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Judges Select WIT Women of Excellence Honorees

Updated: Mar 5

A panel of professionals and community leaders reviewed dozens of nomination packets and interviewed nominees on February 3, 2024, to select the WIT Women of Excellence Honorees in ten categories. The panel of volunteer judges selected the Honorees based on the women's record of leadership in their chosen profession and in the community, and their alignment with the Women in Training, Inc. Core Values.

The Women of Excellence Steering Committee will name the final WIT Woman of Excellence and award the Honorees at the Third Annual WIT Mother-Daughter Brunch on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. 

Here are the Honorees:

The professionals and community leaders who volunteered as judges are below:

WIT Women of Excellence Award is the brainchild of Ariel Dixon, the reigning Miss Huntingdon. Ms. Dixon, a native of Saraland, Alabama, is a junior at Huntingdon College majoring in criminal justice.

“I am so excited to be serving with Women in Training, Inc. during my reign as Miss Huntingdon,” Dixon said. “Their overwhelming support of my platform, Woman of Excellence, has led to an amazing collaboration in the WIT Women of Excellence Award which highlights our collective efforts to honor women in our communities.  

Chantel Hartman, a public health consultant and Women in Training, Inc. volunteer, co-chairs the WIT Women of Excellence Award project with Dixon.

“It’s an honor to support Women in Training, Inc. and Miss Huntingdon’s commitment to women throughout the state,” Hartman said. “I look forward to celebrating the amazing achievements and contributions of our WIT Women of Excellence nominees.”

The overall WIT Woman of Excellence winner will be announced at the Third Annual WIT Mother-Daughter Brunch on March 2, 2024, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center. Mother-Daughter Brunch sponsorships, souvenir journal advertisement, and tickets may be purchased HERE.

Michelle Miller, a CBS News national correspondent who serves as co-host on “CBS Saturday Morning,” will be the Brunch's keynote speaker.

Miller’s  story, tinged by both racism and classism, is shared in her New York Times bestseller memoir, Belonging: A Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love.

“I will encourage girls and young women to embrace the precious love between mothers and daughters and never take it for granted,” Miller continued. “Often those conversations begin with our first experiences with womanhood. We need to expand our children’s knowledge of period poverty, and encourage providing girls and women with access to products they need when that special time of the month arrives.”

Dr. Celeste Reese-Willis, MD, a WIT Board of Directors member who serves as WIT’s Medical Director, will also speak at the event. Dr. Reese-Willis is a board-certified, Birmingham, Alabama, family physician and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She is the author of Vitality: Your Body Loves You, Love it Back, providing expert health recommendations on living a life of vigor and well-being.

“I cannot express how extremely proud I am of the WIT mission and their goal to end period poverty,” said Dr. Celeste, as she is affectionately called. “At such a young age the founders, Breanna and Brooke Bennett, are doing outstanding work and inspiring young girls around our nation. With this brunch we will acknowledge and offer tribute to women who are making a difference and helping move the goals forward. It is delightful at a time such as this to have teenagers LEADING the vision to help other girls their age, and inspiring not just teenagers but adults around the country.”

At the Mother-Daughter Brunch, the WIT Monarchs -- middle and high school girls in the WIT Leadership Development Academy -- will perform songs, dances and spoken word poetry under the direction of Michaela “Mikki” McKenzie, Choreographer.

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