YWCA’s 2008 Leader Lunch Recognizes Jennifer Williams


YWCA Metro St. Louis has announced the names of 10 area women who will be recognized at the 28th Leader Lunch on December 4 at the Millennium Hotel, in downtown St. Louis. The annual Leader Lunch is the premier event that recognizes the contributions of women in the workplace and the community. This year, the more than 1,200 people who are expected to attend, will celebrate the achievements of eight Leaders of Distinction in business, a Racial Justice Leader and a Future Leader.

Since its inception, more than 280 women have been named to the Academy of Leaders based on their leadership in the workplace, efforts to promote racial justice and to positively influence colleagues, professional women and other community members. The luncheon also provides an opportunity for St. Louis businesses to recognize individual women in their own companies who are making significant contributions. Last year, more than 65 leading companies supported Leader Lunch, the major fund-raiser for the YWCA, and honored their own women Leaders in the Workplace.

“Supporting women by recognizing how they contribute to businesses and to society is important,” said Brenda Newberry, chairman, chief executive officer and founder of The Newberry Group, Inc. and chair of the Leader Lunch 28 Steering Committee, which plans the event. “I’m honored to support Leader Lunch and this year’s list of accomplished women.”

The YWCA Leaders of Distinction for 2008 are as follows:

Business/Corporate Management-Sharon Fiehler, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Peabody Energy; Debra Hollingsworth, vice president of external affairs, AT&T-Missouri; and Nancy Pechloff, managing director, St. Louis and regional managing director, Great Plains for Protiviti, Inc.

Education- Zelema Harris, ED.D., chancellor, St. Louis Community College.

Entrepreneur/Business Owner- Jennifer Williams, founder and president, Saint Louis Closet Co., Saint Louis Cellars and 22 Company.

Government/Politics- The Honorable Claire McCaskill, United States senator from Missouri.

Nonprofit Management- Billy Collier, retired executive director, United Services.

Professions- Cheryl Walker, J.D., attorney at law of counsel, Bryan Cave LLP and president of Obasi Enterprises, LLC.

 2008 Racial Justice Leader- The Honorable Brenda Stith Loftin, associate circuit judge, St. Louis County Circuit Court, Division 33.

2008 Future Leader- Jillian Lynum, senior, Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School.

For more information about Leader Lunch 28 and how companies can recognize their own women leaders at the event, call the YWCA Development Department, 314.531.1115, ext. 289; e-mail kmwest@ywcastlouis.org or visit www.ywcastlouis.org

YWCA Metro St. Louis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women, developing youth and eliminating racism. It focuses on race equity issues and offers transitional housing, early learning, crisis intervention, life skills training, and youth and teen development. It is celebrating 103 years of service in St. Louis.

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