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WEDC Foundation unveils 2024 Women Honoring Women

2024 Women Honoring Women
2024 Women Honoring Women

by Sarah Zupko Cover Image: Steve Babin

The WEDC Foundation (WEDCF) held an Honoree Reception on the evening of April 23 at the Redstone Federal Credit Union Twickenham Terrace, an indoor-outdoor venue with views of downtown Huntsville. 

“This invitation-only reception is a preliminary event leading up to the WEDC Foundation’s Women Honoring Women (WHW) event on September 19th, 2024,” explained Carla Stiles, marketing strategist for WHW and owner of Designedbycarla

The WEDC Foundation was created in 1998 by the Women’s Economic Development Council. The WEDCF strives to empower women in North Alabama by providing mentoring, professional development opportunities, and scholarships. 

Jennifer Linton, Executive Director of WEDCF, related the magnitude of these scholarships, which are awarded to local recipients.

“The impact of the WEDC Foundation is easy to see,” said Linton. “In 26 years, it has empowered close to 200 women scholars and provided over $770,000 in flexible financial assistance.”

Lauren Smith, a lawyer at Leidos, serves on the board of the WEDC Foundation and is the 2024 WHW Chair. Smith reflected on the first WHW event that she attended, in 2016. 

“I was totally and completely blown away,” said Smith. “I had recently returned to practicing law after being out of work for about two years to have my second baby and I still felt like I was finding my way. I felt like I could tangibly feel the power in the room. The overwhelming encouragement and support that I felt was unlike anything I had experienced before and I left the event feeling like I could accomplish anything. I know that a lot of you know what I mean.”

Smith determined that evening that she wanted to be a part of the organization, and to support their mission of championing women. Smith was, and continues to be, moved by the various expressions of success found at WHW events.

“Women Honoring Women serves as a reminder to all of us, as a community, that success takes all kinds of forms. It’s different industries, different backgrounds, different paths. Women Honoring Women shows our scholars that their success can be as unique as they are,” said Smith. “As you meet our Honorees tonight, you will see that they represent those different versions of success. But I know that you’ll agree with me that each one is remarkable in their own unique way.” 

Lauren Smith and Jennifer Linton announced the 2024 WHW Honorees: KC Bertling, Ruchi Gupta Singhal, Michelle Novosel, JoAnn Perez, and Ina Wilson Smith. 

“I am speechless as an honoree among the elite women in our communities.  I am usually not speechless, but for this honor, I am. At an early age, I wanted to become an American because of the exceptionalism of Americans. America has accepted me, an immigrant who had always dreamed of becoming an American. Moreover, allowing me to serve in communities alongside many patriots is truly living the American Dream,” KC Bertling told the Huntsville Business Journal in an interview.

Guests at September’s WHW fundraising gala will have the opportunity to hear from each of these five remarkable women. The fall fundraising event financially supports WEDCF and its scholars throughout the year. It also allows WEDCF scholars the opportunity to meet, and be inspired by, extraordinary women in the community. 

Learn more about the WEDC Foundation, the 2024 WHW Honorees, and sponsorship opportunities for September’s gala at Original article: Huntsville Business Journal


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