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Event to celebrate ‘Women Igniting Change’

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ATHENA Valley of the Sun (AVOS), a nonprofit based in Mesa, is celebrating seven “Women Igniting Change” in Arizona and globally at the second ATHENA HAIL Awards on March 8, International Women’s Day. Proceeds of the event will help provide leadership training to area women and to girls in grades 11 and 12 in East Valley high schools.

Dr. Eileen Borris of Paradise Valley will be honored with the 2018 ATHENA Leadership Award. The clinical and political psychologist and best-selling author of “Finding Forgiveness: A 7-Step Plan to Letting Go of Anger and Bitterness,” Borris is a board member and past president of Forgiveness International, a humanitarian organization whose mission is to advance individual and societal transformation to create sustainable peace.

In 2012, Borris was one of the few individuals ever invited to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding the prevention of armed conflict and strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes in war torn areas. Borris has worked with groups in conflict in Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Israel, the Occupied Territories and the Republic of Georgia. She is being honored for her groundbreaking work to empower women to fully participate as peace builders in society.

AVOS is the official Arizona affiliate of ATHENA International, an organization which has recognized 7,000 women leaders in over 500 communities since 1982. The nonprofit provides monthly educational forums on leadership and programs to support the advancement of women in Arizona through its mission to “Leave No Woman Leader Behind.”

The event will also honor six Hail Athena Inspired Leaders (HAIL) award recipients chosen for their exemplification of the one of the ATHENA Leadership Principles: Live Authentically, Learn Constantly, Build Relationships, Foster Collaboration, Advocate Fiercely, Act Courageously, Give Back and Celebrate.

The 2018 HAIL honorees are Holly Rose, Deborah Welch, Jill Mapstead, Susan Cordts, Maya Bernadette and Saundra Schrock. The honorees were selected through an extensive nomination process in the fall of 2017 and were chosen for their outstanding work in the community.

Rose is being honored for the principle of “Act Courageously.” After conquering breast cancer at the age of 39, Rose founded her nonprofit “Don’t be a Chump! Check for a Lump!” to empower women with the facts regarding breast cancer. The organization provides free wigs to women who have experienced hair loss due to cancer treatment and free mammogram screenings.

Welch teaches at Capella University and co-facilitates learning communities with dedicated leaders through her organization, Reflective Leadership Global, and is the author of Forgiveness at Work. Welch is being honored for the principle of Live Authentically.

Mapstead exemplifies the principle of Advocate Fiercely for her work to empower women via business ownership through her position as board chair for the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix, and her work with the disabled as board president of Detour Company Theatre – a performance troupe for adults with cognitive and/or physical challenges.

Cordts founded Catalytic Health Partners in order to dramatically improve health care using real-time data supported by proprietary technology to deliver outstanding care. Through the principle of Foster Collaboration she has created an environment of diversity, innovation and broad and deep collaboration to improve health outcomes for patient members, providers, caregivers and communities.

Bernadette is a member of the Tohono O’odham nation. After graduating from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree and obtaining her master’s degree from the University of Arizona, Maya is now helping members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe obtain their GED’s. She is representing the principle of Building Relationships. Bernadette resides in Tucson.

Following a successful 30-year career managing over 30,000 employees, Schrock founded her company, LevelHead, to coach and mentor others to improve their overall well-being and enhance workplace performance by developing a functional mindfulness program. To meet the needs of today’s workforce, she learned to master technology and will be recognized for the principle of Learn Constantly.

Ten young women chosen from East Valley high schools will serve as emcees at the event; Soniyah Robinson, Maitri Bhakta, Abbie Tyhurst, Sarai Perez Jauregui. Raquel Moore, Lydia Durrett, Jennifer Equihua, Kalena Oorlog, Ali McAuliff and Lauren Colson.

“These honorees truly exemplify women creating positive change both in our community and also internationally,” said Dr. Kristine Quade, AVOS founder and CEO. “We hope the public will join us to celebrate and applaud these extraordinary women and be inspired.”

The ATHENA HAIL Awards will be tomorrow, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (10:30 a.m. check in) at the Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44th St. in Phoenix. Tickets are $85 and include the luncheon and awards ceremony and are available at www.athenaaz.com.

For more information on ATHENA Valley of the Sun or to sponsor or donate, call 480-420-7277 or email info@athenaaz.com.

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