CWLI’s annual leadership address to the community featuring speakers such as Stacy Allison, the first American woman to summit Mt. Everest; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American women in space; Emmy award-winning journalist Connie Chung; and HGTV-Co-Founder, Susan Packard and MSNBC journalist, author Mika Brzezinski.  The Impact event hosts between 500 and 700 Chattanooga men and women who come together to celebrate what women bring to leadership.

Developing Women to Serve as Role Models for Other Women

Launched in 2008, the Women Mentoring Women program is offered annually by the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute. The program is designed for women who share a passion for advancing other women. During this professional development series, participants will develop skills enabling them to mentor and develop other women in the community or in their place of business.

Participants meet bi-weekly and have the privilege of hearing presentations from a variety of the most prominent women leaders in Chattanooga today.

In the Women Mentoring Women program, strategic topics are covered, such as:

  • Professional Communication
  • Team Building
  • Closing the Generation Gap
  • Corporate Culture
  • Personal Branding
  • StrengthFinders
  • Using Power, Authority, and Influence Effectively in the Workplace

Class size is limited to 20. Tuition is $450* per person, which includes a one-year regular membership in CWLI.  While there is an application process, membership in CWLI is not a requirement for participation.

2017 Dates:

May 22nd – Applications and nominations are available online

June 26th – Applications due

July 24th – Applicants are notified

August 7th – Tuition is due

2017 Class Dates:

August 25th

September 8th

September 22nd

October 6th

October 20th

November 3rd

November 17th

December 1st

Special thanks to Chambliss, Bahner, and Stophel for hosting our 2017 WMW Series!

WMW Alumnae Networking

Are you a graduate of the WMW program? We would love to keep in touch!
Join us for our quarterly networking gatherings to catch up with classmates and learn about mentoring opportunities. Upcoming networking events are scheduled for April 14, July 14, and December 8 (2017 graduation). Please register on our events page!

Learn More
“The tips I learned from the Women Mentoring Women Program have been tremendous instruments in both my professional and personal life. Tips on ‘how’ to speak, teambuilding, political smarts, marketing, networking, and visibility… I walked away with a tool chest full of beneficial information. The StrengthsFinder2.0 project was awesome!”Sharon Braden, Marketing/Proposal Manager, Thompson Engineering (Class of 2009)
“I entered the Women Mentoring Women program sponsored by CWLI to enhance my leadership skills. Little did I know, I would gain more skills and knowledge on self-preservation, not just leadership. I met phenomenal women and gained lasting friendships from the program. CWLI is more than a program for women, it is necessary to sustain our community.”Angelnetta McGee Ulmer, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Class of 2012)
WMW helped me, help others. While I’d already considered myself a mentor before enrolling, I learned I was giving more of what I thought people needed instead of considering what they expected to gain. In a nutshell, unsolicited advice. The first thing I now ask when someone approaches me is what exactly do you want to accomplish and how much time do you have to contribute to your goal? I also developed a habit of counting accessories; you’ll find out why once you start the program :). Enjoy!Shea Jefferson, MPS, Human Resources Generalist - Fire/Police, City of Chattanooga (Class of 2014)
“On a personal note – this class was about as far outside of my box I’ve been. I have worked in a male-dominated field for over 15 years. My professional contact with females has been quite limited. THANK YOU for the opportunity to meet other business women who are driven and want to make the most of our community. It has been a privilege!”Assistant Chief Danna Vaughn, Chattanooga Police Department (Class of 2012)
Katie Harbison, Vice President of Development and Administration, Chambliss Center for Children (Class of 2012)
“The Women Mentoring Women class brought me great insight into the world of women in the workplace and how we can work together to achieve our goals. It brought a sense of female camaraderie, instead of feeling competition, that was refreshing and energizing.”
Personal Financial Empowerment

Women Know: Financial Empowerment is a series developed by the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute to provide women with the tools to better understand their current personal financial situation and to develop a financial plan for the future.

With different presenters for each session, this program is designed to be informative, engaging and interactive. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and have the opportunity to follow up discussions started in the sessions with the presenters.

Topics include:

  • Understanding Your Financial Statement, Tools to Budget, and Building Your Net Worth (AKA: A Man is not a Plan)
  • What Have I Signed On To? Liability & Legal Considerations
  • Simplifying Healthcare Coverage
  • Growing your Nest Egg for the Next Chapter
  • How To Be Your Own Superhero:  Insurance & Estate Planning Tips
  • Control Your Finances, Your Life, and Yourself: Suddenly Single and Moving On

Held annually in the fall.  Begins October, 2017.

Finance in the Boardroom

Women Know: Finance in the Boardroom is a series developed by the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute (CWLI) with the purpose of increasing the financial savvy of women serving on Boards of Directors. Topics covered over the course of 6 working lunch sessions include:

  • Reading and interpreting a financial statement
  • “No Money, No Mission” – The importance of the integration of finance and strategic planning
  • “So, Now You’re on the Board” – Roles and responsibilities of the not-for-profit board member
  • Fundraising on the board
  • Panel discussion on board leadership and fundraising

Developed by Carol Newton, former CFO of Memorial Health Care System and current Director of Acute Pace of Care for Catholic Health Initiatives; and Stefanie Crowe, Director of Wealth, Knowledge & Happiness at Stone Bridge Asset Management, this six-part educational series is presented in an engaging and interactive style. Additional community leaders will serve as presenters and panelists.

2017 DATES: Series is being rescheduled for August-September 2017. New dates announced soon.

LOCATION: Center for Nonprofits

COST (6 sessions, materials and lunch): $150 for CWLI members, $175 for non-members 

Because participants are requested to attend all 6 sessions to gain the maximum benefit, no partial payments for the series will be accepted.

Registration for the rescheduled series will be available soon on our events page !

Through the years, CWLI members have been engaged in conversation around women’s role in our local community’s political arena. In December 2011 over 80 women attended CWLI’s Leadership Luncheon entitled Why Women Matter: Women Impacting Policy. Featured panelists, along with the audience, engaged in a dynamic and powerful conversation on local politics. At the end of the luncheon, every woman walked out recognizing the impact of the political process and the need for CWLI to be more fully engaged in our community’s local political arena. Thus, the Women Impacting Policy committee was formed.

The purpose of the Women Impacting Policy Committee is to enhance our members’ understanding of the importance of being civically engaged, both individually and within a group.
Members of CWLI can engage in the WIP Committee at any time by emailing

Currently, the WIP Committee is finalizing a Civic Engagement workshop series that will cover the full range of civic engagement from voting to running for office. Look for it to launch in Fall 2017!

The Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute offers quarterly luncheons that feature community, business, civic, and political leaders presenting information related to business and leadership. Topics are timely, wide-ranging and provocative. Attendees frequently leave feeling enlightened and inspired.

  • Diversity and Inclusion: Part One – March 17, 2017
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Part Tw0 – June 2, 2017
  • Knowing Your Value – April 22, 2016
  • Growing Your Value Through Civic Engagment – June 17, 2016
  • Women, Money, and Influence- September 20, 2016
  • Are You Doing What You Love? -November 29, 2016
  • MENtors: Men Who Promote Women – June 5, 2015
  • Are Your Doing What Your Love? – September 8, 2015
  • Resilience – December 11, 2015
  • Why Women Matter: Because We RUN (campaigns, businesses, homes, nonprofits, etc.) – April 25, 2014
  • Why Women Matter: Leading with Presence – June 25, 2014
  • Building Your Network – October 1, 2014
  • CWLI 15th Anniversary Celebration – December 13, 2013
  • Why Women Matter: Leading with a Healthy Mind, Body & Spirit – October 9, 2013
  • Why Women Matter: A Collective Voice for THRIVE 2055 – June 28, 2013
  • Why Women Matter: Colorful Communication – May 3, 2013
  • Why Women Matter: Balancing Life, Work and Leadership – December 7, 2012
  • Why Women Matter: Thriving in Chaos & Complexity – October 10, 2012
  • Why Women Matter: Influencing the Political Process – June 8, 2012
  • Why Women Matter: Securing Our Community – April 13, 2012
This members-only quarterly gathering uses informative books and articles on leadership topics to promote discussion and learning.   The small group setting allows for sharing of experiences and is facilitated by CWLI members qualified to lead such groups.

vip networkingNetworking includes regular informal opportunities to network with women leaders in engaging settings around Chattanooga.