The Whirl: WINnovation 2021

Cheetie Kumar, Elena Ashburn, Kristen Hess, Ayn-Monique Klahre, Courtney Napier

On September 17, WALTER hosted its seventh annual WINnovation summit, which celebrates female innovation, diversity, and the entrepreneurial spirit. This year, we were happy to be back in person at The Umstead Hotel & Spa, as well as live-streaming to a virtual audience.

The evening kicked off with guests attending workshops on professional and personal development led by Mary Hemphill-Joseph and Julia Wench of The Authenticity Guide and Brooke Markevicius of Allobee. Guests then enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks on the terrace outside before sitting down for a three-course gourmet dinner while hearing local women leaders’ powerful and vulnerable speeches.

Kristen Hess of HH Architecture spoke on taking risks and learning to trust in others, Cheetie Kumar of Garland opened up about embracing the unknown as a restaurant owner in today’s climate, Broughton High School principal Elena Asburn inspired us to be more accepting and encouraging of working women, and Courtney Napier invited us all to consider our role in our shared story. The panel discussion that closed the event was passionate and inspiring, and guests were left full of delicious food and empowering ideas. Guests enjoyed the candid discussions and left the evening feeling inspired in all facets of their lives.

Thank you to our virtual presenting partner Bank of America, supporting sponsor Diamonds Direct, and workshop sponsors Specialists in Plastic Surgery and Design Lines Signature for making the event possible.