Lifelong Burbank resident Mary Alvord was named the 2023 Woman of the Year by state Sen. Anthony Portantino for her community leadership and public service in the 25th Senate District.
Alvord’s list of accolades and accomplishments throughout her 38-year public service career began in 1991 when she was appointed director of Parks and Recreation. During the 10-year period that she held the position, the city completed numerous capital improvement projects including the construction of the Burbank Tennis Center, roller hockey rink at Ralph Foy Park, Maple Street Playground, Earthwalk Park, Valley Park Skate Park, Stough Canyon Nature Center and more.
Alvord went on to serve as assistant city manager from 2000 to 2003 and was unanimously voted in as Burbank’s first woman city manager in 2003 by City Council.
“I am excited to honor Mary Alvord as this year’s 25th Senate District Woman of the Year,” Portantino said in a statement. “For decades, she has been dedicated to public service and improving the quality of life for Burbank residents. Her commitment, persistence and hard work is an inspiration for all of us. The 25th Senate District and the state of California are better places because of Ms. Alvord.”
This is not the first time Alvord has been recognized for her work in the Burbank community. She was inducted in the Burbank Athletics Walk of Fame (2007), awarded the Boys and Girls Club’s Golden Achievement Award, named Woman of the Year by state Sen. Jack Scott (2004) and the Zonta Club (2007), received the Burbank Temporary Aid Center’s Top Award for Citizenship, honored by Woodbury University with the Movers and Shapers Award and bestowed the Family Service Agency’s Woman of Vision Award (2007).
In addition, the Verdugo Recreation Center was renamed in her honor as the Mary Alvord Recreation Center in January 2022 for her significant role in the community.
“I love my community and I was honored to serve it to the best of my ability,” Alvord said. “I was quite touched when Sen. Portantino called me to ask me to be his Woman of the Year. For most of us who work in municipal service, it’s about the community and not the accolade. I am very grateful to our senator for recognizing Burbank’s collective work, because I share this honor with the wonderful support I had from the best city employees in the best city.”
The state legislature first recognized March as Women’s History Month in 1987 and has since continued the tradition. Each year, members of the state legislature recognize exceptional women in their district with a celebration commemorating their efforts.
First published in the March 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.