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Curtis wins prestigious Minerva Award

Award: Dianne Curtis is the first American to win the international award

Posted: December 11, 2010 10:40 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley resident Dianne Curtis, left, president of Zonta International and a member of the Zonta Club of SCV, is presented the Minerva Award by Simone Ovart, an Italian Zontian.

Dianne Curtis, president of Zonta International and a member of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, was recently awarded the Minerva Award in the Hall of the Capitol in Rome, Italy. Curtis, who lives in Santa Clarita, is the first American to receive the prestigious international award.

Established in 1983 by Anna Maria Mammoliti, president of Il Club dellee Donne (Women’s), the Minerva is awarded annually to remarkable women working in the fields of entrepreneurship and management, scientific research, arts, literary and social commitment. 

The award recognizes women who are continuously fighting against all odds to instill new knowledge, new values and new passions in their communities. 

The Minerva has also been awarded to men for their professional and positive contributions to society. 

Past recipients of the Minerva Award include: Simone Veil, the first female president of the European Parliament; Noeleen Heyzer, former executive director of UNIFEM; Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi, minister of foreign trade for the United Arab Emirates and the first woman to hold a cabinet position in that country; Mama Koite Doumbia, chairperson of FEMNET; and Khalida Messaoudi, Algeria’s minister of culture.

Zonta International is a worldwide service organization of 31,000 members in 67 countries dedicated to improving the status of women internationally through service and advocacy.  A top level nongovernmental organization, Zonta International works with various UN agencies on projects that will stop violence against women and improve the legal, political, professional, economic, health and educational status of women.

International President Curtis took over the leadership of Zonta International last June at the 60th biennial Zonta International Convention in San Antonio, Texas. 

She has been a member of the Zonta Club of SCV since 1980.  

Curtis is the owner and manager of Canyon Bulk Inc., a trucking company and, as a young woman was a successful ballerina, dancing with the Canadian Ballet.  She has two sons, Dale and Jason, and also a granddaughter.

She said she was pleased to accept the Minerva Award, which consists of a silver-and-gold broach, on behalf of Zonta International.


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