2019 WOI Static Image

Newton’s Third Law of Motion says “For every action there will always be an equal and opposite reaction.”

It’s what happens when two things interact. They reciprocate and create a mutual interaction. They create a powerful force.

I think the same applies to people, something I’ve been thinking about in the wake of the Aug. 3 attacks.

If I push, you push back. If I push harder, you push back harder.

But what if I don’t push. What if instead of pushing, I embrace? Do you reciprocate? Chances are you do.

That’s why I love El Paso Inc.’s mission to celebrate success in our community. To show what can be done. To show positive action and hope for its reaction. The whole idea is to inspire others so that they may reach their potential and make this a better place.

I can’t think of a better time to announce this year’s Women of Impact honorees and remind El Pasoans of all the good in our community and the people behind that force. Helping others, bringing people together, living with purpose and guiding future generations on the right path – that’s the power these Women of Impact have had on El Paso.

Aliana Apodaca recognizes that American women set examples for women worldwide. Our everyday actions lead the way. Apodaca has set the bar high with a “si se puede” attitude and is ready to support anyone who needs help. Apodaca founded Positive Directions with a goal to inspire change for people, organizations and communities. She shows younger women that they can do anything.

Deborah “Debbie” Hamlyn spent a career in public service to change people’s lives in a positive way. She was the city of El Paso’s first female department head and deputy city manager. And it was her insight and diligence behind the scenes that pushed El Paso’s largest quality of life bond on the ballot in 2012, forever improving the face of El Paso.

Ann Branan Horak knows how to bring people together. She identifies the underserved and rallies those who can help them. From her volunteer work with organizations such as the YWCA to her college students at UTEP, Horak understands El Paso’s diversity and teaches others how to embrace and appreciate it. Making sure students have access to higher education is a big part of that effort.

Col. Shawna E. Scully loves taking care of soldiers. The Army neurologist has completed two tours in Iraq, one running an ambulance in Ramadi. For the past eight years at Beaumont, she’s developed specialized programs including the only Neurology Infusion Center in the Army dedicated to the support of patients with neuro-immune conditions like multiple sclerosis. Her compassion and expertise extend into the civilian community where she’s an active volunteer.

Renee Tanner lives her life every day with purpose. For her, it’s leading the Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home to care for children who are orphaned or don’t have adult support. This year, Tanner and the team are starting a separate organization to help young people transition out of the program when they turn 18. Beyond El Paso, Tanner lends her expertise to Juárez orphans, too.

Deborah “Deb” Zuloaga is building the next generation of leaders. Under her leadership at the United Way of El Paso, she engages young adults and up-and-coming professionals on the importance and impact of civic engagement. Zuloaga and her team at the United Way provide basic needs, education, health services and financial stability programs that are game-changers for El Paso and the people they serve.

And that brings me to our final Woman of Impact.

Every year readers ask, “Why has Diana Natalicio not been a Women of Impact?”

The answer is inspiring. While she is routinely nominated, she has been reluctant to participate and possibly reduce opportunities to identify the many highly accomplished women in the community who aren’t already recognized and whose successes aren’t yet documented. But is there really a woman across El Paso who’s had more impact than Natalicio? Hasn’t she set the bar for all of us? How could we have an awards program that recognizes the women who’ve had the greatest impact on our community and she not be among them?

We can’t, and this year we honor Diana Natalicio with our first Women of Impact Lifetime Achievement Award to celebrate her profound impact on El Paso, education and women across the world.


We invite you to join us for an awards breakfast on Oct. 8 to recognize this year’s honorees. This year’s Women of Impact will be featured in a special section of the fall issue of El Paso Inc. Magazine out Sept. 1.

For more information on the event, the Women of Impact and our selection process, visit elpasoinc.com/woi.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.