The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, will present the International Women’s Day kickoff breakfast in honor of Women’s History Month on March 2 at 7 a.m.

Each year the event celebrates women who challenge, empower, and inspire. The annual breakfast gathers professionals from throughout the community to network and celebrate women leaders in the Santa Monica community. This year’s event will honor authors Denita Willoughby and Mallika Chopra with the Chamber’s “Owlie Award” for enhancing women’s lives everywhere through inspirational storytelling.

“Four years ago the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) was formed by the Chamber to support local business women in the community. Partnering with the Commission on the Status of Women has given us the opportunity to showcase and celebrate incredible women who inspire and make a difference in other women’s lives,” said Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber.

Denita Willoughby, Vice President of Supply Management and Logistics for Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E). Willoughby joined SoCalGas in 2012 as the Regional Vice President of External Affairs. She also serves on the company’s Political Action Committee and Executive Diversity Council. Willoughby is an accomplished business woman, enthusiastic mentor and has been named by California Diversity Magazine as one of “The Most Powerful and Influential Women in California.” She has blogged extensively and shared about her career in the book, Life Moments for Women.

“It is so important that women help build up other women. We also need to do that for ourselves,” Willoughby said. “We must take time out to invest in ourselves-by exercising, eating healthy, meditating and doing what makes us happy. If we don’t, we won’t be there for those who rely on us. Self-care is the ultimate way to care for others.”

Local mom, media entrepreneur, published author, and blogger, Mallika Chopra is the founder of Intent.com, a website focused on personal, social, and global wellness. Harnessing the power of social media to connect people from around the world, Intent.com has created a medium in which people can improve their own lives, their communities, and the planet while inspiring others to do the same. Mallika is the daughter of Deepak Chopra and the author of many books including the soon to be released “Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy.”

“I am both honored and humbled to participate in this year’s OWL International Day Women’s Breakfast. Santa Monica undoubtedly has incredible women contributing to the communities and our world at large. I so look forward to sharing our stories and our intents with one another during this wonderful event!”

The OWL Women’s Day Breakfast will acknowledge the role that so many women, both past and present, have had in shaping the local community.

The OWL International Women’s Day Breakfast will be held Monday, March 2, from 7 to 9 a.m. at Le Meridien Delfina, 530 Pico Blvd.

Tickets are $50 for Chamber members and $65 for non-nembers. Visit www.smchamber.com/owl for more information.

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