People of the Year

Local artist is among community honorees

By Susan Maxwell Skinner
March 2020

Artist and humanitarian Marcy Friedman, Emigh Ace Hardware store owner Rich Lawrence and River City Brewing Company co-founder Beth Ayres-Biro will be top honorees at Carmichael’s 2020 Person of the Year gala. The event will be hosted by the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce at Arden Hills Athletic & Social Club on Friday, March 20.

Friedman will be honored as 2020 Person of the Year. Lawrence will be recognized as Businessman of the Year and Ayres-Biro as Businesswoman of the Year.

Community leader Virginia Stone will be hailed as Volunteer of the Year. Sierra College freshman Mathew Mason will receive Youth Ambassador laurels for volunteerism. This year’s Nonprofit of the Year, Friends of Carmichael Library, will benefit from part of the fundraiser’s proceeds. Good Day Sacramento anchor Tina Macuha will emcee.

Marcy Friedman is synonymous with local and national philanthropy. The artist was married for 58 years to business and legal legend the late Mort Friedman. “Once our children were out of the house and on their way,” she recalls, “I became increasingly involved in philanthropic projects—usually with Mort at my side.”

Arts, education, health and human causes were the Friedmans’ focus, and the Mort and Marcy factor loaned gravitas to any charitable event. Their $10 million donation to the Crocker Art Museum enabled expansion that improved the institution for perpetuity. Arden-Arcade’s Shalom School would not exist in its present state without the couple’s generous energy.

Raising a family in Carmichael, Marcy also grew to love the American River and its parkway. “It’s a remarkable riparian area in the midst of our urban community,” she observes. “Eight years ago, I was introduced to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and was impressed by the genuine affection supporters held for it.” She became a sponsor for the center’s annual gala and has donated her art for its fundraising auction. “Living where I do, watching seasonal changes on the river is a gift of nature,” she explains. “I’m happy to give back.”

After eight years as a widow, the artist began 2020 with a new love and married high school sweetheart Paul Kaufmann on New Year’s Eve. “It’s one thing to wake up every morning to the joy of a sunrise over the river,” says the bride. “It’s entirely another to share that experience with someone you love. I have grown older and wiser along with the passing seasons. Carmichael is my home and it will always be. I am honored to be named its Person of the Year.”

Tickets for the March 20 gala are $100 per person and include a three-course dinner and no-host bar. The event begins at 6 p.m. and business attire is suggested. For information, visit or call (916) 481-1002.

Susan Maxwell Skinner can be reached at


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