YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley | Special Events

Tribute to Women

37th Annual YWCA Tribute to Women GALA

East Tennessee’s foremost celebration honoring women, YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley’s 37th Annual Tribute to Women will be held on Thursday, October 6 at The Mill & Mine in downtown Knoxville.

New this year! We are making some exciting updates to the format of our Tribute to Women ceremony. For the first time ever, Tribute to Women will be a formal gala event. Here's what you need to know:

▸ 5:30 p.m.: Cocktail Reception

▸ 6:30 p.m.: Dinner and award ceremony

▸ Ticket price: $150 per person, Table of 8 for $1,200

▸ Dress Code: cocktail or semi-formal attire

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

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of this year's outstanding finalists and honorees in each of the seven categories: arts and culture; business and industry; community enhancement; education; emerging leader; racial and social justice; and science, technology, and environment.

Enjoy a cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres, beer, and wine followed by an elegant, sit-down dinner while enjoying The Mill & Mine, a state-of-the-art venue nestled in historic downtown.

If interested in learning more about sponsoring this years Tribute to Women Gala, more information on sponsor benefits and packages can be found here!

For any questions regarding sponsorship or event details, contact Communications Specialist, Ally Slavick, at aslavick@ywcaknox.com or 865-523-6126.

2022 Tribute to Women Finalists

Becky Hancock
Arts and Culture Finalist

Becky Hancock is the executive director of the Tennessee Theatre. Her role demands overall strategic and operational responsibility for the theater, its staff, programs and mission.

Felecia Outsey
Arts and Culture Finalist

Felecia Outsey is a producer and artist developer at Divine Urban eXpressions Cultural Arts N Dance Productions. She leads a monthly "Love is the Answer" to provide youth and families impacted by trauma and violence with a creative outlet for expression.

Rose Weaver
Arts and Culture Finalist

Rose Weaver is a preschool teacher at Blossom Center for Childhood Excellence who leads through the arts. Finding the value in artistic self-expression, she engages youth to express themselves creatively.

Ali Fraley
Business and Industry Finalist

Ali Fraley is the vice president of learning and development at Axle Logistics. She oversees and drives continuous growth through organizational development.

Adrienne Simpson-Brown
Business and Industry Finalist

Adrienne Simpson-Brown is the first Black female Chief U.S. Probation Officer of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. She oversees a staff of 83 employees, including probation officers and administrative staff.

Alexa Sponcia
Business and Industry Finalist

Alexa Sponcia is the owner of Hard Knox Pizza. She acquired the restaurant in 2014 and has grown what used to be a 1,200-square-foot space into three locations.

Dr. Kimberly Fortner
Community Enhancement Finalist

Dr. Kimberly Fortner is the vice president of the Center for Women and Infants at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. She's also a professor in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Graduate School of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where she serves as division director of maternal-fetal medicine and vice chair of obstetrics quality and service.

Catalina "Lina" Kornmeyer Evans
Community Enhancement Finalist

Catalina "Lina" Kornmeyer Evans is a senior executive at Bank of America. Her passion for the community can be seen through her extensive local nonprofit engagement and mentorship of others.

Tiffani Mensch
Community Enhancement Finalist

Tiffani Mensch is chief capacity building officer for the United Way of Greater Knoxville and leads the Alliance for Better Nonprofits. In 2022, she piloted an initiative that was selected to receive a $25 million state grant.

Arléne Amarante
Education Finalist

Arléne Amarante is an assistant professor of law at Lincoln Memorial University, where she teaches legal writing, immigration law, asylum and refugee law and critical race theory. She also has worked as an attorney representing asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors in deportation proceedings.

Allison Comer
Education Finalist

Allison Comer is the executive director at Muse Knoxville. Her professional background includes work in elementary public education as a visual art educator, teacher effectiveness coach, curriculum developer and administrator.

Rukiya Foster
Education Finalist

Rukiya Foster is the assistant principal at Austin-East Magnet High School. She takes advantage of every opportunity to shape, encourage and influence students' lives.

Abby Ham
Emerging Leader Finalist

Abby Ham is a morning news anchor at WBIR. She anchors 10 News Today starting at 5 a.m., serves as a leader in the newsroom, and reports stories about the people of East Tennessee.

Mariam Husain
Emerging Leader Finalist

Mariam Husain is a community grower. She is a Palestinian-American who is deeply committed to helping build strong and safe communities in which people care for each other and promote safety.

Crystal Ivey
Emerging Leader Finalist

Crystal Ivey is a broadband program specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications Information Administration. Her work supports the "internet for all" initiative to connect everyone in America with affordable, reliable high-speed internet.

Angela Dennis
Racial and Social Justice Finalist

Angela Dennis is a social justice, race and equity reporter at Knox News. She has played a pivotal role in covering news and important issues within the Black communities of Knoxville at the intersection of historical and contemporary lenses.

Cynthia Finch
Racial and Social Justice Finalist

Cynthia Finch is the founder and president of New Direction Health Care Solutions. She coordinated vaccine clinics in Knoxville's Black communities that led to the administration of more than 4,000 vaccines.

Margo Miller
Racial and Social Justice Finalist

Margo Miller is the executive director of Appalachian Community Fund. In this nonprofit grantmaking organization, she has helped leverage millions of dollars to support social justice work in Central Appalachia.

Kathleen Gibi
Science, Technology, and Environment Finalist

Kathleen Gibi is the executive director of Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful. She has orchestrated infrastructure projects to improve our river’s health, including installing 800 art-wrapped cigarette receptacles.

Layla Marshall
Science, Technology, and Environment Finalist

Layla Marshall is an engineer in the enrichment science and engineering division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She designs, programs and validates advanced control system architectures, primarily supporting research in stable isotope production.

Rose Montgomery
Science, Technology, and Environment Finalist

Rose Montgomery is a leading researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She performs research on used nuclear fuel storage and disposal. Her innovative methods have advanced the country’s understanding of fuel performance in disposal and storage conditions.

Thank You to Our 2022 Sponsors
Thank you to our generous partners for supporting YWCA’s 37th Annual Tribute to Women Awards:

Presenting Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Maureen Dunn McBride

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors for their year-long commitment: