League members, new and old, gathered with friends and supporters at our annual Gala on Thursday evening, February 9, 2012, to celebrate five distinguished “Women Who Could Be President”. Cheryl Jennings honored us as Mistress of Ceremonies and past honoree Hala Hijazi was inspiring as our Event Chair.
Karen Clopton, immediate past President of the League, and the woman responsible for bringing us the Gala for the past six years summed it up perfectly by stating, “This award champions women working in all aspects of civic life who have the will, drive, and vision to create better communities”.
This year’s five recipients of the Women Who Could Be President honor were united in their accomplishments and their graciousness. Rachelle Chong, Mary Huss, Maria Atonieta Mejia, Pam Moore and Janet Reilly showed their leadership with their poise, humor and heartfelt words.
LWVSF President Tricia McGovern reflected that one of the things that makes the League so special is that League leaders, including current and past honorees as well as members, defy stereotypes. “Powerful women have a stigma of being cold,” she said. “But it is just not true with this group of women. They are so warm-hearted.” The evening closed with a special birthday song led by talented contralto Sarah Meakin in honor of the 92nd birthday of the League of Women Voters.
The 2012 Gala was a great celebration of women, their accomplishments, and the continued role that the League plays in reinforcing their potential. The League thanks all of the members and friends who joined us for a truly inspiring evening! Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOUT WOMEN WHO COULD BE PRESIDENT
2012 GALA HONOREES
Mary Huss has been publisher of the San Francisco Business Times since 1991. Her career with regional business journals spans over 25 years.
The San Francisco Business Times is a local business news media operation that includes a weekly newspaper, online news site, daily email news products and events. It is one of 40 regional newspapers published by American City Business Journals. The weekly San Francisco Business Times reaches more than 87,000 readers in the Bay Area.
Mary began her career with business journals as part of the startup team that launched the St. Louis Business Journal, and a number of other business journals. Before coming to San Francisco, she was publisher of the Philadelphia Business Journal. Throughout her journalism career, she has been a reporter, an editor, a circulation director, an advertising sales director and publisher of two business journals.
Janet Reily is President of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. She is also president and co-founder of Clinic by the Bay - a free health clinic for the working uninsured. Janet's professional background is in public relations and politics. She was Director of Public Relations for Mervyn's Department stores, a broadcast journalist and an aide to the mayor of Los Angeles. Janet graduated from UCLA Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her MA in Journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.
Pam Moore joined KRON 4 in March 1991 as an anchor and general assignment reporter. In 2011, Moore was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle, honoring her significant contribution to Northern California television and honored for her career achievements by the Society of Professional Journalism, NorCal. Moore was honored for her commitment to journalism by the Bay Area Black Journalists Association in 2009.
In 2000 she received a Northern California Emmy for the series “Who Owns Your Health” and was nominated for one for the special reports “Don’t Call Me Crazy”.
Moore’s work on KRON 4’s 1998 five-part news series “About Race” garnered a number of awards, including a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, the Pew Center Batten Prize for Civic Journalism, an In-Depth Reporting Award from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, top honors from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and Best Documentary Award from the California Associated Press Television Radio Association.
María Antonieta Mejía was born in Mexico City. Her career in the United States started in 1995. She has worked for NBC and CNN among other networks. María is now the Managing editor of El Mensajero newspaper, the largest Spanish-language weekly in the San Francisco Bay Area, part of ImpreMedia. María has received several awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). In 2010 she was honored by the City and County of San Francisco with the Latino Heritage Month Award for her achievements in the field of media. She graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana and is married to Raúl Ayrala.
Rachelle Chong is Regional Vice President of Government Affairs for California where she oversees all aspects of Comcast’s governmental affairs activities throughout the state. Commissioner Chong has broken glass ceilings as the first ever Asian American Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (1994-1997 – appointed by President Clinton) and the first ever Asian American Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission (2006-2009 – appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger). At the FCC, she made her mark in the implementation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the digital television transition, children’s television, and the nation’s first auctions of spectrum. Among her state accomplishments was her leadership in bringing broadband to communities with no broadband or very slow broadband, establishing a state telehealth network, and implementing the first smart grid regulatory frameworks.