Attorney named top Tempe businesswoman

A Pecan Grove attorney who felt moved by the aftermath of Sept. 11 and wanted to help make  her world a better place has been named Woman of the Year by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.

Joan Jakel was one of three finalists for the prestigious award, announced May 26 at the chamberís annual business conference and trade show.

Jakelís law firm, launched two years ago, focuses on providing legal and business counsel to business owners, including newcomers without previous ownership experience.

Now with a thriving practice, Jakel continues to stress the importance of mentoring and helping others grow, according to Chamber President Mary Ann Miller, who announced the award.

Jakel has provided no-fee legal services to fledgling businesses to give them a better chance at survival and has established a reputation as being a key adviser at all levels of client development, Miller said.

As to her chamber affiliation, Jakel serves as chair of the Ambassadors, a business outreach group, and is a member of the Government Relations and Manufacturers councils.

She also has devoted time to speaking to troubled teens on such topics as education, careers and goal setting. She has participated in fundraisers for such service organizations as Tumbleweeds and Florence Crittendon.

In addition to Jakel, nominees for the award included Stephanie Nowack, president and CEO of the Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Julie Jakubek, owner of an Allstate insurance agency.

Previous honorees have included Kyrene Corridor businesswomen Barbara Kimbrough (2003), a vice president at Edward Jones, and Bobbie Cassano (1998), a business consultant.