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Y Women in Careers Awards seeks nominations

Past honorees of the YWCA’s Y Women in Careers Award in Corpus Christi include (clock wise from center top) Kelly Isaacs, Joan Holt, Valerie Pompa, Teresa Costley and Patricia Furley. Courtesy photos

Nominations are open for the 38th Y Women in Careers Awards. Here’s your chance to honor a successful professional woman. Y Women honors eight women each year.

“You don’t know whether your nominee will win,” YWCA President and CEO Nancy Wesson-Dodd said, “but she definitely won’t win if you don’t nominate her.”

In 1979, 100 career women attended the first Y Women in Careers Awards Banquet. In her thank-you speech, one honoree said, “I didn’t know there were 100 businesswomen in Corpus Christi!”

“Now, thousands of career women hold top positions in many fields,” Wesson-Dodd said. “They deserve recognition. This women-in-careers event values the impacts women make in their fields.”

Anyone may nominate a successful career woman. Honorees come from all types of businesses and career fields. The program has honored 268 women from a variety of fields, including the arts, health care and science, education, business, technology, the trades, law, banking and finance, communication, and engineering.

In 1997, Patricia Furley received the award as a career musician. In 2017, Commander Kelly Isaacs, Corpus Christi Police Department’s highest-ranking woman, received the award for her work in law enforcement. In 2016, G. Joan Holt received the award for her work in marine science. In 2008, Teresa Costley received the award for her food industry work as a butcher. Success comes in all types of work.

“Recognition is important,” Wesson-Dodd said. “Almost 40 years ago, YWCA began this award to recognize women’s professional achievements. Women who stand out in their fields should receive the respect they deserve. These women are examples for others to follow.”

In the not-too-distant past, women received awards for volunteerism. Their work achievements might have been overlooked. Y Women in Careers honors women who excel in their professions.

“While many of these women contribute time and money to worthy causes, it is their professional accomplishments this award highlights,” Wesson-Dodd said.

The award is meaningful to honorees. Valerie Pompa (2014), a vice president of Flint Hills Resources, called the award “one of the highlights” of her career. Pompa excels in the oil and gas field, which is dominated by men.

“It was an honor to be recognized by other women in our community for my leadership and service,” she said. “I hope, in some way, it inspires other young women to reach for the stars.”

“This is an important aspect of Y Women,” Wesson-Dodd agreed. “These accomplished women are role models to other women and girls. They need to see women rise high in their positions.”

You know women with outstanding professional credentials. Nominate them today!

Nomination forms can be found on the YWCA website at along with rules, a Hall of Fame list and other information. The deadline for nominations is close-of-business Dec. 7, 2017. Honorees will be announced at a news conference Jan. 18, 2018. The Y Women in Careers Awards Banquet will be March 1, 2018.

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