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WILMA’s Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders

Thank you for joining us for WILMA’s annual WILMA Leadership Accelerator, Wilmington’s leadership and career development conference for women!

This year we celebrated WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative’s five-year anniversary. In normal times, we’d hold our half-day women’s conference at the Wilmington Convention Center in July. Since these aren’t normal times, we had to adjust!

For the entire month of June we held an online version of the annual event by showcasing five different leadership discussions throughout the month with women who have been involved with our initiative over the past five years. 

This forum is for Wilmington’s top female executives, entrepreneurs, up-and-coming leaders and others intent on advancing their careers.

See below for the full virtual workshop schedule.


The entire month of June on Mondays at 10:30 a.m.


Streaming virtually

All workshops are available for free.

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Virtual Workshops

June 1 – Mentoring Connections

We kick off this year’s Accelerator workshops with a first-hand look into how to surround yourself with the right people to set yourself up for success. 

  • Donna Esteves, North America Regional Supply Chain Manager (Corning Optical Communications)
  • Melissa Phillippi, President & Co-Founder (Performance Culture)

June 8 – A Conversation About Race

Discussion on race in our country and community, communicating with each other and what happens next

  • Velva Jenkins, YWCA Lower Cape Fear CEO
  • Tracey Newkirk, African American Business Council Chair and Genesis Block Co-Founder
  • Lily Nicole, Wilmington School of the Arts Chair (Click here for a WECT interview with Nicole, who has been active in the daily protests at City Hall)

June 15 – Owning It

Tune in this week for our interactive virtual workshop with three local small business owners. We’ll be streaming live on WILMA’s Facebook page to hear specific advice for navigating small business issues and we want to hear from you! This workshop will be set up Q&A style, so get all of your questions answered in real time by joining us on Facebook Live.

  • Catherine Hawksworth, Owner (Modern Legend)
  • Kendall Hurt, Owner (Meadowlark)
  • Tammy Benson, General Manager (Advanced Marketing International)

June 22 – Boss Up

Sit down with our panel on Monday, June 22 as we talk all things leadership. Learn about how their journey to becoming influential and intentional leaders has led them to the positions they are in today and the different life lessons they’ve learned along the way.

  • Robbin Williams, Indirect Sourcing Governance Operations Leader, (GE)
  • Sheri Shaw, Assistant Dean for Student Success (UNCW)
  • Katelyn Mattox, Program Director (NourishNC)

June 29 – Changing the Score

We sit down with Coach Barefoot to share her lessons in leadership as she talks about how to inspire teams and yourself, especially though difficult times.

  • Karen Barefoot, Women’s Basketball Coach (UNCW)

Register for the 2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders

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