Women’s Leadership Network Announces Leadership Academy

Women’s Leadership Academy inaugural class

During the University of Central Arkansas Women’s Business Showcase on Thursday, Sept. 16, the UCA Division of Outreach and Community Engagement announced the establishment of the Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) and announced the inaugural class of 17 women.

Partnering with UCA Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), WLA is a six-month program to equip future women leaders for excellence in the workforce. In 2020, a grant from the UCA Foundation of Women’s Giving Circle enabled the creation of the WLA, which elevates, empowers and embraces women through speakers, hands-on experiences and community service. The first sessions begin in January 2022 and end in July 2022. 

“This academy is women-centric,” said Shaneil Ealy, associate vice president of UCA Outreach and Community Engagement and co-director of WLA. “The personal development infused throughout this academy, along with the thread of diversity, belonging, inclusion and equity, make this academy unique.“

In 2021, the WLN partnered with the Central Arkansas Open, a professional women’s golf tournament, to fund WLA.

“Providing the funding for the Women’s Leadership Academy is a natural next step for the WLN Central Arkansas Open.  We partnered with the WLN in 2021 because we realized our event was more about empowering women to dream without limits than it was about golf. In addition to supporting women from across the world who spend a week competing in a golf tournament here in Conway, through the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to help Conway women from all walks of life dream without limits throughout the year through the Women’s Leadership Academy,” said Pete Tanguay, founder and tournament director for the WLN Central Arkansas Open. 

The inaugural class of WLA participants are listed below:

  • Marie Abrams, administration, New Zion Temple COGIC
  • Kendis Chenoweth, Life Optimization Coach and Enneagram Specialist
  • Carole DeLaney, principal broker, CD Real Estate Group
  • Amy Ferdowsian, Conway Public School Board Member
  • Margaret Hacker, graduate assistant, UCA Center for Community and Economic Development
  • Mya Hall, UCA Student Government Association president
  • Claudette W. Holt, president, Enginuity212
  • Laura King, agency engagement director, United Way of Central Arkansas
  • Yennifer Lopez, creative producer of Silverlake Design Studio and owner of Yennifer Lopez Photography
  • Dianka Moton, CEO of L. A. Beauty Bar & L. A. Eventz
  • Jamisa Nuness-Hogan, owner and director, Kids World Child Care Center
  • Ashton Pruitt, Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce president
  • Amy Reed, director of development, Central Baptist College
  • Brandi Rodgers, owner and mental health therapist, Because You Matter Counseling PLLC
  • Maureen Skinner, owner, Catalyst Counseling, PLLC
  • Adrienne Tolbert, owner and cosmetologist, Adrienne’s Ultimate U Salon LLC
  • Samantha Valencia, manager, Mainframe Training and Development, Ensono

For more information at WLA, contact Ealy at sealy@uca.edu.

About the Women’s Leadership Network
The University of Central Arkansas Women’s Leadership Network is created for women, by women, to support seasoned or aspirant women leaders in the home, work or community. WLN provides opportunities for women from various backgrounds to connect in Conway and surrounding areas.

About the WLN Central Arkansas Open
WLN partnered with the Central Arkansas Open in 2021, at Centennial Valley Country Club in Conway, Arkansas. The WLN Central Arkansas Open is a part of the Women’s All-Pro Tour, the official qualifier for the LPGA Symetra Tour. The tournament advocates for women empowerment and to fundraise for WLN. For more information, contact Pete Tanguay at 501-908-3876 or pete@rockpondpros.com