Last Thursday, five outstanding San Antonio women business leaders were celebrated by more than 400 attendees at our 11th Annual Tribute to Women Business Leaders luncheon. The luncheon, which is presented by Ford Motor Company, honors individuals who embody leadership qualities which have driven not only their personal success, but also the success of those around them.
Susan Stewart, 2018 Tribute to Women Business Leaders Chair and CEO of SWBC Mortgage, who served as the event’s emcee, said in her opening remarks, “This tribute is about even more than our honorees. It is about all of the business women across our region who look to these leaders, and those of us in this room, to help them reach success.” She then played a video that highlighted some of the incredible women who have made San Antonio their home and who paved the way for women business leaders today.
Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of CPS Energy, who received the Executive Award for Large Business, spoke of the influence her parents had on her life and her success. “As I got older, I realized how smart my mother was, and what I realized is that she didn’t have the opportunities that she gave me,” Gold-Williams said. “It’s all of these unsung women and people in our community that make San Antonio special.”
In accepting the Brenda Vickrey Johnson Award for Small Business, Jennifer Moriarty, Prinicipal and Owner of Moriarty Consulting, mimicked her honoree video. “I’m really trying to own my awesomeness in this moment,” she said. “I am completely amazed that I get to share this day with all the other honorees and even have my name associated with Brenda Vickrey Johnson – it is very humbling.”
Upon receiving the Chamber’s Promise Award, Ronit Sherwin, CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, said, “I’ve always felt energized and inspired to be in the presence of intelligent and accomplished women, so this gathering today is quite awesome. Leadership comes with great responsibility, and I take that responsibility as a woman leader seriously.”
Major General Angie Salinas, USMC (Ret), CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, accepted the Hope Award, and thanked her fellow honorees for serving as role models for tomorrow’s leaders. “Each of you are tremendous role models for each girl who is a Girl Scout, and I know that those Girl Scouts are just waiting to knock us off this stage,” she said. “San Antonio, you welcomed me into the community and each of you have managed to inspire me to do more,” she added.
Finally, Taddy McAllister accepted the Legacy Award on behalf of her beloved mother Edith McAllister, who was not able to make it to the event. “If she were able, if she could, she would have been here with bells on. Thank you all from the bottom of her heart,” Taddy shared.
A number of years ago, the Chamber and Ford Motor Company added an educational component to the Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards to help today’s students become tomorrow’s honorees. Each of the five honorees selected colleges or universities that will receive $1,000 scholarship donations. This year, donations will be sent to the Alamo Colleges (Gold-Williams), Texas State University (Moriarty), Harvard Divinity School (Sherwin), Dominican University of California (Salinas), and Southwest School of Art (McAllister).