September 6, 2023/St. Louis, Missouri – YWCA Metro St. Louis is pleased to announce its 2023 Leaders of Distinction, to be honored at the 43rd Annual YWCA Leader Lunch on Thursday, December 7. The women will take their place among the YWCA Academy of Leaders (300+ honorees from the past four decades), thereby joining the most notable group of accomplished women in St. Louis.
While women continue to make great strides in the professional world, they have yet to achieve equal representation in leadership roles. Public recognition of the achievements of YWCA Academy members and their journeys sends a message to women of all ages and races that, despite the inevitable obstacles, success is within reach. The overarching message of YWCA Leader Lunch, as embodied in the achievements of the honorees, is one of talent, persistence, work ethic and sisterhood.
Nominees are put forward by their peers and are selected by an independent panel based on their professional achievements and contributions to the community.
“This year’s class of leaders is another excellent representation of women in leadership across St. Louis – private business, corporate, non-profit, civic, innovation and philanthropy,” said Dr. Cheryl Watkins, MBA, YWCA Metro St. Louis President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am also honored to present Dr. Marilyn Robinson with our President’s Award. She served as President and CEO of our agency from 1989 to 1994.
Dr. Robinson brought Head Start to YWCA and initiated some of the changes we have made in our Women’s Crisis Services – her leadership has impacted thousands of women and families in our community, and this is the perfect occasion for us to express our appreciation.”
The 2023 YWCA Leaders of Distinction honorees are:
Akberet Boykin Farr, Vice President of Human Resources, Emerson
Donna Erbs, Partner, Strategic Growth, Anders CPAs + Advisors
Constance Gully, President and Chief Executive Officer, Parents as Teachers National Center
Carolyn Kindle, Chief Executive Officer, St. Louis CITY SC
Nalini Mahadevan, Principal Attorney, MLO Law, LLC
Chrissy Nardini, President, American Metals Supply
Natalie Self, Senior Vice President, Equitable Economic Impact, Cortex
Shelby Schagrin, Founder, The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund
2023 President’s Award:
Marilyn Robinson, MSW, Ed.D., YWCA Metro St. Louis CEO, 1989-1994
Leader Lunch 43 will be held at Union Station Hotel on Thursday, December 7. A private Holiday Bazaar featuring women-owned businesses will precede the program. Individual tickets and tables are on sale now. Historically, this event attracts 800+ attendees, so early purchase is recommended. Sponsorships are also available. More information can be found at ywcastl.org/events/leader-lunch.