Women of Achievement

As YWCA Columbus strives to create a more equitable society, we believe it’s important to acknowledge our
accomplishments and celebrate our progress. Women of Achievement honors leaders in our community who
motivate us with their example of determination, generosity and courage.

2020 Women of Achievement



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Nominate a Woman for 2021  2020 EVENT PROGRAM 2020 Event Gallery


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

Continue the Conversation from the 2020 women of achievement event, sponsored by VORYS…


Thank you for being part of the 35th Women of Achievement celebration! Today, we brought together our community to celebrate six incredible Women of Achievement and six Women on the Rise, all of whom make a genuine, positive difference in our Columbus community.

Since 1886, YWCA Columbus has been fighting for women, people of color, and those who stand in the margins. Today, you heard YWCA Columbus President and CEO, Christie Angel highlight some of the tough challenges, major injustices, and unacceptable imbalances we’re still up against. We believe the updated advocacy agenda Christie unveiled today, which informs our engagement and policy work for the next two years, will enable us to tip the scales toward equity.

These are the efforts we’ll focus on:

  • Eliminating Racism and Achieving Social Justice: True to our mission, YWCA Columbus will continue to fight vigorously for racial equity. In particular, we’ll advocate and act to bring about police reforms, fairer voting rights, equitable public health and broadband access.
  • Housing Justice: While this has always been a core issue for us, the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced our need for institutional policy reform that promotes housing opportunity, stability, and security, including eviction law reform, rental assistance, and equitable zoning.
  • Economic Empowerment: YWCA Columbus will build on the work of our partners to engage supporters and raise awareness about issues that impact women’s access to pay equity and wealth accumulation; and will work to create solutions that bolster the economic health of women, people of color, and those who’ve been historically marginalized.
  • Early Childhood Education: YWCA Columbus will advance policies that support quality early learning and healthy development of our youngest residents, to ensure future generations have equitable access to opportunity.

This advocacy agenda underscores our commitment to confront big problems by changing policy for the near- and long-term, in addition to delivering programs every day. We know that treating the symptoms of poverty and advocating for policy reform is crucial, but not enough to produce large-scale social change without community consensus. By empowering yourselves and others to disrupt the status quo, we produce a larger cultural shift, a bigger ripple effect, than focusing just on legislation and direct-service alone.

We invite you to join us in this vital work, to stand up, and speak out against injustice. Have transformative conversations with friends, family members, and colleagues about systemic racism. Then, turn those conversations into action.

Conversation Guidelines and Action Steps

It’s time to stand up against racism, it’s time to fight for the dignity of every person. It’s time to fulfill our mission! Thank you for your support and for continuing this important conversation with us.

Support YWCA Columbus’ mission here.

It is one of the most inspiring events that I attend each year, and I think everyone always leaves with the charge to “do more.” I know I always do! Thank you for recognizing extraordinary women!
Women of Achievement Attendee


Jessica Wichtman-Will


« View last years’ sponsors