The Whirl: WINnovation 2022

On September 16, WALTER hosted speakers Zena Howard, Jaki Shelton Green, Anita Watkins and Valerie Hillings to discuss female leadership.
photography by Maddy Gray

WINnovation speakers Zena Howard, Jaki Shelton Green, Anita Watkins and Valerie Hillings.

On September 16, WALTER hosted WINnovation at The Umstead Hotel & Spa. This annual event, now in its eighth year, celebrates local female leadership and the themes of innovation, diversity and mentorship through storytelling.

The evening kicked off with guests attending workshops on professional and personal development. They were led by Kristine Sloan, executive director of Leadership Triangle, Sarah Glova, CEO of Reify Media, and Sharon Delaney McCLoud, director of corporate communications at UNC Health.  Guests then enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks on the terrace outside before sitting down for a three-course dinner in the ballroom. During dinner, each of the WINnovation speakers delivered their talks.

Sharon Delaney McCloud

Architect Zena Howard, principal and global cultural and civic practice chair at Perkins&Will, spoke about harnessing the power of history and place through her work. North Carolina Museum of Art director and CEO Valerie Hillings spoke about rising through the curatorial ranks to manage and reimagine The People’s Collection.

Rex Health Ventures managing director Anita Watkins spoke about her pivot from government relations to venture capitalism, an industry where women are underrepresented and underfunded. And North Carolina poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green told the story of a talisman that has been passed through her family for generations, and how it relates to her call to give voice to her people and bring poetry to those with limited access to the arts. The panel discussion touched on the balance between obligations of work and family, and the responsibility of women to lift up other women. Guests left feeling inspired and energized.

The evening would not have been possible without our partner Bank of America, sponsor Diamonds Direct and workshop sponsors UNC Health, Wegmans and Duke Fuqua School of Business. Thank you also to our table sponsors, Women Business Owners Network of the Triangle, Truist Wealth, City of Raleigh, The Tiffany Circle at American Red Cross, Hutchison Law and Designed for Joy. We appreciate your support! 

Sarah Glova
Patrcia Sasser
Kristen Sloan
Guests on the terrace at The Umstead Hotel & Spa
Lee Whitener, Destiny Crossingham, Misha Lazarra, Cyndi Hall, Brennan Moore, Christina Ritter
Katlyn Bronzalez, Camille Kauer
Carolyn McCoy, Ryan Johnston
Krista Covey, Candace Minjares
Wendy Artis, Elizabeth Cantino, Felicia Woodard, India Miles Prather, Alexanderia Moore

Julia Craig, Allison Jackson, Alistar Erickson-Ludwig
Karen Howell, Anna Beavon Gravely

Lisa Scott, Kimberly Williams
Jessica Bossiere, Cynthia Rowe, Amy Carroll

Maddy Mize, Katie Brown, Shital Vyas, Kathy Brown

Jennifer Fox, Cristina Leos, Sierra Anderson
Virginia Parker, Valerie HIllings, Kari Stoltz
Ayn-Monique Klahre, Jaki Shelton Green, Zena Howard, Anita Watkins, Valerie Hillings
Majela Fonseca
Colony Little

This article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of WALTER magazine.