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Athena Pinnacle Awards co-chairs

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For their third year as co-chairs of the Pinnacle Awards, Kathy Hedges, Deirdre Stewart and Christie Vail, along with the fantastic Pinnacle Steering Committee, are “diving in” to make this year’s Pinnacle Awards luncheon an event to remember.

Each year, the Pinnacle Awards honor outstanding San Diego individuals and companies who support the Athena vision. This year’s theme, “Dive In,” exemplifies that success and change are often created by jumping in to an endeavor whole-heartedly, without reservation and by taking risk.

This year’s nominees have done just that — they are a group of individuals and companies who are leaders in the community dedicated to expanding opportunities for San Diego’s women in business and technology, promoting diversity, and inspiring the next generation of women.

A second and equally important part of the Pinnacle Awards luncheon is the award of college scholarships to several very accomplished high school seniors. Over the years, thanks to the tireless efforts of the members of the Pinnacle Steering Committee and the generosity of Athena Century Club and Pinnacle supporters, the scholarship fund has grown, enabling Athena to provide these young women with the financial support to “dive in” to their education and future careers in science and technology.

Co-chair Kathy Hedges serves as vice president for project control of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC). She has been with SAIC for 25 years and has oversight and policy responsibility for project management and contr ols for the corporation. Hedges is involved in the Pinnacle Awards because of her commitment to encourage young women to explore opportunities and pursue careers in the fields of science and technology.

“I was inspired by my fifth-grade teacher to explore the fields of science and mathematics,” Hedges said. “Her enthusiasm and encouragement broadened my interests and shaped my career pursuits. I am grateful for her inspiration.”

Prior to joining SAIC , Hedges was on the research staff at the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif. Hedges graduated as class valedictorian with a B.A. summa cum laude from Pepperdine University and an MBA from George Mason University.

Co-chair Deirdre Stewart is pleased to be involved in the Pinnacle Awards “because it is such a worthwhile cause. Not only do we provide scholarships for young women to pursue education in science and technology, but we also recognize those in our community who support the Athena mission.”

Stewart was with ResMed Corp. (NYSE: RMD) since 1993, where she was most recently vice president of strategic clinical initiatives with a strategic role in assessing and developing new areas that impact sleep disordered breathing.

Prior to joining ResMed, Stewart worked with Professor Colin Sullivan at Sydney University. Stewart holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Department of Medicine. Stewart is a delegate for the local American Heart Association and also does volunteer work for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“Each year, it is such a refreshing experience to meet young women who are already accomplished and who have so many ideas for the future,” said co-chair Christie Vail.

Vail joined SAIC as corporate counsel in the fall 2004. Prior to that, she was a shareholder with the law firm of Heller Ehrman LLP, practicing general corporate and securities law counseling. She has experience representing private and public technology companies in a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private financings and technology licensing.

Vail holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. summa cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law.

The co-chairs would like to extend their sincere thanks to each of the other members of the Pinnacle Steering Committee and their subcommittees for their tremendous efforts in orchestrating this year’s Pinnacle Awards luncheon.

To find out more about Athena and the Pinnacle Awards, visit http:\athena.ucsd.edu.

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