On March 20, 2014, the League of Women Voters of San Francisco honored four profound women who possess the leadership skills that makes them worthy of being president. Established in 1911, the San Francisco chapter of the League of Women Voters hosted the 19th Women Who Could be President Gala at the landmark City Club of San Francisco. The league is a nonpartisan, multi-issue organization dedicated to the education of voters and promoting perpetual participation in the government.
The awards reception began with cocktail hour and the melodies of internationally celebrated harpist Michelle Sell. Brief welcomes and thank-you’s were given by President of the League, Cynthia Foster, and Gala Co-Chairs, Bianca Velishek and Richard Janney. Mistress of Ceremonies and past honoree, Cheryl Jennings presented the 2014 Women Who Could Be President Awards.
The recently appointed President of the San Francisco Film Commission, Denise Bradley-Tyson is a certified LBE as designated by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. She spoke to the crowd about being reenergized by mourning Nelson Mandela, reminding us that life is a marathon, not a sprint and it is never too late in life to make a difference.
Aside from her position as the Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Susan Sutherland chairs the Board of Directors at the United Way of the Bay Area. Susan founded the Women Who Could be President Award and Gala when she served as president of the League of Women Voters in 1991.
Katie Albright has dedicated her career to producing brighter futures for children working both in the legal and non-profit divisions. Stricken by the child abuse pandemic, Katie spoke passionately about her work as the executive director of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and their initiatives for the future.
For 40 years, Sandy Close has served as the executive director of Pacific News Service and has had a major role in diversifying media locally and nationally. Her revolutionary work has earned her many awards including an Oscar, MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” and Polk Award for Career Achievement.
The award ceremony concluded with speeches from distinguished guests the former Peruvian President, Alejandro Toledo and First Lady, Eliane Karp. They shared their experiences from Peru stressing the importance of being informed citizens, never should we be spectators in our nation, rather we should always participate in our democracy. Toledo reiterated the theme of the speeches, equal rights, “human rights doesn’t have a skin color and democracy doesn’t have a nationality.”