Amber Honored as Finalist for SDBJ Woman of the Year

 Pictured from left to right: (1) Laurie Coskey, CEO of United Way (2) Lisa Kalal, VP of Philanthropy for United Way (3)  Amber Yoo, Finalist and SKY's VP  (4) Adina Veen, Community Engagement Manager of United Way | Photo by Bob Thompson ©2017

Pictured from left to right: (1) Laurie Coskey, CEO of United Way (2) Lisa Kalal, VP of Philanthropy for United Way (3) Amber Yoo, Finalist and SKY's VP (4) Adina Veen, Community Engagement Manager of United Way | Photo by Bob Thompson ©2017

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, the San Diego Business Journal held its 24th annual Business Women of the Year Awards at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Formerly known as the "Women Who Mean Business" awards, this ceremony honors the top 100 finalists, celebrating some of San Diego's best and brightest women leaders. At SKY, we are incredibly proud of our Vice President and co-founder, Amber N. Yoo, M.B.A. for being selected as a finalist for the FOURTH year in a row!

Popular local personalities Pat Brown and Susan Taylor emceed the event and explained the selection process. A panel of judges reviewed the hundreds of nominations that were submitted for consideration. The selection process was based on recent professional achievements, specific contributions within the nominee's industry, contributions within the community, and what the nominee has done to empower, inspire and mentor others.

Here at SKY, the impact of Amber's leadership are readily apparent. In 2010, she co-founded SKY with husband and surgeon Sirius K. Yoo, M.D. In 2013, she led on the design and construction of our surgery center and gained full accreditation for the surgery center through IMQ. She is responsible for our vision, mission and overall direction. She oversees our marketing, finances, strategic development and all aspects of "running a business." In 2017, Amber was honored as a University of Florida (UF) alumnus leading one of the nation's top 100 fastest growing "Gator" companies. 

Beyond SKY, Amber is a leader in our community with more than 10 years of volunteering and fundraising work for local charities. She has served on the Steering Committee for United Way's Women Leadership Council, the Board for Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary, the Executive Committee for the Del Mar Auxiliary Unit, the event committees for Helen Woodward Animal Center and The Country Friends, and in numerous other volunteer roles ranging from photographing adoptable cats at the San Diego Humane Society to working on the team that launched San Diego Zoo's Global Academy. 

"To be included among this list of San Diego's most impactful women leaders is truly an honor," stated Amber. "At times it is challenging to be taken seriously as a woman business leader in the medical field. Being surrounded by amazing women who have blazed their own path within their industries is inspiring. I feel good about the direction we are headed."

There were nine winners in four categories, based on company size:

  • Mega company
    • Diane Sikora, Tri-City Medical Center
  • Large company
    • Normal Diaz, Community Health Group
    • Stephanie Jimenez, First Associates Loan Servicing, LLC
  • Medium company
    • Marcie Gately, Zeeto
    • Cayce Greiner, Tyson & Mendes LLP
  • Small company
    • Shari Brasher, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts
    • Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, RippleNami, Inc.
    • Nia Stefani, Xnergy Financial LLC
    • Robin Toft, Toft Group Executive Search

And the top honor, the title of Woman of the Year, went to Dawn Barry of Illumina!

Sarah Rudder was honored with the Courage Award. Rudder is a San Diego marine veteran who lost her leg due to an injury sustained in the aftermath of the Pentagon 9/11 attack. She did not let the loss define her. She has gone on to win five gold medals in the international Invictus Games! Rudder shared that 1% of 1% are women soldiers

Judi Sheppard Misset, the founder of Jazzercise, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Missett founded Jazzercise in Carlsbad 48 years ago and it has grown to more than 200 employees in 8,300 franchises today.

The event once again benefited Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego. Every day in San Diego, six women are diagnosed with and one passes away from breast cancer.

An interesting fact that was noted: four out of ten families with children 18-years of age or younger have a woman as the primary bread winner.