On Feb. 23, the YWCA Maricopa County celebrated its 20th annual Tribute to Leadership event at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix. The 11 individuals honored have made substantial contributions to eliminating discrimination, empowering women and serving as champions to our community. Presented by the Arizona Republic, 12 News and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Tribute to Leadership was emceed by Channel 12’s Tram Mai.
Attendees included Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, the YWCA’s first male board member; his wife, Nicole Stanton, former honoree; U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema; U.S. Rep. Lela Alston; and Congressman Ed Pastor and his wife, Verma.
Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while listening to music by violinist Jonathan Levingston. After dinner, they danced to the music of The Upper East Side Big Band.
Nationally known poet Regina Blakely created and presented a poem celebrating the YWCA and honorees. For the first time in YWCA history, Tribute to Leadership honored both women and men.
The 2013 recipients are Jaye Perricone, PetSmart; Pamela Overton Risoleo, Greenberg Traurig; Andy Kramer Petersen, Banner Health Foundation; Michael Barnard, Phoenix Theatre; Dr. Dean Victor Coonrod; Patricia Little-Upah, ret., U.S. Army Reserve; Angela Hughey, ONE Community Media; Karen Churchyard, Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation; Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury; and Julie Sullivan, International Foundation for Education & Self-Help.
Tribute to Leadership is the YWCA’s largest fundraising event of the year, providing essential services for seniors,; home-delivered meals for impoverished elderly, disabled adults and veterans; financial education to women and families; and essential awareness programs to eliminate discrimination and promote gender equity.