“Visionary Women: Shaping Generations” was the theme of the 2008 Women of Achievement celebration, honoring women who have made lasting and far-reaching contributions throughout Southwest Washington and beyond. The event, which co-sponsored by Clark College and YWCA Clark County, was held on March 13 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington and was covered by Clark-Vancouver Television (CVTV).
The 2008 honorees included three with ties to Clark College: Tracy Reilly Kelly, program manager for Mature Learning and Continuing Education; Susan Torres, teacher and mentor in Clark’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program; and Elizabeth Asahi Sato, owner of Rise to Excellence, who previously served as Executive Assistant to the President at Clark.
Donna Roberge is a professor emeritus at Clark College.
Other 2008 Women of Achievement honorees included Dr. Susan Davis, medical director of the Urgent Medical Center; Patricia Downey, a teacher and advisor at Mountain View High School; Jean Lacey, the first Executive Director of YWCA Clark County; Kris Miller, Vice President and Relationship Manager, West Coast Bank; and Vancouver City Council member Jeanne Stewart.
Sarah Brown, a student at the Vancouver School for Arts and Academics and Navnit Virdi, a student at Heritage High School were also honored as Young Women of Achievement. Brown received a scholarship from First Independent Bank. Virdi received the Violet Richardson Scholarship from Soroptomist International of Vancouver.
Each of the women spoke about the importance of serving others and honored those who had made a difference in their own lives. Lacey recalled her mother’s words: “You must pay rent for the space you take up on earth.”
KATU-TV anchor Anna Song was emcee for the 2008 Women of Achievement celebration which drew dignitaries including Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard and Council Member Larry Smith.
Clark College guests included trustees Addison Jacobs, Sherry Parker, Rhona Sen Hoss and John White. The college was also represented Vice President of Instruction Dr. Rassoul Dastmozd, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Rachel Ruiz, Associate Vice President of Human Resources Katrina Golder, Executive Dean of Planning and Advancement Candy Bennett, Executive Director of Corporate and Continuing Education Todd Oldham, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing Barbara Kerr, Director for Equity and Diversity Leann Johnson, horticulture professor Herb Orange, communications studies instructor Deena Bisig, Associated Students of Clark College (ASCC) President Pat Mehigan, and Clark’s 2008 All-Washington Academic Team members Jennifer Patterson and Men-Ok “Irina” Ziyu.
Representatives from the Clark College Foundation included President Lisa Gibert and Vice President of Development Ara Serjoie.
The Women of Achievement celebration, which will mark its 25th celebration in 2009, was founded by Pat Watne, Director of Women's Programs at Clark College.