Women’s Leadership Society

The 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.


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 make a positive impact in the communities we call home.


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.


The Women’s Leadership Society is proud to offer the WLS Mentorship Program, led by and for our Leadership Givers who identify as female. 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. Learn more about our mentorship program!

Your Dollars at Work


provides a month’s supply of diapers for 75 toddlers


provides a two-week hotel stay for a domestic violence victim needing immediate shelter


supplies five homebound seniors hot meals for six months

Ready to Join?

A gift of $1,000 or greater gives you access to join one or more Leadership Giving Societies and helps people in the St. Louis region live their best possible lives.

Step Up to the Next Level

Are you seeking to take the next step in your charitable giving journey? There are several ways to incrementally increase your giving level over a few years while immediately unlocking benefits through our Leadership Giving and de Tocqueville Societies.

We would be delighted to assist you in achieving your philanthropic objectives through our Step Up Programs. To learn more, please contact Meghan Freeman, Director of Leadership Giving, at meghan.freeman@stl.unitedway.org or (314) 539-4035.

2023 Women’s Leadership Society Cabinet Members

Alexis Hershey, Midwest BankCentre, 2023 Chair

Steph Auping, Leadership & Co. 

Andrea Barry, Deloitte 

Emily Brasel, BJC HealthCare

Alexis Bruce-Staudt, Saint Louis University

Sharon Callahan, LewisRice LLC

Julianne Callaway, Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. (RGA) 

Anne Drozda, Wells Fargo 

Karen Dupske, Daugherty Business Solutions 

Julie Erickson, Rx Outreach 

Shannon Favazza, Edward Jones 

Keri Feldman, Spire 

LaVicki Hart, Coldwell Banker Gundaker 

Cheryl Jones, Girls Incorporated of Saint Louis 

Karen Jordan, Dentons 

Anne Kilburn, Citi

Michelle Ko, Edward Jones 

Alana Kunkel, Slalom

Melissa Lackey, Standing Partnership

Nancy LeVault, Programs and Services for Older Person 

Janell Lobdell, Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. (RGA)

Karen Lucy, Cornerstone Center

Rita Mahn, Stifel

Margaret McDonald, HOK 

Debbie Meyer, Washington University in St. Louis

Jackie Mudd, Ascension

Julie Nieman, Burns & McDonnell

Jamie Orf, KellyMitchell Group, Inc. 

Susan Plank, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

Kristen Polchinski, U.S. Bank 

Christy Sales, Edward Jones 

Kristen Sanocki, Thompson Coburn

Tracy Shepard, Edward Jones 

Mary Stadter, Daugherty Business Solutions

Susan Stith, Retiree from Cigna 

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

2022: Susan Stith 

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