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Ten Finalists Named for ATHENA Southern Arizona

Wednesday, August 03, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David Drennon, VP, Marketing+Business Development
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Contact: David Drennon, VP, Marketing + Business Development
520.327.0222 | 602.306.4000 |


One Recipient Will Be Named on September 22nd

(Tucson, August 3, 2011) – From more than thirty nominations of incredibly qualified Southern Arizona women, ten finalists have been selected and will be recognized when the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) hosts the annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 22, 2011. ATHENA honors exceptional woman leaders who demonstrate the highest levels of professional excellence, give back to their communities and, most importantly, assist other women in realizing their full leadership potential.

"Congratulations to all of the nominees and the finalists for the 2011 ATHENA Award,” says Donna Davis, Chief Executive Officer of ASBA and a previous ATHENA recipient. "These remarkable women leaders contribute in a significant way to business and our communities in Southern Arizona. "

The following are the ten finalists for Southern Arizona:

Vicki Began, Vice President of Patient Services and Nursing at UMC. Over the past 25 years in Neonatal Intensive Care, Public Health Nursing and Nursing Administration, Vicki has inspired many who, like her, strive to always offer the best, most compassionate care to their patients.

Mary Darling, Owner of Darling Environmental and Surveying, Ltd. Mary has grown Darling Environmental and Surveying, Ltd. into a multi-million dollar, nationally recognized leader in 3D technology.

Katharine Kent, President of The Solar Store. Katharine is the only woman nationally to hold both the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certification as a PV and Solar Thermal Installer.

Nancy Meech, Founding Partner of Heinfeld Meech & Co PC. Nancy was instrumental in creating and nourishing H&M’s widely known culture. H&M was named to the list of the 25 Best Small Companies to Work for in America for the past four years.

Marylee Pangman, Owner of The Contained Gardener. Marylee has vast experience in management and relationship building, and over 25 years in the nonprofit world. She is a previous Editor of Master Gardener Newsletter.

Lesli Pintor, Senior Vice President of National Bank of Arizona. Lesli is the highest ranking woman in commercial lending at National Bank of Arizona in southern Arizona, and one of the senior women in the state, and initiated a formal mentoring program which is being implemented bank-wide.

Mary Rowley, President and Owner of Strongpoint Public Relations. Mary has grown Strongpoint into one of the leading PR firms in Arizona, expanding her capabilities to include offices in Phoenix and San Francisco.

Dr. Soyeon Shim, Director of the University of Arizona’s John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Dr. Shim has managed multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns, built a world-renowned academic program, and for two decades mentored students, faculty and staff.

Keri Lazarus Silvyn, Partner at Lewis and Roca LLP. Keri has practiced in the areas of zoning, land use, real estate and environmental law since 1998. She is the visionary behind Imagine Greater Tucson and serves as the Chair of its Board of Directors.

Janet (Jan) Woods, Hospital Administrator and Co-Owner of Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson. Jan consults with numerous primary and specialty care veterinary hospitals throughout the United States with regard to daily operations, employment law, strategic management, regulatory requirements, finance and marketing.

"It is truly an honor to be nominated; this recognition is highly respected and well-known throughout cities across the U.S. and internationally,” says Davis.

The finalists were selected by an independent selection committee consisting of Judy Clinco, Founder and President of CareGiver Training Institute and the 2010 ATHENA Southern Arizona recipient; Kearin Kasper, Regional Manager for SCF Arizona; Jan Lesher, Pima County Deputy Administrator of Medical and Health Services; Laura Penny, Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona; Kim States, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona, and Jackie Thompson, Manager of Community Affairs and Grassroots Corporate Communications for Southwest Airlines.

Join ASBA on September 22 at the Westin La Paloma Resort where the ten finalists will be recognized and the 2011 ATHENA Recipient of Southern Arizona will be announced. More information, tickets and sponsorships are available at

ASBA supports the ATHENA mission to support, honor and develop women leaders, and inspire women to reach their full potential. Learn more about ASBA member benefits at or by calling 520.327.0222.


About ASBA – The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is a dynamic, growing community dedicated to entrepreneurial development and business advancement. With 10,000 member businesses, ASBA provides services at every stage of business growth. Offering resources to fulfill critical business needs, ASBA members enjoy access to the only state guaranteed-acceptance group health plan, and significant group buying power. ASBA is Arizona’s leading, most experienced trade association. Discover more at Join ASBA. Be amAZed®

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