L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Heal the Bay President Shelley Luce

Each year in March — Women’s History Month — the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s Organization of Women Leaders committee (OWL) and the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women host a special meal honoring exemplary women leaders in the community.

In past years, “Owlie” honorees have included then-Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, Fox 11 news anchor Christine Devine, Apple Music’s Julie Pilat, author Marianne Williamson and actress/philanthropist Jennifer Garner.

This year’s event, happening Thursday (March 12) at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, honors two local leaders: Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Heal the Bay President and CEO Shelley Luce.

Luce, who began her career at Heal the Bay 19 years ago as a staff scientist, now sets the organization’s science and policy priorities, while also developing strategic partnerships and opportunities for public involvement in signature efforts such as stormwater capture and coastal restoration. She’s also held leadership positions with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and The Bay Foundation.

Kuehl has twice been elected to the board to represent a district of more than two million people, including residents of Santa Monica and Venice. She previously spent 14 years in the California Legislature, becoming the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the Legislature and the first woman to serve as Assembly Speaker Pro Tem.

This year’s event falls close to International Women’s Day (March 8) and marks the centennial of the Constitution’s 19th Amendment with its theme “Valiant Women of the Vote.”

— Danny Karel

OWL’s International Women’s Day celebration happens from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday (March 12) at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $70 to $80. Call (310) 393-9825 or visit smchamber.com/owl-3.

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