Loading Events

« All Events

YWCA Leader Luncheon

March 4 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Leader Luncheon XXXIX: Women of Achievement

Leader Luncheon is the YWCA Northwestern Illinois’s primary fund-raising event. Funds from the event are used to develop and expand programming and advocacies for women and families’ economic self-sufficiency with a clear commitment to the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women.

Register Now


YWCA Northwestern Illinois welcomes keynote speaker Smita Shah

Smita N. Shah is Founder and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., an engineering and construction management firm established in 1998, with expertise in public and private infrastructure. She has been recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s 40 under 40, an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and received the U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award. Most recently, Ms. Shah was appointed to Illinois Governor Elect JB Pritzker’s transition committee to help develop an infrastructure plan for the state.

Recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the city’s 100 most-connected Chicagoans (19th), Smita Shah is an engineer, entrepreneur and civic leader with a passion for nurturing entrepreneurism and innovation among women and minorities. She serves on the M.I.T. Corporation Development Council and Visiting Committee for Civil and Environmental Engineering; Vice Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, Chair of the President’s Council and member of Board of Trustees of the Museum of Science and Industry, board member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, Trustee at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Vice Chairman of the Regents for Loyola University of Chicago, and board member of After School Matters.

Ms. Shah earned her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University, where she is recognized as a “distinguished alumni” and completed her Master of Science in civil and environmental engineering from M.I.T., where she wrote her thesis on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. She also holds a Certificate in Management Studies from Oxford University where she completed her thesis on the Culture and Leadership of Public Private Partnerships and is a graduate of University of Chicago’s Lab School.


Bright Future Scholarship

Each year, YWCA Northwestern Illinois awards $1,500 Bright Future Scholarships to outstanding female high school seniors. The YWCA is committed to promoting and recognizing our future leaders. The 2019 Bright Future Scholarship deadline is January 18, 2019. Eligible candidates will reside in Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, or Jo Daviess counties. Contact Marketing and Fund Development office, (815) 968-9681 ext. 308, for further information.

YWCA La Voz Latina Scholarship

YWCA Northwestern Illinois is honored to be able to continue the La Voz Latina Scholarship, funded through the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. This $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to a male or female high school senior of of Hispanic/Latino descent, residing in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson or Jo Daviess Counties. Please download the scholarship application to review eligibility and requirement criteria. Scholarship deadline is January 18, 2019.

Leader Luncheon: Women of Achievement Awards

This year’s event will once again honor six outstanding individuals in the categories of Business, Community Leadership, Mentorship, Professions, Promise, and Racial Justice. Nominate a colleague, mentor, or co-worker today. The deadline for submission is January 18, 2019.

Past Recipients



Thank You to Our Valued 2019 Event Sponsors





BMO Harris Bank

GE Aviation

Lechtenberg & Associates LLC


PNC Bank


Leaders in the Workplace

ComEd, An Exelon Company

Oliver Close, LLC

SwedishAmerican Health System- Belvidere

Thayer Lighting Inc.

WilliamsMcCarthy LLC




CoyleKiley Insurance Agency, Inc.

Crusader Community Health

Heritage Woods of Rockford







Register Now


March 4
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Giovanni’s Conference Center
610 N. Bell School Rd
Rockford, IL 61107 United States
+ Google Map