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Arizona People, June 15 2006

Rick Karbon

Rick Karbon
Hired as an account manager for Prisma Graphic Corporation. His responsibilities include providing printing and graphical direction to the firm’s diverse client base. Mr. Karbon has gained more than 15 years of niche periodical and marketing collateral experience by working with several Arizona trade and professional organizations. He lives in Chandler and enjoys playing tennis and cherishes his time with his family.
Awards
Nominations for the 2006 ATHENA Award are being accepted now through Friday, July 28, 2006. The distinction, awarded by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, is given to women who “strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishments, excel in their chosen field, and have devoted time and energy to their community.” Nominees are judged specifically on leadership and achievement, community service, and support for the professional development and mentorship of women.
Mary Ellen Simonson, a partner in the Phoenix law office of Lewis & Roca LLP, was honored with award last year. She was chosen out of a field of 50 nominees for her embodiment of the characteristics the award seeks to recognize in both her private and professional lives.
“Although the award is of course a personal honor for me, I view it more as a recognition of the community,” Ms. Simonson says. “I think it has become symbolic of the progress women have made in Phoenix and around the country.”
Ms. Simonson was born in New York and graduated from Arizona State University with her B.A. in 1971, and from the ASU College of Law in 1983. She has spent her entire professional career in the Phoenix community, and strives to give back all that she can.
“It is incredibly important for business leaders to give back to the community. As a business professional myself, I give my time to education issues, children’s issues and women’s issues,” Ms. Simonson says.
In 1990, Ms. Simonson was appointed by the mayor of Phoenix to co-chair the first Phoenix Commission on Excellence in Education. The commission submitted 21 recommendations, including the “Principal for a Day” program. The program helped schools receive funding for improvements by pairing a business leader with a school’s principal for a day, which allowed for a firsthand look at specific areas that needed help along with myriad challenges faced by educators on a day-to-day basis.
She has been asked to be president of the Arizona Women in Education and Employment, the “tremendously effective” premiere workforce development program in Arizona. Starting out as an organization assisting women in the transition from welfare to regular employment, it has now helped more than 30,000 Arizonans get back into productive jobs and is no longer focused only on women.
While it may seem like she’s all work, Ms. Simonson knows that balance in life is a priority and should not be overlooked. “There is always a struggle to balance all relationships in life,” she says. “I never lose sight of the importance of family and mentoring our own children, enriching their lives.”
Rules permitting, she plans on nominating someone herself this year, but has not decided exactly who just yet. She hopes future winners will strive to continue all the progress women have made by maintaining excellence in their professional lives, community service and mentoring activities, which is what the ATHENA Award is all about.
“The award itself should be honored as a role model,” Ms. Simonson says. “It is an award that honors the right things, the things that women should nourish in the community,”
Government
Richard M. Romley was named special advisor for Information Security for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. The former Maricopa County Attorney will directly advise Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson on the current state of the VA’s information security procedures and make recommendations for improvement of the entire VA information security system.
His appointment comes on the heels of upheaval in the VA’s Office of Policy and Planning, the division in which the private information of more than 26 million individuals was potentially compromised.
Mr. Romley served his country in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, and has earned numerous commendations for his service, including the Purple Heart. As an attorney, he successfully prosecuted legislators and others caught up in “AzScam,” one of the largest corruption cases in Arizona’s history. He and his wife Carol live in Scottsdale. They have three sons, Darin, David and Aaron.
Kellie Warren was selected as assistant director for Programs and Institutions for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. Warren served the department as director of clinical services since 2004. Prior to that, she directed the residential life and operational aspects at a state-of-the-art children’s residential treatment facility and school in Newark, N.J.
Associations
Dana Campbell Saylor was named CEO of the YWCA of Maricopa County. The board conducted an extensive search and eventually picked Ms. Campbell Saylor based on her “academic training, governmental, non-profit and business experience,” says Board President Carolyn F. Bristo. “She’s not only well known, but also well regarded throughout the Valley of the Sun. We know she’ll lead the YWCA of Maricopa County into a bright future.”
Other New YWCA Board Members:
Christine French of American Express.
Marci Hendrickson of Kitchell Construction.
Nona M. Lee of Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jana Monroe of KPMG Forensics.

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