Orange County Business Journal

OC Women Honored at Annual Business Journal Event

Heidi Kulicke Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Five businesswomen were honored at the 18th annual Women in Business Awards in Irvine attended by almost 1,000 people, a record crowd for a Business Journal event.

This year, 229 OC women were nominated for the award from a diverse array of industries including finance, real estate, law, nonprofit, technology, fashion and beauty, among others.

A Lifetime Achievement award also was presented to Judy Rosener, professor emeritus of the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine.

For more than 30 years Rosener has been a writer and lecturer in areas such as gender-based workplace issues, cultural diversity, and business and government affairs. She was a 2002 Women in Business award recipient.

The 2012 Women in Business winners were:

  • Nancy Nygren, chief executive of Irvine-based Girl Scouts of Orange County. Nygren oversees leadership opportunities for more than 23,000 Girl Scouts and training for more than 10,000 volunteers in OC.
  • Laila Pence, president of Newport Beach-based Pence Wealth Management. Pence and her husband oversee a 19-person firm with more than $800 million in client assets.
  • Lee Ann Canaday, owner of Laguna Beach-based Canaday Group RE. Canaday has sold well over $1 billion in OC luxury real estate. Canaday has led her team to place among the top 20 real estate producers in the U.S.
  • Ellen Bancroft, partner of Costa Mesa-based Dorsey & Whitney. Bancroft has worked on more than 50 public and private acquisitions—ranging in size from several million dollars to more than $1 billion—and more than 35 public offerings, raising in excess of $1 billion.
  • Kay Napier, chief executive of Irvine-based Arbonne International LLC. The former McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble executive oversaw a company rebound from bankruptcy in 37 days, paving the way for a 2010 revenue of $353 million.

In-depth profiles of the five winners will be included in the June 18 issue of the Business Journal.