YWCA Announces 2022 Leaders of Distinction

YWCA Announces 2022 Leaders of Distinction

YWCA Metro St. Louis is proud to announce its 2022 Leaders of Distinction, to be honored at the 42nd Annual YWCA Leader Lunch on Friday, December 2. These women will take their place among the YWCA Academy of Leaders (some 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 the stories of their individual 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 a panel based on their professional achievements and contributions to the community.

“I am particularly excited about Leader Lunch 42,” said Dr. Cheryl Watkins, MBA, YWCA Metro St. Louis President and Chief Executive Officer, who celebrated her first anniversary with the agency just last month. “We’ve spent the past year as an agency rebuilding, rebranding and reimagining. Every professional woman, including our honorees, has been through that experience personally and professionally, whether rebuilding or rebranding on the job or reimagining the way they want to show up in the workplace or in our community. It’s a natural process for professionals as we evolve to meet the needs of our companies, our clients and our careers.”

And the 2022 YWCA Leaders of Distinction honorees are:

Sheila Burkett, Co-Founder & CEO, Spry Digital LLC
Rhonda Carter Adams, Director of Talent & Inclusion, Dot Foods, Inc.
Simone Cummings, PhD, Dean, George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University
Hazel Donald, Philanthropist and Community Volunteer
Qiaoni Linda Jing, President, CEO & Board Director, Genective
Cheryl Jones, President & CEO, Girls Incorporated of St. Louis
Emily Martin, Chief Operating Officer, Guarantee Electrical Company
Kim Norwood, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
Erika Schenk, General Counsel & EVP Corporate Compliance, World Wide Technology


Leader Lunch 42 will be held at Union Station Hotel on Friday, December 2. Individual tickets and tables are on sale now. The event traditionally attracts 800+ attendees, so early purchase is recommended. Sponsorships are also available.

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