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First cohort of new Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program announced + members of Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council

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Forty-two women leaders selected for first cohort of the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program, the Leadership Louisville Center’s new program for women leaders. Program launches today alongside Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council, new strategic council of top-level women leaders mentoring the class and guiding the Center

Forty-two women leaders have been selected for the first cohort of the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program, the Leadership Louisville Center’s new initiative to accelerate and sustain the growth of mid-level women leaders into positions of influence. Their program will run from February – July 2023 and is named for esteemed female executive and community trustee, Alice Houston, co-founder/owner and former CEO of HJI Supply Chain Solutions. Alice and the Houston family are supporting an endowment to launch and sustain the new program.

Also being announced are the inaugural members of Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council, a new strategic advisory council of top-level women leaders who are guiding the Leadership Louisville Center as it continues to invest in women’s advancement. The participants of the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program will benefit from mentorship with these influential women leaders during the six-month program.

“We know that firms with more women in senior positions are more profitable, more socially responsible, and provide safer, higher quality customer experiences. Yet only 86 women get promoted to manager for every 100 men at the same level. Studies have proven that women have what it takes to be leaders, and we believe that bridging this gap comes down to skills, confidence, and connections,” said Cynthia Knapek, president and CEO of Leadership Louisville Center. “After years of addressing these through our programming, we’re excited to expand and deepen this work through the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program. The participants will build skills that all great leaders need as well as address the unique issues and opportunities that come with being a woman in the workplace. We look forward to accelerating and sustaining the growth of women into positions of influence.”

Members of the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program Class of 2023 are:

  • Alexandria J. Abell, Minority Business Development Officer, PNC Bank
  • Amelia Acosta Powell, Impact Producer, Actors Theatre of Louisville
  • Cassie R. Blausey, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Organizing, Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Kathryn Fitzgerald Cowart, Assistant Director of Programs, Jewish Family & Career Services | JFCS
  • Leslie Dover, Senior Customer Success Advisor, Red e App
  • Tracey Garnett, Corporate Controller/VP Finance, Seven Counties Services Inc.
  • Joy Gibson, Compensation & Benefits Manager, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
  • Erica Gray, Ed.D., Dean of Students, Spalding University
  • Ashley A. Hadley, Vice President- Wealth Director, PNC Bank
  • Jennifer Hammond, VP of Lending, Park Community Credit Union
  • Lauren Hawkins, Associate Manager, Digital Ordering Experiences, KFC US
  • April Heim, Senior Director, Account Management, &well
  • Brittany Hill-Whitehead, Russell Technology Business Incubator Program Manager, Academy of Music Production Education | AMPED Louisville
  • Kristel Jensen, Retail Executive, Fifth Third Bank
  • Dana J. Johnson, Senior Director, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Greater Louisville Inc. | GLI
  • Sandra M. Johnson, VP Director of Quality & Packaging, Brown-Forman Corporation
  • Kristen Kaelin-Campbell, Director, Talent & Culture, HJI Supply Chain Solutions
  • Hollie Larkin, HR Business Partner, Derby City Gaming
  • Rebecca Mark, Head of Lending Support, Farm Credit Mid-America | Rural 1st
  • Jasmin Shanae Meaux, Director of Resident Programs, New Directions Housing Corporation
  • Loren Mills, VP Human Resources, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lauren Muir, Owner, Martin and Muir Counseling
  • Jennifer Murley, Director Healthcare Informatics, Norton Healthcare
  • Cassandra R. Newell, Customer Experience Manager, AVP, Republic Bank & Trust Company
  • Rebecca Osborne, Financial Center Manager, Forcht Bank
  • Ashley S. Parker, Broker/Owner, Parker & Klein Real Estate
  • Panna Patel, MD, Director, Humana Inc.
  • Megan Paxton, Ph.D., Vice President Outpatient Behavioral Health, Home of the Innocents
  • Wanda D. Ramsey, Director, Advanced Service Operations, GE Appliances, a Haier company
  • Erin Rasinen, Business Development Director, Messer Construction Co.
  • Tamara Reif, Senior Director of Housing Services, Volunteers of America Mid-States | VOA
  • Shane O’Koon Shaps, President and Founder, 520 East Brands, LLC
  • Danielle Stallard, Director Human Resources, LG&E and KU Energy
  • Emily Stennis, General Manager, HJI Supply Chain Solutions
  • LaRhanda D. Trammell, Plan Compliance Officer, Aetna Better Health of Kentucky
  • Alison Voit, Assistant Director – Migration and Refugee Services, Catholic Charities of Louisville, Inc.
  • Jasmine Wadkins, Program Director/Director of Behavioral Health, UofL Health
  • Julie Laemmle Watts, Partner, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
  • Megan Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Meritrust Wealth Management
  • Pamela Williams, General Manager, TBAIN&Co. | Today’s Woman Magazine
  • Laura Wince, Director of Marketing, Delta Dental of Kentucky
  • Michelle L. Zutterman, Director, Humana Inc.



As the Leadership Louisville Center continues to invest in women’s issues through programming, it has identified a council comprised of top women leaders to provide counsel and support the up-and-coming participants in the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program. Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council will unite and engage some of the city’s most generous and influential women to ensure that the generations following them are nurtured, inspired, and positioned for utmost success. Elevate membership will continually revolve, with new and renewing members each year. The forty-nine members in this inaugural group will continually add to its ranks. Their role will be to serve as a compass for the Center, providing meaningful impact for programming already in place and sparking new ideas and innovative recommendations for the future. Their participation supports scholarship funds that allow more women to participate in Leadership Louisville Center advancement opportunities.

Members of Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council (link to photo roster):

  • Christy Ames, EVP, General Counsel, Republic Bank & Trust Company
  • Jill Bell, VP and Chief Communications Officer, Molina Healthcare
  • Tiffany Benjamin, CEO, Humana Foundation
  • Kimberly Bunton, President, TKT & Associates Inc.
  • Tiffany Cardwell, Principal, MCM CPAs & Advisors
  • Deb Clary, Associate Vice President, Humana Inc.
  • Toni Clem, Executive Coach
  • Karen Cost, Chief of Immunology, Norton Healthcare
  • Cathe Dykstra, CEO, Family Scholar House
  • Angie Evans, Vice President, Chief DEI Officer, PPL Corporation
  • Sandra Frazier, Founding and Managing Member, Tandem Public Relations
  • Yvette Gentry, Director of Safety, LDG Development
  • Elaine Gravatte, President and CEO, DDW, The Color House – a Givaudan Company
  • Kim Halbauer, Regional President – Kentucky, Fifth Third Bank
  • Jennifer Hancock, President and CEO, Volunteers of America Mid-States | VOA
  • Maggie Harlow, CEO, Signarama Downtown
  • Kirsten Hawley, SVP, Chief People, Places & Communications Officer, Brown-Forman Corporation
  • Schuyler Heuser, Director, Physician Relations, Norton Healthcare
  • Emma Hutchens, Chief HR Officer, Heaven Hill Brands
  • Keturah Jenkins, Associate Vice President, Information Technology, Humana Inc.
  • Carly Launius, Global Community Relations Manager, Brown-Forman Corporation
  • Virginia Lee, President, Balanced Solutions LLC
  • Gretchen Leiterman, Chief Operating Officer, Baptist Health
  • Annie Likins, Chief People Officer, Appriss Insights, an Equifax Company
  • Martha Mather, COO, Aware Recovery Care
  • Tammy McClanahan, Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital
  • Paula McCraney, Councilwoman, Louisville Metro Council
  • Tess McNair, Executive Director, The C. E. & S. Foundation Inc.
  • Lynnie Meyer, SVP & Chief Development Officer, Norton Healthcare
  • Lynn Moore, CEO, HJI Supply Chain Solutions
  • Mindy Munson, CEO, Munson Business Interiors, Inc.
  • Renee Murphy, Senior VP & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Norton Healthcare
  • Tawanda Owsley, SVP, Marketing & Development, Hosparus Health
  • Becky Phillips, Former Partner, Not-For-Profit Services Team Leader, MCM CPAs & Advisors
  • Jennifer Phipps, Chief Accounting Officer, BrightSpring Health Services
  • Diane Porter, Chairwoman – District 1 Representative, Jefferson County Board of Education
  • Von Purdy, VP of Advancement & Community Engagement, Simmons College of Kentucky
  • Theresa Reno-Weber, COO, GoodMaps
  • Mason Rummel, President and CEO, James Graham Brown Foundation
  • Danielle Schaefer, COO, Pappy & Company
  • Evon Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, OneWest Corporation
  • Pamela Stevenson, Kentucky State Representative, Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • Tina Walters, Director of Investor Relations, Poe Companies
  • Michelle Wells, Former VP Finance & Information Technology, Yum! Brands, Inc.
  • Mary Gwen Wheeler, former Executive Director of 55,000 Degrees, Chrysalis Ventures
  • Chris Whelan, VP Communications and Corporate Responsibility, LG&E and KU Energy
  • Deborah Williams, SVP, Community Development Market Manager, PNC Bank
  • Tammy York Day, President & CEO, Louisville Healthcare CEO Council
  • Cathy Zion, Publisher, Today’s Transitions

Learn more about the Alice Houston Women’s Leadership Program and Elevate: A Women’s Leadership Council at



The Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement. With a purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better, it has graduated over 15,000 through its programs since 1979. The Center is recognized as a national best practice and is known for its dynamic programming and strong community connections. Programming includes five social impact leadership programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows and Encore Louisville), cohort programs for women and employee resource group leaders, leadership skills training courses presented through partner brand LeadingBetter™, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. Learn more at

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