Palo Alto's most influential businesswomen in 2014 are a hot dog vendor and an investment adviser, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce has decided. The Chamber announced the two Athena Award recipients on Monday, Sept. 15.
Jane Williams, chair and co-founder of Sand Hill Global Advisors, becomes the 28th Athena Award recipient. This year, Jacquetta Lannan, owner and founder of Chez Franc, will be the first recipient of the new Athena Young Professional Leadership Award. Both women will be honored at an Oct. 2 luncheon at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto.
The international Athena Award program recognizes a woman who has attained and personifies the highest level of professional excellence in business and the community. More than 7,000 awards have been presented internationally in 500 communities since 1982. The Young Professional Leadership Award honors emerging leaders who demonstrated excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession while contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Williams has more than 38 years of experience in the investment field, She is a recognized expert for her work with women and couples in financial transition. She serves in family court as an expert in several Bay Area counties and testifies on financial topics.
At Sand Hill Global Advisors, she advises on strategic direction and sits on the executive committee. She is responsible for the company's compliance function and participates in industry panels and organizations on topics related to best business practices. She is a member of the Fidelity Investment Advisors' Council and is on the Board of Governors of the Investment Adviser Association.
She has been active in nonprofit efforts throughout her career. She served for seven years on the Silicon Valley Community Foundation board and its predecessor, the Peninsula Community Foundation. She is currently on the advisory board for Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto and is a member of the Philanthropy Advisors Council for Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Lannan operates the Chez Franc food truck in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and she will soon open a California Avenue restaurant serving handcrafted, gourmet hot dogs, local wine and beer.
Prior to Chez Franc, Lannan received a Grand Diploma in French Cuisine from the International Culinary Center. She interned at top Michelin-star restaurants, including The Village Pub.
She holds a law degree from Santa Clara University, where she also completed the California Program for Entrepreneurship. Lannan started as an employment litigator, working at multiple law firms in Northern California. She received recognition as a Northern California Super Lawyer Rising Star for four years in a row.
Her community service includes volunteering with the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula, where she serves as administrative vice president in charge of the League's hired staff and facilities, In prior League roes, she served as chair of the committee responsible for training 80 women to be civic leaders and led a committee to provide health and nutrition information to 100 local families.
Individual tickets and tables of 10 to the Athena Award luncheon can be purchased at www.paloaltochamber.com.