United Way of Greater St. Louis' Women's Leadership Society

Women’s Leadership Society

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It is truly amazing what we can achieve when we come together. Women’s Leadership Society (WLS) is a growing community of over 3,000 women who collectively give their time, talent and treasures to help people in the St. Louis region. We use the power of our community to bring driven women together to address social issues and work to create a solid foundation for our region.


By answering the call to help their neighbors in need, WLS members make a difference every day throughout our region.



Your investment directly improves the lives of thousands of local people. As a Women’s Leadership Society member, you’ll:


Our members network with fellow members through formal and informal events throughout the year. We use the power of our community to bring driven women together to address social issues.


We believe that there’s a real thrill to being part of something that helps to improve so many people’s lives in the St. Louis region. Women’s Leadership Society members gain access to rewarding opportunities to get involved in and help impact the many different issues facing our community, from education to financial stability to health.


We strongly believe that every woman can harness the skills required to lead at work, in the community, and at home. Our members come from different industries and backgrounds, and use their unique experiences to inspire and challenge one another. Through the Women’s Leadership Society, we’re working to create a solid foundation for the St. Louis region.


New in 2022 is the WLS Mentorship Program. We are a community of engaged and inspired women who help each other reach personal and professional goals. The program runs annually and is offered exclusively to Leadership Givers.

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Alexis Hershey

"From Penny Pennington to Sharon Price John, I’ve had the luxury of listening to women CEOs tell their story. I even won a lunch with Penny Pennington that I will remember for the rest of my life! But, it’s not just about me. When I tour the United Way agencies or listen to the agency CEOs, I see how they are serving the broad community needs. There is no way that I alone could pick and choose where to donate as effectively as United Way. United Way is like a mutual fund of community investment. I trust United Way to allocate the funds where the need is greatest. I’ve seen the impact that my dollars make, which is why I increase my pledge every year."

Your dollars matter


provides a month’s stay for a mother and her children in a domestic violence shelter


provides emergency assistance for 5 families during a crisis


helps 33 children in need with shoes and clothing for a school year

Member Criteria

Open to women who support Women's Leadership Society's mission and make an annual pledge of $1,000 or more to United Way of Greater St. Louis.

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The annual membership commitment for the Women's Leadership Society is a $1,000 donation to help people in the St. Louis region live their best possible lives.

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2022 Women’s Leadership Society Cabinet


2022 CHAIR

Susan Stith, Cigna



Sheila Alsup, ICL Specialty Products Inc.

Andrea Barry, Deloitte

Caroline Battles, Ascension

Julianne Callaway, RGA Reinsurance Company

Karen Dupske, Daugherty Business Solutions

Julie Erickson, Rx Outreach

Shannon Favazza, Edward Jones

Mary Fernandes, Bayer U.S. LLC

Kristin Guehlstorf, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

LaVicki Hart, Coldwell Banker Gundaker

Alexis Hershey, Midwest BankCentre

Megan Hoffman, Cigna

Cheryl Jones, Girls Incorporated of Saint Louis

Karen Jordan, Dentons

Lori Knudson, Aegion Corporation

Michelle Ko, Edward Jones

Nancy LeVault, Programs and Services for Older Person

Margaret McDonald, HOK

Angie Minges, Nestle Purina PetCare Company

Jamie Orf, KellyMitchell Group, Inc.

Kristen Polchinski, U.S. Bank

Lindsay Rozycki, Starburst Data

Christy Sales, Edward Jones

Tracy Shepard, Edward Jones

Pam Weston, Centene Corporation

Mary Ann Wymore, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

Patricia Zahn, University of Missouri – St. Louis

Past Women’s Leadership Society Chairs

2021: Margaret McDonald, Susan Stith


2020: Margaret McDonald, Michelle Ko


2019: Sharon Price John, Michelle Ko


2017-2018: Ellen Theroff


2015-2016: Penny Pennington


2013-2014: Marilyn Bush


2011-2012: Cassandra Sanford


2009-2010: Deb Hollingsworth


2008: Jan Holloway


2006-2007: Ellen Sherberg


2004-2005: Merry Mosbacher


2002-2003: Patricia Mercurio


2000-2001: Linda Locke, Juanita Hinshaw


1998-1999: Francine Katz


1996-1997: Mary Ann Krey