Heartfelt appreciation to the following people and organizations for taking the time to recognize my passion and dedication to safety.  Thank you!


(Although out of sequence – a very special recognition) – May 12, 2015 – During my time as Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon, under the amazing leadership of then-City Manager Douglas Williford I was very honored to receive a “Certificate of Achievement” from Mayor Bill Wells and the City Council recognizing my work in safety and as the public information officer for the City of El Cajon.  This recognition was given during the May 12, 2015, City council meeting.

Special Memory of Note:  In 2017, I was given one of the nicest compliments by then-City Manager Douglas Williford, it came during a planning meeting for District Election Workshops in the City.   During an important conference call with El Cajon and Los Angeles officials, Mr. Williford  said, “Since I am one of the most highly respected, most credible people in the City, he wanted me to “host” the District Election Community Workshops!”  I was very honored by this statement and in thanking him for the compliment, he said it was well deserved, and he was honored to have me represent the City.  That appreciation is a sign of great leadership!


October 2017 – CASA – (COMMUNITY, ACTION, SERVICE, and ADVOCACY) a Community award and a certificate of recognition for my work in safety from County Supervisor Diann Jacob.


November 5, 2016Senate Certificate of Recognition from Senator Joel Anderson in Honor of California Heroes Month 2016.  Given in special recognition for your unyielding dedication to the City of El Cajon through your outstanding service in delivering safety talks to community members during informational events, and in celebration of your tireless commitment (since 1984) to helping raise awareness in safety.


June 2, 2016 – Grossmont College Confers upon Monica Zech the Honorary Degree of Associate of Arts in recognition for her Distinguished professional accomplishments and her outstanding service to students and our community.

*I was very honored to receive this degree and for the invitation to be the Keynote Speaker for the Commencement ceremony.  A heartfelt thank you to Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor Cindy Miles and to Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh for the Honorary Degree and inviting me to be the Keynote Speaker.  I understand this is the first Honorary Degree given in the 55-year history of Grossmont College and I am truly honored!


November 10, 2015Senate Certificate of Recognition from Senator Joel Anderson for Outstanding Service – In special recognition of your dedication to promoting safety and disaster preparation through your unyielding commitment to educating and inspiring our community.


May 9, 2015District 5 Toastmasters “Communication & Leadership” Award.  A heartfelt thank you to District Governor Mark Rauschenbach for this award and honor!  According to Mark, this award is presented by the district to a media person, state or local politician or business person in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader.


April 30, 2015Molina Healthcare Community Champion Award –  I was honored for 30 plus years of driving safety lectures locally and nationally. (Delivered to schools, colleges, civic groups, parenting groups, to companies and to the military.) According to organizers – “This event honors the unsung heroes who work in our communities and inspire others through their selflessness, extraordinary service and contributions, which positively affect the lives of those around them.”


April 2, 2014Lions Club International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellowship Award – Heartland LionsClub. Lions around the world are united by a great spirit of giving and dedication to helping others.  The Lions honor those dedicated and generous members with a nomination to the Melvin Jones Fellowship. The nomination is accompanied by a monetary donation from the Elburn Lions Club to LCIF.  As the official charitable organization of Lions Clubs International, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports Lions’ compassionate works by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts.


March 24, 2012 – The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International – Honor Society for Women Educators – Eta Theta Chapter –  For Outstanding Public Service for her driving safety presentations in the community.


November 5, 2011State of California – Certificate of Recognition – in honor of Outstanding Community Spirit – providing safety information at the East County Family Palooza from Senator Joel Anderson.

November 5, 2011 – State of California – Certificate of Recognition – in honor of Outstanding Community Spirit – providing safety information at the East County Family Palooza from Senator Joel Anderson.

October 16, 2011 – State of California – Certificate of Recognition – for Oustanding Volunteerism – with Communities of Against Substance Abuse – from Senator Joel Anderson. Given to Monica Zech at the CASA 5k Event at Mission Trails.

October 8, 2011 – State of California – Certificate of Recognition – for Outstanding Community Dedication – for ten years of dedication in providing the citizens of El Cajon with fire safety and emergency preparedness education.  Given to Monica Zech at the Annual Fire Expo on October 8, 2011 by Senator Joel Anderson.

2011 – Real Heroes Award for Your Courage, Dedication and Compassion in Safety Education. From the American Red Cross.

March 8, 2010 – California State Assembly – Certificate of Recognition – In honor of Outstanding Achievement – In special recognition of her nomination for the Woman of the year 2010 in Assembly District 77, and in working for over 25 years to encourage safe driving in our community. From Assemblyman Joel Anderson.

February 12, 2009Golden Footprint Recognition certificate from Walk San Diego.  In recognition of her many years dedicated to pedestrian safety education.

November 14, 20082008 Women In Leadership Award  from the East County Chamber of Commerce in the “Media” category for her work as the Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon, and her work as the Safety Educator for the El Cajon Police and Fire Departments.

November 14, 2008 – Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Monica Zech for her Women In Leadership “media” award from Congressman Duncan Hunter.

March 26, 2008 – Letter of congratulations from County Supervisor Dianne Jacob – it said:

Dear Monica,

Congratulations on receiving the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Kiwanis International CAL-NEV-HA District!  Your service to the El Cajon community has been an inspiration to many and so greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your hard work, dedication, commitment and involvement and making a difference in the community.

Sincerely, Dianne Jacob, Vice Chairwoman, County Supervisor Second District

(Thank you Supervisor Jacob!)

March 15, 2008 – Kiwanis International presented me with a “Distinguished Service Award” for my safety lectures delivered during 2007.  I delivered 117 safety lectures throughout the County – covering driving safety, fire safety and disaster preparedness.  These awards are given to individuals & organizations making a difference in the lives of others.

(“Thank you Fletcher Hills Kiwanis for nominating me!”)

October 5, 2007 – Real Hero 07′ Media Award from the American Red Cross at their 5th Annual Real Heroes 07′ Breakfast held at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. This award was to recognize my safety work in the media, from safety features on television, on radio and my articles in local newspapers. Real Hero 07′ News Release

September 23, 2007 – Lifetime Achievement In Broadcasting Award from the local chapter of NATAS – National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The award was presented at a luncheon held at the Mariott in Mission Valley recognizing my 25 plus years in news broadcasting.

July 18, 2007 – Fire & Life Safety Educator of the Year Award from the San Diego County Fire Chief’s Association. Recognizing my work in injury prevention – not only in El Cajon, but for other Fire agencies around throughout County.

June 12th, 2007 – El Cajon City Council meeting – San Miguel Fire Chief “Augie Ghio” presented me with the following award of appreciation:

“San Miguel Fire District Presents To “Monica Zech” – For your exceptional service and efforts, your attention to detail and outstanding work ethic has been a positive accomplishment in our agencies cooperative collaborative relationship. Your dedication has not gone unnoticed. This plaque is awarded on this 12th of June 2007.

April 18, 2007 – Grossmont Healthcare District 2007 Healthcare Hero award as a “Safety Educator.” Awards were given to honor individuals making a difference in the East County. This award acknowledges my work in the field of safety, but especially as a volunteer in donating a lot of my personal time in educating the public on injury prevention. Thank you for this honor – and for the following acknowledments!

April 18, 2007 – Proclamation from San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob – in recognition of the Grossmont Healthcare award.

April 18, 2007 – Congressional Recognition Certificate from California Congressman Bob Filner – in recognition for Grossmont Healthcare award.

April 18, 2007 – Congressional Recognition Certificate from California Congressman Duncan Hunter, in recognition for Grossmont Healthcare award.

April 18, 2007 – State Senate Certificate of Recognition from California Senator Dennis Hollingsworth in recognition for Grossmont Healthcare award.

April 18, 2007 – California State Assembly Certificate of recognition from Assemblyman Joel Anderson – for Grossmont Healthcare award.

April 18, 2007 – California State Assembly Certificate of recognition from Assemblywoman Shirley Horton – for Grossmont Healthcare award.

September 20, 2006 – Award of appreciation from RMSS-Residential Management Support System – in recognition of commitment and support.

May 12, 2005 – Award of appreciation from ATAC – Auto Theft Advisory Committee for my commitmment in assisting/supporting all law enforcement agencies in their goal of reducing auto theft in San Diego County and for serving as emcee of their annual Officer of the Year awards.

March 9, 2005 – recipient of the Individual 2005 Public Health Champion Award for her life-saving work as Safety Educator/Lecturer for the El Cajon Fire Department. Given by the County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services Department. This honor was bestowed in recognition of extraordinary achievement in protecting and promoting health and safety throughout San Diego County.

March 13, 2004 – Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate for duties as a Public Information officer during the Cedar Fire.

December 1st, 2003 – Certificate of Recognition from the California State Legislature for duties as a Public Information Officer during the Cedar Fires. From Assemblyman Jay La Suer of the 77th District.

2003-2004 – October 2003 through February 2004 – El Cajon Fire Department’s Employee of the Quarter.

July 30, 2003 – AERIAL Award – from the El Cajon Fire Department – For job duties – “For Rising to the Occasion – Above and Beyond the Call” for 2002-2003.

July 24, 2003 – Award of Appreciation from the San Diego Police Department’s Central Divison Juvenile Services Team – For Monica’s Outstanding Contribution and Unwavering Support for the Cops And Kids Program, from 2001 – 2003.

July 5, 2003 – Distinguished Service Award from the Lake Murray Kiwanis Group for my ongoing educational efforts in fire and traffic safety – for making a difference!

May 4, 2003 – Award of Appreciation from RADD – Racers Against Drunk Driving – for my efforts in helping to educate youth to stay away from drugs – to “Reach for Dreams, Not Drugs”.

March 12, 2002 – Award of Appreciation from Area 62 of the Camp Pendelton Marine Base for being their guest speaker on driving safety for their Safety Stand Down.

December 5, 2001 – Certificate of Appreciation From The California State Assembly & Assembly Member Ms. Charlene Zettel – In Honor Of The Dedicated Efforts Put Forth to Protect and Serve the Citizens of San Diego, for the previous 18 years as traffic reporter and safety speaker – and now as Public Information Officer & Safety Educator for the El Cajon Fire Department.

June 9, 2001ARC – Association For Retarded Citizens – 2001 Outstanding Volunteer Award – In recognition of support and commitment to persons with developmental disabilities and the ARC of San Diego.

February 3, 2001 – KEYS Club of the San Diego/Hawaii Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – “Distinguished Service Award” – In recognition of Monica’s distinguished service in raising funds for research in the nation wide struggle against Leukemia, Lymphoma and other blood-related cancers. (*This is a personal cause since losing my identical twin sister “Vivian” to Leukemia on February 29, 1968)

August 12, 2000 – Year 2000 “Latina of the Year” award for dedicated work on the air in traffic and in the community for lectures on injury prevention, including talks to students on alcohol & other drug issues. Latino Police Officer’s Association of San Diego County

2000 – V.I.P. Award for Fundraising for Man/Woman of the Year-Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

2000 – Life Time Achievement in Community Service – San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association – Achievement In Radio-A.I.R. Awards/March of Dimes

1999 – Award of Appreciation with the Every 15 Minutes Program/D.U.I. Awareness Program – Granite Hills High SchoolSan Diego Sheriff’s Department

1999City of La Mesa Commendation Award for Community Service

1998 – Women Who Mean Business In Transportation Award – San Diego Business Journal’s Women In Business Awards

1997WTS Woman of the Year Award – Women’s Transportation Seminar Group

1996Leukemia Society’s Appreciation Award for work in fundraising and community awareness of this disease.

1996J.C. Penney Golden Rule Community Volunteer Award

1996 – a Nomination for Presidential Community Service Award from the White House in Washington D.C.

1995 – George Washington Medal of Honor a National Award for Community Service and dedication to safety from the Freedom Foundation, Valley Forge

1995 – Outstanding Service Award from the San Diego Safety Council for dedication to safety.

1995 – Distinguished Volunteer Award from the City of Coronado – for work in safety and ridesharing.

1995 – State Safety Award from the California Office of Traffic Safety in Sacramento

1995 -Hero Health Award for Community Service & Dedication to Safety from CHAD/United Way

1995 – Award of Appreciation from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for dedication to traffic safety.

1995 – Award of Appreciation from North Island Holiday Safety Stand-Down

1994-95MADD Outstanding Volunteer/Speaker/Board Member Award for her dedication in speaking in the community and to the media in stopping DUI’s and saving lives.

1994 – Red Ribbon Citizen Recognition Award from the County of San Diego educating youth on the danger of alcohol and other drugs in her lectures.

1994 – Fred H. Rohr Dedication to Safety Award from the San Diego Safety Council. (Now the Pacific Safety Council)

1994 – ATAC Law Enforcement Award of Appreciation from the California Highway Patrol

1992-93 – Outstanding Community Service Award from the San Diego Women’s Club

1991 – Award of Appreciation from the San Diego Fire Chief’s Association for work in support of firefighters and safety in the community.

1991 – Independence Award of Media Achievement Award from the Community Service Center for Disabilities.

1990-91 – Wildlife Ambassador Award from Project Wildlife for her support of wildlife preservation in the community.

1991 – Award of Appreciation from SAFE, Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies

1990Governor’s Transportation Award from the State of California for her dedication in traffic safety and ridesharing.

1990Media Access Award for Disability Awareness for Coverage of the NFL’s Disability Ski Race in Colorado for COX Cable.

1990 – Recognition Award from the North County Transportation Coalition for dedication in traffic safety and ridesharing.

1989 – Award of Appreciation from the San Diego Fire Department for support of their department.

1988 – Award of Appreciation from the Leukemia Society of America for fundraising and awareness.

1987 – Communication in Media Leadership Award from Toastmaster’s for broadcasting excellance in traffic reporting.

1986 – ITV Video Award of Excellence for Children’s Hospital PSA

1986 – Humanitarian Award from North Island Naval Air Station

1985 – Seat Belt Awareness Award from San Diego State University

1985Golden Mike News Award for First On The Scene News & Traffic Coverage of the San Ysidro Massacre at Mc Donald’s

1985 – (2) Two San Diego Press Club Awards for First On The Scene News & Traffic Coverage of the San Ysidro Massacre at McDonald’s in July of 1984

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