Pam Gaber, founder of Gabriel’s Angels, was honored today as Women of Scottsdale’s Woman of the Year for her work with neglected and abused children through the application of pet therapy.
In 2000, with the help of her young Weimaraner, Gabriel, she established a nonprofit organization which today includes 156 pet therapy teams serving 115 agencies and reaching 13,000 children annually. The organization was inspired by a holiday visit by Gaber and her dog with children at Crisis Nursery in Phoenix. From that initial visit, a pet therapy program grew to become regularly-scheduled dog/child interaction offering unconditional,non-judgmental love teaching children empathy, compassion and respect.
Over time, being with therapy animals such as Gabriel helps children to trust again.Gaber’s leadership position in the organization as CEO includes daily involvement in the development, growth and vision of Gabriel’s Angels. Recognition of her contributions to the community includes the 2011 Scottsdale Chamber’s Sterling Award for Nonprofit and
2008 Hon Kachina Volunteer Award. In2011, Gaber was selected as the YWCA Woman of Excellence in the nonprofit sector, and she was voted Most influential Nonprofit Executive by Arizona Foothills magazine. She lives in Phoenix with her husband Mike and two dogs, Jack and Noah.
The Woman of the Year celebration, held at The Westin Keirland Resort & Spa, was sponsored by Kelly Zitlow and Cherry Creek Mortgage Company.
Favors were provided by Kendra Scott Jewelry. Central Arizona Bank was the dessert sponsor. Women of Scottsdale director Stacey Bailey Gitt, along with founders Linda M. Herold and Wink Blair, presented the elegant crystal award from Tiffany & Company.
Past Woman of the Year honorees attending the annual event were Lois McFarland, Wink Blair, Debbie Gaby, Mary Manross, Paula Cullison andJoan Fudala.