Drum roll, please….
We’re honored to reveal the 2020 WomanUP award nominees. This list represents outstanding business women who excel in their work, serve as strong role models and display commitment to the Asheville/Buncombe community. Our congratulations to all of them on their nominations!
Awards will be presented at the WomanUP Award Celebration and Award Ceremony on Jan. 28th, along with keynote by Mirna Valerio. Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator, cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, and author of the Amazon bestselling memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress.
We’ll also hear thoughts and experiences from women leaders:
WomanUP award nominees
Aisha Adams, Aisha Adams Media Group & Lenoir-Rhyne University
Becky Anderson, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Lindsey Barr, Blue Ridge Hiking Company
Taylor Bell, Colton Groome & Company
Kaye Bentley, Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
Leslie Blaylock, Lakeview Putt and Play, LLC
Miranda Bowman, Asheville Outlets
Dixie Brown, Willow Place for Women
Katie Button, Katie Button Restaurants
Barbara Chambers, Mercy Urgent Care
Dawn Chavez, Asheville Greenworks
Janet R. Cone, UNC Asheville
Katie Cornwell, Hulsey Media
Hadley Cropp, Asheville Realty Group
Jennifer Currier, Wicked Weed Brewing
Clara Curtis, The North Carolina Arboretum / The North Carolina Arboretum Society
Marielle DeJong, Friends of the Smokies
Aimee Diaz, Diaz Restaurant Group
Maggye Diaz, Twin Field Flowers
McKenzie Dillingham, MG Dillingham Construction
Caroline Dockery, Morsel Cookie Company
Rachel Dudasik, Wicked Weed Brewing Company
Aleece Fosnight, Fosnight Center for Sexual Health
Gabriel Guyton, Verner Center for Early Learning
Stacia Harris, Buncombe County Schools
Stephanie Hickling Beckman, Different Strokes Preforming Arts Collective
Felicia Hipp, MAHEC
Heather Johnson, Kudzu Brands
Courtney King, Hi-Wire Brewing
Daphne Kirkwood, idaph
Melissa Leavell, Ingles Supermarkets
Rayna Lintin, Virtelle Hospitality LLC
Marianne Martinez, Vecinos Farmworker Health Program
Linda McDaniel, Arc of Buncombe County
Joseline Mielke, Urban Orchard Cider Company
Sydney Monshaw, Asheville Habitat for Humanity
Lauren Moody, Fox and Beaux LLC
Stephanie Moore, Center for Craft
Pamela Myers, Asheville Art Museum
Celia Naranjo, Asheville Goods
Harli Palme, Parsec Financial
Jael Rattigan, French Broad Chocolates
Andrea Robel, Vistanet Telecommunications
Monica Rousseau, Realty ONE Group Pivot
Carolyn Roy, Biscuit Head
Vanessa Salomo, Chestnut & Corner Kitchen
Shaunda Sandford, Housing Authority City of Asheville
Sadrah Schadel, No Evil Foods
Miriam Schwarz, Western Carolina Medical Society
Carolina Sweeney, The Sherwin Williams Company
Meredith Switzer, Homeward Bound
Rosario Villarreal, YMCA of Western North Carolina
Anna Walz, Everyday Health Professional
Carolyn Ward, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
Rita Watson, Gaia Herbs
Rhonda Woodbery, Worley, Woodbery & Associates
About the Awards:
Woman Entrepreneur Award
This award, sponsored by Webb Investment Services, recognizes a woman who demonstrates the transformation of her dream into the reality of a product or service and who exhibits the traits of an entrepreneur.
Woman Executive of the Year
Sponsored by MAHEC, this award recognizes a woman who has distinguished herself in her workplace, her profession, and her community. The recipient epitomizes the spirit of the WomanUP initiative by utilizing her abilities to develop or improve a program or service that significantly advances women in the corporate workplace.
Outstanding Woman Nonprofit Leader
Sponsored by TD Bank, this award recognizes a woman who has distinguished herself in her non-profit organization, her profession, and her community. The recipient epitomizes the spirit of the WomanUP initiative by utilizing her abilities to develop or improve a program or service that significantly advances women in the non-profit workplace.
Rising Star Award
Sponsored by Western Carolina University, this award recognizes a young woman under the age of 35 who has distinguished herself as a leader and role model to other young women.
Suzanne DeFerie Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsored by First Bank, the Suzanne DeFerie Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a woman who has distinguished herself in business over a lifetime. The recipient epitomizes the spirit of the WomanUP initiative by demonstrating excellence and leadership in business throughout her career and by serving as a mentor and role model for women of all ages.
First Bank sponsors this award in honor of Suzanne DeFerie. Throughout her 40-year career in the financial services industry, Suzanne was a trail blazer, breaking barriers in her industry, providing both organizational and community leadership and mentoring to other women.