The program was highlighted by a lively keynote address delivered by Preferred Hotel Group President and CEO Lindsey Ueberroth, who shared with the audience the wisdom she has acquired over the years as a successful woman in business. Throughout her 10 years with the company, Ueberroth has helped solidify Preferred Hotel Group’s position as an iconic global hospitality brand and a preferred partner for independent hotels and resorts.
A total 214 individuals were nominated for this year’s program. Five awards were presented to the candidates whom the judging panel (comprised of representatives from the event’s Diamond and Platinum sponsoring organizations in addition to one representative from the Business Journal) determined to be the most extraordinary, and a sixth award was presented to CEO of Pool Water Products Zee Allred for Lifetime Achievement.
Event Sponsors: Diamond Sponsor Union Bank; Platinum Sponsors Wells Fargo, Cox Business, Opus Bank, Lugano Diamonds, Bank of the West, Lindora, Chase; Gold Sponsor CHOC Children’s;
Following are profiles for the six award recipients:
Alexis Schulze, Co-Founder/Chief Visionary Officer
Nékter Juice Bar, Santa Ana
Alexis Schulze wanted to bring a healthy alternative to the typical morning cup of coffee and the sugar-laden processed juices currently on the market. Her vision was to offer a product of significant value that served a purpose in maintaining a healthy overall well-being. She started nékter with her husband Steve Schulze and worked endlessly to achieve goals that for some could be labeled as wishful thinking. In 2010, Schulze opened the first nékter juice bar on 17th Street in Costa Mesa. Since then, Schulze has been able to expand nékter to new locations and new product lines. What started as one store in 2010, grew to 20 by Aug. 2013. Nékter recently signed a long-term financial agreement with Opus Bank – setting up a concrete structure to meet their goal of 12 more locations by the end of the year and a total of 100 locations within three years.
Jerri Rosen, Founder/CEO
Working Wardrobes, Costa Mesa
In 1990, Jerri Rosen embarked on a mission to help victims of domestic violence by holding the first ever “Day of Self-EsteemTM” event to empower women survivors to find a path to self-sufficiency. In addition to successfully assisting 67 women from six shelters that day, the event inspired Rosen to make a broader and more profound impact in our community. She founded Working Wardrobes, an Orange County nonprofit that has since helped a staggering 75,000 men, women, veterans and young adults find meaningful employment. As Working Wardrobes approaches its 25th anniversary, Rosen remains a guiding force and visionary, serving as CEO and overseeing all aspects of the nonprofit’s business and client operations. With her guiding hand, Working Wardrobes has transformed the lives of thousands of individuals, making the power of a paycheck a reality for those in need.
Cheryl Osborn, President
Casco Contractors Inc., Irvine
From her kitchen table startup in 2000, to becoming the 16th largest woman-owned business in Orange County in 2012, Cheryl Osborn has come a long way. In just 14 years, the company has grown from one employee to 45; from $600,000 in revenue to $37 million; and has become an elite builder for some of the most prestigious architectural firms and property management companies in California. Osborn’s management team, designers and builders are dedicated to world-class quality and service. They build a clear plan together, work meticulously on every detail and produce exceptional results to make properties more inviting for occupancy.
Deborah Proctor, President/CEO
St. Joseph Health System, Irvine
Deborah Proctor is president and CEO of the Orange County-based St. Joseph Health, a 16-hospital, $5.2 billion health care organization serving California, Texas and New Mexico. She transformed local health care when she led an alliance of her organization and Hoag, forming a visionary partnership of outstanding hospitals, physicians, outpatient centers and other services. Proctor is well-known for bringing people together to effect bold change in health care, having led St. Joseph Health on a decade-long pursuit of achieving 1. Perfect Care (exceptional medical outcomes) 2. Sacred Encounters (extraordinary interactions with patients) and 3. Healthiest Communities (outstanding wellness and preventive care). Additionally, she is the current board chair of Catholic Health Association, a national organization of more than 1,200 Catholic health care sponsors, systems, facilities, and related organizations and services.
Karen Smith, Senior Vice President/Head, Global Medical Affairs
Allergan Inc., Irvine
Karen Smith is one of only five female senior vice presidents at Allergan, a global $6 billion global pharmaceutical company with over 10,000 employees. She joined the pharmaceutical industry 20 years ago to focus on developing treatments in areas of unmet medical need and to lead and mentor other women in a largely male-dominated arena. Her strength as a role model comes from experience as a physician executive in diverse cultures including Australia, Japan, Canada, Europe and the U.S., and through various roles in Research & Development. Currently heading up Global Medical Affairs, Smith oversees a global clinical trial data generation and publication portfolio across all of Allergan’s marketed pharmaceutical and device products.
Zee Allred, CEO
Pool Water Products, Irvine
Zee Allred is chairman and CEO of Pool Water Products, a California Corporation, with nine branches throughout California and 12 out of state, in Florida, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Allred possesses indomitable entrepreneurial drive, business acumen and leadership ability, all of which have allowed her to turn a $500 loan into a multi-million dollar company that employs hundreds of people and serves the Orange County community, nation and world. She was listed by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the “100 Most Influential People of Orange County” and was named as Orange County Woman of the Year. A pillar in the nonprofit community, Allred has played an integral role in the growth of philanthropy and nonprofit service in Orange County. She has touched countless residents in the community with her generosity and spirit of giving.