Three Valley women from significantly different backgrounds and diverse worlds will take center stage for their perseverance in overcoming tremendous personal challenges to redirect and refocus their lives.

These women will be honored as 2016 Arizona Women’s Education & Employment (AWEE) Faces of Success on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, 5402 E. Lincoln Dr. in Scottsdale.

Registration for the 22nd annual Faces of Success Luncheon, under the theme Reimagine Yourself, begins at 11 a.m.  The luncheon starts at noon.  Individual tickets are $250 and can be purchased online or at the door.

Co-chairs are Nan Ater, community volunteer and AWEE board member, and Beth McMullen, vice president at Avnet, Inc. and also an AWEE board member.

3TV news anchor Nicole Crites, KTAR news anchor Jim Sharpe and Black, Starr & Frost Chairman and CEO Alfredo J. Molina will co-emcee the luncheon.

2016 Faces of Success are:

Tracey Latham (Photo courtesy of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment)

Tracey Latham, who spent years in corporate leadership in an industry where you don’t find many women – advanced manufacturing.  Manufacturing and the assembly of printed circuit boards – parts no bigger than a fleck of pepper – are her passion. At the 2015 Faces of Success Luncheon, Tracey told about her decision, as an executive of another company, to start her own. It was a story without an ending. Until this year. She knew her industry, operations and sales, but needed help raising capital and with financial projections. She worked with Arizona Women’s Education and Entrepreneur Center (AWEEc) for assistance to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for advanced tech manufacturing and assembly. She also had help building her network and navigating some of the technical areas such as permits and zoning. Today, she has a team of like-minded professionals, generated business in four states and recently recently secured a large SBA-guaranteed loan to purchase equipment that will meet the needs of this industry for today and tomorrow.

Keanna Currycame
Keanna Currycame (Photo courtesy of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment)

Keanna Currycame to AWEE in 2015 as a single mother of three dependent children, unemployed, homeless and a recovering meth addict with a 2008 felony conviction. She lacked transportation, skills and job-search know-how. She was guided through an employment and training plan that included career direction; workshops for interviewing, resumes, job-search techniques and networking; mentoring, job coaching and supportive services.  And, she was referred to a Valley nonprofit for transitional housing. Now employed full-time, she is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and was a runner-up as AWEE’s 2016 nominee for the Soroptimist International of Phoenix’s Live Your Dream Award.

Amanda Howardbattled (Photo courtesy of Arizona Women’s Education and Employment)

Amanda Howardbattled faced a series of financial setbacks that reached their peak in 2014 when she received a 30-day notice of foreclosure for the house she and ex-husband bought in Anthem in 2008. They had fallen behind in payments because of car breakdowns and rising medical bills for her son’s ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder and her daughter’s physical therapy for a gymnastics injury.  Her husband’s health insurance didn’t cover their children’s needs. While attending a foreclosure prevention resources fair in May 2014, she was introduced to AWEE where she learned how to target her resume, search for the right jobs and interview, all while building her self-confidence. Her break came from a job lead at the Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council where, it turns out, she was the first and only interview before being hired for a job she loves at a company with solid health insurance.  The house is no longer in foreclosure.

The 90-minute event also features more than 20 giveaways and raffle prizes including a Molina Fine Jewelers-donated 18 carat white gold and diamond bracelet valued at more than $7,800.

Vases for table centerpieces were created by Paul McCartney’s daughter, Heather, and donated by an anonymous donor.  Centerpieces will be available for purchase for $50.