By Steve Walker
(Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran, former Journalist and Justice of the Peace )
Recently San Antonio honored 21 deserving and exceptional women for their leadership in various careers supporting those in need,leading San Antonio to be the best it can be. They were recognized for their commitment with their stories that motivate us and provide example after example of who we strive every day to be.
One woman of those women is capping off a very successful decades long career supporting those most in need in our community. Another completed service with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and public life. Many worked hard, leading San Antonio to be the best it can be.
It is their stories that motivate us and provide example after example of who we strive every day to be.They are presidents and CEOs of contracting companies, marketing agencies and law firms. They bring the community together, lead our spiritual growth and champion children. Women also lead in male-dominated fields like aviation, financial management, insurance and technology.
The San Antonio Business Journal justified their choices because the local women were perfect examples of their leadership and theirefforts in making their businesses, their industries and their communities better.
The Lifetime Achievement winner this year is Diane Dorsett, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas’ first employee helped build a nonprofit — and a legacy — from the ground up.
The Woman of the Year is Ericka Prosper Nirenberg. (Wife of the Mayor) The other 2019 Women’s Leadership Awards honorees include: Jordan Arriaga, Cynthia Barrera, Smita Bhakta, MagalyChocano, CrisDaskevich, Jane Feigenbaum, Mary Beth Fisk, Marina Gonzales, Beth Hair, Amy Hardberger,(daughter of former Judge and Mayor Phil Hardberger) Angela Holliday, Aurelina Prado, Diane Rath, Carolyn Shellman, JenniferShemwell, Jana Schmidt, Niki Salter, Mary Brennan Stich, and Fran Yanity.
Singling out recipient Jordan Arriaga, President of Worth & Associateshas always had the goal to play a major role in her family’s business as a way of honoring her father, who started R.L. Worth & Associates in 1984.She quickly advanced to vice president of asset management and served in that position until 2018, when she and her brother took the helm of the company as co-presidents.
Arriaga is active in several community charitable organizations benefitting youth, education, medical advancement and the arts, including the Alamo Heights Foundation, the Witte Museum, The DoSeum, MD Anderson, the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.
Oprah Winfrey is a source of inspiration for Cynthia Barrera, not only for the way she overcame adversity, but also how Oprah uses her platform and influence as a force of change for the good of the society.
Marina Gonzales is now president and CEO of Child Advocates San Antonio, a nonprofit that trains, supervises and empowers volunteer court-appointed advocates to serve the best interests of abused and neglected children in the welfare system. She is the first Latina president and CEO in the 35-year history of CASA, where she leads more than 40 employees and more than 600 volunteer advocates
Since space is limited for this article, be assured all the other 2019 recipients of Woman’s Leadership Awards are deserving of the honor.