How To Get Involved

Are you a Woman to Watch? Do you want to take on greater leadership roles in your profession and community? Or do you want to help women in your organization reach their full leadership potential?

If so, here are several ways to plug into the WILMA Women to Watch Leadership Initiative:

Keep up with opportunities – Each month, WILMA magazine includes information about leadership opportunities in the community as well as profiles about other successful women.

Mentoring – Up-and-coming women in the community will be matched with women and men mentors to assist with their leadership development. Applications have gone out for the program’s 2017-18 round – those who participated in Women to Watch programs last year were invited to apply. We’ll also hold quarterly group mentoring events open to WILMA readers, whether or not they are part of the formal program.

Attend events – Meet other Wilmington leaders and women interested in furthering their leadership potential at the Women to Watch events throughout the year.

Women to Watch Awards – Nominations for the awards run from June 1 through July 2 and the winners are announced at an awards party in October.  To find out how to submit a nomination and learn about past winners, click here.

Join a networking group – Women to Watch will help women connect with others in a similar industry or area of interest. Women to Watch worked with tekMountain to start the first one, Cape Fear Women in Tech, which launched in July 2015.

Join a board of directors – Women to Watch has partnered with United Way of the Cape Fear Area and UNCW’s QENO to train potential board members and match them with board opportunities based on their skills and interests. Click here to register for the next training, April 5, 2018.  Women who complete the training are eligible to include their board interests information on the Get on Board website — — to help connect with local boards. Area nonprofits, government bodies and businesses with boards of directors are encouraged to also post their information on the site about their board service and applications process.

Keep up with local leadership coverage – Branded Women to Watch stories, including profiling local women leaders, featuring up-and-coming women in the community, delving into opportunities and obstacles to women assuming more leadership roles, and highlighting relevant events and initiatives appears in the monthly print publication, its WILMA Weekly email newsletter, and on its website.

Apply for the WILMA Leadership Institute – The Leadership Institute selects a group annually to go through in-depth leadership training, serve as a peer advisory board for each other, and interact with experienced executives in the area. The group meets once a month in the nine-month training program for half-day sessions.

Join the WILMA Network – Women to Watch sponsors receive additional access to women executives and business owners, invitations to private events and recognition in WILMA’s magazine and website (click here for a directory). For more information, contact 343-8600, ext. 203, or click here.

Advisory Board –  WILMA’s Leadership Initiative has an advisory board that meets quarterly to provide feedback about ongoing programs and ideas for how to best expand the content. The Women to Watch ‘think tank” or “brain trust” is made up of a range of women, from executives at some of the area’s largest employers to small business owners. All are extremely busy and we appreciate the input they bring to what we’re trying to accomplish.

The Women to Watch Advisory Board:

Wanda Coley – VP of Strategy & Execution, United Health Care
Donna Esteves – Americas Regional Supply Chain Manager, Corning Incorporated
Chrissy Hoskins – Regional Sales Manager, Well Care Health
Kristy Hubard – Chief Strategy Officer, Novant Health NHRMC
Alexis Hunter – Community Liaison, Wilmington Health
Kendall Hurt – Owner, Meadowlark
Lily Loizeaux – HR Leader, GE Hitachi
Ruth Ravitz Smith – President, RR Smith Strategic Solutions, LLC
Justine Reel – Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, UNCW – College of Health & Human Services
Deloris Rhodes – Retired Educator
Kelly Schaudt – Practice Transformation Specialist, Aledade
Sheri Shaw – Assistant Dean for Student Success, UNCW – College of Health & Human Services
Debbie Warwick – EVP-Women-Owned Business Lending, Live Oak Bank
Karen Weaver – Client Advisor, PNC Wealth Management, PNC Bank

Tell us your ideas – As we work on getting our next Leadership Institute programs off the ground, we’re interested in hearing what you think would be helpful in helping you achieve your leadership goals. Take our survey here to share your input.

If you have questions or for more information on the various programs, click here, or email Vicky Janowski and Maggi Apel, co-directors of the Leadership Initiative, at