Thank you to all who joined us for the YWCA’s 35th Annual Tribute to Women!  Learn more about the 2019 finalists and honorees below.

This annual event recognizes women who exemplify the mission of the YWCA: empowering womeneliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Mark your calendars and be sure to join us in 2020!

When: Thursday, September 10, 2020
Where: Celebratory reception at Club LeConte and awards ceremony at the Historic Bijou Theatre

Thank you to our generous 2019 sponsors for your support:

Presenting Sponsor

Home Federal Bank

Platinum Sponsors

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Regal Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Randy McNally, TeamHealth, and University of Tennessee

Meet the 2019 Finalists & Honorees

Jean Burkhart
Arts and Culture Finalist

Jean Burkhart is the director of choral activities and a vocal-music teacher at Seymour High School. She serves as a mentor to student teachers from UT and Carson-Newman College.

Kathy Hart
Arts and Culture Finalist

Kathy Hart is conductor-manager and teacher for the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association. She has been teaching string methods at the UT School of Music for 19 years.  

Ellie Kittrell
Arts and Culture Honoree

Ellie Kittrell is the executive director of Muse Knoxville. Kittrell is an advocate for helping children find creative and educational outlets.

Monique Anderson
Business and Industry Finalist

Monique Anderson is the associate dean and university registrar for the University of Tennessee. She is responsible for academic records, catalog and other registration services.

Dr. Jennifer Ladd-Lively
Business and Industry Honoree

Dr. Jennifer Ladd-Lively is a senior research and development staffer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She leads the electrical systems engineering and integration group. 

Janet Testerman
Business and Industry Finalist

Janet Testerman is the CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. Testerman was formerly manager of internal communication for Scripps Networks Interactive and executive editor of E.W. Scripps' custom publications.

PJ Alexander
Community Enhancement Finalist

PJ Alexander has worked in the mental health field for 28 years in the Knoxville Area.  PJ established the Knoxville Suicide Grievers Support Group in 1996 and has been Chairperson for the Out of the Darkness Community Walks for the past 11 years.

Joshalyn Hundley
Community Enhancement Finalist

Joshalyn Hundley is vice president of community development at First Tennessee Bank. She embodies "system thinking" and emphasizes collaboration and a servant heart. 

Katharine Pearson Criss
Community Enhancement Honoree

Katharine Pearson Criss is a senior fellow at the Center for Rural Strategies. She is the founding executive director of the East Tennessee Foundation and served as representative for the Ford Foundation in Eastern Africa. 

Joan Heminway
Education Finalist

Joan Heminway serves as Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She joined the faculty in 2000 after 15 years of business law practice. 

Missy Parker
Education Finalist

Missy Parker is the director of arts and sciences advising services at the University of Tennessee. She has spent 35 years providing advising to UT undergraduates and is director of the largest advising center at UT. 

Joy Radice
Education Honoree

Joy Radice is an associate professor of law and director of clinical programs at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She was formerly a Skadden Fellow and public defender and has done legal advocacy. 

Elle Benson
Emerging Leader Finalist

Elle Benson is the director of capacity building for the Alliance for Better Nonprofits. She trains, consults, volunteers and advocates across the state in the nonprofit community. 

Claudia Caballero
Emerging Leader Honoree

Claudia Caballero is the executive director for Centro Hispano. She works to show the diversity, intersectionality and economic contributions of the Latino community in East Tennessee.

Erin Gill
Emerging Leader Finalist

Erin Gill is the director of sustainability for the City of Knoxville. She has championed major initiatives like the City's LED streetlight retrofit and the Knoxville Extreme Energy Makeover. 

Meghan Conley
Racial and Social Justice Honoree

Meghan Conley is the director of community partnerships and sociology instructor at the University of Tennessee. She is co-founder and a steering committee member of Allies of Knoxville's Immigrant Neighbors. 

Jacqueline Kittrell
Racial and Social Justice Finalist

Jacqueline Kittrell is the executive director of the Community Mediation Center, which serves Knox County courts, neighborhoods and individuals, mediating more than 700 disputes a year for people of limited means.

Shigeko Uppuluri
Racial and Social Justice Finalist

Shigeko Uppuluri is a community volunteer. She is an ambassador for peace and co-chairs the committee that completed the Peace Pavilion in Bissell Park, where the International Friendship and Peace Bell resides.

Dr. Brenda Pracheil
Science, Technology, and Environment

Dr. Brenda Pracheil is an aquatic ecologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She conducts research on increasing the environmental sustainability of hydropower production and mentors graduate students in scientific research.

Kinga Unocic
Science, Technology, and Environment

Kinga Unocic is a research staff scientist at UT-Battelle. She has been a staff member in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL since 2009. 

Katatra Vasquez
Science, Technology, and Environment Honoree

Katatra Vasquez is an environmental scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy at Oak Ridge. She is the first African American woman to serve as compliance officer for the National Environmental Policy Act.

Thank you to our current sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor:

Platinum Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors:



Silver Sponsors:

Sherri Parker Lee

Honoree Sponsors:

Leadership Knoxville, Class of 2018

Rotary Club of Seymour Breakfast