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Local Mom In Spotlight

motheroftheyearThe Association of American Mothers, Inc. honored a Santa Clarita mother at a recent gala.

Jacqulyn O'Meara Petersen was honored at the event and was introduced by the 2009 California Mother of the Year, Myrna Condie.

Condie noted she has had the privilege of knowing Jacquie since she and her husband, Harold, moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 2001.

Condie recounted some of Jacquie's history:

She was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and was educated in Catholic and public schools.

Her father was a professor in the Creighton University School of Dentistry and had his own dental practice.

In the summer of 1946, Jacquie was entertaining her brother with a cherry coke at Walgreens drug store when she met her future husband, W. Harold Petersen. They quickly became friends, courted, got engaged and were married in 1949.

Jacquie's rich abundance of people skills helped her get a job with the owners of Mutual of Omaha insurance. Later she and Harold moved to Indianapolis, Indiana to build up the Accident and Health Insurance Company.

In 1967 Pete resigned as president of the Indianapolis company and Jacquie and her family moved to Los Angeles where they started Petersen International Underwriters.

As her children grew older the joined the family business.

In 2001 Peterson International Underwriters moved to a larger office in Santa Clarita.

Over the years, many charities have profited from Jacquie's organizational talents. Charities such as; the Service League, the American Red Cross, the John Tracey Clinic, the Los Angeles Children's Home Society, the American Heart Fund, and the American Cancer Society have benefited from her time and generosity.

She has also served as the president of the Mary and Joseph League and as a volunteer with the Catholic Church.

In Santa Clarita, Jacquie is a supporter of the College of the Canyons, the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, the Child and Family Center, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Jacquie radiates friendliness, compassion, pride, and enthusiasm in her service and in her life as a model citizen. Her cheerful spirit is infectious, and her outgoing personality is evident to all who have crossed her path in our community.

American Mothers, Inc. is an interfaith, non-political, non-profit organization for women and men who recognize the important role of motherhood and the invaluable contribution mothers make to the future success and happiness of children and society.

They honor mothers, sponsor educational and community outreach programs, and encourage mothers to promote honesty, integrity, patriotism and the application of moral values in every area of life beginning in their own homes.

The American Mothers National Convention will be celebrating its 75th anniversary April 30 to May 2 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City where the first AMI convention was held.