The 19th annual Women In Leadership Luncheon, honoring those who make a difference in their communities across San Diego County, is back in person this year.
The annual event, hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce based in El Cajon, went online last year due to COVID-19 concerns. The previous winners – 100 in total – were honored at the 2020 virtual lunch.
This year’s event, with Holocaust survivor Rose Schindler as the keynote speaker, will take place on Friday, October 22nd, at the Viejas Resort & Casino.
Schindler, born in Czechoslovakia, tells how she was deported to Auschwitz at the age of 14 with her parents, her aunt, five sisters and two brothers. Schindler is involved in the Butterfly Project, whose mission is to educate students about the Holocaust. She is the former president of the New Life Club, a local organization of Holocaust survivors in San Diego.
More than 400 people are expected at the luncheon, which celebrates women for what Chamber President and CEO Rick Wilson calls “their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and community integrity, and efforts to empower other women to succeed to be and to prosper, “says life and business.”
San Diego County women are nominated during the first half of the year by friends or colleagues who apply to the East County Chamber on their behalf. A special chamber committee selects the winners, usually six or seven women per year, who are then publicly named at the event.
Kristine Costa, chairwoman of the lunch, said she was still “incredibly honored” to have been nominated multiple times over the years and to be named a 2017 winner. Costa said the event was an opportunity for women and the men who support them to “come together, celebrate and be recognized”.
This year’s nominees include Dr. Juliana Barnes, president of Cuyamaca College; Bobbi Brink, founder and director of Lions Tigers & Bears; Virginia Hall, Grossmont Health District director; Liana LeBaron, member of Lemon Grove City Council; Member of the Santee Elana Levens-Craig School District; Anna Marie Piconi Snyder of the East County’s Homeless Task Force; and District Attorney Summer Stephan of San Diego County.
Award winners, when the event was last held in person in 2019, included then San Diego District Manager Dianne Jacob, Santee City Manager Marlene Best, and Dilkhwaz Ahmed, General Manager of License to Freedom.
Tickets are available for $ 95 through the Chamber at eastcountychamber.org; by email at [email protected] or by phone (619) 440-6161.