YWCA Richmond announces 2024 Class of Outstanding Women Awards honorees

Free Press Managing Editor Bonnie Newman Davis among this year’s recipients

Free Press staff report | 2/22/2024, 6 p.m.
For more than 40 years, YWCA Richmond has recognized accomplished women leaders in the Richmond community who one LinkedIn article ...

For more than 40 years, YWCA Richmond has recognized accomplished women leaders in the Richmond community who one LinkedIn article described as “modeling resilience, empowering their teams to embrace change, learning from failures and persisting in the face of adversity.”

The YWCA Richmond recently announced eight women who have been selected as the 44th Outstanding Women Awards honorees in eight different categories.

Business – Maria Tedesco was named president of Atlantic Union Bank in 2018, and, in 2022, she became chief operating officer. She is the bank’s first female president and COO in its more than 120-year history.

Ms. Tedesco has received numerous accolades and has served as a mentor to other women throughout her career. Most recently, she was named Virginia’s Leading Women in 2021, and in 2022, she was named the winner of the RVA Power Women. Ms. Tedesco founded the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) Employee Resource Group in 2020, actively supporting hundreds since its inception. WIN’s mission is to foster a culture of inclusivity, visibility and empowerment in which all women can achieve their professional goals.

Education – Sandra Gioia Treadway recently retired as the Librarian of Virginia following 45 years with the agency. Under her leadership, the Library has become a trusted and essential resource to a large and complex constituency of elected leaders, public librarians, authors and researchers alike.

Dr. Treadway’s career has focused on increasing access to the Library’s vast collections and highlighting the contributions of the often overlooked in our history, particularly the experiences of Virginia women. She has served on the Virginia Women’s Monument Commission and is the co-editor of Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times.

Human Relations & Faith in Action – Amy Strite is the current executive director at Senior Connections and has served as CEO of Voices for Virginia’s Children and Family Lifeline.

A licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Strite’s work in service to Richmond’s under-resourced communities and deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion spans 34 years. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, including Smart Beginnings RVA, the NAMES Project of Central Virginia, and Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.

Health & Science – Amy Popovich is the nurse manager of the Richmond/Henrico Health District (RHHD) and serves as a go-to public health leader in the Richmond region, ensuring the efforts of RHHD are equity-driven. She has spent her career inspiring public and private partners to join with RHHD in developing innovative solutions to our region’s issues while driving community engagement and education in Richmond and Henrico’s most vulnerable populations.

Law & Government – Lori Hanky Haas: In 2007, Ms. Haas’ daughter was shot and survived what was at the time America’s deadliest mass shooting at Virginia Tech. In the almost 17 years following the tragedy, Ms. Haas has served as the state director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and its sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, which provided evidence-based research on gun violence efforts nationally, working to drive discussions around gun control legislation at the state level. Ms. Haas currently serves as advocacy manager at the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She also has served on the Virginia State Crime Commission following appointments by two Virginia governors.

Marketing & Media – Bonnie Newman Davis has worked as a journalist for more than 40 years, receiving numerous awards for her work. In addition to her current role as managing editor for the Richmond Free Press, she has trained hundreds of journalism students at several universities in Virginia and North Carolina. Ms. Davis recently published “Truth Tellers: The Power and Presence of Black Women Journalists Since 1960,” sharing the stories of 24 Black women whose journalism careers spanned the last 40 years of the 20th century.

Nonprofit Management – Kelly King Horne: Ms. Horne has been the executive director of Homeward, the coordinating and planning agency for the Richmond region’s collaborative networks of homeless service providers for the last 15 years. She is recognized as a national leader in the homeless services sector. Under her leadership, Homeward was one of the first in the country to adopt the Housing First model of resource coordination, now the gold standard in homeless services.

Volunteerism – Eucharia “Ukay” Jackson is a community leader, advocate and professional who is devoted to tackling social issues ranging from education, the arts, diversity and women’s empowerment. She has left a lasting impact within her community by utilizing the extraordinary skills gained through her 20-plus years of experience in sales and marketing with Eli Lilly and Company. She is a gubernatorial appointee on the Board of Trustees for the Science Museum of Virginia and on the Citizens’ Advisory Council on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion. Ms. Jackson also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, the Advisory Board of VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center, and various other organizations.

YWCA Richmond is a 134-year-strong nonprofit organization committed to empowering women, children and their families to live their best lives. YWCA strengthens our community through early childhood education programming, free emergency and ongoing services for survivors of violence, violence prevention education and leadership opportunities for women. If you or a loved one has experienced domestic, intimate partner violence or sexual violence, you may call the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline at (804) 612-6126.

Rupa Murthy, CEO of YWCA Richmond, is honored to celebrate this year’s class of leaders. She believes our region can “Join YWCA Richmond as we stand together in recognition of the incredible strength and wisdom that women bring to leadership as we work to unlock the full potential of our societies. The leadership these eight women exemplify goes far beyond the matter of parity; they are catalysts for progress, innovation, and positive change.”

The honorees will be formally recognized at the Outstanding Women Awards Luncheon 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, presented by Dominion Energy and Altria.

In 2023, YWCA Richmond welcomed more than 660 guests to honor the extraordinary achievements of women who lead in the Richmond region. To purchase tickets, tables or corporate sponsorships to celebrate the 2024 Outstanding Women Awards, please visit www.ywcarichmond.org/owa.

For more information about the event, please contact YWCA Richmond at owa@ywcarichmond.org. For more information about YWCA Richmond and its mission to empower women and eliminate racism, please visit www.ywcarichmond.org.