“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
We are so excited to introduce the 2022 HER honorees and October issue! HER stands for Honoring, empowering and raising up extraordinary women. With these awards, we honor six local leaders, encouraging their work and thanking them for boldly standing out. They are transforming lives. They are shaping our community. They are breaking down barriers and inspiring others to follow. Read their full stories on our site, and we think you’ll agree: These women make living in the 405 even better.
Woman of the Year: Dr. Mautra Staley Jones
Current president of Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), joining just 5% of women of color at the helm of higher education in the U.S., selected as 86th National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc., inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame.
2022 Industry Leader: Cathy O’Connor
MVP of OKC economic development for the last several decades. Played a part in large scale projects including the Eastside Homeland, Convention Center and Omni Hotel, Innovation and Boathouse districts, and many more. Former President of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. Current founder of COalign Group.
Community Visionary: Alisa Trang Green
Founder of OKC Dress for Success which provides services to women including upscale outfits for job interviews, professional and personal training programs that teach job skills, healthy relationships and balancing home life and work life. President of the Dragonfly Home board, member of City Rescue Mission board.
Humanitarian: Jayra Camarena
Founder of La Luz, the only culturally specific, faith-based service provider in the state working exclusively with domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Advocate for increasing education among the Latino community to prevent abusive situations while also providing victims with greater access to rehabilitative resources.
Rising Star: Emma Butler
Founder of the Hair Initiative, a diversity-conscious resource that addresses the inequity in access to hair hygiene for youth and their caregivers by providing education, dignified and inclusive hair hygiene kits, stylist referrals and individualized programming, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
Medical Hero: Dr. Elaine Hamm
Founder and CEO Ascend BioVentures, a pharmaceutical accelerator company, currently developing what she calls “big game-changers” – life-changing cures – for hearing loss, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Champion of diversity and inclusion in science and mentor to women entering the field.