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2010 Athena Pinnacle Awards - Services

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Congratulations to our 2010 nominees. Athena would like to thank everyone who nominated and contributed the following excerpts for these exceptional candidates.

Suzanne Biggs


Duane Morris LLP

Suzanne Biggs has been an active and positive role model for women in the biosciences and in law, encouraging their participation and professional growth. Before law school, Biggs was a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology at Stanford University’s medical school and was one of a few women in the Ph.D. program. After receiving her J.D., Biggs has combined her interests in biochemistry and the life sciences with intellectual property law.

In her early days as an attorney, she was one of a handful of women in this area (where women are still underrepresented). She was the second woman intellectual property attorney at Chevron Corp. In private practice in several law firms, she has taken an active role in a number of initiatives for professional growth and mentorship of women attorneys. She has been active in her law firm’s Women’s Initiative Programs to encourage professional development of women attorneys and legal professionals.

Biggs is a long-time Athena member and supporter, having served on the Athena board for about five years. She has been an active member of Athena’s Biosciences Steering Committee and the Forum for Executive Women. As a board member emeritus, she remains committed to Athena’s goals and principles.

Additionally, Biggs has been active in BIO (IP Counsel’s Committee), BIOCOM (co-chair for IP Committee) and CONNECT, and has been a speaker for a number of programs.

Barbara Borden


Cooley LLP

Barbara Borden is a partner at Cooley and the firmwide practice group leader of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice. Throughout her 13-year tenure at the firm, Borden has provided leadership and guidance to other women, shaping the career paths of future leaders. She has actively promoted and recruited women to join the M&A department. Currently, in San Diego, 30 percent of the firm’s M&A attorneys are women, a considerably high percentage in a predominately male-dominated practice.

Borden also currently mentors several associates at the firm. In her mentoring role, she encourages junior women to be assertive and take responsibility in their roles on various legal teams. She also provides guidance for career development and advice to her mentees on how they can internally and externally grow their practices.

Borden’s leadership is an inspiration to women at all levels of the firm. She is an active leader of Cooley’s commission for the retention and advancement of women attorneys and staff. She also routinely sponsors events for women attorneys. In the past, she has hosted women-only dinners at her home for associates, partners and incoming summer associates, providing a comfortable setting where women of different levels can share their challenges and successes.

Borden serves on the boards of Insite/Installation Gallery, which coordinates onsite, cross-border art exhibitions, and Kids Included Together, an organization that supports recreational and developmental programs for children with and without disabilities. She also is actively involved in the education of her children at local San Diego schools and works to provide opportunities for women with Down syndrome and autism.

Alice Campbell


Barney & Barney LLC

Alice Campbell has spent much of her career trying to foster equal opportunities for women in a historically male dominated industry.

Campbell began her career in insurance as an analyst, and after gaining industry expertise, decided to start her own firm in 2006, Campbell Employee Benefits Solutions Insurance Services. She hired a dedicated and hard working team of women who worked with her to build the company to a very successful level. Campbell then joined Barney & Barney in 2008 as a principal (owner) and brought her team of talented women with her.

Campbell hired one woman as an analyst with no experience. Campbell took a vested interest in her career progression and worked closely to ensure she gained knowledge and abilities. She was recently promoted to a sales executive within Barney & Barney and has written 15-20 new clients. Although she no longer works with Campbell’s team due to the promotion, Campbell still takes the time to mentor her in her career and they meet twice a week.

Campbell makes referrals and connections to place women on committees, introduces them to opportunities and challenges them to be more than they believe they can be. She is president of the Compensation & Benefits Association of San Diego, serves on the board for the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS) - San Diego Chapter and the Alzheimer Association of San Diego. Campbell is a true role model and upholds the vision and mission of Athena.

Elke Chenevey

Vice President

Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

Elke Chenevey has dedicated a successful career spanning 25 years as a finance professional serving the public sector and Indian tribes. Joining Wall Street at a time when women were still a relatively new force, she started in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and 15 years later moved to the wealth management group after realizing the change would allow her to travel less and be more available for her three children.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University, Chenevey has distinguished herself as a role model and mentor for younger women by juggling family and work responsibilities while serving as a spokesperson for both women and minorities.

She leads her firm in providing financial services to tribes by recognizing their unique needs and sovereign governmental status. As an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe and a former economic development planner for her tribe, Chenevey’s unique background of tribal and private sector experiences allows for innovative solutions for her clients.

A leader of the Native American Professional Network at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Chenevey is committed to increasing the number of Native American professionals at the firm and in the industry in general. Her efforts have resulted in both a greater commitment to this sector and a deeper understanding of Indian Country by her colleagues.

Chenevey volunteers teaching financial education workshops to adults and youth, and assists tribes in developing similar programs. Success in helping others is how Chenevey measures her personal and professional success.

Cynthia Cwik


Latham & Watkins

Cindy Cwik is a litigation partner at Latham & Watkins, specializing in health, science and technology. She has been recognized as one of California’s “Top Female Litigators” several times. During her career, Cwik has dedicated herself to promoting the advancement of women in the law and in San Diego.

For the last three years, she has served as co-chair of her office’s Women Enriching Business Committee, which addresses the challenges and opportunities unique to women lawyers and clients, and provides programs that focus on mentoring and education. In 2009, Cwik’s committee organized two presentations featuring women leaders who discussed how they made their marks, and sponsored a networking reception attended by more than 60 female professionals.

She heads the San Diego office of Latham & Watkins’ pro bono program, which has provided assistance to immigrant women and children and victims of domestic violence in San Diego. Cwik also has been active with other organizations that focus on advancing the status of women, including serving as a member of the Resource Board of the National Association of Women Judges. She has received the YWCA’s “Tribute to Women in Industry” award.

Through other leadership positions, including as the co-chair of the Scientific Evidence Committee of the ABA Section of Science and Technology Law and serving as the president of the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association, she has sought out opportunities to promote women to leadership positions.

Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson


Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties

Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson has been an "organization changing" addition to Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties (PPSDRC). The organization had been led by the same man for more than 20 years and was run in a tight, top-down style. Empowerment was not part of the culture. DiGiorgio Johnson immediately set out to change the culture of the organization and empower the many women who work for her.

Her communication abilities, and ability to walk the talk aided her in leading and engaging all levels of staff. Through her innovative program, she has enabled Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties to grow and flourish -- and become financially sustainable through the commitment and empowerment of the many women and men on her staff.

PPSDRC is one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country. Five hundred staff members in 19 health centers serve tens of thousands of women and men.

Celeste S. Ferber

Senior Associate

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Celeste Ferber’s efforts in mentoring, inspiring, promoting and hiring women are numerous. She is a founding member of Morrison & Foerster's Women’s Initiative Committee, established in 2007. As such, she has introduced quarterly presentations by women partners about their experiences and path to partnership as women, as well as training sessions for female attorneys about business development, networking and tools for advancement. Her efforts also led to Morrison’s adoption of more expansive maternity policies, and a formal reduced hours policy for parental leaves.

Ferber also served on Morrison’s San Diego Office Hiring Committee from 2007 to 2010, focusing on the recruitment, interview and hiring of female summer associates and associates. During her time on the Hiring Committee, the percentage of women summer associates hired increased significantly. As a senior associate, Ferber also informally mentors junior female associates in her corporate practice group and in the office, both on substantive legal issues and the politics of practicing as a woman in a large law firm. As a successful female senior attorney in Morrison’s Corporate Group, a group with historically far more male attorneys than female attorneys, Ferber is an inspiration and example to junior female attorneys that they can also succeed in a male-dominated practice group.

Ferber also has demonstrated leadership through active involvement in Athena, serving on the board of directors of Athena, and previously serving as co-chair of the Associates Affinity Group.

Pamela Gardner


Biotech Vendor Services Inc.

Throughout her seven years of running her own business, Pamela Gardner has hired and promoted a large number of women into management positions who have contributed to the growth and success of Biotech Vendor Services. BVS has held more than 1,200 events for 400 clients in 25 states. Gardner continually provides her team with unique opportunities to work with business coaches on a regular basis to improve their skills in these areas within the business.

Her company contributes to the life science community by providing complimentary educational symposiums called Biotech Days. These symposiums offer the community the opportunity to exchange information, attend local scientific talks and make donations to a local charity. To date, seven successful Biotech Days have been held in La Jolla. Gardner is a wonderful networker with the unique ability to connect the right people together. She meets with women regularly to mentor other entrepreneurs on the success and mistakes to be avoided -- stories she has experienced in her own business. She also supports women entrepreneurs in the developing world by providing them with loans through Kiva International. Many of the clients she worked with (many of them being women) have been laid off, and Gardner actively helps them find other jobs through her own connections.

Gardner is active in the San Diego community and is a member or participates in activities related to Athena, AWIS, BIO, BIOCOM, CONNECT, SDBDG, SDBN, WOBS, TiE, TWIST and WGN.

Patricia Guerrero


Latham & Watkins LLP

Trish Guerrero is committed to her profession, her clients, her family and the professional development of her colleagues. She balances all aspects of her life with a quiet grace and competence that inspires and motivates other women. Guerrero not only walks the talk, but forges paths that others want to follow.

As an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California and during her career at Latham & Watkins, Guerrero has had the opportunity to work with and supervise many other women. She excels in creating an environment in which women are free to express ideas, strategize and be part of the process. She is an inclusive leader, bringing new attorneys into the circle and encouraging their independent thought and development.

Throughout her career she has continued to be an advocate and resource for women in the legal field. Guerrero served on the Associates Committee at Latham, coaching and offering career guidance to other young women attorneys. She also served as global chair of the firm’s Training and Career Enhancement Committee, which offers an intense and rigorous program to develop the skills and professionalism of new attorneys.

As a teacher and leader, Guerrero’s greatest gift to other women is that she exemplifies grace under pressure, decorum in the face of chaos. Women want to emulate her and she willingly brings them into the fold, empowering them to take responsibility for their work and developing their own expertise. As a mentor, no question is too small, no issue off limits.

Sarah Hardwick


Zenzi Communications

Sarah Znerold Hardwick is founder/CEO of Zenzi Communications, an award-winning agency that combines traditional marketing and PR with search engine optimization and social media for maximum impact. Hardwick started the company from the ground up at the age of 25. Seven years later, Zenzi has expanded its presence to San Francisco and Boston, offering coast-to-coast coverage that keeps the agency’s clients in front of the media at all times. Zenzi’s client portfolio has grown from startups to national brands, including Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Fresh Express Salads and Olay, positioning Zenzi as the ninth largest PR firm in San Diego, according to a 2009 San Diego Business Journal report.

Hardwick actively encourages the team at Zenzi (almost all female) to pursue working on clients they are passionate about, having found that employees who love what they do are much happier. Hardwick offers employees flexible schedules and encourages a healthy work/ life balance. She is a believer in giving back to the community and manages all PR services for the Keep a Breast Foundation, pro-bono, to educate youth about breast cancer prevention. Her drive to motivate and empower women has been evidenced by her dedication to Keep a Breast. According to Kimmy McAtee with Keep a Breast, “Sarah is amazing to work with, always positive and brings fresh exciting ideas to the table. She is the perfect fit for the Keep a Breast Foundation, and I would recommend her highly to anyone looking for an imaginative and insightful PR firm.”

Vanessa Herbert

Senior Manager


Vanessa Herbert serves as a role model and mentor to the women of PricewaterhouseCoopers. She consistently and selflessly reaches out to women within PwC, alum and her network, no matter their level of seniority or authority, to offer both personal and professional guidance and mentoring without regard for "what's in it for her." She is a person of great character, extremely thoughtful, with a strong desire to ensure women's success and help remove barriers to their development and pursuit of an opportunity.

Herbert often works behind the scenes to create opportunities for others to succeed, grow and develop. The strength of her impact on others is evidenced by the number of women who consider Herbert a role model, even years after they move on from PwC. In addition to the great impact she has had within PwC, Herbert is also involved in the community serving on four Athena committees, on the Finance Committee of the San Diego Humane Society and within her church.

Judge Vallera Johnson

Administrative Law Judge

State of California, Office of Administrative Hearings

Judge Vallera Johnson is the guiding force behind Women of Color in Law Inc., a local nonprofit organization that helps attract and retain minority women in the legal profession. Johnson leads the organization’s semi-annual luncheons that draw more than 200 women lawyers of color from throughout Southern California for mentoring, networking and fellowship events.

Johnson has an unparalleled passion for mentoring our community’s young women and minority attorneys and law students. Most notably, from 2003 to 2009, she conceived of and tirelessly developed what is now the San Diego County Bar Association and Association of Corporate Counsel Diversity Fellowship Program. Created in response to the low number of minority attorneys practicing in San Diego County law firms and corporate legal departments, the program allows diverse, first-year law students an opportunity to learn and develop skills necessary to be successful in those environments and exposes law firms and corporate legal departments to qualified individuals who might not otherwise be considered.

Johnson has made a positive impact on young diverse women, and on the San Diego legal community, that few jurists can claim.

Helen Lipka


The Marlin Alliance Inc.

Helen Lipka is a successful business executive who has spent her life helping, promoting and mentoring women to work and achieve career success in the defense industry.

Serving as charter member, vice president and adviser to San Diego Chapter of Women in Defense, Lipka designed a 360-degree mentorship program that offered support for its members. She led outreach efforts to local female vendors for the annual WID Symposium and provided them with exposure.

When Lipka was a vice president at SAIC, she established the Process Re-Engineering Program, which recruited and trained women to join her team. More than 50 percent of Lipka’s team at SAIC were women. It is not typical to see this percentage in businesses within the defense industry.

At the Department of Army, Lipka has been the champion to get the approval from U.S. Office of Personnel Management for an educational job series for Army Child caregivers. The initiative includes a training program to provide developmental care for children of working mothers.

Being a business executive herself, Lipka understands the obstacles facing working mothers. She has dedicated her life to helping create programs that make life better for them. From fund raising for infant organ transplants, to toy drives for family in needs, Lipka represents a wonderful role model in delivering 360-degree mentoring and support for working women.

The Hon. Margaret Mann


U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Throughout her career, Margaret Mann has been committed to helping women advance in their careers, in both law and in science and technology. She has inspired many young professional women in the firm to achieve their full potential. In her various management positions -- chairing her practice group for almost 20 years with revenues of $10 million, being the third woman elected to partnership in 1987, being the second woman appointed to the Executive Committee and serving as the National Hiring Chair -- she has always advocated for the hiring and promotion of women into leadership roles within the firm. She also has supported women's initiatives outside of the firm and served as a director of the Lawyers Club, California Women Lawyers and Athena.

Mann has also taken on leadership roles in many legal professional organizations and forums, including serving as co-chair for the annual California Bankruptcy Forum conference, a director of the San Diego chapter of the Business Trial Lawyers, president and director of the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum, a member of the Debtor/Creditor Committee of the State Bar of California and chair of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association.

She is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in San Diego and Southern California Super Lawyers. For her legal accomplishments, she was chosen to serve as a Ninth Circuit lawyer representative and co-chair for the Southern District of California to Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Olivia Montaño

Director, Clinical Data Management

Synteract Inc.

Olivia Montaño has more than 15 years of experience in research and clinical data management, and has been with Synteract since 1999. From 1999-2005, she took on positions with increasing responsibilities and in 2005 took over leadership of the Data Management department.

In her current role as director of data management, she heads a department of 72, of which 58 are women. Five of Montaño’s seven line managers are women. Four of these individuals started their careers at Synteract in positions several levels lower and have progressively been promoted into their current managerial positions under Montaño’s day to day mentoring and leadership. Each of the line-managers supervises an average of nine individuals each, and they, too, are providing mentorship to the women under them to help them grow in their careers.

Under Montaño’s oversight, her management team has prepared an internal certification curriculum for data management practices and overall clinical trial knowledge.

Her outside interests include membership in four organizations: SCDM, DIA, CDISC and CDASH (Core Team Member). She is a certified clinical data manager, and also has a certificate in clinical trials administration from UCSD. She is a contributing subject matter expert for three chapters of the Good Clinical Data Management Practices for the international education and harmonization of data management practices in the pharmaceutical industry. She was a recent co-presenter for the SCDM and two-part series on database validation and surviving and audit.

Pamela J. Naughton


Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Pamela Naughton has been practicing law for more than 30 years, and throughout that time has been a strong advocate for women.

She graduated from Yale Law School in 1979. From 1981 to 1987, she was the only female counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Iran-Contra Affair. Naughton practiced for 10 years at Baker & McKenzie. She was National Trial Counsel for four years for a major medical device manufacturer of breast implants. In 2000, she moved to Sheppard Mullin. In 2009, she represented the Audit Committee of Sequenom in a highly publicized investigation that concluded successfully and allowed the company to recover its reputation and share price.

Naughton has taken female attorneys under her wing and enabled them to achieve success in white collar and securities matters -- a segment of the profession dominated by men. She was the first female attorney to lead the firm's white collar group, and the white collar group in her office is all women.

Naughton used her leadership roles as president of the San Diego chapter of the Federal Bar Association and lawyer-delegate to the 9th Circuit to enhance opportunities for women.

She is the single mother of twin daughters, age 13. She is a trailblazer and an inspiration to all professional women.

Maggie Osburn

Senior Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

Intercare Insurance Solutions

Maggie Osburn has long been an advocate and mentor for women in the San Diego business community. She has served as a conduit through which women are able to connect and network with one another, both personally and professionally. During her tenure at Lee Hecht Harrison, and now with Intercare Insurance Solutions, Osburn has been the "go to" resource for women seeking to expand their networks. Without hesitation and with great enthusiasm, Osburn takes the time to ensure the appropriate connections/introductions are made that will enhance both parties. She has personally been responsible for assisting numbers of women obtain key positions at a number of San Diego companies. In her role as senior VP of business development and marketing at Intercare Insurance Solutions, Osburn serves as a role model and mentor to the women in the company, no matter their role, offering personal and professional advice. She gently nudges the rising management women to acquire necessary education and training to succeed in promotional opportunities. She also encourages women to attend networking events to build their "personal brand" in the community and expand their own network. She serves as a sounding board, helping women establish meaningful career paths that result in their ability to excel and rise into management-level positions.

Osburn has also been instrumental in the hiring of several key management-level women at the company. She is on the board of the San Diego Chapter of NHRA and Petco Foundation, is active in SHRM and volunteers at Monarch School and Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Laurin Pause

Executive Director

Community Resource Center

Laurin Pause has always been a champion of women seeking professional and personal growth. In her 20s, she mentored at-risk teen girls. In her 30s, she brought women into the male-dominated telecommunications field and, as co-founder of Torrey Communications, created an environment conducive to working mothers. As the executive director of Community Resource Center, she leads a staff of primarily women and a diverse board with more than 50 percent women.

She has brought vision and a business approach to CRC, which has made it a recognized leader in the County, serving more than 7,000 people in crisis annually, with women comprising well over 50 percent of those served. She provides leadership in the county, serving on the boards of other nonprofits and creating critical collaborations to improve the services offered.

Pause has created domestic violence programs that facilitate independence by connecting women survivors to education and work. Because many domestic violence survivors have never worked or had a career, Pause provides opportunities for professional women in the community to be a critical part of the recovery process by teaching life skills classes. What started as a small domestic violence shelter is now a full-fledged program that includes a 24-bed facility, the first shelter-based therapeutic childcare program in the county, and transitioning services that allow women to move into their own homes. Under her leadership, nearly 100 percent of CRC’s domestic violence survivors embark on paths to self-sufficiency.

Jeni Schrimsher

Vice President, Asset Services

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.

Jeni Schrimsher is currently the vice president of asset services for Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. Alexandria is a publicly traded real estate investment trust providing laboratory space to the life science industries.

Schrimsher was originally recruited to the San Diego region in 2005, with an initiative to transform the region’s Asset Services team into a best-in-class model for the company. She exceeded expectations by developing a team that is not only seen internally as the best-in-class model, but has been the recipient of several industry awards, including the 2009 SANDEE award and achievement of the first LEED Gold multi-tenant lab building.

Schrimsher has engaged in industry and community organizations, for which she has donated countless hours of her personal time. Just some of these organizations include: Athena, BIOCOM, CALBIO, the Sino-American Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Professional Association and the San Diego Boys and Girls Club.

What really sets Schrimsher apart is her leadership as a woman and the inspiration she has given to her staff, colleagues, the life-sciences industry and the community at large. She empowers her staff in the Alexandria offices with authority to make critical decisions and acknowledges appropriate risk-taking. Her legacy lies in a clearly developed and proven path for which many female professionals are now following. Those she has mentored and supervised will not proclaim her to be one to pave the way, but one who will give you a compass and teach you to use it.

Stephanie Seidman


K&L Gates

Stephanie Seidman transitioned from scientist to patent law technology specialist, to practicing patent attorney and team leader in a national law firm. She is an example for other women and a catalyst for increasing women’s presence and influence in areas where they once were rare.

Seidman provides strategic counsel to emerging biopharmaceutical companies, ensuring their intellectual property protection supports their long-term business strategies. She previously built one of the largest patent prosecution practices in the region.

She hires, promotes and mentors talented women, empowering them in a practice area dominated by men; more than half of her technology specialists are women. She recruits promising women scientists as specialists to her patent law practice, encouraging them to become registered before the U.S. Patent Office and to attend law school. She fosters teamwork, career progression and managerial skills.

Seidman is a board member of the Robertson Center for Science and Public Policy, and has been a member of Athena since its inception. She has been recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Women of America and counted among Who’s Who Worldwide. She has addressed attendees at five BIO conventions, and is an author and often-quoted speaker on public policy and health issues. In 2006, the San Diego Business Journal selected her as the recipient of its Women Who Mean Business Award, and in 2010 she was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Biotechnology.

Rupa G. Singh

Staff Attorney

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Rupa Singh, a 10-year litigator at two prominent firms and currently a staff attorney at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has distinguished herself professionally.

Singh co-founded “Balanomics,” an initiative that demonstrates policies on work/life balance enhance the bottom line by preventing attrition in good economic times and layoffs in a downturn. Balanomics grew from Singh’s conversations with other prominent women into a national initiative that has garnered growing attention and buy-in. In its aim to make legal practice more livable, especially for women. Balanomics has become an innovative mandate for change.

Singh’s leadership of San Diego bar associations -- including the South Asian Bar Association, which she co-founded, the Federal Bar Association, over which she presided, and the Lawyers Club, whose symposia she helped organize –- has inspired and empowered countless women and minority attorneys. She serves as a role model and a voice to unite “mainstream” and “minority” bars. Thus, as its president, she ensured that the Federal Bar Association helped launch an immigration project and sponsored events with minority bars.

Singh also is a devoted mentor to young women of color and has volunteered on domestic violence cases. At her last firm, she helped to develop tools necessary for junior attorneys to review partners like her on their managerial skills, mentorship and pro bono contributions.

Camille Sobrian-Saltman



As chief operating officer of CONNECT, Camille Sobrian-Saltman has done more for the entrepreneurial community in San Diego than anyone realizes. She never hogs the spotlight or asks for recognition, she just gets things done: designing programs, managing a large group of people and developing companies through support and guidance to enhance the economic viability of our region for decades to come.

Kris Wilkes


Latham & Watkins LLP

Kris Wilkes has built a reputation as a brilliant writer and wily appellate litigator, and she willingly imparts her career and life lessons to other women. She annually publishes a handbook on “What I Wish I Had Known,” which shares these lessons with young lawyers. She works hard to empower women and minorities, to help them find and hone their own unique gifts, and to build their independent reputations in the firm and the community.

Much sought after as a mentor and coach, Wilkes strives for perfection at all times and sets high goals for herself and her supervisees, who grow and rise in response to the challenge. She serves as an example to many women inside and outside the firm, including as a past member of the board of governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and a member of the bar’s Appellate Court Committee.

A consummate legal professional, Wilkes encourages women to aspire to the highest standards of quality as lawyers and people. She challenges them to reach beyond their comfort zone and supports them if the road proves difficult. A collaborative leader, she appreciates the contribution of every team member, and engages everyone on the project, regardless of position or role. She promotes other women as the “brains” behind an idea and willingly assigns them all credit. A competitive athlete herself, Wilkes encourages women to maintain balance by dedication to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Teresa Young



During her more than 20-year tenure at Deloitte, Teresa Young has shown a tireless commitment to mentoring and empowering women in the workplace. As a member of Deloitte’s national partner selection committee, Young championed the promotion of women to the level of partner. Today, more than 10 partners and directors count Young as one of their mentors, and many attribute their success to her guidance.

As a leader in Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative, Young helped establish many programs for working mothers, including a lactation support program. A working mother of two, she encourages flexible work arrangements for Deloitte employees, and she serves as a role model for women seeking to balance motherhood and work. She has recruited female executives of local companies to educate and inspire young women through Deloitte’s External Role Model program. A well-known specialist in life sciences and health care, Young has used her industry knowledge and relationships to help women secure new career opportunities.

For more than 12 years, Young has provided networking, mentoring and professional support through her involvement in FEW. Additionally, she was an original founding board member of Athena, served two terms as board treasurer and was a founding member of the Athena Biosciences Affinity Group. She has been a selfless advocate for advancing women within Deloitte and in the business community, and exemplifies the leadership and values of a Pinnacle Award winner.

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