The Whirl: WINnovation 2023

On Sept. 15, WALTER hosted the ninth annual WINnovation at The Umstead Hotel & Spa to celebrate female leadership through storytelling.

Ayn-Monique Klahre, Debra Austin,Kathryn Shah, Janet Cowell, Preeti Waas

The evening kicked off with workshops on professional development led by Danielle Galmore of Touchpoint Wines, Chasta Hamilton, and Melissa Carrier and Elizabeth Benefield of Radiate Works. 

During cocktail hour, guests were able to take head shots with photographer Terrence Jones or have their resume reviewed by representatives from Duke Fuqua School of Business.

The WINnovation speakers delivered their talks during a three-course dinner in the ballroom. Dix Park Conservancy president and CEO Janet Cowell  talked about a career where she was often the only woman in the room. James Beard Award nomintated chef Preeti Waas, owner of Cheeni Indian Food Emporium, discussed building her business.

Debra Austin, ballet master at Carolina Ballet, spoke about being the first African American dancer for the New York City Ballet. Kathryn Shah explained how a cancer diagnosis shifted her off a high-test career track and led to founding Spring & Mulberry.

Thank you to our partner Bank of America, sponsor Diamonds Direct and workshop sponsors Wegmans and Duke Fuqua School of Business, as well as table sponsors Women Business Owners Network of the Triangle, North State Bank, Blue Water Spa, City of Raleigh, Great Outdoor Provision Company, Closets by Design, Dix Park Conservancy and Hutchison Law.

Tamara Bullock, Virginia Parker, Liz Pechiney, Tanya Mitchell-Allen, Wendy Artis, Alex Moore, India Miles Prather, Jenna Johnson, Kari Stoltz, Leigh Kempf, Liz Cantino, Sarah Williams, Faye Hilpert, Rebecca Weiss, Susan Batchelor, Kecia Atkins, Lee Whitener
Sarah Bell, Brooks Bell, Marin Boieru 
Kari Stoltz, Ayn-Monique Klahre
Nakya Carter
Ayn-Monique Klahre with panelists Janet Cowell, Preeti Waas, Debra Austin, Kathryn Shah
Susan Murphy
Donna Sylver, Janet Cowell, Sepi Saidi
June Sadaowski, Sabrina Sells, Tara Lau
Rachel McGinnis, Bryn Nicholson
Jenny Bonchak, Michelle Egger
Kay Taylor, Debbie Robbins

This article originally appeared in the November 2023 issue of WALTER magazine.