Penny Emerson, ’80 Health Professions, Penny grew up on the Navajo Reservation, and after receiving her degree from NAU in Health Service Administration in 1980, she spent 15 years administering health and human service programs for the Navajo Nation and other Native American tribes in the western U.S. In 1990, she started a company in Window Rock, AZ in order to provide non-emergency medical transport services to patients in the area. After seven years of operation Penny moved her business headquarters to Gallup, NM where she also acquired a local housekeeping business, which now maintains a robust portfolio of custodial and food service contracts across the country, including hospitals, commercial sites, and government facilities. In 2003 Penny expanded her original business operation, introducing a home-care division that provides in-home living assistance to low-income and medically fragile elderly and disabled individuals. In 2007 the company was awarded “Service Company of the Year” by the Small Business Administration, and it currently employees over 500 people from various backgrounds. Penny has received numerous awards and recognitions, including “Champion of the Year” from Women in Business and “Woman of Distinction” from the Arizona Girl Scouts. She has served on the boards of many community and educational organizations and is passionate about championing scholarship programs to support Native American students at NAU.