San Antonio Chamber Honors Six in Annual Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards Program

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Ford Motor Company have announced the six honorees for the annual Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards. The honorees include Kim Bowers of CST Brands, Inc.; Jane Phipps of Masters Leadership Program; Judith Markelz of the Warrior & Family Support Center; Asia Ciaravino of The Playhouse, Carri Baker Wells of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson; and Barbara B. Gentry of USAA.

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Tribute to Women Business Leaders

Tribute to Women Business Leaders

These women exemplify what success means in San Antonio not only because of their proven leadership skills in their industry, but also because of their profound impact on our community.

San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) March 07, 2014

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Ford Motor Company has announced the six honorees for the annual Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards. The honorees include Kim Bowers, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, CST Brands, Inc.; Jane Phipps, Founder of the Masters Leadership Program; Judith Markelz, Director of the Warrior & Family Support Center; Asia Ciaravino, CEO of The Playhouse, Carri Baker Wells, COO of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson; and Barbara B. Gentry, retired Sr. Vice President of USAA Community Affairs.

“These women exemplify what success means in San Antonio not only because of their proven leadership skills in their industry, but also because of their profound impact on our community,” said 2014 Tribute to Women Business Leaders Selection Chairman Rhonda Kolm Calvert, President of Comerica Bank-San Antonio.

The Tribute to Women Business Leaders honorees each exemplify business practices and principles that are championed by Ford Motor Company and the San Antonio Chamber. A $1,000 scholarship will be donated to the college/university of the award recipient’s choice in her name.

“At Ford, we are committed to driving a better future for our communities, a value we share with the outstanding women business leaders that the San Antonio Chamber honors every year,” said Joe Avila, Community Outreach Manager for Ford Motor Company Fund.

“We are certain that this year’s nominees will be another impressive group of leaders, and we look forward to celebrating their achievements.”

Kim Bowers, the recipient of the Executive Award for Large Business, leads one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience merchandise in North America. Kim joined CST Brands after over 15 years of service with Valero Energy Corporation, having served most recently as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In the community, she chairs United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County’s Partnership for Community Change and serves on the United Way’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors of Family Service Association.

Jane Phipps, recipient of the Brenda Vickrey Johnson Award for Small Business, is widely credited for her role as the founder of the Masters Leadership Program (MLP), but her success is due to her small business acumen. In 1980, Jane and her husband Bob started Fresh from Texas, a fresh fruit and vegetable processing company, over which Jane managed company finances, marketing and human resources. They sold the company in 2000 and four years later, Jane brought the MLP to San Antonio, where she served as the executive director until April 2013. Jane serves on the board of directors of the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Alamo Colleges Foundation and the Nancy Smith Hurd Charitable Foundation.

For her dedication to the military, civil service and education, the Freedom Award will go to Judith Markelz, Director of the Warrior and Family Support Center on the San Antonio Military Medical Center Campus at Ft. Sam Houston. The center provides services to wounded warriors and their families. Judith has served as the American Red Cross Manager at Ft. Benning, Georgia and Ft. Hood, Texas. And she served as the Director of the Women’s Conference and Scholarship Committee for the Spouses’ Club of Ft. Sam Houston.

The Promise Award recipient is Asia Ciaravino, CEO of The Playhouse. Asia honed her marketing, fundraising, event planning, management and production experience at the Magik Children’s Theatre, The CE Group and Our Lady of the Lake University, and in 2012, she was named President & CEO of The Playhouse. Asia was a member of Leadership San Antonio (Class 36) and served on the steering committee for Class 37. She is also a member of the SA100 club, an organization for women in leadership and currently serves on the Mayor's Fitness Council. Additionally, she hosts KLRN's ARTS show that airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m.

For her civic engagement and community impact, the Hope Award will go to Carri Baker Wells, key executive and Chief Operations Officer for Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. Carri was instrumental in re-establishing the SAISD Foundation, where she is the current Chairman of the Board. She is influential on the Regional Board for Teach for America and has played key roles for Texas A&M University – San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University and the Northside and Alamo Heights School Foundations. An enthusiastic Aggie, Carri was the first woman to serve as President of the 12th Man Foundation. She has served Texas A&M as a board member for the San Antonio A&M Club, Member at Large for the Former Student Association and currently serves on the Dean’s Development Council for the Mays College of Business. Carri’s impact on San Antonio business is evident through her 20+ years of involvement with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, where she served as Chairman of the Board in 2010. She served on the City of San Antonio’s SA2020 Steering Committee and eventually became a Tri-Chair for the 2012 City of San Antonio Bond Committee and Campaign Treasurer. She served as the 2012 Chair for Go Red for Women and the 2013 Circle of Red Chair. Carri is an avid supporter of San Antonio Sports and KLRN and was recognized as a Girl Scout Great for her leadership in Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

The Legacy Award will be presented to Barbara Gentry for her longstanding commitment to San Antonio business and the community. Barbara recently retired as Senior Vice President, Community Affairs at USAA, where she administered USAA’s charitable contributions program and oversaw the community educational initiatives and volunteer programs. She also served as President of The USAA Foundation and as president of The USAA Educational Foundation.

Barbara serves on the board of directors of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, Haven for Hope, the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Public Library Foundation, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio and the Fisher House Foundation. She also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center and on a number of committees and special initiatives with local organizations and as a member of the USAA Golden Eagle Club.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has been propelling business success since 1894. As the largest business association in the region, the Chamber focuses on advocating on behalf of business at the local, state and federal level on pro-business legislation, collaborates with education institutions and organizations to build a stronger workforce for the future and provides a way for businesses of every size to build their network.


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