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For Immediate Release

Tanya Peebles-Hill
(213) 236-5329

Erika Wirkkala
(818) 425-0998


LOS ANGELES, CA (March 1, 2012) – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of Women’s History Month, Union Bank has partnered with KCET to honor two remarkable women as local heroes. The Local Heroes program, which kicked off during Black History Month in February and continues for Women’s History Month in March, recognizes and pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world. The 2012 Women’s History Month honorees are: Bea Cohen and Billie P. Weiss.

In addition to Women’s History Month local heroes, honorees will be recognized during Jewish American Heritage Month (April/May); Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May); Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (June); and Hispanic Heritage Month (September). The year-long program will culminate with a celebratory event in October 2012, where honorees will be formally recognized as part of the Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors. Since 1998, KCET and Union Bank have collaborated on the Local Heroes initiative and honored more than 125 outstanding community leaders.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity to show our gratitude and respect for these amazing individuals and all they have given to their community,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “It is also an honor to continue our partnership with KCET, which allows us to recognize the achievements of many more local heroes as part of our 15-year tradition in Los Angeles.”

“KCET is excited to join Union Bank in recognizing two remarkable women,” said KCET President and CEO Al Jerome. “Each of the honorees has made a significant impact on the Los Angeles community, and we are pleased to introduce them to our viewers with video profiles on their work airing on KCET throughout Women’s History Month.”

The 2012 honorees for Women’s History Month are:

Bea Cohen, a World War II veteran, has spent her life advocating for her fellow soldiers. During the war, she worked at Douglas Aircraft Company and became a living “Rosie the Riveter,” and soon a U.S. Air Force soldier. During her career, she worked in the communications department with top-secret documents and fed the soldiers while on kitchen patrol. At age 102, Ms. Cohen is an essential member of many organizations, among them the Jewish War Veterans Auxiliary and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital. She believes our Veterans are America’s real heroes, and hopes people will honor, remember and thank them for their service and sacrifices

Billie P. Weiss, M.P.H., is founder of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles and associate director of the Southern California Injury Prevention Research Program at the UCLA School of Public Health. For the past 21 years, Ms. Weiss has dedicated her life to building safer communities. Ms. Weiss is the author of numerous literary works, and co-authored the “Advanced Project Report on Reducing Gang and Youth Violence in Los Angeles.” She has received numerous awards, including the California Peace Prize from The California Endowment and Courageous Leader by Women Against Gun Violence in 2008.

Throughout the month of March, KCET will air a video profile of each honoree, highlighting how they have made a difference in their community. The on-air profiles can be viewed on the Web at KCET showcases the rich, vibrant history and cultural diversity of our region with special programs during the respective heritage months and throughout the year. For more information about the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $89.7 billion at December 31, 2011. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 414 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas and New York, as well as two international offices, on December 31, 2011. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit for more information.

About KCET
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its more than 47-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit