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2014 ATHENA Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipients Announced
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2014 ATHENA Award and ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipients Announced

With great pleasure, the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce announces the selection of Joelle Gomez, Women’s Center – Youth & Family Services, as its 2014 ATHENA Award recipient and Shelby Riley, Central California Safety Council as the 2014 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recipient. The ATHENA Awards will be presented to Joelle and Shelby at the annual ATHENA Luncheon on November 20th, 11:30am, at the Stockton Golf and Country Club.

Joelle Gomez is a role model in our community who exemplifies the value of woman as leaders. Joelle is the Chief Executive of an organization that was created in 2012 when she lead the successful merger of the 36-year-old Women’s Center of San Joaquin County with Family and Youth Services, now known as Women’s Center—Youth and Family Services (WCYFS). This fresh agency offers services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and to homeless/as-risk youth.  During the past year, WCYFS has provided counseling, shelter, advocacy, parenting and crisis intervention services to over 21,600 women, children, youth, and men. She strategically identifies partners, forms alliances, and fosters positive change. Her dedication to the professional development of WCYFS staff enables them to perform at their very best. She offers opportunities for leadership training and encourages employees to explore their own potential. In 2014, Joelle was a key contributor in two case studies documenting WCYFS’s merger.  For over 22 years, Joelle has served with the type of enthusiasm that breeds the belief that nothing is impossible when it comes to improving the lives of those in crisis. Joelle has successfully combined leadership and business intelligence. Currently, Joelle oversees a staff of 75 people and a $4 million budget. Joelle secured substantial funding and support to establish a new shelter for domestic violence survivors in Tracy that opened September 9, 2014. Joelle is a voice for women and survivors in our community and her passion for helping others is extraordinary.

Shelby Riley is the Director of Training and Program Development at the Central California Safety Council. Shelby has developed a step-by-step process for training, monitoring and mentoring those under her supervision to provide the support and guidance needed to allow them to grow and achieve. Shelby leads a team between 8 and 10 counselors and instructors. Shelby interviews, hires, trains, monitors, and mentors them to achieve their highest level of excellence and to meet the council’s high expectation levels for employee performance. Shelby holds certification for a Registered Addiction Specialist II, and Specialist Certifications in Women’s Treatment and Co-Occurring Disorders. In 2013 she was 1 of only 5 supervisors nationwide to receive the 2013 Excellence in Supervision Award.  She is a Leadership Stockton Class of 2014 graduate, a program of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.  Shelby has an extreme passion for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She uses her skills as a counselor to provide invaluable support to recruit and prepare victims to one day share their stories in hopes of preventing future victims and works as a Victim Advocate for MADD.  She is very involved with the Stockton Animal Shelter and volunteers frequently for Rotary Club of Stockton events where she is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.  Shelby is truly deserving of the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award and will continue to make a difference in countless lives.

Past ATHENA honorees include Judith Chambers, Cyril Seligman, Susan Carson, Marian Jacobs, Karen Munro, Iva Harris, Janice Marengo, Bobbie Fasano, Kathleen Janssen, Kathryn Rousek, Jeanette Michaels, Judith Buethe, Ann Johnston, Connemara Reisinger, Charlynn Harless, Kristen Spracher Birtwhistle, Hedy Holmes, Jeanne Zolezzi, Jane Butterfield, Dr. Hazel Hill, Susan Lenz, Mary Bava, Judge Consuelo Callahan, Dea Berberian, Sara Garfield, Phyllis Grupe and Dr. Kathy Hart. Young ATHENA honorees include Mimi Nguyen, Nikki Lowery, Angela Rosenquist, Jennifer Torres Siders and Monica Streeter. Tickets for this high-profile event at $40 are available by calling the Greater Stockton Chamber of Chamber at (209) 547-2770.

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