Facebook IconTwitter IconInstagram IconSpotify

Women's Leadership Luncheon Archives

The Women’s Leadership Luncheon is a School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) annual event. Started in the late 1990s, it takes place every spring across the Central Pacific Province; Dallas, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and St. Paul, Minnesota. The luncheons strive to inspire attendees to believe in themselves as leaders and to use their gifts and talents to create a positive change in their communities. As a result of the luncheons, relationships are formed and strengthened between SSND and the wider communities. The SSND goal is to educate, empower and recognize the unique leadership qualities of women throughout our communities.

Every year, a different theme or focus is chosen. Knowledgeable and local speakers enrich the event by sharing their story in hopes of inspiring the audience. The attendees can expect to walk away having learned and with a passion to bring change into their own communities.



The 2022 Women's Leadership Luncheons will feature women who demonstrates leadership, compassion and committment to their community.

The theme for the 2022 Women’s Leadership Luncheon reflected how women met the challenges of the pandemic as courageous, compassionate and confident leaders. We thank the speakers for their wisdom and inspiration, the sponsors for their generosity and support, and all those who attended the luncheons for joining in the conversation.



Women's Leadership Luncheon 2021 virtual header. The theme for 2021 is Care of Creation

Care of Creation, the theme of the 2021 Women’s Leadership Luncheons, is not a new idea, but the urgency of the topic seems to grow every year. From recycling to using solar power, there are many ways to help protect the world in which we live. Our 2021 speakers are innovators and leaders in their communities, committed to caring for creation.



Women's Leadership Luncheon 2020 with a colorful tree made of thumb prints with words relating to diversity.

Diversity. It’s a word we hear so often in our workplaces, in school and in our day-to-day interactions. When we hear the word “diversity,” many of us immediately think of race. But diversity means so much more than that. It can mean differences in gender, socioeconomics, education, religion, age or culture. Diversity can even be spoken in terms of differences in thoughts, words and deeds. Differences in how we look, act and think create many challenges but also many opportunities to come together and celebrate our uniqueness.



SSND's Women's Leadership Luncheon will be held during the month of March in Milwaukee, Dallas, St. Louis and St. Paul, and will feature speakers knowledgeable about human trafficking.

The 2019 luncheons focused on human trafficking: the causes, who is targeted and what is being done to eradicate it. Each location featured a speaker who shared information about human trafficking and have worked closely with those affected by it. Over 1,600 attendees gained an understanding of SSND stance on human trafficking and what sisters are doing to remedy the problem.



Women's Leadership Luncheons- Lineup of our 2018 speakers

The 2018 Luncheons were focusing on learning how to be a leader in your community. 2018 speakers were inspiring leaders in their community who were chosen explain how they integrate the spiritual and professional dimensions of life.



Sponsorship Information:

This event is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors. We offer different levels of sponsorship; every level receives a table at the event as well as advertising opportunities. Select a tier to see the benefits associated with that sponsorship level.

2022 Sponsorship Benefits:


  • Two premium tables of 10 with organization name or logo
  • Organization name or logo listed in event program
  • On-screen signage
  • Full page ad in event program
  • 30 second ad in podcast
  • Organization marketing materials included in guest bags
  • Recognition from the podium
  • Organization name or logo on the SSND event web page
  • Link to organization website prominently placed on event web page
  • Recognize woman leader in organization or community
  • Organization name or logo featured in email invitations
  • Recognition in social media posts
  • Recognition in the SSND monthly eNewsletter
  • Vendor table at the luncheon


  • Premium table of 10 with organization name or logo
  • Organization name or logo listed in event program
  • On-screen signage
  • Half page ad in event program
  • 15 second ad in podcast
  • Organization marketing materials included in guest bags
  • Recognition from the podium
  • Organization name or logo on the SSND event web page
  • Link to organization website prominently placed on event web page
  • Recognize woman leader in organization or community
  • Organization name or logo featured in email invitations
  • Recognition in social media posts


  • Premium table of 10 with organization name or logo
  • Organization name or logo listed in event program
  • On-screen signage
  • Quarter page ad in event program
  • Credited in podcast
  • Organization marketing materials included in guest bags
  • Recognition from the podium
  • Organization name or logo on the SSND event web page


  • Premium table of 10 with organization name or logo
  • Organization name listed in event program
  • On-screen signage


  • Premium table of 10 with organization name or logo
  • Organization name listed in event program

*Benefits vary for each location, please visit the current location pages for a full list of benefits.


Past Sponsors:

A special thank you to our sponsors!

Join us in reading about the women they are celebrating as making a difference!
Visit our "Celebrating Women Honorees" page.

A special thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

Sponsor logo for Ann Kampeter

Hear from our presenting sponsor:

$5,000 Sponsors

Sponsor logo for Bayer

Hoffmann Family of Companies Logo

Jim Butler Chevrolet - www.jimbutlerchevrolet.com

Black and white logo with the words 'Mandel Group'

Sponsor logo for Mercy

Midwest Bank Centre - www.midwestbankcentre.com

Sponsor: Mary Ellen Murphy, in memory of Postulant Katheen Murphy

Sponsor logo for Marianne and Roger Staubach

Sponsorship for Drs. Jeffrey and Mayra Thompson

$2,500 Sponsors

Sponsor logo for Betty Ahlers

Alamo Hotel 2012 Trust

Sponsor Mary Lynn and Fred Bangs

Logo of a blue silhouette of two children and the words Children's Wisconsin

Sponsorship for Shelly and Tom Codd

Color logo of two smiling faces and a book with the letters ESLC on it and the words East Side Learning Center next to them

Jackson Walker

Black and white logo with the words "Agnes Lochmann In memory of Leroy Lochmann"

MEI - Total Elevator Solutions

Sponsor logo for Milwaukee Catholic Home, a life engaged

Wintrust Commercial Banking at Town Bank, N. A.

$1,000 Sponsors

Catholic Charities Dallas

Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota logo

Catholic Financial Life logo

Church of the Assumption

Sponsor logo for The Catholic Church of St. Katharine Drexel

Drury Hotels

Elim Preferred Services Incorporated

Sponsor logo for Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Springfield. IL

Johnson Controls

Mary Blake Meadows

Marty and Steve Campbell

In memory of Vivian Povard
In honor of Sister Sharon Rempe, SSND, and
Sister Karl Mary Winkelmann, SSND

Jackie and Peter Costanza

Barbara Dohr Muth

In memory of Karen Ann Muth

The Honorable
Andrew J. Gleeson

Joan C. Harris

Kasey and Bill Hollon

HRoslin Staffing Group

Linda Losoya, President and Owner

Geraldine Hufker

In memory of Sister Rosemary Hufker, SSND

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Klein

Mr. and Mrs. Matt Kramer

Maggie Mentel and
Wayne Gilmour

In honor of Sister Rosemary Bonk, SSND

Robert W. Moser

In memory of Barbara Moser

Dorothy and John O’Dwyer

Mount Mary University

Logo for Notre Dame High School, St. Louis

Notre Dame School of Milwaukee

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

River City Casino & Hotel

Sponsor logo for Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province

Logo of the words State Farm and Dane Huxel in red and black

Logo of a purple crest with the letters SPSA, all encircled with the words St. Phillip & St. Augustine Catholic Academy

Color logo for World Mission Ministries, Uniting the World thorugh Faith and Action

Sponsor logo for Schramka Funerals Cremations

VitalDyne Medical, Inc. logo.  © VitalDyne Medical, Inc.

Weiss Toyota of South Country


History of Speakers:

Select a location below to see all previous year’s event speakers.

Dallas Area

  • 2022: Mayra J. Thompson, M.D., FACOG, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Private Practice
    “Graced Leadership: Women’s Unique Response to Urgent Needs”
  • 2021: Janette Monear, President/CEO of the Texas Trees Foundation
    “The Symbiotic Relationship of Trees and People”
  • 2020: Mary Elizabeth Cedillo-Pereira, Chief of Equity and Inclusion, City of Dallas
    “Embracing Diversity in our Struggle for Unity”
  • 2019: Anne Simmons-Benton, Executive Director of Arizona State University’s International Development Office
    “The Hidden Crime of Human Trafficking: How to Become a Leader in Your Community”
  • 2018: Theresa Francis, Principal at Notre Dame School of Dallas and SSND Associate
    “My Spiritual Formation – Led and Formed by the Charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame”
  • 2017: Mary Emma Ackels Karam, J.D., Partner at Jackson Walter, L.L.P.
    “How to Have a Successful Career and Live a Faithful Life”
  • 2016: Kris Kramer, Executive Director, Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas
    “There’s Just Something About Mary”
  • 2015: Sheila Madigan Levantino, Marriage and Family Therapist and Spiritual Director
  • 2014: Jennifer Staubach Gates, Councilmember for the City of Dallas
  • 2013: Dr. Susan Hanssen, Associate Professor of History at the University of Dallas

Milwaukee Area

  • 2022: Eve M. Hall, Ph.D., President and CEO, Greater Milwaukee Urban League
    “A Title is Not a Leader”
  • 2021: Dr. Marissa Jablonski, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin
    “Be the Change: A Better Planet Starts With You”
  • 2020: Anne Scobey-Polacheck, Director of Corporate Philanthropy at Johnson Controls
    “Setting the World on Fire: Our Diversity is our Strength”
  • 2019: Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, Founder and CEO of LOTUS Legal Clinic Inc.
    “From the Mud, We Bloom: Finding Freedom from Exploitation”
  • 2018: Peggy Troy, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
    “Follow your Passion – the Difference a Servant Leader Makes”
  • 2017: Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation, Inc.
    “Leadership to bring positive change in the lives of children and families.”
  • 2016: Rhonda M. Ware, Founder and President of UR Aware, LLC
    “Cleaning House: Making Room for the Life you Desire”
  • 2015: Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO of Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
    “We Cannot Afford to Lose Even one Person: Leadership Around Human Capital Development”
  • 2014: Tracy Loken Weber, Executive Director, Milwaukee Literacy Services
    “Help Wanted: Connecting Literacy to Work”
  • 2013: Danae Davis, Chief Executive Officer, PEARLS for Teen Girls, Inc.
    “PEARLS: A Story, A Journey, A Purpose Inspiring Us All...Girls Becoming Women Leaders in Our Community”
  • 2012: Eileen Schwalbach, President, Mount Mary University,
    “Educating to Transform the World”
  • 2011: Wendy Baumann, President/CVO, The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
    “Hope and Opportunity”
  • 2010: Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director, Hunger Task Force
    “Servant Leadership: Understanding How to Help by Getting Involved and Staying Involved”
  • 2009: Juliette Martin-Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Alverno College and Clinical Psychologist
    “There Is Power in Your Presence”
  • 2008: Terri Mitchell, Head Coach, Marquette University Women’s Basketball
    “Lessons from the Bench for Faith and Life”
  • 2007: Yvonne Lumsden-Dill, Executive Director, Women’s Leadership Institute of Mount Mary College
    “The Joy of Leadership”
  • 2006: Celia Jackson, Secretary of Regulation and Licensing, State of Wisconsin
    “Leading from the Power Within”
  • 2005: Janine Geske, Distinguished Professor of Law, Marquette University
    “Dialogue and Healing among Victims, Offenders, and Communities”
  • 2004: Patricia O’Donoghue, Ph.D., President, Mount Mary College
    “Women who Lead”
  • 2003: Geneva B. Johnson, Executive Director, Women’s Leadership Institute of Mount Mary College
    “Leadership: The Power to Transform”
  • 2002: Sue Ann Thompson, former First Lady of Wisconsin
    “The Power of One”
  • 2001: Diane S. Sykes, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
    “Revitalizing Citizenship, Character, and Culture”
  • 1999: Margaret Farrow, Wisconsin State Senator
    “Women in Leadership: Will We Make it to the Mountain?”

St. Louis Area

  • 2022: Aamina Akhtar, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Mercy Hospital South
    “My Calling: The COVID-19 Pandemic”
    Marsha Benney, Chief Financial Officer, Midwest BankCentre
    “Leading Through the Pandemic and Into the Future”
  • 2021: Shannon Hauf, Senior Vice President and Head of Seed Production Innovation, Bayer Crop Science
    “My Leadership Journey: Five Miles of Dirt Road”
    Wanda Kolo, LEED AP, Director of Sustainable Operations & Construction Management, Saint Louis Zoo
    “Valuing Diversity in Nature & Society”
  • 2020: Ann Cuiellette Marr, Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources for World Wide Technology, Inc.
    “Developing a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion”
  • 2019: Kimberly A. Ritter, Senior Account Manager and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility trafficking initiative at Nix Conference & Meeting Management
    “Sex Trafficking: Now That I Know, What Can I Do?”
  • 2018: Susan Block, Family lawyer, retired Circuit Judge, founder of Caring for Kids, Inc.
    “Creating a Healthy Environment for Today’s Children”
  • 2017: Donna Heckler, Director of Communications for the Society of the Sacred Heart
    “And then God Gave Me a Time Out…”
  • 2016: Anne-Marie Clarke, Family Court Commissioner and Alumna of Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis
    “Your Minute”
  • 2015: Patricia Martens Balke, PhD, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist, Volunteer and Notre Dame High School Class of 1961
  • 2014: Lynne M. Jackson, President and Founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation and Great-great-granddaughter of Harriet and Dred Scott
  • 2013: Bridget McDermott Flood, Executive Director of the Incarnate Word Foundation and Notre Dame High School Class of 1974
  • 2012: Maureen Herrmann, President of Marian Middle School

St. Paul Area

  • 2022: Jody Nelson, Ed.D., LMFT, Executive Director, Change Inc.
    “Leading through Shaky Times: Leaning on the Power of Relationships”
  • 2021: Megan Schnitker, Owner and Indigenous Traditional Herbalist, Lakota Made, LLC
    “Sharing the Voice – Women Caring for Creation”
  • 2020: Antonia Apolinario-Wilcoxon, Leader, Health Equity Policy and Diversity, Minnesota and state government agencies
    “Embracing Diversity: The Struggle for Social Justice”
  • 2019: Suzanne Koepplinger, Director of the Catalyst Initiative at the Minneapolis Foundation
    “The Moon is Always Full: Phases of Leadership in the Fight Against Human Trafficking”
  • 2018: Justice Anne K. McKeig, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice
    “I’m Just a Girl from Federal Dam – Pathways to Leadership”
  • 2017: Sister Katherine DuVal, SSND
    “Leadership…empower others to use their gifts.”
  • 2016: Dr. Julie Sullivan, President-University of St. Thomas
    “All for the Common Good”
  • 2015: Ann Reed, Singer and Songwriter
    “Telling Stories: Words and Music”

Want to learn more?


School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100



© 2022 School Sisters of Notre Dame