SAN DIEGO - - Deanna Weeks, a Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board member and East County business leader, was lauded Thursday night at the San Diego Business Journal's 12th annual Women Who Mean Business awards presentation.
Nearly 900 attended the Oct. 6 gala dinner at the San Diego Town & Country Resort & Convention Center
to recognize nominees of the annual award, which brought together dynamic business leaders, selected for their achievements and contributions to the region.
Established in 1993, the awards ceremony has become a landmark business event in the city.
GCCCD Governing Board President Wendell Cutting nominated Weeks for the award, describing the president and CEO of the East County Economic Development Council as an "innovator" and a "tireless advocate for small business."
"Deanna Weeks has taken the East County Economic Development Council from a small, minimally financed, narrowly focused mission into a major regional entity whose unique knowledge and application of research has been recognized at the local, regional and state levels, (and by) the international business community, the Department of Defense, California Space Authority, and others," stated nomination papers submitted by Cutting, chief of staff for U.S. Rep.
Weeks, appointed to the GCCCD governing board in April of 2004 and elected to the seat later that fall, has been the chief executive of the East County EDC since 1986.
The East County EDC
was the first regional EDC in the county and has been the model for similar agencies throughout the state.
said the award nomination reflects a growing recognition of East County's significance to the San Diego region's overall economy.
"It's an honor, especially to see the college district, the East County Economic Development Council, and the East County in general highlighted at an event that focuses so strongly on the San Diego metropolitan area," said Weeks, who lives in Alpine with husband, John, a professor of geography at San Diego State University and a leading demographer.
"The nomination, more than honoring one person, underscores the kind of progress we've made in the East County
to increase our presence in the region as a whole."
Two successful projects of the East County EDC
spearheaded by Weeks
are the Connectory.com
, a buyer/supplier network which began as a defense conversion project in the East County to help locate new markets for businesses, and San Diego DEFCOMM, also known as the San Diego Defense and Technology Consortium
Headquartered in El Cajon, DEFCOMM's primary goal is to secure major DoD contracts and to assemble teams of local technology companies to execute them.
tireless efforts and her business acumen have resulted in millions of dollars in high-valued contracts being directed to the East County
," Cutting said.
Weeks also founded the East County EDC Foundation Board, leading its efforts to strengthen career and technical education in the region's high schools.
has shown effective leadership and vision to help solve funding problems in our school system.
As a result of her
leadership, thousands of dollars are contributed each year to support technical programs and recognize students and instructors in these programs."
Even before her
appointment to the GCCCD
governing board, Weeks
has worked with the college district for a number of years on projects including the East County EDC Partnership for Education and Economic Development
, and the K-16 Collaborative, a joint effort of community, education and business that focuses on improving student transition and success from kindergarten to university.