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Fernando Award Finalists Announced

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The Board of Directors of the Fernando Award Foundation announced five individuals who will vie for the title of 2023 Fernando Award Recipient.  

The announcement of the five finalists was made on September 20 during a community reception hosted by Galpin Motors.

“From a stellar group of 14 nominees, we now have an outstanding group of award finalists.  These individuals have a long history of community and civic leadership and continue to set an example for all of us to follow,” said Pegi Matsuda, Fernando’s board chair.  

The five finalists include:

– Armida Colmenares-Stafford, who was  nominated by the United Chambers of Commerce and Carmen Bowen.  Colmenares-Stafford is a first vice president and senior relationship manager with Pacific Premier Bank.  

– Steve Fazio, nominated by LAPD Valley Bureau Foundation, Matthew Rinnert and Brandon Boeckmann.  Fazio is the president and owner of Fazio Cleaners and Laundry.

– Kevin Tamaki, who was nominated by VICA and Matthew Swearman.  Tamaki is a principal with Tamaki Consulting.  

– Sharon Udkoff, nominated by the Los Angeles Jewish Home, Los Angeles Valley College and Martin Cooper, past award recipient.  Udkoff is self-employed with Sharon Udkoff, CPA.

 – Mel Wilson, who was nominated by Bob Khalsa, Rich Pisani and Lee Alpert, past award recipient.  Wilson is a realtor and a real estate asset manager with Mel Wilson & Associates.

From the group of finalists above, the 2023 Fernando Award Recipient will be announced during the 65th Annual Fernando Gala dinner and program on November 3.   

The black tie dinner will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. A reception will begin at 6:30 pm, with dinner and awards at 7:30 pm. Single tickets are $175; sponsorships from $1,500 to $5,000 are still available. Advertising in the program is also available. 

For more information on sponsorships  email or Jill Mather at

Tickets for the gala can be purchased on the website at   

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