Women of Achievement 48 Hour Celebration

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Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s Achievements

Every year for 35 years, YWCA Columbus has honored women who impact their professions, uplift their communities, fight bias, and set an example of determination, generosity, and courage.

We’ve postponed our annual Women of Achievement luncheon, but the celebration goes on.

For 48 hours from April 21 to 23, we’re recognizing the 2020 class of honorees and their predecessors with a special online event. It’s a chance for us to reconnect to each other—and to the Y’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

Are there women in your life you want to celebrate?

We invite you to honor them in any of these ways:

Facebook Comment

Use a comment on our Facebook page to share why she inspires you OR write about her on your own Facebook page and use the hashtag #celebratingwoa.

Facebook Fundraiser

Make a tribute gift as part of our Facebook Fundraiser and share who it’s for in a post.

Website Tribute Gift

Donate in honor of a woman who inspires you via our website or text ywcacbus to 74121




we did it

We’ve set a fundraising goal of $35,000 to reflect our 35th year of Women of Achievement

Your gifts and a generous matching grant from The Champion Companies will help YWCA Columbus serve those hardest hit by the current health crisis, prepare for what’s next, and continue to build resources that benefit our entire community.


Two ways to donate–on our website or via Facebook Fundraiser:
donate now facebook fundraiser

Live Updates


posted April 28 at 11:00 AM


The Wealth of a Community

As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)®, people often seek my advice on building wealth. One thing I say time and again is, “Invest in what you care about. Put your dollars into an enterprise that acts in ways you want to support—whether that’s an investment, a business, or a non-profit.”

As the Board Chair of the YWCA Columbus Endowment Trust, I look at every dollar in that trust as a sign of support. For the Y’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. For every child we feed, every woman we counsel, every mind we open, and every activist we inspire.

When YWCA Columbus held a 48-hour online campaign for Women of Achievement, you donated $55,565—and $35,000 was matched thanks to a grant from The Champion Companies. That is an enormous show of support, and we are so grateful for it.

Your dollars enable YWCA Columbus to continue the critical work of today and to safeguard our ability to keep doing that work in the future. With your gift, you are, in fact, building wealth: you’re building a community rich in compassion, optimism, and opportunity.

Thank you for investing in what you care about.

Cary Hanosek
Chair, YWCA Columbus Endowment Trust Board


posted April 23 at 2:00 pm

You Showed Up

Dear friends of YWCA Columbus,

Wow. Thanks to you, we have reached our $35,000 goal to honor the 35th annual Women of Achievement celebration. THANK YOU! For the past two days, we’ve been hosting our first-ever online celebration for Women of Achievement and Women on the Rise. And we’ve been conducting our first-ever Facebook Fundraiser at the same time. And you showed up for both in a big way.

We planned this 48-hour event because we had to postpone our annual luncheon, but these unprecedented circumstances have yielded an unprecedented opportunity for us to celebrate all the ways women contribute to our community.

And there’s a lot to celebrate:

  • You: For participating, giving, and paying tribute to women who move you.
  • The Women of Achievement: For fearlessly sharing your stories, your wisdom, and your strength with us.
  • The Women on the Rise: For showing us that the next generation of change-makers is prepared and determined to create a more equitable, inclusive community.
  • The Champion Companies: For issuing a matching grant that will allow YWCA Columbus to do that much more to fight prejudice and poverty.
  • The sponsors of Women of Achievement: For believing in the power of women to move us toward peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.

For those who still want to celebrate the women in your lives, the Facebook Fundraiser will remain open a little while longer. And you can always support your YWCA Columbus through our website, or text ywcacbus to 74121.

We’ll update you when we have a new date for us to gather in person for our 35th Women of Achievement luncheon—hopefully this fall. In the meantime, please know how much YWCA Columbus appreciates you.

Stay healthy and safe,


Christie Angel
President and CEO
YWCA Columbus


Posted April 22, 2020 at 4 pm
A video message from the 2020 Women on the Rise on what achievement means to them.

Rising to Challenges

YWCA Columbus is committed to acting as a beacon for good in our community so that with each new generation, we’re all braver, wiser and kinder.

We do that by encouraging those who achieve success. Surmount challenges. Stand up as leaders. Put the needs of others first.

As our online celebration continues, we want to highlight this year’s class of Women on the Rise: Victoria Alesi, Suzy Bureau, Rhiannon Childs, Jordan Davis, Sundeepti Jindal, and Christina Patel. These young people are the next wave of inspiring leaders, fighting for greater opportunities, surmounting obstacles, sharing their talents and expertise, and proving that women can do anything.

Likewise, YWCA Columbus staff deserve our heartfelt thanks for putting themselves on the front lines to confront the coronavirus pandemic. Considered essential workers, our teams show up—in mind, body, and spirit—to serve our most vulnerable community members, protect the well-being of everyone in their care, and lay the groundwork for recovery. See some of their quiet bravery in the face of challenges here.

Please make a gift during our 48-hour Facebook Fundraiser or here to celebrate those who show us all what it means to rise.


Posted April 22, 2020 at 10 am
The 2020 Women of Achievement Honorees share why they support YWCA Columbus now more than ever.

Inspiration is All Around Us

At YWCA Columbus, our work can often involve confronting hard truths and tough situations. But what it also shows us, time and again, is how powerful and uplifting our connections to each other can be.

As our online celebration of Women of Achievement continues, we’re recognizing six incredible women who impact their professions, serve their communities, fight bias, and empower others: Sandra J. Anderson, Alison J. Barret, Francie Henry, Lisa Ingram, Dr. Anahi Ortiz, and Barbara Jean Smoot. These women make up this year’s 35th class of Women of Achievement.

To celebrate the spirit of Women of Achievement, we welcome you to make a tribute to a woman who inspires you. Someone who’s been a lifelong guide: a family member, teacher, or mentor. Or someone stepping up in the current crisis: a health care worker, delivery driver, or food pantry volunteer.

Women doing amazing things are everywhere, all around us—and by celebrating them, we remind ourselves of all that women can and will do to create a more equitable Ohio.


Posted April 21, 2020

Women of Achievement Online Celebration Starts Now

In years past, many of us would be gathering right now for an inspiring luncheon to honor this year’s class of Women of Achievement and Women on the Rise.

As we all know, this year is unlike any other—and as YWCA Columbus has been adapting our services to answer the challenges of COVID-19, we’re also adapting to ensure we can keep celebrating the extraordinary women who inspire us.

Starting right now, we’re launching our 48-hour online celebration so that we can still gather and support each other virtually.

Because it’s our 35th year of Women of Achievement, we’ve set a fundraising goal of $35,000. The Champion Companies has committed to a matching grant, so everything you contribute in the next 48 hours will be doubled. With these funds, YWCA Columbus can continue our essential work serving those most affected by COVID-19, prepare for what’s next, and continue to build resources that benefit our entire community.


Learn About Our 2020 Honorees

Sandra J. Anderson

Retired Attorney, now Community Servant

From Sandy’s election as the first woman President of the Columbus Bar Association Board of Governors, to her current leadership of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, she’s been positively impacting the Columbus community for decades.

Alison J. Barret

Grants & Services Director, Greater Columbus Arts Council

Alison is responsible for awarding approximately $4 million yearly in grants to artists and arts organizations in the Columbus area, while assuring equity and access to funding for all segments of the community.

Francie Henry

Regional President, Fifth Third Bank

Francie is driven to make a difference in Central Ohio through empowering women and providing educational opportunities for low to moderate income individuals.

Lisa Ingram

President & CEO, White Castle

As the President and CEO of White Castle System Inc., Lisa created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and worked to revise systems and processes so that women and minorities have equal opportunities for promotion.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz

Franklin County Coroner, Franklin County Coroner's Office

Dr. Ortizs' focus on prevention, such as the creation of the Franklin County Opiate Crisis Action Plan, will have long-lasting positive impacts on the underserved and overlooked populations of our area.

Barbara Jean Smoot

President & CEO, Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD)

As the President and CEO of WELD, Barbara is tirelessly committed to strengthening the prosperity of communities through developing women’s leadership.

« View all Past Honorees


Also Featuring these extraordinary…

Women on the Rise

Victoria Alesi
Sales Consultant

Suzy Bureau

Rhiannon Childs
Co-founder and VP of Community Engagement
Ohio Women's Alliance

Jordan Davis
Director of Smart Columbus
Columbus Partnership

Sundeepti Jindal
Gender Equity Advisor
Columbus Women's Commission
City of Columbus

Christina Patel
Director of Development
The Ohio State University

Visit Our Event Page to Buy Tickets


Jessica Wichtman-Will


« View last years’ sponsors