The worst they can say is ‘no’ and they can’t take away your birthday.

Vanessa Valenzuela Erickson

A challenging childhood and being the first in her family to attend a university motivates Vanessa Valenzuela Erickson to tackle every challenge head on. Engaging with the community inspires Erickson and her new role with the Partnership for Economic Innovation allows her to do that. Teaching for the Roosevelt Elementary School District in South Phoenix helped prepare her for the corporate world and for her much more encompassing role as a mother.

As a mentor, she stresses the importance of acting with intent to her mentees. One mentee she really connected with was a young girl whom she mentored from high school all the way to getting her first job at SRP.

Celebrate outstanding women in business attend the 29th Annual ATHENA Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

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