WELD to Celebrate the 2021 Women WELDing the Way® Honorees

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

(October 14, 2020 Columbus, OH)—Each year, Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) recognizes a diverse group of twelve women in the central Ohio community who are high impact leaders within their organizations, support the leadership development of other women, give time, talent and resources to their community, and invest in the growth of women-owned businesses. The 2021 Women WELDing the Way® honorees will be recognized at a virtual reception on November 5, 2020, 7:00pm-8:00pm.

WELD President & CEO Barb Smoot shares, “WELD’s Columbus Chapter is thrilled to celebrate the diverse group of talented leaders who will be featured as its 2021 calendar honorees. The theme of the calendar is The Resilient Leader. Now more than ever, we need the strength and adaptability that are exhibited in resilient leaders. In countless ways, these women are indeed WELDing the Way® and making a difference in the community at a rapid pace. They inspire others by living WELD’s mission to develop and advance women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities we serve. We are excited to announce Tracy Townsend, News Anchor, WBNS-10TV, as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening.”


WELD honors the achievements of these notable women in our annual Women WELDing the Way® calendar. Join WELD in recognizing the 2021 class of amazing women:

  • Tara D. Bair, President/CEO, Community Health & Wellness Partners 
  • Melissa Blount-Garner, Vice President, Community and Economic Development, Fifth Third Bank
  • Heather Brilliant, CFA, Chief Executive Officer & President, Diamond Hill Capital Management
  • Dr. Kim Carter, Campus Dean, Strayer University 
  • Janet Chen, CEO, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
  • Betty L. Collins, CPA, Director, Brady Ware & Company
  • Joy Kouns Lewis, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management, Children’s Hunger Alliance
  • Sandra R. López, Legislative Advisor, Columbus City Council
  • Mary McCarthy, President, Women’s Small Business Accelerator and YMT Consultants, Inc.
  • Sachiyo Isoda Peterson, J.D., Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • Sophia Tolliver, MD, MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Guadalupe A. Velasquez, Managing Director, Welcoming City


Victoria King, Partnership Activation Specialist, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Kara Spinosi, IT Communication/Adoption Process Manager, Infrastructure Operations, Nationwide, are the volunteer co-chairs who are leading the development of the calendar and the planning of the reception.  

WELD’s mission is to develop and advance women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves. For more information on WELD, visit www.weldusa.org.  Visit the events section to register for the event.