Outstanding Women Leaders

Scroll to bottom for the Future Outstanding Women Leaders Scholarship

The Outstanding Women Leaders program will mark its 16th annual event on Thursday, March 21, 2019. The event is the "brainchild" of Mayor Pro Tem Vivian H. Burke to honor trail blazing women in our community. The Outstanding Women Leaders program has previously recognized 163 chief executive officers, doctors, attorneys, and women of numerous professions as an effort to shine a light on the significant contributions made by women leaders in Winston-Salem. Mayor Pro Tem Burke believes in the importance of sharing the stories of individual women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force. Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and underpaid.

In 2016 the Mayor and City Council designated a committee to oversee the event; members are: Debra Gunter, Acting Chair;Nan Griswold, Vice Chair; Naomi Jones; Carrie E. Collins.The committee will be recognizing the 2019 slate of outstanding women leaders throughout 2019 during City Council meetings. Thus far the following 2020 honorees have been recognized:

Lawren Desai, Executive Director and Curator – A/perture Cinema

Dr. Pamela Oliver, Executive Vice President at Novant Health and President of the Novant Health Physician Network

Cathy Pace, President and CEO of Allegacy Federal Credit Union

Mari Jo Turner, Executive Director of the Hispanic League

Jacinta White, President and CEO of Deeper Dive Consulting, Poet and Writer


Congratulations to the 2019 recipient, Nicole Iturbide

2019 OWL Scholarship Recipient

The OWL Program Committee will award a $500 Outstanding Women Leaders Scholarship to an outstanding female high school senior from the WS/FC School System. The Outstanding Women Leaders Scholarship was established in 2017 to honor Mayor Pro Tempore and Northeast Ward Council Member Vivian H. Burke, for her forty years of service to the City Council of Winston Salem and the founder of the Outstanding Women Leaders Award in 2003.
Scholarships will be awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding performance in academics, leadership, integrity, school service, community involvement and who show compassionate towards others in their daily lives. Scholarships may be used for the cost of undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board and other college expenses.


  • Be a resident of Forsyth County
  • A high school senior
  • Outstanding performance in academics, leadership, integrity, school service, community involvement, and show compassion towards others
  • Maintain an unweighted 2.5 GPA
  • Enroll in the "It's My Call/It's Our Call" alcohol and drug screening program
  • Complete 8 hours of community service
  • Attend a college fair
  • Not participate in any type of bullying- verbal, physical, or cyber
  • Contribute to a cooperative school environment
  • Complete a 250 word essay on assigned topic
  • Accepted at a community college or 4-year institution
  • Attend personal interview with the Outstanding Women Leaders Committee if chosen as a finalist

If you would like more information about the grant, please fill out the following information:

OWL Scholarship Information Form

(* = required field)