YWCA’s 2024 Tribute to Leadership Awards will be held on March 27th!

Nominations are now open for the 2024 awards. Since 1994, we have shined the spotlight on over 200 incredible individuals who have dedicated their time and talents to improving the lives of women, girls, and people of color across Phoenix and Arizona. Continue reading to learn more about our annual award ceremony, and submit your nominations for leaders in Phoenix by December 15th, 2023!

About the Awards

YWCA’s Tribute to Leadership Awards Program is an annual celebration that acknowledges the remarkable achievements of leaders in our community. These individuals are committed to enhancing the lives of women, girls, and people of color through their unwavering dedication to leadership, advocacy, and community service. Over the years, we have proudly honored 264 extraordinary individuals, and we are just getting started!

For three decades, YWCA has been a beacon, illuminating the path of justice and community service by celebrating outstanding women and their contributions. Each year, we come together to raise awareness and appreciation for the diverse and invaluable contributions of women leaders.

To receive the prestigious YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award, our honorees embody the mission of YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix: eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. These selected honorees generously contribute to their communities, set the gold standard for equity in leadership, and transform the Valley into a better place for all to thrive.

eligibility requirements

Anyone in the community may nominate a deserving leader, there is no limit to the number of nominations you may submit. The best nominations are from community partners and colleagues who know and are known by the nominee.

To be considered eligible for a Tribute to Leadership Award, the nominee should:

  • Work primarily in the metropolitan Phoenix area or have made a significant impact on the Phoenix community.
  • No currently be employed by YWCA or serve on its board.
  • Not be actively running for a political/elected office.
  • Plan to attend the 2024 Tribute to Leadership Awards on March 27th and make an effort to rally your friends to join. More details to come!

EXAMPLES: Educators, advocates, artists, student leaders, athletes, activists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, public policy advocates, medical professionals (including spiritual care and mental health), non-profit leaders, and many more.

judging criteria

Nominations are thoughtfully reviewed by a panel of Tribute to Leadership Legacy Honorees, who are esteemed past winners. The evaluation will focus on the following key criteria:

  • The honoree’s leadership and impact within the community, their organization, or their industry.
  • The honoree’s exemplification of the YWCA’s mission: eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
  • The authenticity of the nomination. We encourage you to provide detailed and heartfelt responses.


  • Nominations close November 30th at 5:00PM MST
  • Honorees are notified in January
  • Event Registration opens in February
  • Tribute to Leadership Awards is held on March 27th!

Thank you to all of the 2023 Tribute to Leadership Nominees who made it to our Tribute Nominee Reception! We are grateful and humbled by the service and work you do to uplift our communities.

2023 Tribute to Leadership Nominees

2023 Review Committee

Tina Brown, 2012 Honoree
Dr. Pearlette J. Ramos, 2022 Honoree
Carol Ackerson, 2022 Honoree
Reda Riddle-Bigler, 2018 Honoree

Huge thank you to our review committee for your time and efforts to help us select the 2023 Tribute to Leadership Honorees!

Become a Partner Today

In 2024 our partners will receive various marketing, branding & recognition opportunities, tickets to 30th Tribute to Leadership Awards, and other creative opportunities to partner with us all March long!

Sponsorship opportunities can be secured by paying online or requesting an invoice HERE

To learn more about partnership opportunities and benefits contact Genevieve, YWCA Advancement Director, at genevieve@ywcaaz.org or call 602.320.7283. We look forward to exploring possible ways to partner to support the safety and well-being of our community. Thank you for all that you do!

If you are a Tribute to Leadership Legacy Honoree, we want to hear from you! Please complete this short questionnaire.


Judge Silvia Arellano
Jana Bommersbach
Deborah Brown
Pam Del Duca
Carolyn Desjardins
Mickey DiBartholomeo
Lorraine Frank
Donna Horne
Mary Lynn Kasunic
Jannie Lathan- Maxwell
Rev. Canon McClain
Grace Voss Frederick
Dorothy Willey


Joan Brainard
Linda Brock Nelson
Sharon Harper
Colleen Jennings-Roggensack
Elizabeth Lenci-Downs
Wauneta Lone Wolf
Carol Peck Ph.D
Virginia Sterling
Mary Jo West
Cecile Woodward


Phyllis Biedess
Jill DeMichele
Susan Edwards
Margaret Goldman
Paula Haflin-Moore
Michele Halyard M.D
Eleanor Klein
Anita O’Riordan
Ann Smith-Hart
Susan Stephens-Groff M.D
Mary Tang


Sandra Gendler Ph.D
Christine Iijima Hall Ph.D
Marjorie Kyle Ph.D
Linda Macleish-Jensen
Lucia Madrid
Muriel Magenta
Janet Napolitano
Liz Topete-Stonefield
Amy Torres
Linda Vollstedt
Annette Zaccari


Kauthar Hawkins
Virginia (Vicki) King
Mary Ann Lavine
Beth Meyer-Lohse
Jadel Roe
Adrienne Scheck Ph.D
Sharon Shore
Christine Wilkinson Ph.D
Phoenix Mercury


Cathy Davis
Terri Fields
Bettye Jackson
Pamela Martin
Kathleen Mitchell
Helen Osman
Clyda Jean Owen
Jean Reed Roberts
Sheryl Sculley
Russel Walker M.D


Peggy Bilsten
Winifred Doane Ph.D
Gail Gesell
Marcia Hopp Newman
S.S. Sangeet Kaur Khalsa
Patsy Lowry
Carmen Martinez Franco
Catherine Mckee (Olesen)
Pat Petznick
Beverly Stewart
Charli Turner Thorne


Mary Anderson-Rowland
Janet Arnold (Rees)
Sharon Austerman
Betty Fairfax
Jean Fairfax
Anita Favela Luera
Linda Hunt
Janet Kizziar
Denise Meridith
Diane Rutherford
Mayor Elaine Scruggs


Rochelle Balch
TJ Cohen
Judge Elizabeth Finn
Debbie Gaby
Billie Harris
Elaine Maimon Ph.D
Dr. Christine Marin Ph.D
Luz Sarmina-Gutierrez
Sue Sisley M.D
Marissa Theisen
Mary Titla


Sandy Cowne Miller
Sylvia Echave Stock
Kathleen Goeppinger Ph.D
Kathy Haake
Fatimah Halim-Washington
Kathern Lee Plenge M.D
Tammy Linn
Carol McCall
Jannah Scott
Julia Wilmot
Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM


Yolanda Collazos Kizer
Rebekah Friend
Kerry Graham
Kathy Hotchner
Dana Jamison M.D
Marlene Klotz Collins
Robin Krause Blitz M.D
Carrie Martz
Nancy Roach
Judge Jean Williams
Mary Wong


Leslie Baxter
Deborah Carstens
JoAnn Garcia (Cruz)
Karen Hardin
Karlene Keogh
Georgia McGraw
Karie Montague
Susan Paull
Armaity Vaghaiwalla Austin M.D
Carolyn Warner
Linda Wells


Joanna De’Shay
Janet Elsea
Christine French
Pamela Klonoff
Nona Lee
Linda McCay Pope
Jana Monroe
Stella Paolini
Marilyn Seymann Ph.D
Grace Wright


Heather Cunliffe
Karen Ewing
Carol Kamin
Michelle King Robson
Kimber Lanning
Jessica Livingston
Cassandra Mason-Motz
Jewell Parker Rhodes
K Royal
Senator Kyrsten Sinema


Randy Baca
Deborah Black
Debbie Castaldo
Malissa Geer
Virginia McElyea
Hope Ozer
Joan Rankin Shapiro
Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell
Irene Stillwell
Karen Woodford
Diana Yazzie-Devine


Laya Gavin
Saundra Johnson
Janet Mackay Burke
Deb Moore
Barbara Ralston
Marie Sullivan
Cyd West
Debra Williams
Karen Zalesky


Deborah Bateman
Teniqua Broughton
Abbie Fink
Kelly Hsu M.D
Sheila McInerney
Norma Ory
Stella Pope Duarte
Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo
Linda Volhein
Yvonne Watterson
Jeri Williams


Jennifer Barnes
Karen Fletcher
Pam Gaber
Tracee Hall
Susan Klecka
Carolyn Manning
Honorable Ruth McGregor
Ann Meyers Drysdale
Frances Mills-Yerger
Nicole Stanton
Gerda Weissmann Klein

Tina Brown
Karen Callahan
Carol Dahl
Dr. Regina Edwards
Diane Enos
Sue Glawe
Jodi Liggett
Darlene Newsom
Eddie Sissons
Debbie Waitkus


Michael Barnard
Karen Churchard
Dean Coonrod M.D
Angela Hughey
Andy Kramer Petersen
Pat Little-Upah
Paul Luna
Pam Overton Risoleo
Jaye Perricone
Julie Sullivan
Diana Taurasi


Alejandra Amarilla
Pamela Conboy
Cindy Hensley McCain
Chevy Humphrey
Karen Johnson
Martha Kuhns
MaryLynn Mack
Dr. Joel Martin
Leon Silver
Honorable Roxanne Song Ong


Hilary Barnes Esq
Shelly Cohn
Robbin Coulon Esq
Rachel Gutierrez
Bruce Liggett
April Osborn Ph.D
Patricia Rourke
Alice Wells
Patty White
Dana Wolfe Naimark


Tracy Bame
Susan Berman
Jan Blaser-Upchurch
Ashley Bridwell
Dana Campbell Saylor
Connie Mesa

Michelle Bravo
Carole Coles-Henry
Diana Gregory
Kara Kalkbrenner
Catherine Scrivano
Julie Ward


Tiffany Fisher
Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick
Christy Moore
Dr. Elsie Moore Ph.D
Kathleen Pechman
Jenny Poon
Reda Riddle-Bigler
City of Phoenix
Dignity Health
Freeport McMoRan


Jo Ellen Caldwell
Paula Cullison
Alejandra Gomez
Annie Groth
Carrie Young
American Family Dreams Foundation
Cox Communications
Fry’s Food Stores/Kroger Foundation


January Contreras
Amalia Luxardo
Mary Mitchell
Margaret Tyndall


Recognized Legacy Honorees:
Deanna Villanueva-Saucedo, 2010
Deborah Bateman, 2010
Jannah Scott, 2003


Gizette Knight
Dr. Pearlette J. Ramos
Charissa Sundust
Carol Ackerson


Oana Constantinescu

Graciela Garcia Candia

America Miranda

Dianne Post


2023 Tribute to Leadership

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors!

2022 Tribute to Leadership

THANK YOU for attending, volunteering, and otherwise supporting our 28th annual Tribute to Leadership Awards. We shared drinks, laughs, tears, and meaningful connections in celebration of four trailblazing honorees.

Select the buttons below to see all the fun we had.

2021 Tribute to Leadership

This Event is Made Possible By Women-Owned Businesses

There are many ways to get involved at YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix

Your voice matters as we stand up for social justice, help families and strengthen communities. Whether you have time, talents, or treasures to contribute, learn how you can plug in to the YWCA community.