(El Cajon, Calif.) - The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce recently honored Sherry Yarbrough, Executive Director of the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training Trust, as one of seven recipients of the Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) award.
(Left to right) Catt Fields White, Theresa Kemper, Sherry Yarbrough, Alison Cummings, Dana Rivers, Jill Meyers. Not shown Marlee Ehrenfeld.
According to Leah McIvor, 2016 event chair, 35 nominees were considered by the committee for the awards program, now in its 14th year. She said the recipients were honored for their outstanding leadership, exemplary character and integrity in the community, as well as their efforts to empower women to succeed and prosper in life and business.
“All of these women, the nominees and the awardees, are very deserving of the recognition they’ve received today,” said McIvor. “They’ve had a positive impact on the local economy, and have contributed in many other ways to the greater San Diego area.”
“When I received the notice I had been nominated, and saw the criteria, I said ‘wow, how did I get in the company of all these accomplished women who had been nominated?’” said Yarbrough.
“I’m so proud of the programs ABC offers and they way we have changed lives,” Yarbrough continued. “Thousands of men and women have gone through our apprenticeship or craft training programs and taken their place as skilled construction craft workers. They’ve had the opportunity to go on to be project managers, or superintendents, or open their own businesses.
“Many of those people, years later, are running their own companies or have come back to teach the next generation of construction professionals for us,” said Yarbrough.
Yarbrough was selected for her professional accomplishments as a leader in construction craft professional education; her volunteer contributions to industry related advocacy organizations including the National Association of Women in Construction including her role as a founding member of Future Construction Leaders of San Diego; and as champion for increasing professional opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups in the construction industry.
Since the ABC’s Apprenticeship Training Program began in 1989, more than 2,200 graduates have launched rewarding careers in five different construction crafts, including electrical, plumbing, pipefitting, sheet metal and air conditioning and heating. She is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction. She also is a founding board member of the North County Trade Tech Charter High School, a school designed to meet the fundamentally different learning needs of students today and prepare them for future success in post-secondary education and in construction careers. After a 17-year career at ABC, Sherry is retiring at the end of this year.
Other honorees also included Alison Cummings, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC); Marlee J. Ehrenfeld, MJE Marketing; Theresa Kemper, Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD); Jill Meyers, Women in Aviation International; Dana Rivers, Barona Resort & Casino; and Catt Fields White, San Diego Public Markets.
The September 16 luncheon drew 360 attendees to the Town and Country Resort Hotel in Mission Valley. Emcee was former TV anchor Lee Ann Kim who currently serves on advisory boards for the Women’s Museum and San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Kim was a WILL honoree in 2014. Keynote speaker was fitness instructor, dancer and choreographer Dionne Thomas, a licensed Zumba instructor and speaker at a 2015 TedX Temecula event.