Annual reception recognizes outstanding female leaders

Annual reception recognizes outstanding female leaders
March 26
00:00 2015

It was all about five women and their collective body of works to their city and communities on Monday night, March 23..

Winston-Salem held its 12th annual 2015 Outstanding Women Leaders reception in the Committee Room of the City Hall building.

The event, founded by Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke in 2003, is designed to recognize women who are working diligently in their communities, in all aspects, to make a difference and increase the standard of living in the city.

“I reflected back to when we first started. I can say thanks to Visit Winston-Salem. I went to him (the director) and said ‘we have so many women who are doing things. Women who are businesswomen,  head of their organizations and women who work so hard in their communities in civic and civic activities. We need to stop and say thank you,” Burke said. “Congratulations to all of you. May you continue to be the people who make a difference in this community. Continue to carry the torch high for women.”

More than 100 women have been honored for their leadership in the business, nonprofit and community sector since the reception’s inception.

This year’s honorees are: Judge Camille Banks-Payne; Christy Respess, CEO of YWCA; Daisy Rodriguez, director of Childhood Hunger Programs at Second Harvest Food Bank; Patrice Toney, budget and management analyst for Forsyth County; and Carrie Vickery, attorney at Holton Law Firm.

Payne, a judge in Forsyth County’s District courts, said that she has always wanted to be an attorney.

“I’m honored by this. I was not expecting this. Winston-Salem is home for me, it’s my hometown, and I have a vested interest in Winston-Salem flourishing,” she said. “I really do love what I do. They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, and that’s really how I feel about my service as a District Court judge.”

Rodriguez, who was there with her son Nicholas and his girlfriend, said that she was humbled by the recognition. “This is my home. Nineteen years ago I moved here, and I didn’t know what a wonderful community this was going to be,” Rodriguez said. “It’s made me who I am today, and I give because it gives back to me each and everyday.”

Vickery, who received an award from the Chronicle in 2013 for donating her kidney to a fellow lawyer, said that the event reminded her of the Super Bowl.

“Being up here with all these wonderful women makes me think of the Run Like A Girl commercial,” she said. “Look what women can do.”

City Manager Lee Garrity said that the event is one of a kind. “We have recognized many outstanding women in the community. It’s a who’s who of leaders in the community who have really done a lot for the town and the county,” he said. “It’s always good to step back and recognize the women in this community who really are the backbone of the community.”Council member Denise D. Adams recognized honorees, and Dana Suggs, owner of Body and Soul Gift Shop, presented gifts.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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