50 Most Influential Women past winners


Woman of the Year – Darlene Heater – University City Partners

Julie Ayers – LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC

Catherine A. Barnes – James, McElroy & Diehl, PA

Aretha V. Blake, Esq. – Blake Law PLLC

Leigh Thomas Brown – RE/MAX Executive Realty

Diane B. Burks – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Michelle Coffino – Queen City Metal Recycling & Salvage

Cathrine Cotman – Cushman & Wakefield

Amy E. Davis – BRG

Tammy DeBoer – Family Dollar

Terri DeBoo – Terri DeBoo Ideas@Work

Michele Dudley – Fashion & Compassion

Julie Eiselt – Charlotte City Council

Juli Emmons – Carolina Film Community

Lillian Fahr – Wells Fargo & Company

Captain Demetria A. Faulkner-Welch – Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

Honora Gabriel – Lash Group, a part of AmerisourceBergen

Melisa F. Galasso, CPA – Galasso Learning Solutions

Mary Catherine (MC) Garrett – One7 Ministries, Inc. and One7 Academy

Leslie Gillock – Wray Ward

Jada S. Grandy – Fifth Third Bank

Penelope L. Hefner – Sodoma Law Union

Jill Huse – Society 54

Stacie Beasley Jacobs – First American National Commercial Services

Linda James – Gentiva Health Services, an affiliate of Kindred at Home

Suzy Johnson – Employee Benefit Advisors of the Carolinas, LLC

Lori R. Keeton – Lincoln Derr

Sharon King – Taylor’s Tale

Dr. Carlene W. Kingston – Novant Health Neurology Specialists

Kim Lanphear – Apparo

Kyshia Brassington Lineberger – Concord Children’s Academy

Tega Cay Children’s Academy”

Carol A. Lovin – Carolinas HealthCare System

Amy Breese Massey, PE – Kimley-Horn

Dr. Nicole P. McKinney – Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

Tracy Montross – American Airlines

Diana R. Palecek – Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP

Fabi Preslar – SPARK Publications

Sharon Reed – Global Girls Project

Diane Ryon – King’s College

Kristen Shearin – Passenant & Shearin Law

April Simpkins – HRS&S Consulting, LLC

Amy Sullivan – ECS Carolinas, LLP

Mary Summa – Belmont Abbey College

Stacey Vandiford – Moore & Van Allen, PLLC

Irene Vogelsong – Perkins+Will, global architectural and design firm

Denise Watts – Project LIFT

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools”

Gail Williams – Business Today

Fielding Williams – The Scone Shop

Judy Wishnek – Park Sterling Bank

Rebecca Wofford – The Lunch Project; Krusch & Sellers, P.A.




Woman of the Year – Dianne Bailey – Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson

Beth Allen – GreerWalker LLP

Carla Archie – North Carolina Judiciary

Molly Barker – Red Boot Coalition

Whitney Bauman – MSS Solutions

Lisa Bell – State of North Carolina

Cary Bernstein – Spay Neuter Charlotte

Melissa Boone – CohnReznick LLP

Ann Clark – Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools

Jill Dineen – Classroom Central

Dee Dixon – Pride Communications / Pride Magazine

Erinne Dyer – Carolinas HealthCare System

Robin Emmons – Sow Much Good

Morgan Fogarty – WCCB Charlotte

Veronica (Vicki) Foster – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Tracy Foster – Lash Group

Toni Freeman – Mint Museum Uptown

Sue Gorman – Sue Gorman Interior Designs

Jessica Graham – Belk Inc.

Mary Hall – Carolinas HealthCare System

Laura Hampton – The Employers Association

Catherine Horne – Discovery Place

Cadie Jessup – Wells Fargo

Pat Kahle – Union County Chamber of Commerce

Kathleen Kaney – Carolinas HealthCare System

Sister Jean Marie Kienast – Sisters of Mercy

Amy Knepp – Compass Group

Bobbi Jo Lazarus – Elliott Davis Decosimo

Rebecca (“Becky”) Lindahl – Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Vi Lyles – City of Charlotte/ Vi Lyles Consulting

Jennifer Maier – WDS, Inc.

Nadia Margherio – Sodoma Law Firm

Melissa McGuire – Sherpa, LLC

Elizabeth McKee – Leadership Charlotte

Barbara Meeks – Wells Fargo

Sara O’Mara – Choate Construction Company

Elizabeth (Liz) Popwell – Carolinas HealthCare System

Paige Roselle – SOCIETY Charlotte Magazine

Erin Santos – The Isabella Santos Foundation

Ellen Sheppard – Carolinas College of Health Sciences, Carolinas HealthCare System

Lou Solomon – Interact Authentic Communication

Blair Stanford – Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Courtney Stephenson – Carolinas HealthCare System

Sandra Szoke – WBT and WLNK, Greater Media Charlotte

LuAnn Tucker – PwC

Shannon Vandiver – Shannon L. Vandiver, PLLC

Dianna Ward – Charlotte B-cycle & Charlotte NC Tours, LLC

Ann Warren – Duke Energy Corporation

Ann Marie Williams (formerly Schmitz) – Grant Thornton LLP

Angela Woods – Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council




Woman of the Year – Dr. Cheryl Richards – Northeastern University- Charlotte

Rebecca Anderson – Queens University of Charlotte

Shekeria Smith Barnes – Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Joanne O’Brien Beam – Wake Forest University Charlotte Campus

Tonya Brandon – CBRE Group, Inc.

Colleen Brannan – BRANSTORM PR

Jayne Buckley – Compass Group- Foodbuy Division

Taber Cathcart – Alston & Bird, LLP

Astrid Chirinos – Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte

Cynthia A. Coto – Union County Government

Sharon Allred Decker – Secretary, North Carolina Department of Commerce

Denise Dexter – Lincoln Harris

Daniele Donahoe – Rinehart Wealth Management

Betty Doster – UNC Charlotte

Martha Fortos Dozier – Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Deparment

Kelli G. Embler – Autism Speaks Carolinas Chapter

Sarah Jo Hutto Funkhouser – Morehead Title Company

Ophelia Garmon-Brown – Novant Health

Beth Hernandez – Balfour Beatty Construction

Joan E. Higginbotham – Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Randy W. Hopkins – The Hopkins-McElhannon Group, Inc.

Carrie Howell – Hospitality House of Charlotte

Nancy W. Hudson – Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Inc.

Christine Mackie – Zippy Ice

Margaret Martin – MECA Real Estate Services, LLC

Monica McDaniel – Bank of America, Retired

Nancy B. McNelis – Queens University of Charlotte

Mary Nell McPherson – Freedom School Partners

Sheila B. Moore – Novant Health

Sue Myrick – Former US Representative

Abong Ngranui-Fankam – A Place of Hope

Cristy Nine – Cresa Carolinas

Nancy Black Norelli – Norelli Law

Nancy Olah – Nancy Olah Law

Jennifer O’Toole – The Awesomeness Foundation, Asperkids LLC & Academy AK

Moira Quinn – Charlotte Center City Partners

Tonyia Rawls – The Freedom Center for Social Justice & Sacred Souls Community Church

Laura Renegar – Primax Properties

Jane G. Robinson, PhD – Kent Academy

Ruth Samuelson – North Carolina General Assembly House of Representatives

Pamela L. Shipman – Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions

Pearl J. Smith – Pearl Realty, Inc.

Nicole H. Sodoma – Sodoma Law, P.C.

Paula R. Vincent – Novant Health

Amy Wartham – UNC Charlotte

Lynn Wheeler – Wheeler Communication Group, LLC

Martha J. Whitecotton – Carolinas HealthCare System

Whitni Wilson-Wertz – Otis Elevator Co.

Ellen Wingate – Noosa Pest Management, LLC

Joan O. Wright, MSW, MCC – O’Sullivan Wright, Inc.




Woman of the Year – Christine John-Fuller – Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter

Tania N. Archer – Moore & Van Allen, PLLC

Donyel Barber – Family Promise of Gaston County

Terri Bennett – Terri Bennett Enterprises, LLC

Tanya S. Blackmon – Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center

Marjorie M. Bray – UNC Charlotte

Debra D. Campbell – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department

Mara F. Campolungo – The Sandbox

Marilyn Celenza – Good Clean Fun

Kelly Chopus – Goodrich Corporation

Laura Y. Clark – Renaissance West Community Initiative

Martha Hawkins Curran – Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court

Crystal Dempsey – From The Hip Communications

Bygie Dixon – The Darton Group

Jodi Dodds – Novant Health

Natalie Haskins English – Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Liz Etheredge – Mecklenburg Paint Co., Inc.

Lisa Marie Fry – Cassidy Turley

Nan Gray – Samaritan’s Feet International

Joy Greear – Novant Health: Presbyterian Medical Center

Judge Ty Hands – District Court Judge, 26th Judicial District

Bert Harper – Vision 2020-North Carolina Delegate

Penelope Hawkins – KinderMourn

Liz Hilliard – Hilliard Studio Method

Hon. Theresa Holmes-Simmons – United States Department of Justice- Charlotte Immigration Court

Kati Hynes – Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Jenn Jackson – 107.9 The Link & 1110 WBT

Stacy Sumner Jesso – Council for Children’s Rights

Lisa Kelley – Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center

Marsha C. Kennedy – Kennedy Law Associates

Christy Koury – United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Katherine L. Lambert – Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council

Moira LoCascio – McLaughlin Young Group

Michelle Long – Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Kelly McKay – Midday talent for Greater Media Charlotte’s 107.9 The Link

Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell – District Court Judge- 26th Judicial District

Marie McLucas – Primax Properties LLC and Primax Construction Inc.

Kimberly McMillan – Cardinal Innovations HealthCare

Carolyn P. Meade – Moore & Van Allen, PLLC

Marcia Merrill – Red Rover Communications

Brandy B. Milazzo – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

Nancy Nestor – Autism Society of North Carolina

Sherie E. Pearsall – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Cheryl D. Steele – Horack, Talley, Pharr & Lowndes, P.A.

Liza Tyler – New York Life

Katie Tyler – Tyler 2 Construction

Lisa M. Wigfall – Quality Home Care Services, Inc.

Crystal Williams Mayer – MetaLogix, Inc.

Cindy Wolfe – Bank of the Ozarks

Joan H. Zimmerman – Southern Shows, Inc.




Holly Alexander

Catherine Bessant

Nancy Braun

Susan Briggs

Angela Broome

Sarah Buffett

Patricia Campbell

Clair Campbell

Dianne Chase

Lois Colbert

Kristina Cruise

Sally Daley

Stephanie   Dawkins

Tracy Dodson

Tameka Everhardt

Susan Faulkner

Sarah Gambrell

Maha Gingrich

Raichelle Glover

Molly Grantham

Maria Hanlin

Ramona Holloway

Abigail Jennings

Sandra Levine

Linda Lockman-Brooks

Meg Maloney

Sister Rosa Marion

Kim Marks

Leah   Maybry

Kim McDonald

Sherri   McGirt

Valerie Mitchener

Sandy Morgart

Vickie Pennington

Hadley Perry-Pacheco

Beth Petty

Cheryl Pfeiffer

Lisa Qualls

Dana Rader

Stacey   Randall

Rochelle Rivas

LeeAnn Shattuck

Janet Singerman

Tricia Sisson

Melissa Swanson

Wanda Townsend

Minette   Trosch

Mary Turk-Meena

Jenni Walker

Wendy Whitehurst


Denise Altman

Nora Arronte

Paulette Ashlin

Laura Belcher

Deborah Bowen

Roberta Bowman

Cathinka Chandler

Hilary Coman

Robyn Crigger

Lynn Erdman

Janet Faulk

Kimlani Ford

Barbara Green

Charmaine Gudgeon

Julie Haack

Phrantceena Halres

Janet   Hart

Mary Hopper

Sandra Huerta

Lynn Ivey

Amy Johnson

Mona Johnson-Gibson

Dana Jordan

Angela Key

Claire Krusch

Laurie Leonard

Ellen Linares

Victoria Lipscomb

Meg McElwain

Delaine Mead

Michelle Menard

Janeen Miller – Hogue

Cristina Morales

Mary Elizabeth Murphy

Theresa Payton

Robin Pugh

Pat Rodgers

Michelle Rogers

Elizabeth Rostan

Tracie Sawyers

Anna Schorr

Sara Seasholtz

Amy Vance

Marty Viser Clontz

Amy Wartham

Aana Lisa Whatley

Christy Williams

Linda Worrell

Kelly Yale

Mimi Zelman




Pam A. Boileau

Colleen Brannan

Serena Brock

Marilyn Carpenter

Beverly A. Carroll

Representative Tricia Cotham

Maryanne P. Dailey

Terri DeBoo

Lori Dvorak

Roberta Borsella Farnum

Kimber Flynn

Donna Forbes

Janet T. Fortner

Dot Gerringer-Munson

Patricia Golden

Lori A. Gougeon

Claire Green Fallon

Tammy S. Greyshock

Paula H. Harvey

Nina Hollander

Glenda Horton Manning

Kara Judd

Alyse Kelly-Jones, M.D.

Shawn King

Carrie C. Klett, MD.

First Last

Jane R. Lewis-Raymond

Barbara Lipira

Lynne Tatum Little

Sheri Lynch

Michelle A. Maidt

Valecia M. McDowell

Anne M. McGeorge

Susan Medlin

Jan Meyer

Deborah Millhouse

Emily Nabors, M.D.

Dr. Ann Mabe Newman, R.N.

Elizabeth Nisbet Miller

Amy Noland

Elizabeth M. Perry, MD.

Cheryl Richards, Ph.D.

Wendy Shanahan

Sheila W. Shirley

Stacey Simms

Wendy L. Spanbauer

Karen Ward

Jennifer A. Youngs

Emily F. Zimmern

Kimberly Easter Zirkle




Martha Bell Alexander

Jennifer Algire

Ginny Amendum

Virginia R. Amendum

Jennifer Appleby

Sherry Barretta

Jennifer Beaman Pippin

Marjorie Benbow

Melinda Beres

Kaye Bernard McGarry

Jo Ann Brighton

Michelle Buelow

Karen Calder

Hang Chen

Stephanie Counts

Pamela Davies

Sherré DeMao

Michelle Fish

Sara Garcés Roselli

Brooke Gibson

Tana Greene

Julie Hall

Robyn Hamilton

Natalie Haskins English

Lisa Hildreth

Anne Marie Howard

Pamela Jefsen

Kristi Kessler Walters

Celia Klein

Maura Leahy Tucker

Carol Lilly

Beth Machen

Jill Marcus

Mary Mary

Jane McIntyre

Melissa Melissa McGuire

Dawn Newsome

Sally Olin

Pattie Petty

Karen Ponischil

Fabi Preslar

Frances Queen

Katherine Rea

Nettie Reeves

Ruth Samuelson

Karen Shore

Jennifer Snyder

Elizabeth Temple

Felicia Watlington

Caren Wingate

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