Maia Schneider honored as ‘Woman of Distinction’
Truckee’s Maia Schneider is being named as the Soroptimist International of Truckee-Donner’s 2005 Woman of Distinction Wednesday night.”If you look at the 20 women who were selected before me, you can see that these are some big shoes to step into,” Schneider said of her recognition. “But I love this town, and I do what I do for two reasons: To preserve what we have, and to give thanks.”The Soroptimist’s Woman of Distinction program was instituted by the service group in 1984 to honor women in the community who have demonstrated outstanding service for at least ten years.
Joan Hartwell, coordinator for the Woman of Distinction program, was enthusiastic about Schneider’s selection, touting her as pro-active and enthusiastic.”Maia lives up to being a women of exemplary character and integrity, and is certainly a roll model for other women,” Hartwell said.Upon moving to Truckee in 1993, Schneider got involved immediately by taking a position on the board of directors of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, and by joining the Truckee Noon Rotary. But a full time job at her former employer, Placer Sierra Bank, a board position, and a philanthropic membership just weren’t enough for Schneider, so in 1995 she launched Truckee Talks, a community news and talk program spawned from the town’s incorporation. Before folding in 2002, the production team taped more than 150 episodes.
“Some were serious, some were funny, they were all a little hokey,” Schneider said. “But the information was there, and people came to rely on it.”After three years off the air, Truckee Talks have been resurrected as the “Truckee-North Talks” and are now airing once again on channel 6. Schneider was off and running. In 1997 she earned a seat on the Town Council and in 2000 became Truckee’s mayor, experiences she said gave her a greater understanding of the importance and difficulties of “building bridges, making compromises, and collaborating.”
It was also in 2000 that Maia moved from her position at the bank to one at the Hospital Foundation, where she spearheaded their Capital Campaign, an effort that raised $3.5 million for the building of the hospital’s western addition. “I see an opportunity to do something and I do it. But there are tons of people in this community who do that everyday. And that’s why Truckee is such a great place to live – people enjoy living here, and they chip in,” she said. And there is no doubt that Schneider does, she was also the brains behind Truckee’s town portrait in 2000 and the creation of Truckee Day in 2004.”When I was thinking about what women in the community that have gone above and beyond, Maia certainly stood out,” said the woman, who traditionally remains anonymous, who nominated her. “I can’t imagine how many hours she gives every year to this community, and she has made Truckee a better place to live.”