Sonoma Valley rancher, business owner and animal welfare advocate Julie Atwood has been selected as the 2018 “Influential Woman Leader” by the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented at the 2018 Women in Leadership Luncheon on November 9 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.
Theme for this year’s event is “Community and Connections,” with an emphasis on giving back to the community.
“We are so excited to recognize Julie’s contributions to the community,” said Megan Moll, event chair. “She has received national awards and commendations for her HALTER Project Community Preparedness Program, but this is the first time these efforts have been recognized here in Sonoma Valley. We are very pleased to shine the local spotlight on her.”
Since the inception of its annual Women in Leadership Luncheon in 2016, the Sonoma Chamber has worked with residents, nonprofits and businesses to identify strong female leaders in Sonoma Valley. Each year, one is chosen to receive this special recognition at the event. This year, the event committee chose three primary criteria for the selection process: empowering other women, dedication to Sonoma Valley organizations, causes and/or the local economy, and building stronger communities.
Atwood is the owner of Julie Atwood Events, an industry leader in sustainable, responsible Sonoma Valley hospitality for nearly 20 years. She has been active in numerous local organizations including the Valley of the Moon Children’s Foundation, Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and many more. She has been a prominent supporter of VOICES, a local organization that provides services for transitioning foster youth and is the Founder of the HALTER Project, a program dedicated to the safety and welfare of people and animals in emergencies and disasters.
“The process of choosing one winner was extremely difficult,” said Ramie Hencmann, co-chair of the event. “We had about 15 candidates, all of whom would have been amazing choices for the award. However, Julie’s tireless dedication to the community really stood out and she went above and beyond in her service to so many important causes here in the Sonoma Valley. She really excelled in all three of the criteria areas.”
Tickets for the event are on sale now at the Sonoma Chamber’s “Women in Leadership” event webpage; www.SonomaChamber.org/WIL. Pre-registration is required and the event sells out each year so those interested in attending are encouraged to secure their seats as soon as possible.