Image of the 2016 Inductees for the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame. Courtesy Photo.

Seventeen local women, including Mayor Ivy Taylor, will be recognized as the newest members of the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame during a special gala event on Saturday, March 19 at the Omni Colonnade.

To purchase tickets for the 2016 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Gala, click here.

The 17 inductees representing more than a dozen professional and creative fields were selected from a pool of more than 40 nominations, said Sylvia Romo, president of the SA Women’s Hall of Fame. These women represent excellence in their respective professional fields, she said, but they also provide examples of how women can help each other to succeed.

“There are opportunities (to succeed) everywhere,” said Romo. “But everyone, especially women, needs help to get there.”

The SA Women’s Hall of Fame was established in the early 1980s to honor local women leaders while providing a benchmark of excellence for younger generations. Past Hall of Fame inductees include former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, Rosemary Kowalski and Mary Rose Brown.

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The organization recently began awarding scholarships to high school graduates of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, a STEM-focused charter school in San Antonio Independent School District. The organization hopes to connect current leaders with future leaders through mentorships and a continued scholarship program, which awarded nearly $40,000 to graduates within the last two years.

Girl Scouts CEO Angie Salinas, who previously served as the first Latina major general in the United States Marine Corps, said that she is honored to be inducted in the Women’s Hall of Fame.

“This is a great way to support the next generation of women, and a great way to hear about the women who come from San Antonio and Texas,” said Salinas, who added that the inductees were great role models.

The awards also recognize women succeeding in fields that are still dominated by men. Sondra Grohman, Shining Star Energy president and CEO and a lifelong rancher, is the sole 2016 inductee to be recognized for her contributions to agriculture, she said. She hopes that young girls will see that someone else enjoys similar interests, and think, “‘Hey, she did that – maybe I’m not weird for enjoying this, and maybe I can do it, too.’”

For other inductees, the gala itself is a celebration and opportunity to network with other local leaders and effectively collaborate to help improve their communities.

“I’m very honored and excited to see what that event is like,” said Jeanie Wyatt, CEO of South Texas Money Management. “I think the biggest thing that connects this group is (that) we love San Antonio. We aren’t like other cities and we’re fortunate to have so many strong leaders that want to make San Antonio a better city to live, work and create opportunities.”

Full List of 2016 Women Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Agriculture: Sondra Grohman, Lifelong rancher, president and CEO of Shining Star Energy 
  • Business/Finance: Jeanie Wyatt, CEO, South Texas Money Management
  • Civic Leadership: Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion, Chief Justice of Fourth Court of Appeals
  • Communications: Beverly Purcell-Guerra, Editor Emiritus of San Antonio Woman,
  • Creative Arts: Susan C. Franklin, co-founder of share 3:16, co-founder of franklin cos.
  • Creative Arts: Kathy Sosa, nationally recognized artist
  • Education K-12: Hon. Patti Radle, City Councilwoman, SAISD board president
  • Education K-12: Dr. Sylvia Ramirez Reyna, former teacher, principal, central office executive administrator former
  • Health Professions: Colonel Lark A. Ford, RN, MsN, PhD
  • Higher Education: Elaine Mendoza, Conceptual Mind Works president and CEO
  • Innovation: Hon. Phylis Speedman, Ret. Justice of Fourth Court of Appeals, Attorney with Dyxema Cox Smith
  • Law: Hon. Karen H. Pozza, 407th District Court and co-founder of the community justice program
  • Military: Maj. Gen. Angela Angie Salinas, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas
  • Public Service: Mayor Ivy Taylor, Mayor of City of San Antonio
  • Science: Janet Campbell, founder and former CEO of Seno Medical Instruments, board member to Texas Hall of Fame
  • Technology: Janie Martinez Gonzalez, CEO Webhead, civic leader
  • Volunteerism: Barbara Gentry, retired Sr. VP of USAA, USAA foundation president
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*Top Image: Portrait of the 2016 inductees for the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. Courtesy Photo. 

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Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson, a former reporter at the Rivard Report, is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events.