The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the impact women have had on the local business community over the last year when it hosts its annual Business Woman of the Year awards luncheon Wednesday afternoon.
Hosted by the DoubleTree Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert, the Chamber will honor four finalists – Debra Cherry, Mai-Lin Garcia, Dr. Adelaida Severson and Rita Sippel – before naming the 2013 winner, for contributions to Gilbert and “her excellence and dedication to her business and the community.”
More information on Wednesday’s event can be found online at www.gilbertaz.com/calendar.
San Tan Learning Center is the event’s title sponsor, and is also sponsored by National Bank of Arizona, East Valley Tribune and Flancer’s Incredible Sandwiches & Pizzeria.
The following details, provided by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, outline the contributions of Cherry, Garcia, Severson and Sippel:
Debra Cherry [Parkway Bank]
Debra is the assistant vice president and division manager on behalf of two branches for Parkway Bank. She is passionate about what she does and more importantly, she is passionate about those she serves and leads. Debra makes it her practice to lead in the same way she would want to be led; never asking any more of her staff than she herself is willing to give. She has mentored many women over the years and is always willing to support and listen. She is active in the Chamber and realizes that many of her successes are a direct correlation to Chamber connections.
Mai-Lin Garcia [Synergy HR Solutions, LLC]
As a successful businesswoman in corporate America for over twenty years, Mai-Lin decided to start her own business, Synergy-HR Solutions - a consulting company offering a range of services, primarily in human relations. Mai-Lin enjoys mentoring and has coached dozens of women over the years that have an interest in enhancing their skills to prepare for leadership roles and succeed in the competitive business climate.
Mai-Lin is an active member of the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, is a current board member of Copper Star Repertory Company, is a CERT participant in Gilbert Fire Department’s citizens program, and is active in Saint Anne’s Catholic Church and the YMCA. In addition, Mai-Lin is a graduate and current board member of Gilbert’s Leadership program.
Dr. Adelaida Severson [Bushtex, Inc]
As owner and CEO of Bushtex, Inc, Adelaida’s leadership, training style and eye for hiring the right people helped earn Bushtex one of Comerica Bank’s “Arizona Companies to Watch” Award in 2009. Her business does amazing work globally to help transmit international events such as the Olympics and the Super Bowl. In recent years, she was a member of Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board, a co-founder of the Parent Legislative Action Network (PLAN), Board Member of the Gilbert Education Foundation (GEF), a parent volunteer at Ashland Ranch Elementary, and held other Board and volunteer positions.
Adelaida is a graduate of the Chamber’s Gilbert Leadership program and has served on the program’s Board of Directors. Most recently, Adelaida has donated several hours as the on-camera personality for the Chamber’s Executive Housing initiative.
Rita Sippel [San Tan Learning Center]
After years of working in traditional public schools, Rita Sippel had a vision of creating a school that met the individual needs of every student in a positive, supportive, and nurturing environment. Rita hoped to bridge traditional teaching with Montessori teaching to benefit those who are more hands-on, kinesthetic, and independent learners. As a co-founder of the San Tan Learning Center, Rita’s vision became reality. In six years, San Tan Learning Center grew from 40 students to more than 500 students.In August of 2012, Rita and her team celebrated the grand opening of a second school, Fulton Ranch Learning Center.
Rita has a Master’sDegree in School Administration from the University of Phoenix and also has her AMS Montessori Teachers Certificate.