The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce three finalists for the 24th annual Business Woman of the Year award. The award recognizes an individual's excellence in their chosen field and demonstrated leadership within the community. The award honors those who serve as a positive role model to others and are active in community and Tempe Chamber programs.
The finalists for the 24th annual Business Woman of the Year award are:
A native of Alamogordo, NM with forty plus years in the banking industry, Cecilia Estrada Ashe is currently Vice President/Chief Operations Officer for Landings Credit Union with locations in Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler. She is part of the Executive Management Team, Asset/Liability Committee and oversees Branch Operations, Marketing and Investment Services.
Cecilia prides herself on being a community enthusiast of people helping people. Current and past affiliations include Board Member for TCH, Diversity & Inclusion Committee for Tempe Union High School District, City of Chandler Economic Development Advisory Board, Tempe Chamber Women in Business Mentorship Program, Rotary International, Kiwanis, Maricopa Economic Development Alliance and Maricopa Parks, Recreation, and Libraries among many others during her career.
Sherri Barry is the owner and founder of Arizona Fashion Source, where she aims to "support the growth of a sustainable 21st century fashion industry in Tempe by providing comprehensive and innovative resources to Design to Concept design entrepreneurs, emerging designers, and brands". In previous years, Sherri has co-founded Arizona Apparel Foundation where the mission is to support the sustainable growth of Arizona's fashion industry; co-founded, the Fashion Resource and Business Innovation Center in Tempe (F.A.B.R.I.C) that is the headquarters to Arizona's fashion industry, and created events at F.A.B.R.I.C that returns proceeds to support Arizona Apparel Foundation.
Sherri is passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and encouraging local brands to manufacture in Arizona in order to attract out-of-state brands who are looking for resource alternatives. Sherri is a proud member of the Tempe Chamber and has received the 2018 Tempe Mayor's Disability Award: Employee of the Year, the 2017 Business Community Impact Award and was recognized in the Tempe Mayor's State of the City Address in both 2016 and 2017.
Melody Elkin is the chef and owner of Sweetest Season Artisan Eatery where she has received critical acclaim by food critic Dominic Armato, increased her business's annual revenue by 300% and proudly created 15 new jobs in 2018. When it comes to helping to improve the economy in Tempe, Melody takes pride in the fact that she has "identified, hired, and trained two women, who lead both the front and back of house, respectively, in a heavily male-dominated industry". Melody speaks at many local events, and when she does she enjoys celebrating women's empowerment, especially in the business community.
As an ASU Women's Basketball alumni, Melody continues to lend her support to the program through mentorship and promotion. Melody also is a role model in the business community and displays this through her support of local organizations in their mission efforts to improve the city, such as Tempe Community Action Agency, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, and TCH. Sweetest Season Artisan Eatery helps to serve Tempe's business community through continued employment, training, and growth opportunities with various community groups that she partners. Melody serves as a chair on the Tempe Coalition Against Underage Drinking and Drug Use, a board member of Friends of the Tempe Center of the Arts and an executive director of Arizona Coalition for Tomorrow.
The recipient will be announced at the Tempe Chamber's Leadership Conference & Expo on May 17th.