Arizona Foundation for Women Announces SHE Leads!™ Class of 2022

Arizona Foundation for Women

Arizona Foundation for Women (AFW), a not-for-profit agency that advocates for women’s causes in Arizona, has selected 37 Arizona women to participate in their second annual SHE Leads!™ class, a women-centric leadership program dedicated to advancing women in the workplace.

The SHE Leads!™ program offers a unique leadership curriculum specifically designed for women looking to advance their careers. This six-month-long program, running January through June 2022, is for women who desire to move into a leadership position, reach the next level of management or who are new to leadership and would benefit from a formal training experience.

Last year’s SHE Leads! graduates have gone on to make positive impacts in the community, including raising $68,000 as part of the program’s fundraising project. These funds were granted to six local Arizona nonprofits.

“The SHE Leads!™ program helped me learn more about myself. One of the ways to become a better leader is to understand your own strengths, weaknesses and motivations,” said class of 2021 graduate, Amy Marshall.

The following women, representing a diverse body of work and community experience, make up the SHE Leads!™ Class of 2022:

  • Alexandra Smaak, Assistant Project Manager, Rosendin
  • Alison Shepherd, Behavioral Health Team Manager, Mountain Park Health Center
  • Alyxandra Pearce, Information Security Analyst II, Freedom Financial Network
  • Amanda Williams, BHC Manager, Mountain Park Health Center
  • Anna Brown, Manager, Satander Consumer USA
  • Christi Sova, Project Manager, Rosendin
  • Christina Totah, Operations Coordinator, University of Phoenix
  • Christine Ferrell, Vice President Private Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust
  • Cristina Avila, EHR Training Specialist, Mountain Park Health Center
  • Dawn Ben Aziza, Underwriting Supervisor, Freedom Financial Network
  • Deborah Hoskins, Finance Advisor, University of Phoenix
  • Diana Batoon, DMD, Dentist, Bonita Dental
  • Erin Heys, Customer Experience Consultant, Nautilus Insurance Group
  • Hanna Jones, Sr. Training Specialist, Training & Development, Sunrun Inc.
  • Jelisa Dallas, Program Manager, Educational Equity, University of Phoenix
  • Jennifer Koeller, Mentoring Program Manager, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
  • Jessica Arnold, Social Media & Content Specialist, Delta Dental of Arizona
  • Katherine Vawter, Director, Arizona State University
  • Katia Hollinquest, PayOps Supervisor, Freedom Financial Network
  • Katie Perez, Information Security Analyst II, Freedom Financial Network
  • Krista Heffley, Sr. HR Business Partner, Freedom Financial Network
  • Krystal Harris, Supervisor, Freedom Financial Network
  • Laura Gonzalez, Supervisor, Freedom Financial Network
  • Mary Armentrout, Lead Digital Advocate & Development Coordinator, Bloom365
  • Melissa Kovalesky, Cofounder & Managing Director, Families Raising Hope
  • Melissa Lanouette, Events and Education Manager, Arizona Multihousing Association
  • Melissa Whitlatch, Supervisor, Talent Acquisition, Freedom Financial Network
  • Michele Thorne, Executive Director/ Founder, DAMES Charities Inc.
  • Mona Bass, HR Manager
  • Natosha Edmonds, Senior Corporate Trainer, Freedom Financial Network
  • Ninja Rodgers, Unit Manager, Freedom Financial Network
  • Rebecca Vacha, Financial Analyst, Recreation Centers of Sun City West Inc
  • Sam Madar, Manager, Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP
  • Shelly Denny, Acupuncturist, Phoenix Indian Medical Center
  • Starla Schmidt, Registered Dietitian, Mountain Park Health Center
  • Tiffany Reed, Loan Servicing Supervisor II, Freedom Financial Network
  • Veronica Lowe, Mobile Unit, Community Outreach Manager, Dress for Success Phoenix

“We are thrilled to welcome this second group of exceptional women to our SHE Leads!™ program,” said Barbara Schifano, board member of AFW and SHE Leads!™ program co-chair. “Women in the workplace have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and we look forward to getting back on track toward progress and equity.”

The program culminates in the aforementioned fundraising project, which allows participants to draw on the skills they have learned and apply them toward real-life causes. A percentage of the money raised through the fundraising efforts by the SHE Leads!™ class is granted to local organizations in Arizona that support the safety, health and economic empowerment of women, in line with AFW’s mission.

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