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About the Initiative


In June 2015, WILMA magazine launched its Women to Watch Leadership Initiative with the mission to help develop more women leaders in Wilmington-area businesses, nonprofits, government bodies and boards of directors.

Components of the leadership initiative include:

Coverage of leadership topics – Branded Women to Watch stories, including profiling local women leaders, featuring up-and-coming women in the community, delving into opportunities and obstacles to women assuming more leadership roles, and highlighting relevant events and initiatives appears in the monthly print publication, its WILMA Weekly email newsletter, and on its website.

Women to Watch Awards – The annual awards program, started in 2012, spotlights finalists and winners in seven categories: Arts, Education, Health Care, Business, Public Service, Nonprofit/Volunteer, and Rising Star (The Rising Star category is for women under the age of 30). Nominations for the awards run from May 1 through July 1 each year, and the winners are announced at an awards party in October. To purchase tickets visit www.W2WAward.com 

Large events – WILMA’s Women to Watch holds three large events annually to bring together women leaders and up-and-coming women to have fun, connect, and learn.

Niche groups – Women to Watch will help women connect in smaller groups tied to a particular industry or interest. For example, Cape Fear Women in Tech will pull together women in technology careers to benefit their companies, careers, and leadership development.

WILMA Leadership Institute – The Leadership Institute includes eight-ten selected women annually to go through more intensive leadership training, have a personal board of directors, and receive greater exposure to experienced executives. Applicants in the Women to Watch Awards competition will be considered for a seat in the Leadership Institute, and others are welcome to apply. Because of sponsor support, there is no fee for participants going through the training program.

Mentors – Up-and-coming women in the community will be matched with women and men mentors to assist with their leadership development.

Board preparation – The "Get on Board" program will help match women with board of director opportunities on area nonprofit, government, and business boards. Women to Watch is partnering with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s QENO (Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations) and United Way of the Cape Fear Area on the program.

WILMA Network – The WILMA Network is a place where women can find each other online and through the magazine.

For more information or to learn more about how to get involved in the various programs, click here, or email W2W@WILMAOnTheWeb.com.


WILMA Women to Watch Leadership Initiative Co-Leaders

Maggi Apel

WILMA magazine and Greater Wilmington Business Journal events director

(910) 343-6086/W2W@WILMAOnTheWeb.com

Vicky Janowski

WILMA magazine co-editor/Greater Wilmington Business Journal editor

(910) 375-7295/W2W@WILMAOnTheWeb.com


Women to Watch Advisory Board

Kim Bankston, GM, Human Resources (GE Hitachi)

Dana Cook, Owner (Julia’s Florist)

Paula Corbett , President (Eastcoast Research)

Donna Esteves, Supply Chain Manager (Corning)

Angie Gray, Owner (A2Z Regulatory Publishing)

Lori Feezor, Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel (NHRMC)

Lauren Henderson, Chief Financial Officer (CastleBranch Corp.)

Elizabeth Kuronen, VP, Corporoate Communications, Public Affairs, Marketing and Philanthropy (PPD)

Lisa Mesler, Eastern North Carolina Market Manager (PNC Mortgage)

Kimberly Paul, VP of Communication and Outreach (Lower Cape Fear Hospice)

Kelly Schaudt, Senior Director (Wilmington Health)

Debbie Warwick, Senior VP Operations (Live Oak Bank)

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