The annual Women to Watch Awards spotlight regional women who are the movers-and-shakers, the disruptors, the inspirations for successes to come. The awards program launched in 2012.

2023 applications/nominations closed May 3, 2023. Finalists will be notified in mid-May and and announced publicly at the end of the month.

The winners are announced at an awards party in September.

WILMA’s Women to Watch Awards spotlights regional women who are the movers-and-shakers in our region.

Click here for the list of our 2022 finalists!

Historically, WILMA receives more than 200 nominations and applications each year in seven categories: Arts, Education, Health, Business, Public Sector, Nonprofit/Volunteer, and Rising Star (The Rising Star category is for women under the age of 30).

The Judging Process: An outside panel of judges made up of WILMA’s Advisory Board and other local leaders, read through the applications and nominations and them pick the finalist and winners in each category.

Eligibility: The awards are open to those who live or work in New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties. You can nominate yourself or someone else – just fill out the application below. (Note: All categories are open to women of all ages with the exception of Rising Stars, which is limited to women under 30 years of age.)

Thirty-five women are selected as finalists each year. Finalists are featured in the October issue of WILMA and recognized at an evening celebration event during the same month. The seven category winners are also announced at the event.  To learn more and to reserve a seat visit

Meet the 2022 Women to Watch Finalists:


  • Mahlaynee Cooper– Director & Poet, Speak Ya Peace, LLC
  • Sayantani Dasgupta– Assistant Professor, UNCW Creative Writing Department
  • Angela Fernot– Artist, Art of Angela
  • Jeri Greenberg– Artist, Jeri Greenberg Art
  • Donna Launey– Owner & Artist, Gallery Citrine


  • Constance Foreman– Founder, Beyond Clinic Walls Wellness/MD, Novant Health New Hanover County Family Medicine
  • Isabela Lujan– Realtor & Owner, Casa de Oro Property Group by Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage/Co-Founder, Latin American Business Council
  • Zoë Mathews– Owner, Code Ninjas
  • Myra McDuffie– Owner, MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs
  • Mallorie Moore– Director of Client Development, Dualboot Partners


  • Schala Harper– Special Education Resource Teacher, New Hanover County Schools
  • April Query– Assistant Vice President of College Access & Community Outreach, College Foundation of North Carolina
  • Dana Stachowiak– Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies & Director of UNCW Gender Studies & Research Center, UNCW
  • Logan Thompson– Director of Advancement, Cape Fear Community College Foundation
  • Tiffany D. Tucker– Deputy Director of Athletics & Senior Woman Administrator, UNCW Athletics


  • Kendra Bentley– Doula & Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Port City Milk Fairy & Kendra the Doula
  • Jennifer Nomides– President & Co-Founder, Coastal Direct Health & Wellness
  • Christina Terry– Owner, Manager & Physical Therapist, Healthy Seniors Physical Therapy & Wellness
  • Gina Warren– Forensic Interviewer & Therapist, The Carousel Center
  • Courtney Wilson– Co-Founder & Co-Owner, ComfyChemo


  • Laura Bullock– Directory of Community Engagement, Vigilant Hope
  • Gabriella De Souza–Executive Director, Friends of Wilmington Skateparks/Biology & Technology Teacher, Cape Fear Academy
  • Ashanti Gibbs Hines– Program Director, StepUp Wilmington
  • Catherine McDowell– Executive Director, Roots of Recovery
  • Kathryn Polk– Executive Director, Global Connections

Public Service:

  • Marimer McKenzie– Diversity & Equity Outreach Specialist, NHC Office of Diversity & Equity
  • Erin McNally– Marketing, Air Service Development & PR Manager, Wilmington International Airport
  • Jennifer Price– Corporal, Oak Island Police Department
  • Racheal Prosise– Virtual Service Outreach Coordinator, NHC Senior Resource Center
  • Sydni Starnes– Detective, NHC Sheriff’s Office

Rising Star:

  • Briana Carr– Business Owner & Clinical Social Worker, Serenity Healing Solutions, PLLC
  • Sarah DeSilva– Lead Engineer-Materials Science & Engineering, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
  • Alexis Raeana Jones– Owner & CEO, Alexis Raeana, LLC
  • Cailey Rash– Founder, Birth & Postpartum Doula & Childbirth Educator, Babycakes Birth Services, LLC
  • Mayra Robles– Program Coordinator, UNCW Centro Hispano

Click here to read more about the 2021 winners!

Categories: Women to Watch, Women to Watch Award Winners