Special Initiatives

Special Initiatives

The Women’s Philanthropy Board sponsors special initiatives that recognize and honor outstanding financial and philanthropic leaders and provides opportunities to support WPB’s educational, mentoring, and philanthropic mission. These initiatives include:

WPB Executive Committee
WPB Inspire Awards
WPB Distinguished Speakers Fund
WPB 20th Anniversary Fund

WPB Executive Committee

The WPB Executive Committee serves as the organization’s advocacy leaders. Members of the committee are invited to participate by the Dean of the College of Human Sciences. The volunteer committee is comprised of a president, vice president, representatives from each of WPB’s membership levels, at-large members, and past presidents. Committee members serve two-year terms and meet semiannually.

The committee is responsible for advocating for the organization within their circles of influence, suggesting educational programming topics and helping to secure speakers, participating with mentoring initiatives, and identifying potential new members and partners.

2023-2025 Joanne Schrantz, Auburn, Alabama
2021-2023 Beth Thorne Stukes, Jasper, Alabama
2019-2021 Leah Dubberly, Montgomery, Alabama
2017-2019 Dess Feick, Birmingham, Alabama
2015-2017 Sandy Coaker, Montgomery, Alabama
2013-2015 Charlotte Gaston, Montgomery, Alabama
2011-2013 Sue Groce, Montgomery, Alabama
2009-2011 Margaret Bentley, Oneonta, Alabama
2007-2009 Sally Jones Hill, Florida
2004-2007 Darlene Woodall Allen, Illinois
2002-2004 Sandy Logan, Birmingham, Alabama

WPB Inspire Awards

The Women’s Philanthropy Board, in association with its 20th Anniversary Commemoration, has established five awards to honor individuals and organizations that have exemplified the educational, mentoring, and philanthropic mission of WPB. In addition to their personal and collective achievements, the honorees have inspired and encouraged others to replicate their actions and have exhibited a commitment to ensuring that the next generation of philanthropists are prepared to follow their examples. A committee comprised of current WPB members and partners select the award recipients based on criteria established by the committee.

2022-2023 Inaugural Recipients:

The Flower Store: Small Business Philanthropist
Alabama Power: Corporate Philanthropist
Leah Dubberly: Financial Educator
Suzanne Laws*: Mentoring
Mamie Sellers: Philanthropist of the Year


WPB Distinguished Speakers Fund

The WPB Distinguished Speakers Fund was established in 2014 and supports the organization’s efforts to feature prominent speakers at its educational programs. These speakers are recognized for their expertise and leadership in the fields of finance, wealth management, estate planning, entrepreneurship, economics, healthcare, mentoring, nonprofit leadership, and philanthropy.

WPB seeks to provide nationally and internationally known speakers at its programs to:

  • Provide high-quality and relevant educational opportunities for its constituents, Auburn University students, faculty, staff, and the community at large.
  • Bring heightened awareness of the mission of WPB to both internal and external stakeholders of the University.
  • Attract larger and more diverse audiences to its programs.
  • Broaden the base of financial support to WPB and its educational, mentoring, and philanthropic initiatives.

Since 2014, Alabama Power has been the primary supporter of WPB’s Distinguished Speakers Fund and has contributed more than $100,000 to the fund in addition to its annual WPB Corporate Partnership.

For more information about the WPB Distinguished Speakers Fund, please contact the WPB office at (334) 844-9156.

WPB 20th Anniversary Fund

To commemorate WPB’s 20th anniversary, and to ensure its future for the next 20 years, the WPB 20th Anniversary Endowed Fund for Excellence has been established in the Auburn University Foundation. Contributions to the 20th Anniversary Fund are encouraged from all current and former WPB members and partners and from the community at large. Contributions from members are generously made above and beyond annual membership gifts.

Funding will be used to help secure high-profile speakers for WPB’s annual educational outreach programs.

Support of the 20th Anniversary Fund may be made by:

  • Making a designated charitable contribution at auburngiving.org/wpb
  • Making a contribution when purchasing tables or tickets to WPB events