YWCA Greater Charleston announces inaugural event for women professionals – May 9

March 28, 2018

On Wednesday, May 9, YWCA Greater Charleston will put on the first annual What Women Bring event for women professionals.

An awards luncheon and Oprah-style panel discussion of top women leaders rolled into one, the event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston.

WCBD News 2 television anchor Octavia Mitchell will emcee the event, and honorary chair Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, will moderate the panel.

The luncheon will recognize women leaders across South Carolina who are breaking barriers in ten different industries. The honorees will form a panel to field questions from the audience in a candid and conversational setting. Mitchell will rove the audience throughout the event for attendees’ reactions to the discussion. Topics are expected to include gender bias and the glass ceiling, the most admired women leaders, negotiating for equal pay, and battling imposter syndrome.

The 2018 What Women Bring honorees are:

  • Business: Mary Beth Westmoreland, chief technology officer, Blackbaud
  • Education: LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon, owner, Engineering for Kids
  • Entrepreneurship: Carolyn Hunter, president, C&A Unlimited, Inc.
  • Government: The Honorable Mia McLeod, South Carolina Senate
  • Healthcare: Reshma Khan, M.D., founder and executive director, Shifa Free Clinic
  • Hospitality: Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves, founders and owners, The Cocktail Bandits
  • Media: Carolyn Murray, television anchor, WCBD News 2
  • Nonprofits: Patricia Williams Lessane, PhD, executive director, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
  • Professional Services: Mary Jo Romeo, co-founder and executive coach, UP Business Communications and Own the Room
  • The Arts: Maribel Acosta Gonzalez, founder and executive director, ArtPot Multicultural Center

Tickets are on sale now for $55 each, and include a complimentary YWCA Greater Charleston membership good for one year, a $50 value. Attendees should register at wwb.splashthat.com.



For 110 years, YWCA Greater Charleston has served women, children, and families in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties in its mission to empower women and eliminate racism. By engaging area residents and organizations, it seeks to create opportunities for the personal growth, leadership, and economic development of women and people of color in order to attain justice, freedom, and dignity for all people. It is a longstanding local association of YWCA USA, one of the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organizations in the United States. For over 150 years, YWCA USA has been at the forefront of most social movements—from civil rights, affordable housing, and pay equity to domestic violence prevention and healthcare reform. For more information, visit ywca-charlestonsc.org.