The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Presenting Sponsor Ford Motor Company are pleased to announce the honorees for the annual Women's Opportunity Week: Tribute to Women Business Leaders Awards. Lisa Wong, President and Owner of Rosario’s Mexican Café y Cantina, will receive the Brenda Vickrey Johnson Award for Small Business; Mary Rose Brown, Senior Vice President of Administration at NuStar Energy, will receive the Executive Award for Large Business; and Priscilla Hill-Ardoin, retired AT&T executive, will be honored with the Legacy Award.
“These women truly exemplify the spirit of a Tribute to Women Business Leaders because they are extraordinary leaders who contribute their remarkable talents to help build a stronger community through their professional lives and philanthropy,” said 2012 Women’s Opportunity Week Chairman Sonya Medina Williams, Vice President of Community & External Affairs at Silver Eagle Distributors.
“Ford created this award with the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce six years ago to recognize women business leaders for their achievements and commitment to their communities,” said Joe Avila, Community Outreach Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We’re proud to honor such a diverse group of respected women whose leadership and contributions are positively impacting San Antonio.”
Lisa Wong is a leading restaurateur with 30 years of experience in the food service industry and the founder of a number of successful restaurant concepts in San Antonio including Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant, which she opened when she was just 18 years old with $7,000 of her college money. She also owns Rosario’s Mexican Café y Cantina, Rey Willy’s Hamburgers y Mas, ChinaLatina, Rosario’s Cantina at the San Antonio International Airport and Acenar on the River Walk. An active community leader, Lisa has served on the Board of many worthwhile organizations including the YWCA West Side Branch, Southtown Urban Main Street Program, The Children’s Shelter, the San Antonio Express-News Community Advisory Board and the San Antonio River Walk Expansion Committee.
As the highest-ranking female executive at NuStar Energy, Mary Rose Brown joined the company when it separated from Valero in 2007, and she helped establish the human resources, corporate communications, corporate services, government relations and aviation departments. Under her direction, the company has earned a ranking on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for list for the past four years. Mary Rose has also been involved in many community initiatives including the referendum and construction of the Alamodome, the launch of the Inner-City Games, and most recently she helped to raise over $100 million for the construction of the Haven for Hope campus. Through her vision and leadership, she is also the visionary behind the NuStar NuHope Golf Classic, which has raised another 11 million for Haven for Hope over the past five years.
Priscilla Hill-Ardoin retired from AT&T after dedicating 32 years of distinguished service to the company. Early in her career, she started the Communications Department at Prairie View A&M University and was an adjunct instructor at Texas Southern University in Houston. She began her management career in 1975 with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, which later became SBC Communications Inc. and ultimately, AT&T, Inc. During her tenure, she held numerous positions and worked on SBC’s acquisition of Pacific Telesis (1997), Ameritech (1999), AT&T (2005) and BellSouth (2006). Hill-Ardoin has held leadership roles in the regulated operating company, the directory publishing and advertising company, the Washington D.C. office and various positions at corporate headquarters.
Award nominees exemplify business practices and principles that are championed by
Ford Motor Company and The Greater Chamber. A $1,000 scholarship will be donated to the college/university of the award recipient’s choice in her name, and the scholarship recipients and/or academic institutions will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon.
Previous winners of the awards include Rosemary Kowalski, Lila Cockrell, Ruth Jones McClendon, Marsha Shields, Susanne Wade, Janet Holliday, Brenda Vickrey Johnson, Susan Blackwood, JoAnn Boone and many more. A complete list of past winners is available on The Chamber’s awards website.