Monday, April 1, 2019 | 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Sony Electronics, Inc.

The San Diego Women's Week Kick Off Luncheon will leave you feeling inspired and emotional as you hear from individuals that have persevered in the face of adversity. The stories are amazing in their own respective rights, and demonstrate the power of the human spirit and the individual spirit to navigate life despite the challenges that come our way.

The persistence and courage demonstrated in these individuals stories are being shared with us to encourage everyone to persevere in the face of adversity. While everyone has their stories and they may be different, we as individuals can learn from, be inspired by and grow stronger together.

Admission Includes:*

  • Presenting: Against All Odds
  • Lunch
  • Women's Networking

*details subject to change without notice

  • $69 until February 28, 2019
  • $79 | March 1 - March 28, 2019

Presenting: Against All Odds

Sharon Davis

Being raised in Compton, California at the helm of the "Gang Wars," could not have been easy, but Sharon found a way to flourish. She attended Compton High school, where TODAY the College Readiness Index is at 25.2, according to U.S. News and World Report for Education.

Sharon's mother instilled the importance of working hard and educational excellence. She knew how important it was to go to college. She took her mother's message to heart and worked hard both in school and work. She bought her first car working summers at McDonald's. This is where she met her first professional mentor, John Harlan, a three store McDonald's franchisee, who taught Sharon how to have a strong business acumen.

Hard work and focus got her accepted into UCSD, Berkeley and ASU. She chose to attend UCSD as a Biology major. Looking at statistics today, less than 6% of Compton High school graduates go on to earn an Associate's degree. She nearly failed her first year, given she was not prepared for all the science classes, but her perseverance and winning spirit allowed her to graduate with a Bachelors of Art in Psychology and Communications.

Dr. Anna Hackenberg

The moment that changed Dr. Anna Hackenberg’s life came in 2017 during a walk with friends on the beach below Torrey Pines State Park. Without warning, rocks tumbled from the cliffs above, crushing Dr. Hackenberg, an urgent care doctor, and leaving her paralyzed from the chest down.

“Life can change in an instant,” she says. “But don’t stop if things don’t turn out the way you planned.”

Dr. Hackenberg’s resilience and positive attitude serve as an example not only for those who have suffered life-altering trauma, but also for anyone who wishes to live a full, rewarding life. Initially, losing physical abilities was devastating to Dr. Hackenberg, who had been a competitive athlete her whole life. However, she was determined to find new ways to move with help from the rehabilitation team at Sharp HealthCare.

Dr. Hackenberg has been back at work for more than a year treating urgent care patients and even completed a marathon last spring on her hand cycle. She admits to moments in which she misses the ability to throw on running shoes for a trail adventure, but values the things she can do. “I am more present than ever and, with the help of others, so many wonderful things are still possible,” she says.

Susan Munsey

As a teen, Susan was lured into a life of prostitution in Southern California, where she learned about the abuse of young women firsthand. Eventually she was able to escape that world to become a clinical social worker and a psychotherapist. In 2009, Munsey founded GenerateHope, a nonprofit that offers a safe place for survivors of sex trafficking to heal and build new lives. The group provides long-term housing, therapy, education and medical care.

To date, Munsey says GenerateHope has been a refuge for more than 100 victims -- some as young as 18. Participants attend classes to get caught up on their high school education and prepare for college. They receive therapy focused on their traumatic experiences. Women can stay at GenerateHope's safe house for up to two years and benefit from a variety of volunteer-led support services, such as equine and art therapy, dance and yoga.

"I always knew that God would use that time that I was trafficked in some way. It wasn't just going to be wasted time."

Linda Shaffer-Vanaria

Linda was one of the U.S. Navy’s first women Test Pilot’s and Squadron Commanders. At the time she entered the Navy, the U.S. Code Title 10 did not allow for women in combat so she was constantly architecting a career path to be positioned to achieve her career milestones including painstakingly going through the entire Junior Officer billet guide line by line to identify possible assignments, a volume the size of a phone book, something near unimaginable today in the realm of the internet.

Early in her career, Linda was going down in a high performance jet and had to eject. After pulling the ejection handle, instead of rocketing out of the airplane, she remained trapped inside. She literally had only a few seconds to live. She focused on what might be possible and tried firing the seat a second time by gripping and actuating the ejection handle differently. As she was plastered against the canopy, out of her seat in inverted flight with violent gyrations, this took extreme focus and was difficult to execute. This focus saved her life. She was a rookie in a situation which would challenge an expert. She has devoted her thought leadership to this place of edge performance, specifically facing volatility and uncertainty with imminent decisive action to survive and thrive against all odds.

Musical Performances by: Alicia Gwynn

See Alicia on Monday and Friday

Praised as one of San Diego's leading ladies, Dr. Alicia Gwynn, long-standing business owner & philanthropist, community builder, and now recording artist, is blazing a trail of renewed hope, faith, and courage through her music and her life story. Read more

Alicia Gwynn
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Disclaimer: Portions of this program may be filmed and/or photographed. By attending, you consent to its unrestricted use, as deemed appropriate by North San Diego Business Chamber. Click here to see our complete Notice of Filming and Photography.