The Greater Phoenix Chamber announced the 11 women chosen as finalists for its 35th Anniversary ATHENA Awards, continuing its strong tradition of recognizing outstanding Valley businesswomen.

The ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award recognizes a woman in the public and private sectors and highlights an upcoming leader in the Valley as an ATHENA Young Professional.

The awards highlight women who have achieved the pinnacle of success within their industry, have mentored women throughout their careers, dedicated their time to their community and are making a difference in the lives of others.

Private Sector finalists are Deb Gullett, CEO, Arizona Association of Health Plans; Delma Herrera, vice president of Field Sales, West Region, Cox Communications; Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing Inc.; and Marcia Veidmark, owner, founder, CEO and chairman of the board, SSC Underground (Specialized Services Co.).

Public Sector finalists are Jennifer Caraway, founder and executive director, The Joy Bus; Christine Mackay, director, Community & Economic Development, City of Phoenix; April A. Salomon, executive director, Musical Instrument Museum (MIM); and Kate Smith, Ed.D., president, Rio Salado College.

Young Professional finalists are Veronica Aguilar, vice president, Teach for America; Lindsey Beagley, senior director for Mirabella at ASU, ASU Enterprise Partners; and Amber Cordoba, director of Business Education and Consulting Services, CPLC – Prestamos CDFI.

“Spotlighting the women who are moving the Greater Phoenix area forward through the ATHENA Awards program is one of the Chamber’s proudest traditions,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “These women make immeasurable contributions within their companies, their communities, and they are a driving force in making Arizona a top state in the nation. I encourage everyone to join us in October at the ATHENA Awards Luncheon to meet these exceptional leaders.”

The Chamber will celebrate these outstanding businesswomen in the community at an awards luncheon scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Registration closes on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 5 p.m. Email with any event questions.

Learn more about the Greater Phoenix Chamber at


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