The excitement started building for the guests of the 9th Annual Positively Powerful Woman Awards with the Gala reception’s live music, periscope, video interviews, photos at the Step & Repeat, wine and horderves as they met old friends and made new ones. Then the doors opened to the main room, and you could hear the audible “oohs and ahhs” as they entered into one of the most beautiful settings Halle Heart Children’s Museums has ever had.
Susan Casper, the emcee for the gala, took the mic and was as she always is — professional, entertaining and engaging in moving the Awards Ceremonies along from beginning to program conclusion…or so she thought…if her script was to be believed. This was not to be the case for one of the hardest working media professionals that command the stage. Instead, she was to have her own unexpected and shining moment. The second script, the one she was never to see was written by Joel Martin, Founder, and went like this…
“Our First Lady Michelle Obama said, ‘We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.’ Those words are very true for our final Positively Powerful Woman Award 2016 Honoree. She is a community leader, the ultimate professional in all that she says or does, a wife, mother, and friend to many. She plays by the tough rules of media and is simply put one of the hardest working women in broadcast… (Pause)… Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in acknowledging the 2016 Positively Powerful Woman MEDIA LEADERSHIP Award Recipient, Susan Casper.”
To say that Susan was surprised would be an understatement. The guests were overjoyed to see this woman who has always had “control of the room” being honored for her good works. And so…Media Leader Susan Casper became the fifth Positively Powerful Woman honoree of 2016. Known for using her incredible talents and time to make a difference through the media, she has a passion for helping others. When she is not hosting, you will find her supporting the community as a motivational speaker, volunteer, and advocate for women and girls. She joined ABC15 News in 2008 as an anchor and reporter before moving to Sonoran Living, the longest running television lifestyle show in Phoenix.
This proud military brat enjoyed spending much of her childhood growing up at Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany where her creative imagination began to flourish. After reporting and producing a video for her elementary school at Eglin, Susan knew that this was the career for her. In time she was to become the first African-American woman to anchor a primetime newscast in Tampa, Florida. Included among her many honors, is the UWF’s first ever Society of Professional Journalism national award, a William Randolph Hearst award, and numerous regional and state journalism titles. From sports to weather, Susan has a more than 20-year broadcast news career.
With a few tears and the applause and accolades from the audience, Susan Casper joined the other 2016 Positively Powerful recipients, From left to right in the photo above are the 2016 Positively Powerful Woman Award honorees Tyler Butler, GoDaddy Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Technology Leadership; Charlene Tarver, Esq., The Tarver Law Group, PLLC, Inaugural Human Rights Leadership; Dr. Joel P. Martin, President Triad West Inc. and Founder of the Awards Program; Susan Casper, Host ABC15, Sonoran Living and Awards Mistress of Ceremonies, Media Leadership; Anna Maria Maldonado, Director of Sales & Marketing, Care1st Health Plan-AZ, Health Advocacy Leadership; and Carrie S. Young, SRP Senior Director, Corporate Operations Services, The Global Leadership Award.
Born from a passion for honoring exemplary culturally diverse women who are the very best in their fields, the Positively Powerful Awards are held every year to celebrate women leaders from the greater Phoenix, AZ region and beyond. The mission of the Awards program is to celebrate the accomplishments of women in ways that empower all people to live their dreams. The spirit and criteria of selection is in keeping with these words “On Giving” from The Prophet written by Kahlil Gibran (Knopf, 1923).
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.