Kathy Ireland is set to co-host the YWCA GLA Phenomenal Woman Awards.

Designating the 2017 YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ Phenomenal Woman Awards as “an occasion to emphasize how women have assumed leadership in expanding the horizons and impact of Los Angeles most compassionate and forward-looking programs for young people,” YWCA Greater Los Angeles President and CEO Faye Washington has announced that awardees at the nationally respected organization’s honors luncheon this year will be Deborah Borda, 17 year President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, now departing to head the New York Philharmonic, Lakers Youth Foundation Executive Director Kiesha Nix, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King and Los Angeles CBS2 News Anchor Pat Harvey. The event will transpire at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday, May 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

“These four honorees have used their vast talents and stature to break through the glass ceiling. A mirror can capture images and in many instances can define perspectives of ourselves and or others. These amazing women capture images of success, perseverance and tenacity. They just don’t give up. The battle they fight is not theirs, it’s for others- the generations to follow with a unique prescription of what it takes to make life for others happen. Our honorees have helped shape our nation’s future by expanding the horizons and achievable hopes of our citizens-in-training.

“To best share this summit meeting of wisdom and dedication with our audience of power-wielding women leaders in business, philanthropy and public service, the traditional core of daring women who attend our Phenomenal Women gatherings, we continue a programming concept so successfully launched last year. Instead of having a keynote speaker, we will have a keynote seminar, an inspirational and candid conversation between our 2017 Awardees.” Christine Devine, Los Angeles Fox 11 co-anchor and a leading advocate for foster and at-risk youth, will moderate the panel, and entertainment journalism icon Mary Hart will participate as a presenter of the new Bonnie Tiegel Angel Award, honoring journalistic activism and named after one of the organization strong and beloved supporter, Entertainment Tonight’s late producer, Bonnie Tiegel.

Ms. Washington stated “the event will carry on the Phenomenal Woman tradition of presenting” a luncheon experience in which a panel of exalted glass ceiling-breakers enlighten the next wave of Los Angeles female leadership in business and activism. It is an event of insight into the subject of what it means to be Powerful, Inspired, Brilliant, Visionary and Bold women: the obligations it imposes, the challenges it invites."

Three previous Phenomenal Women awardees will co-host the event: lifestyle designer Kathy Ireland who is YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ Ambassador; the organization’s Advisory Commissioner, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Lisa Paulsen, founding President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and its vast philanthropies.

Citing the achievements of 2017’s four Phenomenal Women, Ms. Washington pointed out that "they demonstrate how four great fields in which Southern California has dominance — arts and entertainment, journalism and communications, education, and sports have directed their power and popularity to benefit our nation’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. She pointed out:

“Deborah Borda, our 2017 Phenomenal Woman of the Year, President & CEO of the LA Phil, she is considered one of the most successful arts leaders in the country: from overseeing the opening of the iconic Disney Hall, growing the orchestra’s endowment to $255 million and making it the most financially secure in the country, to bringing the incandescent Dudamel and the Youth Orchestra (YOLA) to LA. Phenomenal Woman Awards Luncheon honors salutes with gratitude her imminent departure to head up the New York Philharmonic.

Ms. Washington has led the YWCA GLA’s charge to create access for thousands of young people to a pathway of safety, education and life-fulfilling career employment. She has wielded the torch of that leadership, leading the YWCA GLA’s charge to create access for thousands of young people to a pathway of safety, education and life-fulfilling career employment. She is a champion of the effort to help all women overcome gender-related obstacles to achieve a fuller and equal portion of the American dream.

YWCA GLA is excited to honor CBS2 Anchor, Pat Harvey, as our 2017 Bonnie Tiegel Angel Award.” Ms. Cynthia Heard, YWCA GLA, Vice President of Business Development and Communications added. “Pat receives this award for continuing the proud tradition that Bonnie Tiegel exemplified that of those in the media who give their voice and their podium to create greater awareness on some very important community issues. We salute Pat’s advocacy for children, special-needs, education and victims of domestic violence. This award is given in memory of friend and partner Bonnie, a champion in the Campaign to End Human Trafficking.”

The event also pays tribute to Michelle King as Champion of Change for her accomplishments as Superintendent of Schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest district in the nation. Ms. King is a graduate of LA Unified whose respected career spans 30 years of working her way up to her current leadership, always intent on holding up the standard of MOVE FORWARD & MAKE HISTORY for the Los Angeles community’s school children and enabling that through her innovative changes and spirit.

Kiesha Nix, who will receive PWAL’s Community Game Changer honor, is the Executive Director of the LA Lakers Youth Foundation, which has given out about $7 million to non-profit charitable organizations. Noted Ms. Washington, “We are looking forward to her thoughts on how to make a lasting impact through community service and outreach from the perspective of a career that spans the worlds of finance to philanthropy. She lives by the motto, ‘Always believe in yourself and never give up.’”

Several great California institutions, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Lakers Foundation and the Los Angeles Rams have joined the 2017 Phenomenal Woman Awards’ sponsors which also include: Southern California Gas Co., Edison, Xerox, Target ,Toyota, JP Morgan Chase, County of Los Angeles, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City National Bank, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Union Bank, and Omni Los Angeles Hotel.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
11:30 a.m. – Arrivals and Reception
12:00 p.m. – Program Begins

Omni Los Angeles Hotel

251 S. Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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