Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Announces 2023 Challenge Class Members

The Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation has selected 40 women professionals to participate in its 2023 Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge program.

The Class of 2023 will be the 34th Class with over 1,300 past participants. “The Challenge” is designed to provide a unique Missouri-statewide traveling symposium for emerging and established women leaders to have insightful symposium sessions, personalized tours, and issues discussions about each community, and receive training to accept future leadership roles where they are motivated to take action.

Class members attend twelve full-day sessions beginning in March and graduating in November. The Challenge participants meet local women leaders and allies and study aspects of each community including city, county and state government, history, economic development, not-for-profit partnerships, education, politics and current issues impacting the local community, region and state.

A sustained goal for Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation is to increase the return on investment for organizations that have empowered their women leaders to take “The Challenge” by utilizing an evolving Strengths-Based Leadership component. We survey on outcome metrics to track progress and results amplifying GMLF’s GuideStar/CANDID Platinum Status. Upon graduation each challenger joins an alumnae network that remains an empowering experience for proven women leaders and continues to offer lasting rewards for both employee and employer.

Individuals selected for the 2023 Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Cohort are:

  • Isabel Acevedo – Manager, Community Innovation Center, Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis
  • DeAnna Alonso – CEO/President, Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Assoc., Jefferson City
  • Dawn Attaway – Coordinator, NeighborWorks America, Independence
  • Jasmyne Boggs – Software Engineering Manager, Veterans United Home Loans, St. Charles
  • Amber Burger – Senior Branch Manager, Commerce Bank, Scott City
  • Kathryn Champion – Director of Clinical Operations, Kansas City University College of Dental Medicine, Joplin 
  • Yolanda Clark – Sr. Manager, Customer Setup, Billing & Healthcare, Commerce Bank, Kansas City, KS
  • Doreen Douglas – Security Shift Supervisor, Ameren Missouri, Mexico
  • Lisa Driskel Hawxby – Business Development Specialist, Regional Economic Development, Inc., Columbia
  • Fernanda Estrada-Ridaura – Marketing & Program Manager, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro St. Louis, Chesterfield
  • Christine Fields – Sr. Quality Program Manager for St. Charles Weapons, Missile and Weapon System Division, Boeing, St. Peters
  • Teri Forbeck – Branch Claims Manager, Shelter Insurance, Wentzville
  • Tanzeena Francka – Senior Human Resources Manager, Boeing, O’Fallon
  • Kelly Gillespie, PhD – Vice President of Digital Ecosystem Services, Bayer, Ballwin
  • Abby Glenn – Business Development Officer, Central Bank of the Ozarks, Springfield
  • Kathy Gress – Director, Columbia College-Springfield, Springfield
  • Becky Gullett – Vice President, Treasury Officer, Commerce Bank-Springfield, Nixa
  • Kimberley Hankins Kujawa – Senior Manager Business Transformation, Ameren Missouri, Webster Groves
  • Christina Haub – Lead Program Engineer for F-15EX Sustainment, Boeing Global Services, O’Fallon
  • Samara Jones – CEO, ECE Substitutes, Harrisonville
  • Schylon D. Kubic – Senior Communications Strategist, Parson + Associates, Kansas City
  • Kaneshya Lucas, EdD – Director of Academic Affairs Operations, Columbia College, Columbia
  • Christine Luer – F/A-18 Sustainment Chief Engineer; Engineering Operations, Integration & Defense, Boeing, St. Charles
  • Amanda Martin – Director of Innovation, Shelter Insurance, Columbia
  • Michelle McCaulley – Director of Human Resources, Williams Keepers, LLP, Hallsville
  • Jessica McClellan – Founder & President, Giving Hope & Health Inc., Kansas City
  • Marty McCormick – Executive Director, Strategic Planning & Marketing, University of Missouri Health, Columbia
  • Mackenzie  Moorefield – Executive Director for Human Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Anne Morgan – Senior Director, Office of Gift Planning and Endowments, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Erica Pefferman – President, Business Times Holding, Columbia
  • Kacy Perry – Brand Strategy Lead, Bayer, Wentzville
  • Barbara Picarelli – Chief Financial Officer, Brewer Science, Inc., Stanton
  • Meghan Powelson – Head of US Enabling Functions & HR Partner Organization, Bayer, Lake St. Louis
  • Loren Prince – Organizational Development Consultant, MU Health Care, Columbia
  • Leighann Protho – Senior Administrative Associate, NeighborWorks America, Shawnee, KS
  • Traci Ramsey – US Talent Lead, Puerto Rico, Hawaii & Commercial Operations, Bayer, Ballwin
  • Kristine Roche – Senior Project Manager, Commerce Bank, St. Charles
  • Felicia Rodgers – Director, Project Management Office, Ameren Missouri, Chesterfield
  • Girija Sathyamurthy – Senior Manager, Data Analytics, Ameren, Grover
  • Jennifer A York – Executive Director Heart Care Institute in West County, Washington University School of Medicine, Manchester


Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge is an annual traveling symposium established in 1989. Each year, in a highly competitive selection process, a limited number of emerging and established women leaders are accepted into program membership. The participants meet for four, three-day enriching sessions combining continuing education in leadership development, information and major discussion of state policy issues, and exposure to the philosophies and thoughts of the state’s business, cultural, educational and political leaders.