Cypress honors influential women


Two Cypress women were recently honored for their leadership in the community as part of the 2nd annual Women’s Conference.

Ruth Schnipper was named Civic Leader of the Year for dedicating thousands of hours to local organizations, and Cynthia Nishimoto, general counsel for a local toy company, was honored as the Cypress Executive of the Year.

The event, held Sept. 18 at the Cypress Civic Center, was founded two years ago by Councilwoman Mariellen Yarc.

“We are lucky to have such dedicated and strong women making a positive impact in our community,” Yarc said. “It’s important to honor them, and thank them for their contributions and commitment.”

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens served as the keynote speaker, a fitting choice considering the honorees’ ties to local law enforcement.

Schnipper was recognized for completing 10,000 volunteer hours at Los Alamitos Hospital, and earning her service pin for putting in 3,000 volunteer hours with the Cypress Police Department’s Volunteer in Policing.

These hours amount to seven years of full-time work, Yarc said.

Schnipper could be found volunteering at many of the police department’s events including Tip-a-Cop to benefit Special Olympics and the Positive Actions thru Character Education (PACE) program.

Handling vacation checks for residents, helping with the Senior Center’s resource fair and logging hours at the annual Cypress Festival are also on Schnipper’s list of philanthropic activities.

“Ruth is a well-known resident of our city whose passion for the community is apparent through her thousands of hours of volunteer work,” said Police Chief Jackie Gomez-Whiteley.  “The police department, along with the many other organizations she serves, are so grateful.”

Nishimoto, business woman of the year, also finds time to dedicate hours to various organizations, including the Cypress Police Foundation.


Nishimoto was recognized for her work as the general counsel and senior vice president of business and legal affairs for Cypress-based Bandai America.

Bandai, the third largest toy manufacturer in the world, is most well-known for its Power Rangers and Ben 10 franchises.

She also volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America and the Ronald McDonald House, among other nonprofit organizations.

“Cynthia is impressive,” Yarc said. “Not only is she a standout executive, but she also finds time to offer her talents to many local nonprofits.”

“These two women embody what it means to be leaders, and we are thankful for their dedication to the betterment of our community.”