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

2020 Nominations will open in the Fall of 2019

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


2019 Keynote Speaker Erin Gruwell


Hear in Erin’s own words how her work and our mission mirror each other!


Erin GruwellErin Gruwell is a teacher, an author, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. Her impact as a change agent attracted Hollywood’s attention, and in 2007, Paramount Pictures released Freedom Writers, starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Erin.

By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Erin transformed her students’ lives. She encouraged them to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions, and ultimately re-chart their futures. Erin and her students captured their collective journey in The Freedom Writers Diary. With Erin’s support, they chose to forego teenage pregnancy, drugs, and violence in order to become aspiring college students, published writers, and citizens for change.

Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation where she currently teaches educators around the world how to implement her innovative plans into their own classrooms. She created the Freedom Writers Methodology, a progressive teaching philosophy and curricula designed to achieve excellence from all students.

Erin continues to fight for equality in education and inspires teachers and students all over the world with her work.


Want to volunteer?

40th Anniversary Luncheon Co-Chairs

Michele Hawkins

Managing Director & Chief Compliance Officer, Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.

Heidi Jark

Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Foundation Office, Fifth Third Bank

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