Who is WILMA?

Weighing in on the magazine

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WILMA isn’t just one person or one type of person. It strives to be a mirror to the community and a spotlight to its achievements.

Over twenty years, WILMA has recognized women for their accomplishments – in our magazine pages, online, and leadership programming. For the anniversary issue, we talked with a handful about who and what WILMA represents to them.

“WILMA is the intersection where strong, professional women are able to connect to support and uplift other women for the enhancement of our community.”

-JENNIFER HARJO, Chief Public Defender, New Hanover and Pender County Public Defender Office

WILMA story subject and supporter of several employees in the public defender’s office who have gone through WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Institute

“WILMA is a community leader paving the path for generations of women to have the tools, connections, and opportunities needed to accomplish their goals and use their strengths to make a positive impact on the Cape Fear region.”

-LEAH SHERRILL, Special Education Teacher at Wilmington School of the Arts and Founder of Special Pedals Inc.

WILMA’s Women to Watch Awards finalist: Rising Star, Leadership Institute alum

“Most people know that WILMA is our local network of incredibly talented, inspiring, and successful women with various backgrounds both personally and professionally. But to me, it is more of a sisterhood and a group of supportive women who are willing to invest and build confidence in each other by sharing their talents, sharing their lessons learned, and most of all, celebrating each other’s successes.”

-JULIE DIXON, Senior Vice President, Live Oak Bank

Leadership Institute alum, WILMA’s mentoring program participant, runs each year in the WILMA Dash 5K

“WILMA is diverse and inclusive. She looks to better herself, make the life she wants to live, and also invests in making life better for others. She lifts other women up because she knows that’s how we create a better future.”

-KENDALL HURT, Owner, Meadowlark

Leadership Institute alum, advisory board member, initiative sponsor

“WILMA is all of us: Women of Wilmington in leadership, or in the path to be in leadership, recognized for our extraordinary work in the community, as business owners, or for our exceptional professional careers.”

-ISABELA LUJAN, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Realtor and Latin American Business Council Co-founder

WILMA’s Women to Watch Awards finalist: Business

“WILMA is a known connector and uplifter of women – not in a cheesy, superficial way but through intentionally thoughtful interactions and programming. Because WILMA is a trusted curator of leadership development, I have been able to engage with the organization at every stage of my career for guidance, support, and an opportunity to pour into others seeking the same.”

-ELIZABETH FORTE, Transcultural Health Manager, Novant Health NHRMC

Leadership Institute alum, mentoring program participant and mentor to a Future Leader teen, runs in the WILMA Dash 5K, Leadership Accelerator speaker

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To view more of photographer Allison Joyce’s work, go to allisonjoyce.com.

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Categories: Features