was appointed as executive director in 2011, has worked for PPSC since 2004 and previously served as the organization's associate executive director. She brings more than 25 years of business expertise to the role, along with many years of fundraising experience. Active in the community, she has served as president of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and sits on several boards throughout Sonoma County.

In other PPSC news, the organization is holding its annual Rock & Bowl fundraising event on March 28.

Teams of five bowlers will compete to raise funds for PPSC beginning at 7:30 p.m. at AMF Boulevard Bowl, 1100 Petaluma Blvd. South.

The entry fee to participate is $625 minimum per team of five. Funds go to help PPSC keep its many programs going.

For more information and to register for the bowling tournament, call PPSC at 765-8488 or visit