Guest blog authors Doug Brown (All Star CEO) and Kris Reeter (Human Resources Director) attended the Puget Sound Business Journal’s annual Women of Influence awards ceremony on November 18 at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency.
“Now in its twelfth year, the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Women of Influence award program shines the spotlight on local businesswomen, community leaders and philanthropists who are a force in the region.
“Throughout history, women have made a difference in the workplace… but paving the way to the top and into leadership positions, has taken more than hard work. The pioneers had to shatter glass ceilings, knock down doors, create their own paths and help others along the way. More than ever, women are making a huge impact on the Puget Sound region’s economy.” –Puget Sound Business Journal
This was a truly inspiring event and the support from the local business community was overwhelming. Fourteen women received Women of Influence honors at the annual awards ceremony:
Garnet Anderson, Ph.D., Senior VP & Director, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson
Scilla Andreen, CEO & CO-Founder, IndieFlix
Lorrie Baldevia, Vice President, MCM
Maria Barrientos, Owner, Barrientos LLC
Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Jenny Durkan, Partner & Global Chair of the Cyber Law and Privacy Group, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Linda Hartzell, Artistic Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre
Wanda Herndon, President & CEO, W Communications
Denise Moriguchi, VP & CFO, Uwajimaya Inc.
Alayne Sulkin, Owner, ParentMap
Annie Young-Scrivner, EVP Global Loyalty and Digital Development, Starbucks Corp.
Kathleen Hogan, EVP of Human Resources, Microsoft Corp.
Two others, Faye Sarkowsky and Nancy Evans, earned Lifetime Achievement awards recognizing their leadership in philanthropic activities, community service organizations and the arts.
Moderators Emory Thomas and Patty Payne introduced each of the nominees, who came to the podium and responded to two questions provided by family members and colleagues. Here area few responses that stood out:
- Garnet Anderson is an oncologist and a cancer survivor. Garnet was asked whether there would be a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. She said she’s looking beyond the mainstream focus on a cure, believing that the long-term answer is cancer prevention. She is seeking to understand how current lifestyles and health care practices can be changed to achieve her vision.
- Scilla Andreen is an award-winning producer and Emmy-nominated costume designer. To achieve her potential as a filmmaker and business leader, she no longer tries to “blend in.” She is a dispenser of “fortune cookie wisdom,” offering that the key to meeting life’s challenges and opportunities can be found in simple truths that reveal the power each of us possesses to make good choices and create our own success.
- Denise Moriguchi recounted that Uwajimaya was started during the 1920s in Tacoma by her grandfather. Early on, it sold a very small number of products, primarily to Japanese blue-collar workers. Her grandfather gifted one-fourth of the company to each of his four sons. He also had three daughters. Denise sees herself as an example of how times have changed in a family that followed a pattern of male succession to one that has named a granddaughter as its next CEO.
Many of the award recipients referenced their long relationships with each other and spoke about the strength and support they had found through these connections. These are women that have time and time again stared difficulty challenges and adversity in the eye and have not only flourished professionally, but also personally. It was an honor to be surrounded by such impressive talent and to hear their stories.