HONOREES—From left: Kimberlee Evert, Lisa Kuzma, Lucille Prater-Holliday, Mary Kay Poppenberg, La’Tasha D. Mayes and Shakita Trigg at the annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

A livable minimum wage and pay parity for women were among the topics of discussion as a noon day business crowd filled the grand ballroom of the Westin Convention Center hotel during the YWCA’s 32nd Annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon.

The luncheon began on a somber note as YWCA board president Marsha Jones posthumously acknowledged of two absent nominees: M.J. Tocci and Laurel Y. Ragland.

After introduction of the dais, invocation and lunch, Magdeline E. Jensen, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, addressed the ongoing debate for equal pay and livable wage and how it impacts the community. Those similar sentiments were echoed several times by some of the award recipients, relating the extra effort necessary to rise and achieve seniority and stature in their organizations.

The honorees included Mary Kay Poppenberg (who co-founded MPM Productions, one of Pittsburgh’s first women-owned business) received the Allerton Lifetime Achievement Award); Lisa Kuzma, senior program officer at the Richard King Mellon Foundation, for Business and Professional Services; Lucille Prather-Holliday, a social activist, for Civic and Community Service; M.J. Tucci for Education; Kimberlee Evert, MPH, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood for Western Pennsylvania, for Health and Human Services; Shakita Trigg, CSSGB of FedEx Ground, for Science and Technology; and La’Tasha D. Mayes were the recipient of the Young Leader Award.

Jensen concluded the affair with a tribute to women of her own courtesy of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Women are like tea, you never know how strong they are until they get into hot water.”


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