Stephanie Gardner of Falls Church has received the Survivor Award in the 2013 Hot Mommas Global Case Study Competition. The project is a women’s leadership program at the George Washington University School of Business whose mission is to motivate women and girls around the world though exposure to case studies of successful role models.
Gardner’s case study for the Hot Mommas competition was the first time she acknowledged publicly her childhood abuse.
From the age of two, Gardner was abused by both her mother and adopted father. At 16, she found herself living in a halfway house and struggling with school. With the support of a friend’s parents and her guidance counselor, she completed her high school courses through an adult education program. She completed a high school GED, earned a B.S. in business administration, and is now pursuing an MBA. For the past 25 years, Gardner has worked at Bell Atlantic and Verizon, holding a variety of progressive roles from sales to engineering to contract management and negotiations. Currently, she manages a reporting team working across the nation that supports more than $1 billion in services.
Gardner is one of 10 women receiving top awards in the competition’s nine categories of accomplishment. She and the other award-winners of the Hot Mommas competition, including three top global winners, will be honored at a special event this fall at George Washington University School of Business.