Lindsay Hansen
PR Consultant
(C): 480.205.6195


August 22, 2022

(PHOENIX) – The Greater Phoenix Chamber announced the 11 women chosen as finalists for its prestigious 35th Anniversary ATHENA Awards, continuing its strong tradition of recognizing outstanding Valley businesswomen.

The ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award recognizes a woman in the public and private sectors,  and highlights an upcoming leader in the Valley as an ATHENA Young Professional.  ATHENA finalists are chosen for their excellence in business and leadership, dedication to the community, and support and mentorship of other women.

The 11 finalists are:

Private Sector finalists:

  • Deb Gullett, CEO, Arizona Association of Health Plans
  • Delma Herrera, Vice President of Field Sales, West Region, Cox Communications
  • Sissie Roberts Shank, President & CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing Inc.
  • Marcia Veidmark, Owner, Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board, SSC Underground (Specialized Services Co.)

Public Sector finalists:

  • Jennifer Caraway, Founder & Executive Director, The Joy Bus
  • Christine Mackay, Director, Community & Economic Development, City of Phoenix
  • April A. Salomon, Executive Director, Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
  • Kate Smith, Ed.D., President, Rio Salado College

Young Professional finalists:

  • Veronica Aguilar, Vice President, Teach for America
  • Lindsey Beagley, Senior Director for Mirabella at ASU, ASU Enterprise Partners
  • Amber Cordoba, Director of Business Education and Consulting Services, CPLC – Prestamos CDFI
“Spotlighting the women who are moving the Greater Phoenix area forward through the ATHENA Awards program is one of the Chamber’s proudest traditions,” said Todd Sanders, president & CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “These women make immeasurable contributions within their companies, their communities, and they are a driving force in making Arizona a top state in the nation. I encourage everyone to join us in October at the ATHENA Awards Luncheon to meet these exceptional leaders.”

The ATHENA Awards highlight women who have achieved the pinnacle of success within their industry, have mentored women throughout their careers, dedicated their time to their community, and are making a difference in the lives of others.

Join the Greater Phoenix Chamber to celebrate outstanding businesswomen in our community and to support all nominees, finalists, and recipients past and present.

WHO: Three ATHENA Award recipients will be announced during the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s 35th Anniversary ATHENA Awards Luncheon.

WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

REGISTER: Register here | Registration closes on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 5 p.m.

QUESTIONS: Email with any questions.


The Chamber congratulates all of the 2022 ATHENA Nominees:

Private Sector Nominees

Kris Adair | Owner & Nurse Practitioner, Adair Family Clinic & Medspa

Wynne Angell | Founder & CEO, Angell Marketing

Sadhna Bokhiria | Vice President, Darwin Research Group

Dr. Jen Bonilla | Executive Director of Academic Operations, Arizona College of Nursing

Kim Marie Branch-Pettid | CEO, Owner, LeTip International, Inc.

Juliet Speisman Burgess | Founding Partner, The Burgess Law Group

Ginger Clayton | CEO/President, Elontec

Martha dePlazaola Abbott | Managing Director-Principal, Gensler

Joanna de’Shay | Creative Director | Fashion Designer, Black Russian Label

Virginia Fargo | Sr. Loan Consultant, Caliber Home Loans

Angelina Flores | Chief Human Resources Officer, Gila River Resorts & Casinos

Julie Giese | President, Phoenix Raceway

Sarah C. Gonzalez | Founder & Community Change Agent, Gonzalez Consulting LLC.

Elizabeth Goodman | Principal, Husch Blackwell Strategies

Deb Gullett | CEO, Arizona Association of Health Plans

Charlotte Gurule | Senior Medical Director, Oak Street Health

Delma Herrera | Vice President of Field Sales, Cox Communications

Jill Krigsten | Media Consultant, Cox Media

Crystal Lehman | Chief Technology Officer, BrightFi LLC.

Amy Lindsey | Publisher, AZ Big Media

Laurie McCartney | President of Global Fitness and Wellness Solutions, Ascend Learning and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Audra McQuarie | Vice President, Registrar, University of Phoenix

Annette Guerra Musa | Senior Vice President, Private Client Manager, Bank of America Private Bank

Christine Nowaczyk | Corporate Banking Executive, BOK Financial

Amilyn Pierce | Vice President, Government Affairs, Arizona Diamondbacks

Jessica Raymond | Executive Vice-President, Atlantic Development & Investments, Inc.

Angela Salazar | Community Affairs Director, ALPFA Phoenix

Marie Saloum | CEO, GreenPharms

Britton Sanchez | Vice President, Franchise Operations, HomeSmart

Adrienne Sanford | Vice President, People Operations, Carvana

Doris Savron | Vice Provost – Colleges, Assessment, Curriculum, University of Phoenix

Sissie Roberts Shank | CEO & President, Chas Roberts A/C and Plumbing Inc.

Marcia Veidmark | Owner/Founder – CEO & Chairman of the Board, SSC Underground (Specialized Services Co.)

Kisshell L. Wilson | Director, Water Information Technology Services, Salt River Project (SRP)

Public Sector Nominees

Sarah Amaral | Development Director, American Lung Association in AZ

Aysha Bell | Director, Grand Canyon University

Laura Bulluck | Chief Executive Officer, Hope’s Crossing

Jennifer Caraway | Founder & Executive Director, The Joy Bus

Dr. Maria Romo Chavira | Chancellor, The Diocese of Phoenix

Briana Clark | Program Director, New Pathways for Youth

Lisha Dunlap | PR Marketing Manager, Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Joan Koerber-Walker | President & CEO, Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio)

Gervonni Sherrod Leggett | Executive Director, Gervonni Cares Inc.

Ashleigh Leite | Senior Vice President, Major Gifts, HonorHealth Foundation

Bianca Lochner | Chief Information Officer, City of Scottsdale

Christine Mackay | Director, Community and Economic Development, City of Phoenix

Fran Mallace | President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Arizona

Nancy Padberg | President & CEO, Catholic Education Arizona

April A. Salomon | Executive Director, Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

Kate Smith | President, Rio Salado College

Francine Sumner | Founder & CEO, Kid in the Corner

Lorraine Tallman | CEO and Founder, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels

Mònica Villalobos | President & CEO, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & Foundation

Young Professional Nominees

Veronica Aguilar | Vice President, Teach for America

Lindsey Beagley | Sr. Director, Lifelong University Engagement, Mirabella at ASU (ASU Enterprise Partners)

Dr. Meg Byrne | Co-Owner/Chiropractor Physician, Acacia Natural Medicine

Ashley Bunch | Public Affairs Manager, Arizona Public Service (APS)

Amber Cordoba | Director, Business Education & Consulting, CPLC – Prestamos CDFI

Melissa Diaz | Co-Founder + CFO, Rebel Rock PC

Erin Garcia | Vice President, Social Services & Education, Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Marette Hahn | Director of Academic & Career Excellence, Grand Canyon University

Anne Landers | Vice President, Strategic Impact, Junior Achievement of Arizona

Vanessa Lister | Area Executive Meetings Manager, Pacific Hospitality Group

Lindsay Moellenberndt | Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer, Fennemore Attorneys

Angela Palmer | Director of Events & Marketing, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits

Danielle Puente | CFO, DP Electric Inc.

Kristin Rodney | Workforce Talent & DEI, REI

Terry Simpson | VP People & Culture, OneAZ Credit Union

Emily Taracena | Senior Program Manager, New Pathways for Youth

Amanda Ventura Zink | Public Affairs Manager, Waymo


About the Greater Phoenix Chamber

Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, create a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.

About the ATHENA Award

The ATHENA Awards, an internationally prized honor, recognizes the achievement of businesswomen across the Greater Phoenix region. ATHENAs are challenged across industries to continue their dedication to leading, serving and mentoring. The award highlights three women every year who are at the top of their field and who invest in their career, their community and especially other women. ATHENAs demonstrate inspiring leadership within their industry, mentor women throughout their career and dedicate themselves to the community.


About the ATHENA Young Professional Award

ATHENA International established an award to honor emerging young leaders in our community. The ATHENA Young Professional Award officially launched at the 2007 International ATHENA Leadership Conference and Phoenix was proud to be one of the first cities to present it within their community. These are the “women to watch.”

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Posted by Jocelyn McAlpin