The OWL Awards were given to these women in the following categories:
- Women Innovator
- Vision Award
- Woman on the Way
- Executive Woman Award
- Luminary Award
- Achievement Against All Odds
- Wise Woman Award (Business Woman of the Year)
See details on each category below.
The first award of the evening was the Woman Innovator award. This award was given to a woman in a non-traditional business. The nominees were:
- Dorene Humason
The Chef in Black
- Tina Reynolds
- Donna Springer
Our winner is a native Sacramentan. She began her studies as a health care major but soon was exposed to the duties and responsibilities of transportation when she was asked to oversee the drivers of the lab at Sierra College. She was almost fired by the woman in charge because she was threatened by the promise that was shown by our winner in her short time in charge. She was given the position by the head of the department. From there she went to another local company where she oversaw 3 offices, 40 drivers and had a budget of $100,000 per month. After the business was sold she moved on to another company in the Bay Area, where she met her partner. They both saw a need in the market place for on demand delivery service in the area. They wrote up the proposal and presented it to the Vice President, a man of course, after briefly looking at the proposal he said to them, “This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen!” They decided to go on their own and drew up their business plan on a napkin at a local McDonalds. 26 years later they own all their trucks, equipment and commercial building free and clear and have revenues of just under 5 million a year. Our winner says, “Yes this industry is a man’s world but my biggest mentors have been men…the men I’ve met in the industry and my father who taught me not only how to play with the boys but how to beat them at their own game!”
The Woman Innovator Award for 2011 goes to Donna Springer, of Go-Getters.
The next award of the evening was the Vision Award, an award given an organization whose vision provides opportunities for women and girls. The nominees were:
- Art Consulting Services
- Soroptimist International Sacramento
- Up and At It
- International Association for Women of Color Day
Our Vision winner has been in existence since 1923. They specifically target their programs and services to women and girls. They offer scholarships and grants to women and girls locally and internationally. Notable programs are random acts of kindness…this involves spontaneous projects choosing random recipients in need of immediate attention, for instance foster children requesting Christmas gifts, members interested in participating donate to the immediate cause. Another project is Kay’s Cookers – this project provides solar cookers to the women of Darfur in refugee camps, this allows them to stay in their camps and not have the need to gather firewood, thus exposing themselves to rape, beatings and other forms of violence. One of their most notable programs is money matters…this program trains young women and girls in effective personal financial management, making their money go further and last longer. The Sacramento community is home to 100’s of women living below or at poverty level. These workshops are providing vital information to these women in order for them to make the best use of their limited resources. The organization has helped 855 women and girls and has donated $27,000 to various organizations this year.
The 2011 Vision award goes to Soroptimist International Sacramento.
Woman on the Way
The next award was Woman on the Way award. This award is presented to the woman that shows promise in her business and has been in business for less than five years. The nominees were:
- Kelli Foley
Trillium Real Estate
- Dorene Humason
The Chef in Black
- Gina Jackson
After 25 years in the food business and a 14 hour long work day our winner decided that she had to control her own destiny. She went to work in her kitchen formulating something that she knew was missing in the food market. A dressing and marinade that tasted exactly like what you might eat in a restaurant it had to be healthy, fresh, all natural and of course delicious. And so in 2008 Jaden was born, a Chinese chicken salad dressing that has since blossomed into a dry mix and two bottled dressings, traditional and fat free. With revenues hovering around $500,000 the dressings are now being carried by over 2000 grocery stores including Raley’s, Savemart, Nugget, Whole Foods and Costco! She also had an appearance on the television show Shark Tank when she began her business, where she actually had an offer from one of the sharks, of course the sole woman shark! She says that “Her core value is customer satisfaction, it is the most important aspect of our business!” And by the way we had a personal taste of the dressings on our salads that evening.
The 2011 winner of Woman on the Way Award is Dorene Humason, The Chef in Black.
Executive Woman Award
Our next award was the Executive Woman–an award given to an individual that is a senior level executive. The nominees were:
- Shelly Blanchard
Executive Director, Cordova Community Council
- Delania Lustig
Marketing & Circulation Director, Sacramento Business Journal
- Lori Raderschadt
Director of Organizational Development, The Buzz Oates Group of Companies
We’d like to know when our winner sleeps?? The accomplishments and projects are non stop… she has taken a 50 year old organization and turned it into a robust community events entity. She is responsible for creating and coordinating many community events such as Kids Day in the Park, the International Festival, 4th of July Celebration, Christmas tree lighting, Celebration of Faith, and…responsible for the army of volunteers that participate in the annual Mather Air Show…We are tired just reading about it all!
And for all this hard work and results she has been honored by the 10th Assembly District as Woman of the Year in 2001 & 2006, recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Rancho Cordova Elks Lodge in 2007 and was a Veteran’s Memorial Plaza Honoree in 2006.
The winner of the Executive Woman award goes to Shelly Blanchard, Cordova Community Council.
The Luminary Award
Our next award is the Luminary award, given to an individual lighting the way by mentoring others or volunteering in the community.The nominees were:
- Suzanne Brooks
Owner, Creative Concepts & Founder, International Association of Women of Color Day
- Stephanie Chandler
Stephanie Chandler Enterprises, LLC
- Vicki Guanzon
Villa Capri Apartments
- Tina Reynolds
- Robin Walsh
Up and At It
Our winner began her journey of mentoring 40 years ago. She received her BA in Education and English, her MA in English and completed all but her dissertations for Doctorates in Adult Education from Penn State. She also led with authority as a former police officer in Philadelphia. Her sole purpose is to encourage women and girls to consider developing their own businesses by beginning with volunteering. She encourages volunteerism to gain experience in marketing, fundraising, publicity and business development. She also encourages women and girls to be involved with the arts as an expression of self and community involvement. She began her concept in 1990 when she turned an empty room in the Sacramento State Library into the Multi Cultural Center on campus. While she was the director, the center was home to more than 30 student cultural groups and was doing 70 programs a year, she implemented all without any programming funds and a very limited budget. Some of the programs included: a week long program during African American month, 5 Days of the Middle Passage, where the realities of slavery were presented in a theatrical performance.
A program in honor of Cesar Chavez, attended by 1600 people, where she received a special award from then Mayor Joe Serna she was instrumental in the increase of students of color graduating in the fields of Law, Medicine and Science. She also spent many hours writing letters of recommendation to colleges and Universities for scholarships and awards for her students. She is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and is band leader and lead vocalist of the Jazz Generation Band.
The 2011 Luminary award goes to Suzanne Brooks, International Association of Women of Color Day.
Achievement Against All Odds
The next award of the evening is Achievement Against All Odds award. The nominees were:
- Gina Jackson
- Myrlys Stockdale
Stockdale Law Firm
Our winner found herself divorced and a single mother of two small children in 1993. She had years of nasty custody battles and litigation that took a toll on her children and herself. She was determined to make a better life for her family. So she enrolled in law school at night and worked full time in the day. The 18 hour days and commuting to Sacramento took their toll on her time with her girls. She realized that she had to be more available to her family and so she opened her law firm in her kitchen. She worked her other job during the day and would practice law in the evening. By 2004 she opened her law practice full time, leveraging retirement, home equity and credit cards to start the firm. She chose family law because of her personal experiences, she focuses on minimizing harm to the children through mediation and collaboration. Today her firm has 3 attorneys, 2 legal assistants, 1 assistant and a few contractors to help run the business. There were some very uncertain times, very long hours and some wounded relationships but overall she feels she made the best choice for her family and herself taking this leap of faith.
Some people say that they could have never done what our winner did, but she says, ”The reality is that you have to approach life’s challenges and difficulties as life’s opportunities.”
The 2011 Achievement Against All Odds award goes to Myrlys Stockdale, The Stockdale Law Firm.
Wise Woman Award
Our final award of the evening was Wise Woman award, also known as the Business Woman of the Year Award. The nominees were:
- Anne Staines
- Tamara Dorris
Sacramento Real Estate
- Stephanie Chandler
Stephanie Chandler Enterprises LLC
- Tina Reynolds
- Karen Stawicki
Stawicki Financial Strategies & Insurance Solutions
Our winner’s empathetic qualities create a safe partnership with women to become educated and empowered to take control of their own financial success. She helps women understand that their most valuable asset is “you!” In her unique collaborative partnership she works with each woman to show them how to protect their true worth and to convert their long term financial vision into reality. She began her career in 1980 with Raymond James Financial in Florida, she moved to California in 1984 where she had successful careers with both Dean Witter Reynolds and ASB Financial Services. She turned down a lucrative signing bonus to pursue her dream of controlling her career and future. In 1997 she launched her financial services company and assembled an extremely competent staff. She was fortunate enough to have 200 of her clients follow her in her own pursuit, now with revenues fluctuating between $500,000 and $1 million dollars. She has received numerous awards in her industry and is frequently recognized for her commitment to her clients.
She is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table, the industry’s most prestigious organization she was elected to the agent’s advisory council in 2006.
She is a member of the Annuity Elite Circle and a member of the National Assoc. of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
Her community service includes Big Brothers and Sisters, earning the award “Big Executive.” She was the 2010 co chair for “circle of red” for the American Heart Assoc. Most recently she was the 2011 Chair for the Sacto 20th Annual Trainor Fairbrook Golf Tournament, raising funds to assist with fostering economic growth in the Sacramento region.
She says, “Happily ever after comes by design not by chance.” She is committed to converting this vision into reality for her clients.
The 2011 Wise Woman award goes to Karen Stawicki, Stawicki Financial Strategies.
NAWBO SACRAMENTO EXTENDS A HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS TO THESE OUTSTANDING WOMEN LEADERS! WE HOPE THAT YOU CAN JOIN US NEXT YEAR, MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OCTOBER 18, 2012.