12 exceptional women nominated for 2012 Athena Award

2012 Athena Award nominees. (Back row L to R) Gwendolyn Cole, Anne Ambrose, Rosemary Mann, Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Vicki Medina, and Debbie Schmidt. (Front row L to R) Jackie Owens, Lauri Massari, Sue Dell, Sue Page, and Dana Haycock. Not pictured: Ann Hill.

LANCASTER – The Zonta Club of the Antelope Valley Thursday announced the nominees for the coveted 2012 Athena Award.

The Athena Award is presented to a woman who has attained and embodies the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and actively assists women in realizing their leadership potential.

Nominees for 2012 (in alphabetical order) are :

  1. Anne Ambrose, Public Safety, City of Palmdale
  2. Gwendolyn Cole, Black Infant Health Program
  3. Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Palmdale School Board
  4. Sue Dell, Attorney-At-Law
  5. Dana Haycock, Coldwell Banker Bozigian Realty
  6. Ann Hill, AV Chambers of Commerce
  7. Rosemary Mann, Camille’s Sidewalk Café
  8. Lauri Massari, Westside Union School District
  9. Vicki Medina, Antelope Valley Board of Trade
  10. Jackie Owens, Farmers Insurance Agency
  11. Sue Page, Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley
  12. Debbie Schmidt, dsh Solutions

More on this year’s Athena Award nominees:

Anne Ambrose, Public Safety, City of Palmdale
Anne Ambrose has been at the helm of the City of Palmdale’s Public Safety and Community Relations Department since 1999.  She began her work as an intern with the City in 1997 and was quickly promoted to several more progressively responsible management positions within the department, culminating in her current position as the director of public safety and community relations.  Ambrose is the board chair of the American Red Cross – Antelope Valley Chapter, board chair for the Disaster Management Area B Board and advisory board member for the Regional Community Policing Institute – California.  Ambrose resides in Quartz Hill with her husband Dave.

Gwendolyn Cole, Black Infant Health Program
Gwendolyn Cole has been the program coordinator for the Black Infant Health Program (BIH) for the past eight years.  The program was designed to reduce the high infant mortality for African-Americans. She has served in the community in many roles: chairman, Antelope Valley Network for Health Families; committee, ‘Team Decision Making’ with the Department of Children and Family Services; coordinator, March of Dimes/Faith Based Coalition/Health Ministries; executive director, AV CARES Mentoring Circle; president, High Dessert Alliance of Black School Educators (HDABSE) and co-founder, HDABSE Parent University Mentoring and Leadership Institute.

Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Palmdale School Board
Sandy Corrales-Eneix was elected to the Palmdale School Board 11 years ago after serving in numerous leadership positions, such as Palmdale planning commissioner and president of both the Palmdale and AV Hispanic Chambers of Commerce. A 24-year resident of Palmdale, Corrales-Eneix has also served as an officer of the Palmdale Woman’s Club, Democratic Club of the High Desert and United Way. She recently co-founded the League of Women Voters Antelope Valley and was appointed to the Community Advisory Committee for the Palmdale Sheriff’s captain.  In May, she was announced as the 2012 Life Award recipient by High Desert Medical Group, citing her generosity and humanitarian efforts.

Sue Dell, Attorney-At-Law
Sue Dell has been a senior staff attorney at Dependency Court for over 16 years, representing over 1500 AV residents. She trains for Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a certified mediator, and has finalized almost 100 child adoptions.  Founding chair of Lancaster’s Tapestry Human Relations Commission, Dell has initiated programs for expungement, mediation, open forums, and is collaborating on an anti-bullying program. She is also judge pro-tem for Lancaster’s Youth Court, an alternative sentencing program.  Dell is the fundraising chair on the OUTreach Center Board of Directors, which provides support, advocacy, and professional resources to the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Dana Haycock, Coldwell Banker Bozigian Realty
An Antelope Valley resident since 1992, Haycock became a Realtor in 1995 and has been committed to numerous professional real estate organizations.  She served as president of the Greater Antelope Valley Association of REALTORS and has been active in the California Association of REALTORS and the local and state chapters of the Women’s Council of REALTORS.  Haycock also served as a planning commissioner for the City of Lancaster for two years.  Haycock has been involved in the Alpha Charter Guild and has served as a Board Member of the AV Regional United Way, the Parent’s Board of Paraclete High School, Valley Oasis, Antelope Valley Amigas, Mental Health America and the Military Civilian Affairs Committee of the AV Chambers of Commerce.

Ann Hill, AV Chambers of Commerce
Ann Hill is the chairwoman for the AV Chambers of Commerce. Hill devotes many hours volunteering for her community.  She is the Vice President of Education for three Toastmasters clubs and the public relations VP for the fourth club.  Hill’s past involvement includes secretary-treasurer for Penny Lane’s board of directors and the volunteer marketing director for White Dove Productions, a contemporary Christian music company.  Her other volunteer affiliations include AV PROz (program chair); Women in Management; the inaugural and 2nd annual Antelope Valley Women’s Conference and the AV Literacy Coalition.

Rosemary Mann, Camille’s Sidewalk Café
Rosemary Mann is the owner of Camille’s Sidewalk Café in Lancaster and is married to City of Lancaster Councilman Ken Mann.  She is an active director of the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce – Lancaster/Rosamond. Mann strongly donates to organizations such as the Annual GraceFest, Painted Turtle, City of Lancaster, MS Walkathon, Grace Resource Center, AV Hospital Nurses Association, Veteran’s Home, Lancaster-West Rotary Club, and numerous other organizations.  Her contributions normally exceed over $10,000 a year.

Lauri Massari, Westside Union School District
Formerly a teacher and counselor, Lauri Massari enters her 31st year in education, currently serving as professional development coordinator for Westside Union School District. Massari authored the “Darkness to Light” anti-bullying memorial, and was the architect of the community-wide NOT IN OUR TOWN movement.  She provides school climate and safety trainings to Antelope Valley educators and community organizations.  Her anti-bullying efforts were featured in the PBS Documentary, “NOT IN OUR TOWN Class Actions”, which aired nation-wide in April

Vicki Medina, Antelope Valley Board of Trade
After 22 years in radio, recently as the general manager of six radio stations in the Palmdale/Lancaster market and her post as senior affiliate sales manager at Westwood One in Valencia, Vicki (Connor) Medina was selected two years ago as the Executive Director of the Antelope Valley Board of Trade.  Medina has served on numerous Boards including the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, Desert Haven Enterprises, the Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Boosters, the Boys & Girls Club, and was one of the 2002 ambassadors for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Jackie Owens, Farmers Insurance Agency
Jackie Owens is the marketing director for her husband’s Farmers Insurance Agency and she is also the immediate past chairwoman of the AV Chambers of Commerce.  She was born in the Bronx, New York and spent the bulk of her childhood in New York.  She moved to California in 1989 to pursue her love of teaching and participate in a church planting.  She met her husband Dave at church and they have been married for over 20 yearsThe Owens’ started their Farmers Insurance Agency in 2005 and have experienced tremendous growth despite a difficult economy.

Sue Page, Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley
Sue Page began her career on a playground as a supervisor and advanced throughout the years to become a superintendent of Gorman School District.  After 30 years in education, Page looked for a new way to help woman and children, and that search brought her to her current position as executive director of the Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley.  From mentoring young women in teaching and administration, she has since shifted to helping young women change their lives and the lives of their children.  She has been on committees such as the Rural Museum and the Museum of Art and History.

Debbie Schmidt, dsh Solutions
Debbie Schmidt is the owner of dsh Solutions, a website design and maintenance company.  She also does marketing consulting and design for individuals, non-profits, and small businesses.  Schmidt has been a director on the Quartz Hill Chamber; a primary in the last four Veterans’ Day Parades/Festivals & its 2012 chair and the co-founder of the Antelope Valley Veterans’ Community Action Coalition.  She teaches computer education to veterans at the Pete Knight Veterans Home; has organized and been a director of the Antelope Valley Dog and Cat Rescue; and she works on AV Walk MS.  She currently works with various AV environmental groups to ensure alternative energy companies build responsibly to preserve natural resources inherent in our desert.

The Zonta Club of the Antelope Valley will announce the winner of the 2012 Athena Ward at a cocktail reception and dinner on at 5:30 p.m., Friday, November 16 at the Hellenic Center, at 30th Street West and Avenue K-4 in Lancaster.  The cost to attend the event is $75.

ATHENA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting, developing and honoring women leaders. Its purpose is to inspire women to achieve their full potential – creating balance in leadership worldwide.

  2 comments for “12 exceptional women nominated for 2012 Athena Award

  1. Jennifer St. Jude
    November 11, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Is that Our Sue Dell?!! she is quite an exceptional woman!!!

  2. Stephen Hawk
    October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Please note that Debbie Schmidt has also been a Councilwoman with the Quartz Hill Town Council for the last 2 years working to preserve the rural aspects of this small community. Thanks.

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