The Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women has begun accepting nominations for its 2008 Outstanding Woman Leader Award, an annual award presented by the commission to women who have demonstrated exceptional personal or professional dedication to improving the lives of women and girls in Santa Monica.

Past Outstanding Woman Leader Award recipients have included Mimi Lind, founder of the Safe Families Domestic Violence Intervention Program at the Venice Family Clinic and former director of the Westside Domestic Violence Network; Susan McCarthy, former Santa Monica city manager; Toni Reinis, executive director of New Directions, a center providing services to homeless veterans; and Kelly Snyder, Santa Monica High School student leader and founder of Schools for School.

Nominees must meet the following criteria to be considered for the award:

— The candidate has gone above and beyond in her effort to provide outstanding service to the women and girls of Santa Monica;

— she has demonstrated commitment to women’s issues;

— she has made a positive, lasting impact on the community; and

— she has done work directly benefiting the women and girls of Santa Monica.

Women of all ages are eligible. Applications are available at Nominations must be received by Saturday, May 31st. Award winners will be honored in late summer.

“The commission is honored and excited to once again celebrate the important and often unrecognized work women are doing to serve the community and benefit the lives of other women and girls,” said Andrea Lipton, Commission on the Status of Women chair.