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women of achievement awards luncheon

Established in 1977, the Women of Achievement Award is one of the most prestigious honors for women in Cleveland. The award honors women who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities, as well as excellence, accomplishments and commitment in their careers and communities. Women chosen to receive this award are role models and mentors. They have played significant roles in helping other women achieve their goals. The award recipients also exemplify the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Any individual, group or organization may submit nominations for this award. Over the past 33 years, the YWCA of Greater Cleveland is proud to have honored more than 194 of Cleveland's most successful and accomplished women.


                                 Cinecraft Productions


                                        2011 awards luncheon

The 2011 Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon was held on Monday, May 16 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Grand Ballroom.

The 2011 Women of Achievement are: 

Linda Bluso is partner-in-charge of Brouse McDowell's Cleveland office, one of the few female managing partners of large Cleveland firms, and provides general counsel to organizations and entrepreneurs in corporate, business and real estate matters. Very actively involved in community and civic organizations, Ms. Bluso chaired the steering committee for COSE's scenario-planning project concerning the future landscape for healthcare in the U.S. In addition to serving as a board director for the American Red Cross, she is currently Chair of In Counsel with Women.  

Pamela Davis, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, is one of fewer than 20 female medical school deans in the U.S. Both a physician and an accomplished scientist, Dr. Davis is recognized internationally for her research on cystic fibrosis; she holds seven patents and has published 120 articles. She has served in multiple capacities with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since 1978. In 2009, Dr. Davis was elected to the Ohio Women?s Hall of Fame and to In Counsel with Women.

Carol Latham earned the reputation as a trailblazing entrepreneur in the 1990s as she built her start-up business, Thermagon, Inc. into one of the nation's fastest-growing firms. Ms. Latham employed neighborhood Latina and African American women to work at her plant, and helped lead them from welfare to independence by bringing in professional educators to teach English, math and computer skills. She continues to inspire and motivate teenagers and women in her role on the board of NewBridge, which provides motivation, education and training toward health care careers for the unemployed and underemployed.

Romona Robinson arrived in Cleveland in 1988 as the first African American television anchor in a large market, and has repeatedly broken barriers throughout her career. She became the first woman to solo anchor a prime time newscast in Cleveland in 2008, and in 2009 became one of the youngest journalists to be inducted into the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Her popular "Romona's Kids" feature has become an institution in Northeast Ohio by highlighting the positive accomplishments of area children. Ms. Robinson works tirelessly in support of countless charitable organizations, including Coats for Kids and United Way.   

Eileen Saffran has been Executive Director of The Gathering Place since its inception in 1998. Ms. Saffran followed her vision for a free-standing, non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, hope, healing, and empowerment for people with cancer and their loved ones. The Gathering Place today is a $1.8 million operation with all-female staff of 19 full- and part-time employees, 350 volunteers and two locations. Ms. Saffran received the 2007 Pillar Award from Smart Business Network Magazine and Medical Mutual of Ohio as Executive Director of the Year.

about the luncheon

The annual YWCA Women of Achievement Awards Luncheon hosts more than 1,100 professionals, executives, and movers and shakers who join the YWCA in celebrating the career accomplishments of over 100 Cleveland-area women. In addition to the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, two other awards are also presented:

  • Women of Professional Excellence Awards
  • Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award and Scholarship



calendar of events and programs
women's leadership conference
women of achievement awards luncheon
leadership forum for equity & inclusion
circle of women breakfast