Women's Empowerment Leadership Symposium
Thursday Mar 24, 2022 01:45 PM - 03:15 PM
On March 24, 2022, the William Woods University Leadership Center will sponsor two exciting events! Both events will be held in the Randall B. Cutlip Auditorium inside the McNutt Campus Center.
The Women's Empowerment Symposium will feature a panel of women executives with diverse backgrounds and positions within their perspective organizations. This event will be an open panel discussion that examines the challenges women face and the strategies they use when it comes to climbing the executive ladder in a variety of industries. This event offers opportunities to learn strategies related to navigating the business world from a woman’s perspective, to learn how challenges in climbing the corporate ladder differ for women compared to men and understand how the differences among the two will assist attendees in addressing any implicit biases they might have about how women are treated in the workforce.
Spring 2022 Women's Empowerment Leadership Symposium Panelists
Dr. Vanessa Davis
Lead Quality Auditor for bioMérieux, Inc.
Dr. Vanessa Davis currently works for bioMérieux, Inc. in Hazelwood, MO where she holds the position of Lead Quality Auditor for the Hazelwood site. bioMérieux, Inc. is an FDA regulated Medical Device manufacturer that provides diagnostic solutions to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety, and has been a global leader in in-vitro diagnostics for more than 50 years. The company has its North America headquarters in Durham, N.C. and has facilities located in more than 150 countries through 43 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. Dr. Davis attended St. Louis University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Technology subsequently working in Microbiology. She also attended Webster University where she earned a Master in Quality Management and her Doctorate in Management. As an adjunct professor for William Woods University, Dr. Davis has taught management classes in their School of Business and Technology. Dr. Davis has also served as president of the African American Alumni Chapter at Webster University and as President of the Alumni Board of Directors. She currently chairs the Webster University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board. Dr. Davis is a recipient of the St. Louis Business Journals Diverse Business Leaders Award and the Mary Elizabeth Newell Award for her dedication and support to Webster University.
Director of Workforce AID, Kansas Department of Commerce
Allyssa is the Director of Workforce AID for the Kansas Department of Commerce. In her role, she engages with workforce leaders, community colleges, and businesses to develop short-term customized training. She began this role in December 2021 and oversees over $600,000 in customized training funds for the state. Previously, Allyssa was the Policy Director for Missouri’s Office of Workforce Development. In this role, she supported the department in applying for federal workforce grants and its implementation. Allyssa has successfully competed for $5.3 million in federal workforce grants to support apprenticeship and work-based learning efforts. She also led the Office of Workforce Development’s COVID-19 workforce response by launching a program with CompTIA to support 1,000 dislocated Missourians, deploying virtual job fair software and designing an apprenticeship matching portal entitled Missouri Apprentice Connect. She joined the Office of Workforce Development in June of 2018 as the Senior Advisor to the Workforce Development Director. Previously, Allyssa served as the Director of Scheduling for the 56th Governor of Missouri, where she managed the Governor’s daily schedule and coordinated upcoming events. Allyssa also worked as the Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions, under the direction of Scott Turk. She interviews and reviews applications to ultimately present to the Governor in consideration for a possible appointment. Allyssa holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Missouri State University.
Regional Account Executive, Ameren Missouri
Lonna is a Regional Account Executive with Ameren Missouri. Her role is to build strategic relationships with key accounts and community leaders and leverage those relationships to meet customers’ energy related needs; it takes power to grow a business and a community and Ameren believes that power comes from trusted partnerships. She is an active member of the Missouri Economic Development Council, past board member and part of the executive leadership team for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce and has served on the United Way of Central Missouri campaign team for many years. She is a life-long active resident in the Southern Boone community, currently serving as the president of the Southern Boone YMCA advisory board and chairperson of the downtown beautification task force.
Colonel Denise Wilkinson
Colonel Wilkinson has spent over 34 years in uniform, joining the Missouri Army National Guard as a high school junior in February 1988. She achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant during her seven years as an enlisted soldier, completing duties as a property book accountant, supply and training Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and finally as a Detachment Readiness NCO prior to her commissioning. Colonel Wilkinson completed the Missouri Officer Candidate School (OCS) Program as the Distinguished Graduate for Class 32 in September 1995. She is a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Logistics Supply and Service Management Officer Course, Public Affairs Officer Qualification Course, Command & General Staff College, Advanced Operations in Warfighting Course, Sustainment Pre-Command Course, United States Army War College, and most recently NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force Commander Training Course and Dual Status Commander Course. Colonel Wilkinson holds a Master of Military Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle, PA; a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management from William Woods University, Fulton, Missouri.