Hundreds of Chamber members, community residents, and supportive friends and family gathered at the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday, June 4, to celebrate the achievements, impact, and essence of five San Antonio women. Presented by the Ford Motor Company, 2019 marked the 12th instance of Tribute to Women Business Leaders awards, recognizing an outstanding women from all facets of our community.
With attendees completely filling the ballroom, the festivities began. Chamber Chair Paula Gold-Williams, Chamber President Richard Perez, previous Tribute honoree Aaronetta Pierce, and President of Red McCombs Automotive Marsha Shields all took turns at the podium to espouse support for the honorees, for women in the community, and for the success Tribute has had over the last 12 years. Finally, committee co-chairs Harriet Dominique of USAA and Blakely Fernandez of Bracewell took the stage and announced the special guests in attendance.
One by one, Cara Tackett, SVP, Pape Dawson Engineers; Diana Barrios Trevino, Co-Owner of Los Barrios Enterprises; Lori Houston, Assistant City Manager for the City of San Antonio; and Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks, Owner of South Texas Center for Pediatric Care rose to accept their awards. Honoree Casandra Matej, President and CEO of Visit San Antonio, was not able to attend the event, but her husband Chris accepted the award on her behalf.
Following the presentation of the awards, Harriet transitioned the program into ambitious territory, promising the crowd that the panel discussion among the honorees would push the boundaries of comfort, but in doing so, facilitate a very important dialogue about the challenges and experiences of working women. For 30 minutes, Harriet and the honorees discussed overcoming adversity, the value of mentorship, pioneering uncharted areas for women, and the importance of having frank discussions, among other topics.
As a lasting legacy, your Chamber and Ford set aside $1,000 scholarships in the name of each honoree to a college or university of the honoree’s choice. This year, donations will be made to UTSA’s College of Engineering, in honor of Cara Tackett; St. Philip’s College Culinary Department, in honor of Diana Barrios Trevino; UTSA’s School of Public Policy, in honor of Lori Houston; the University of Texas’s Moody College of Communications, in honor of Casandra Matej; and the State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon Scholarship Fund at St. Philip’s College, in honor of Dr. Dianna Burns-Banks.
To see photos from 2019’s Tribute to Women Business Leaders, click here.