Career Women of Achievement Luncheon

The YWCA Career Women of Achievement Luncheon was established in 1980 to increase community awareness and appreciation of the diverse contributions of women in the work force and in the community. The luncheon has evolved into the YWCA’s largest fundraising event, sponsored by 150 companies and organizations each year, with an attendance of over 2,100. All proceeds directly benefit YWCA programs, supporting its mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

Upwards of 75 women are nominated to be Career Women of Achievement each year. An independent panel of 5 community leaders selects women who exemplify personal career success, dynamic leadership qualities and the unique ability to serve as role models. Former honorees include artists, physicians, educators, executives, politicians, lawyers, human service workers, entrepreneurs, and law enforcement officers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Duke Energy Convention Center


Nominations for the 2020 award are now closed.

Watch our 40th “Ruby” Anniversary Video, “Passionate Advocates, Powerful Leaders”.




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41st Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs

Debbie Hayes

Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, The Christ Hospital Network

Lakshmi Sammarco, MD

Hamilton County Coroner

Keynote Speaker Patty Brisben

Patty Brisben
Founder & Chair, Pure Romance

In 1983, Patty was a single mother of four children working as a medical assistant. To make more time for her children and improve the quality of their lives, she took a leap and started working as a consultant selling intimacy products following a feature on the Phil Donohue Show. Following 10 productive years as a top sales earner, the company she worked for shut its doors. With $5,000, Patty launched the company that would become Pure Romance from her basement and provided a new opportunity to the 55 consultants who were left stranded when the previous company folded. That company would later be known as Pure Romance and currently has an extensive network of 30,000 consultants across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.
Since founding Pure Romance in 1993, Patty’s drive to empower and educate women and her truly inspiring leadership abilities have transformed the company into a multi-million dollar business. This has made Pure Romance one of the industry’s foremost companies, as well as a credible resource for women’s sexual health education and the second largest women owned business in the Greater Cincinnati area.
In 2006, Patty launched the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health. In collaboration with universities and research organizations, the Foundation aims to lead change by directing resources and funding research to advocate for women’s sexual health, and advance the understanding of the issues facing women’s sexuality. To date, the Foundation has raised over $5 million to support research projects and educational initiatives to ensure women have the information they need to live healthy, fulfilled lives.
Patty was recently inducted in to the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame and was honored as a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2017.



Take a look back at the 2019 Career Women of Achievement Honorees

Watch the Honoree Videos on our YouTube Channel

Stephanie L. Ferris

2019 Honoree

Chief Financial Officer, Worldpay, Inc.

Jodi M. Geiser

2019 Honoree

Partner-America Tax Finance & Operate, EY

Marianne Flanders James

2019 Honoree

SVP & CIO, Information Services, Cincinnati Children's

Sheila A. Mixon

2019 Honoree

Executive Director, Ohio River Valley Women's Business Council & SVP, Greater Cincinnati Urban League

Stefanie Newman

2019 Honoree

Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, Bethesda North Hospital, TriHealth

Molly North

2019 Honoree

President and CEO, Al. Neyer

Nita M. Walker, MD

2019 Honoree

SVP, Ambulatory Services, UC Health

Judge Marilyn Zayas

2019 Honoree

Appellate Judge, Ohio's First District Court of Appeals

*Honoree Photo Credit: Mary Strubbe Photography