Women's Leadership Initiative


In 2012, the United Way of Northwest CT created the Women's Leadership Initiative Committee, a strong team with a clear mission: to mobilize the power of women to advance the Common Good in our communities! We have focused on issues that affect women, children, and families, and to create programs and find solutions to help improve their lives. Each year we host two events, the Woman of the Year Gala and the Girl's Summit, that leave lasting impressions, and remind us how dedicated our community really is to Improving the lives of those around us. The Women's Leadership Initiative Committee, consists of the following dedicated, dynamic people:

Women's Leadership

Lisa Ferris, Margaret Kwasniewski, and Emily Marchand-Cole, Co-chairs
Katherine Briggs, Angela Calabrese, Cathy Coyle, Deirdre Houlihan DiCara, Carla DuBois, Katlin Marchand, Candy Perez, Jenna Reichen,
Kara Paginini Muth, Ali Mica
Chelsea Rimbach, Student Ambassador

Owen Quinn, Executive Director of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut


The Woman of the Year Gala is a fundraiser to honor the Woman of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and the Best Supporting Organization in the Role of Empowering Women and Children! We invite you to celebrate with us at our Woman of the Year Gala at the Torrington Country Club on Thursday, June 17th, 2021. Join us and learn more about each of our honorees, and their remarkable contributions within our communities! More information on the event will be coming soon!

With funds raised from our Gala and the Support of a few generous sponsors, the Women's Leadership Initiative Committee produces an Annual Girl's Summit each October. The Girl's Summit is a leadership program for 200 eighth grade girls which is designed to teach them skills for navigating the teenage years, to build self confidence and self-esteem, and to inspire them to set goals so as to achieve their dreams. In Short, we hope to nurture the skills they will need to become the successful Leaders of Tomorrow! This event runs a full day from 8:00am to 2:00pm, and includes powerful speakers and inspirational presentations to inspire the leader within!

Women's Leadership

Kerry Mayers, President of the League of Women Voters of Litchfield County Kerry Mayers, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Gail Clark Olsen, and Woman of the year Sharon Dante at the United Way of Northwest Connecticut Women's Leadership Initiative award ceremony on Thursday, June 17th, 2021.

For information on the Women's Leadership Initiative please call the United Way of Northwest CT at (860) 489-4131, or Email ali@northwestunitedway.org