Turlock engineer, Riverbank woman among honorees

Bee Staff ReportsFebruary 1, 2014 

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The San Joaquin Engineers Council will honor Rapunzel Amador Lewis of Turlock as its engineer of the year during the council’s Engineer’s Week banquet Feb. 20 in Stockton.

Amador Lewis earned her degree in architectural engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 1994 and became a licensed engineer three years later. She has been the engineer of record during hundreds of construction projects in 10 Western states, and now heads her own firm, Amador Lewis Inc., in Turlock.

Born in the Philippines, she came to the United States when she was 19. She, her husband and their two daughters live in Turlock.

Riverbank’s top citizen

Ida Kennedy, a Riverbank resident since 1942, is the city’s citizen of the year. Nominated by Paulette Roberson, Kennedy began volunteering for Riverbank’s Christian Food Sharing in 1986 and, at 84, continues to run its kitchen four days a week. She was selected from a field of nominees that included Sylvia Jimenez, Verdie Terry Harper, Milton Gutierrez and Leo Hernandez.

New music from Modesto graduate

New music from Conner Singh VanderBeek, a 2000 graduate of Modesto High School, debuts Thursday in a performance by Northwestern University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by Timothy J. Robblee.

VanderBeek’s composition, Three Scenes (for large chamber orchestra), will be performed at the university’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

The 21-year-old Salida resident, the son of Modesto Bee employees Brian VanderBeek and Sharonjeet K. Ghag, is in the fourth year of a five-year double-degree program at Northwestern, where he is majoring in music composition and Asian studies. Vanderbeek graduated from Modesto High’s International Baccalaureate program.

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