Women of Distinction

by CoVaBizMag

YWCA Honors Nine Local Ladies Working to Eliminate Racism, Empower Women and Promote Peace, Justice, Dignity and Freedom for All

By Angela Blue, Grace Silipigni and Melissa M. Stewart
Photography by David Uhrin

What exactly constitutes a Woman of Distinction? Is it an innovator who dares to pioneer a new path? Perhaps an honorable leader who breaks barriers? Or an emerging voice who works to make a positive impact in her community? The answer is yes and then some.

In selecting honorees for their 31st Annual Women of Distinction awards, the YWCA of South Hampton Roads uses a scientific rubric when considering each candidate. The organization considers a Woman of Distinction as someone who has made a significant difference in her community or the larger world, inspires others and has achieved outstanding success in her field by breaking new ground or old barriers; showing vision, creativity and initiative; being a leader or role model; and participating actively as a volunteer.

Women of Distinction encompass remarkable traits and have accomplished a multitude of inspirational achievements. But one thing they each have in common is their passion for eliminating racism and empowering women, which matches the overall mission of the YWCA. Meet this year’s outstanding honorees below.


YWCA Women of Distinction Vickie Madison

Vickie Madison

Education, Training and Development


YWCA Women of Distinction Wendy McGradyPhoto by Timorah Beales Photography

Wendy McGrady

Business & the Professions


YWCA Women of Distinction Anyssa Reddix

Anyssa Reddix

Woman on the Rise


YWCA Women of Distinction Darleen Mastin

Darleen Mastin

Community Champion


YWCA Women of Distinction Neisha Himes

Neisha Himes

Arts, Culture & Design


YWCA Women of Distinction Lisa Howard

Lisa Howard

Innovation & Entrepreneurship


YWCA Women of Distinction Charlene Cattoi

Charlene Cattoi

Health & Wellness


YWCA Women of Distinction Jennifer Daniels

Jennifer Daniels



YWCA Women of Distinction Narketta Sparkman-Key

Narketta Sparkman-Key

Research & The Sciences

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