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Nominations Now Open for Tribute to Leadership 2023!

YWCA’s Tribute to Leadership Awards Program has been an annual celebration to recognize the accomplishments of leaders in our community who strive to improve the lives of women, girls, and people of color through leadership, advocacy, and community service. Tribute to Leadership Nominations are now open! Celebrate and honor a woman who inspires and unapologetically advocates for a just community. Nominate her today for YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix Tribute to Leadership Awards.

Nomination Deadline: November 30, 2022

Save the Date! Tribute to Leadership 2023 is taking place March 29th.

Award Categories

Tribute Leader Nominee Criteria

  • Nominee works primarily in Arizona or Nominee work has primary impact in Arizona
  • Leadership and Impact: Nominees will be evaluated on their leadership and impact within the community, their organization, or their industry.
  • Exhibits and embodies the mission of YWCA: eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Emerging Leader Nominee Criteria

  • Less than five years in profession (early in career)
  • Nominee works primarily in Arizona or nominee work has primary impact in Arizona
  • Nominee shows leadership capabilities and/or innovation
  • Exhibits and embodies the mission of YWCA: eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

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

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for a Tribute to Leadership Award, the nominee must:

  • Have resided in the state of Arizona for at least two years
  • Not be a current YWCA staff or board member
  • Not currently be running for political/elected office

The Tribute to Leadership Awards are presented to women who…

  • Exhibit leadership skills in their field of expertise
  • Have been a role model and/or mentor to other women and girls
  • Advocate for positive social change that helps close the leadership gap and create a more equitable society
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women
  • Garnered respect within the community
  • Are dedicated to helping women and girls achieve their goals
  • Reinforce policies, practices, attitudes, and/or actions that are intended to produce equitable outcomes for all
  • Give back to the community through their time, talent, and/or resources

Selection Process

Tribute to Leadership Honorees are selected by a committee of Legacy Tribute to Leadership Honorees (previous awardees).

All nominees and their nominators will be notified in December and invited to attend a private January reception for the official announcement of the final 2023 Honorees.

About the Awards

YWCA’s Tribute to Leadership Awards Program has been an annual celebration to recognize the accomplishments of leaders in our community who strive to improve the lives of women, girls, and people of color through leadership, advocacy, and community service. We have recognized 264 unstoppable honorees and we are just getting started!

Since 1994, YWCA has celebrated remarkable women for their commitment to justice and giving back to the community. We celebrate each year to increase awareness and appreciation for the diverse contributions of women leaders.

To be awarded a YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award, a woman must embody YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The selected honorees give generously of themselves, set the example of equity in leadership, and make Phoenix a better place for all to live.

Gizette Knight

Charissa Sundust

Dr. Pearlette J. Ramos

Carol Ackerson


2022 Review Committee

Tina Brown, 2012 Honoree
Diana Gregory, 2017 Honoree
Alice Wells, 2015 Honoree
Annette Zaccari, 1997 Honoree

Huge thank you to our review committee for your time and efforts to help us select the 2022 Tribute to Leadership Honorees!

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
Medtronic

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

January Contreras
Amalia Luxardo
Mary Mitchell
Margaret Tyndall

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

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

Become a Partner Today

In 2022 our partners will receive year-long benefits, of your choosing, from a menu of options or through co-creation! Some options include various marketing, branding & recognition opportunities, tickets to 28th Tribute to Leadership Awards and other special events, Equity and Prosperity workshops for staff/volunteers, and more!

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!

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 one of the two buttons below to see all the fun we had.

2021 Tribute to Leadership

Thank you to our Event Partners

This awards celebration would not be possible without the incredible support of our sponsors.

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Justice Sponsor

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Community Sponsor

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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.