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This week some good news! El Paso Inc. is thrilled to announce the 2020 Women of Impact.

Our group is diverse, and their impact on El Paso has benefitted every corner of the community – from professional fields to fitness, children to seniors, the arts and everything in between.

Gabriela Gallegos made her mark on El Paso’s wellness through health and exercise. Gallegos has inspired a new level of athleticism by turning a daunting triathlon into an accessible and attainable goal, especially for women of color. She launched the Mighty Mujer Triathlon in 2012 and has since expanded it to other markets and introduced additional races that encourage exercise while benefitting needy causes.

Dr. Ann Quiroz Gates is passionate about recruiting Hispanics, especially women, into advanced fields in science, technology and engineering. Beyond opportunities, Gates points out that including these perspectives is essential if we hope to make products that address our problems and meet our future needs. Gates leads the computer science department at the University of Texas at El Paso and is working with El Paso primary school educators to encourage computing skills in youth.

Amy Marcus has committed decades to improving the lives of El Paso children, especially those with special needs, by supporting programs such as El Papalote, a special needs day care, and Midnight Basketball for at-risk youth. But her most significant work has been chairing the B Strong Shoe Giveaway, putting new shoes on the feet of more than 8,500 kids who desperately need them.

Deanna Sue Nasser is a fundraising extraordinaire who lends her accounting expertise to many causes. Her charity work is vast and has benefitted kids, animals, families and especially El Paso’s vulnerable senior population. For the last 14 years, Nasser has managed a holiday event and food drive for seniors in public housing and today is determined to make sure seniors have critical supplies through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angelica Rosales started three nonprofits in El Paso before turning 40. First, there was House of Hope, which supports women through unplanned pregnancies. The Big Dig serves children with cancer, and the Willie Sanchez Rosales Family Center is a homeless shelter for men with mental illness. Navigating the male-dominated field of construction, today Rosales helps guide her employer Sundt Construction on where it, too, can make a positive impact.

Felipa Solis has enriched El Paso in many ways but has a special focus on the arts – music and movies. As executive director of El Paso Pro Musica, she’s expanded its impact on education and brought the soothing effects of music to those in need, from food lines to grieving families. She’s also a recognized figure who’s lent her voice as emcee for countless nonprofit events.

El Paso Inc. is honored to share these stories and congratulates these women and the enormous positive impact they’ve had on El Paso.

We also want to thank all the participants who entered this year’s call. While these six women have been named the 2020 honorees, there was a humbling volume of excellent work submitted by many El Paso women.

The selection process includes the El Paso Inc. editorial board, which narrows down the finalists. From there, we turn it over to a selection committee made up of past Women of Impact. They review and score the finalists independently to determine the final six. I know it was extremely difficult, and we appreciate the time and attention invested by the committee. As one committee member told me, “It was an honor, but don’t ask me to do that again!”

Our tradition is to hold an event to recognize these women in person. We are determined to still do that and are evaluating creative alternatives to work through pandemic challenges.

And finally, we thank El Paso Electric and all of our sponsors for stepping up despite uncertain times to support this effort.

The Women of Impact will be profiled in the upcoming fall issue of El Paso Inc. Magazine, which is due out at the end of the month.

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