The San Diego City Council has named Nov. 19 Susan Atkins Day, in honor of the founder of the former Atkins + Associates, which was acquired last year by Porter Novelli Life Sciences, one of the five largest global public relations agencies.
The council made its proclamation Nov. 14.
Atkins + Associates was the largest San Diego-based public relations firm focused on the life sciences industry.
Atkins, who turns 60 years old on the day now named after her, began the agency from a laptop in her Point Loma home in 1999 after working in public relations for South San Francisco-based Genentech and the Stanford Research Institute, now called SRI International. She quickly found a niche in the life sciences sector, and as the industry grew, so did her firm.
Today, Atkins maintains a role in the agency as chairwoman and counselor.
“I have always gravitated toward how things are created,” Atkins said, adding later, “The company was built by a lot of people. Not many women-owned businesses get sold to national companies.”
In addition to getting her own day, the council also appointed Atkins to the San Diego Library Commission, on which she will serve a two-year term.
Atkins is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors at Biocom, a trade association for the life science industry, and has held leadership roles in Women in Communications, the National Investor Relations Institute and the American Heart Association, among other organizations.
, Katie Weeks