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Greater Vancouver Chamber Revealed the 2024 Iris Awards Honorees at Inspire HER Conference

From left to right: Anna Cruz, Amy Reynolds, and Dr. Cory Donovan
From left to right: Anna Cruz, Amy Reynolds, and Dr. Cory Donovan


The Iris Awards luncheon, a highlight of the Chamber's Inspire HER Conference, brought together over 400 female professionals to celebrate, and honor the accomplishments of outstanding leaders in the region. 

Vancouver, WAThe Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) proudly announced the recipients of the 2024 Iris Awards during a memorable luncheon on Thursday, March 7th. Presented by Riverview Bank, this prestigious event honored three exceptional women of achievement whose outstanding leadership, philanthropic endeavors, and commitment to public service have made a lasting impact on our community. 

This year's Iris Award recipients were selected from a group of six remarkable finalists, each recognized for their contributions to southwest Washington. In a touching ceremony, the Emcee, Janet Kenefsky, VP of Membership & Operations at the Chamber, presented each finalist with their acknowledgements before inviting the event's award sponsors to announce each winner. 

In order of announcement, the 2024 Iris Award honorees are featured below with excerpts from their nominations:    

  • Anna Cruz, Executive Director at Vancouver Ballet Folklórico: Anna is a respected figure in Vancouver known for establishing the Vancouver Ballet Folklórico, a diverse dance group highlighting Latinx cultural heritage. Beyond dance, she actively empowers youth, preserves culture, and advocates for community issues. Anna's dedication is evident in her organization of cultural events, personal involvement as a medical interpreter, and volunteer efforts, all aimed at fostering unity and diversity in the region. 
  • Amy Reynolds, Executive Director at Share: Amy is a dedicated leader in Clark County with over 20 years of service to the vulnerable population, particularly those facing homelessness and food insecurity. Her work at Share and involvement in numerous boards and committees demonstrate her commitment to social justice and community well-being. Amy's strategic leadership, advocacy for affordable housing, and active participation in initiatives like 'Bring Vancouver Home' have made her an exemplary non-profit leader in the region.
  • Cory Donovan, MD at Legacy Heath: With over 15 years of experience as a surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer surgery, Dr. Donovan is a true pioneer in her field. Beyond her surgical expertise, she's dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities and educating others, making a significant community impact. Dr. Donovan's contributions to medical journals, and her role as a speaker have earned her a national reputation. 

Sponsors of the 2024 Iris Awards included presenting sponsor Riverview Bank and awards sponsors Legacy Health, OnPoint Community Credit Union, and KeyBank. 

"Recognizing the outstanding achievements of women in our community is both an honor and a celebration of their profound influence on our region's progress. The Iris Awards serve as an extraordinary platform to spotlight the invaluable contributions and legacy of these visionary women leaders. Their dedication, resilience, and commitment to effecting positive change inspire us all. Witnessing female professionals unite during International Women’s Week to honor, celebrate, and uplift one another's achievements was an unparalleled tribute to their collective strength and influence," said Kenefsky.  

The Iris Awards luncheon was a highlight of the very first in-person Inspire HER Conference hosted by the Greater Vancouver Chamber. With over 400 inspiring female professionals in attendance, the event showcased the strength of women from diverse backgrounds coming together to learn, celebrate, and honor each other's remarkable achievements. The conference provided attendees with invaluable insights and tools for professional development, featuring a captivating keynote addressed by transformational speaker Nicole Sherman, enriching breakout sessions led by industry experts, and ample networking opportunities.   

Participants also had the chance to connect with local businesses, who showcased their products and services at vendor booths. The evening wrapped up with a "Women and Wine Reception," where attendees savored wines crafted by local female winemakers, accompanied by music performed by a quartet from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. 

The 2024 Inspire HER Conference was presented by NW Premier – Creative Financial Solutions, and supported by Bag Sponsor, HAPO Community Credit Union; Supporting Sponsor, Johnson Bixby; Welcome Reception Sponsor, LPC West; Refreshment Sponsors, NOVOLEX and University Village; Community Sponsors, NW Natural, OnPoint Community Credit Union, and PacificSource Health Plans, Media Sponsor, The Columbian; Breakout Session Sponsor, Heritage Bank; Lanyard Sponsor, Lifetime Exteriors; Notepad Sponsor, Morel Ink; Pen Sponsor, University Village; Vendor Booths, ARKTANA, Chiro One, Live Nation, Not Too Shabby, Northwest Personal Training, NW Premier – Creative Financial Solutions, Palm Beach Tan, Pins & Needles Aesthetics, Skin by Lovely, Sweet Intention Gift Boutique, Uptown Screen Printing, Vancouver Wellness Studio, Why Racing Events, and YMCA; Moving Sponsor, ANC Movers, and Women and Wine Reception provided by Barnard Griffin, Willful Wine Company, and Evoke Winery.          

For more information about sponsorship opportunities and how to get involved in next year’s Inspire HER Conference and Iris Awards, visit Inspire Her Conference. 

About the Iris Awards

Wanting to recognize women of achievement in Southwest Washington who exemplified leadership, philanthropy, and community service was the inspiration for the Iris Awards in 1985. For 39 years, the Southwest Washington community has nominated outstanding women for recognition. The Iris Award is held to commemorate National Women’s History Month, to recognize International Women’s Day, and to honor volunteer efforts and community leadership of women in Clark County.     

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber

SW Washington’s largest business organization, the Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC), with nearly 1000 members, has been Moving Business Forward in southwest Washington for over 130 years through business advocacy, community building, education, and creating visibility for our members. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals, and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The GVC is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate and prosperity for all. For more information, please visit 

Event Contact:  
Hadley Phillips, Greater Vancouver Chamber

Media Assets:

Official Event Link:
Inspire HER Conference

Iris Award Past Honorees:

Press Release Contact

Portrait of Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia

Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Phone: 360.567.1058
Email Lourdes

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