Women of Achievement, Inc. was founded in 1984 by a group of women dedicated to honoring the extraordinary women who have made Memphis and Shelby County better through their lives and accomplishments. The coalition of diverse civic and professional groups and support agencies organizes events to recognize and celebrate these women.

For More Information, visit the Women of Achievement website.

Nominations for awards come from across the community; finalists are selected by WA members. Since the first celebration in 1985, 270 individual women plus the Yellow Fever martyrs, local suffragists and the women who saved Overton Park have been honored. A three-volume book series captures biographical essays and photographs of WA honorees through 2004. In addition, all essays and images are documented on our website, womenofachievement.org.

2024 Women of Achievement Honorees

2024 Women of Achievement Honorees (clockwise from top left) Joy Brown Weiner, Ellen Rolfes, Phillis Lewis, Amy Moses and Sara Lynn Johnson Fultz, Madame Florence Cole Tolbert McCleave, Jennifer Murry-Rodley and Vanessa Rodley.

38th annual Women of Achievement celebration ceremony

Eight local women were celebrated for changemaking leadership on March 3 at the 38th Women of Achievement awards and celebration of National Women’s History month.

The Women of Achievement honorees for 2024 are:
Courage: Vanessa Rodley and Jennifer Murry-Rodley, Mid-South Pride leaders
Determination: Phillis Lewis, founder and CEO, Love Doesn’t Hurt
Heritage: Madame Florence Cole Tolbert McCleave, barrier-breaking opera singer and educator
Initiative: Ellen Rolfes, philanthropy strategist and innovator
Steadfastness: Joy Brown Weiner, concert violinist, teacher, 40-year Memphis Symphony Orchestra concertmaster
Vision: Amy Moses and Sara Lynn Johnson Fultz, co-founders MOJO Pelvic Health

Pat Mitchell Worley, CEO of the Soulsville Foundation, hosted the awards ceremony in the spacious sanctuary of First Congregational Church.

“This year’s honorees celebrate women who stand up and speak out – to empower women, to write the truth, to protect women’s health, for accessible arts education and for LGBTQIA+ rights and safety,” said co-founder Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Memphis Area Women’s Council. “They exhibit the integrity and tenacity, creativity and passion that make change and make history.”

One of the three cases featuring Women of Achievement memorabilia at the Vasco A. Smith Jr. Shelby County Administration building in early 2019.


One of three cases featuring Women of Achievement memorabilia in the downtown Memphis building in early 2019, including a large banner with images of WA honorees.

Women of Achievement is in the news:

One of our 2024 Women of Achievement honorees, Ellen Rolfes, joined Deborah Clubb in a feature with Kontji Anthony on Live at 9! The video is available here.

In 2019, Women of Achievement honorees Maxine Strawder and Rachel Greer were interviewed on Live at 9! Watch the video here.

Visit WomenofAchievement.org