LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) today honored five distinguished community leaders at its annual Southern California Visionaries luncheon, the pinnacle community leadership event in the region. SCLN presents awards to individuals in the Southern California region who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in civic leadership, and celebrates those whose vision has inspired action, collaboration and positive community outcomes. "Outstanding leadership takes many forms, as is seen by the wide range of experience reflected in our honorees today," said Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gary Toebben. "Whether exhibited from elected office, corporate America or the world of nonprofit management, good leadership is visionary, and is vital to affecting positive change." Former California Governor George Deukmejian received the Lifetime Achievement award recognizing the countless ways in which he has affected change in California. After serving with the U.S. Army in Paris, Deukmejian established a law practice in Southern California, and eventually served as State Assemblyman, State Senator, and Attorney General prior to assuming the office of Governor. As a legislator, he sponsored the "use a gun, go to jail" law. During his eight-year term as Governor of California, Deukmejian appointed 1,000 judges, and by the time he left office, he had appointed the majority of California State Supreme Court Justices then serving on the bench. Thomas Priselac, President & CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System, received the Southern California Leader of the Year award in recognition of an individual who has provided inspirational and visionary community leadership in Southern California. Thomas Priselac has been associated with Cedars-Sinai since 1979, having served as executive vice president prior to being named president and CEO. Priselac currently serves on the board of directors of the American Hospital Association, Voluntary Hospitals of America, Inc. and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. The Honorable Lucille Roybal-Allard, Congressmember, U.S. House of Representatives, received the Elected Leader of the Year award in recognition of an individual who has provided outstanding leadership in the public sector. Known as a political pioneer, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard became the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress in 1992, the first female chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 1999 and 2000, and then again made history in 1999 by becoming the first Latina in U.S. history appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful committees in Congress. The congresswoman currently serves on three subcommittees: the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee; the Homeland Security Subcommittee; and the Transportation Subcommittee. Shelley Freeman, Regional President, Wells Fargo, received the Excellence in Civic Leadership award recognizing outstanding civic leadership and public service that is a model of creativity, integrity and effectiveness. Freeman joined Wells Fargo in 1996 as director of private banking and brokerage administration to combine the financial consultant sales force with private banking. The next year she was named to head Private Client Services' marketing, product development and management, training, sales information and strategy, technology, and compliance. Before Wells Fargo, Freeman served as marketing director and head of high net-worth services at Lehman Brothers. Karen Baker, Executive Director, CaliforniaVolunteers, received the Graduate of the Year award, which recognizes Leadership L.A. or Leadership Southern California graduates who epitomize excellence and achievement in community leadership. Baker is a graduate of the Leadership Southern California Class I in 1991. In January of 2006, she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve as the executive director of CaliforniaVolunteers, a state agency charged with increasing volunteerism throughout California. Baker brings to the agency 20 years of innovative leadership in all facets of the service and volunteerism sector, including local and national nonprofits and federal agencies. She served as the managing partner for Valley Vision, director of innovation at Share Our Strength, as well as serving in positions at the Corporation for National Service, AmeriCorpsVISTA and Chrysalis. "The Southern California Visionaries awards luncheon allows us all to take a step back and acknowledge the tremendous accomplishment among us," said SCLN Board Chair Tony Buzzelli, vice chairman and regional managing partner, Pacific Southwest, Deloitte. "It is precisely by looking through the lens of such outstanding leaders, that we all become better leaders in our own endeavors." The Southern California Leadership Network, in partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is the region's premier provider of leadership training. SCLN's two programs, Leadership L.A. and Leadership Southern California, have already equipped more than 900 civic-minded thinkers with the community and regional collaboration skills necessary to address quality of life issues including traffic, water, clean air, education and public safety. Combined, they form one of the most diverse networks of deeply engaged civic, business and government leaders in Southern California. The Southern California Leadership Network's mission is to train and develop a productive network of exemplary and diverse leaders in the business, government and community sectors who are capable of addressing the critical challenges facing the Southern California region. For more information, visit http://www.leadershipnetwork.org.
SOURCE Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce