UCSD Athena is a San Diego organization that unites women executives from high-tech and life science companies and the firms that support them. This year marks the fourth year that Athena has celebrated the presentation of its coveted Pinnacle Awards. These awards recognize women and men who support the Athena vision: "To foster personal and professional change through inclusion, risk taking, education, recognition and diversity of thought, thereby enhancing competitiveness and opportunity in the San Diego business community."
The co-chairs of this year's Pinnacle Awards exemplify this vision. Sara Wilensky, associate publisher of the statewide business publication California CEO, is co-chairing the event for the second straight year. An active member of Athena for the past four years, Wilensky has served on the marketing and communications committees for both Athena and the Pinnacle Awards, as well as on the membership committee.
Sue Ebner, senior vice president of Marsh, will be co-chairing for the third year in a row. At Marsh, the world's largest publicly held insurance broker, Ebner is responsible for new business development and client account management, focusing on strategic planning and ensuring that client expectations and needs are succeeded. Also an Athena Board member, Ebner has played a key part in promoting Athena and the Pinnacle Awards over the past four years.
"I am honored by the opportunity each year to be involved with recognizing the San Diego business leaders who are creating and supporting a workplace environment that empowers women, challenges them and enables them to succeed," says Ebner. "These Awards are a true testament to the strength of the San Diego technology and business community."
The Pinnacle Awards also recognize five San Diego high school senior women who have demonstrated the ideals of Athena and have expressed interest in pursuing a career in math, engineering or the sciences. All of these young women have excelled in their studies, are actively involved in their communities and are accomplished in athletics, music or the arts.
"I am continually in awe of the outstanding accomplishments of these scholarship winners and am thrilled to realize that they are the future leaders of San Diego's corporations, educational institutions and research institutes," says Wilensky. "They will have immeasurable impact on our business research and academic community."
Ebner adds that, although she has co-chaired the Pinnacle Awards program for three years now, she is still inspired by the overwhelming support of the San Diego business community who continue to support this prestigious awards program. " I am proud to be associated with all of the women executives of Athena," says Ebner. "It is a true honor to co-chair the 2002 Pinnacle Awards, which so superbly recognize those individuals and corporations who epitomize the ideals of Athena."