Each year at Salute to Women of Achievement, YWCA of Greater Atlanta celebrates dynamic women leaders throughout Georgia whose professional and civic lives embody our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
2020 Woman of Achievement
Alicia Phillip – President, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta
Alicia Philipp is president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, a philanthropic anchor institution dedicated to strengthening the Atlanta region. In 2017 she celebrated her 40th year with the Foundation, which in its history has given away more than $1.7 billion to nonprofit organizations in the Atlanta region, throughout the U.S. and across the globe.
She leads a team of experts that strengthen the 23-county Atlanta region by inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. The Foundation grants out more than $100 million annually to thousands of nonprofit organizations.
Philipp has served on the board of the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Independent Sector and the National Center on Family Philanthropy. In 2017 she was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s Business Hall of Fame. She has also been named one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and to Atlanta magazine’s Atlanta 500. In 2019 she was recognized by the Atlanta Hawks basketball team as one of 50 Atlanta icons, in commemoration of the team’s 50th anniversary in Atlanta.
Philipp received a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur and has two adult children and one grandson, all of whom live in Europe. Philipp has announced that she plans to retire in 2020 and the Board of the Community Foundation will choose a successor.
2020 Academy of Women Achievers
Kali Beyah – Managing Director – Global Talent Management, Delta Air Lines
Kali is passionate about causes relating to women, children, equity and economic opportunity and development. In the community, she serves on the boards of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and the International Women’s Forum. Kali has previously served on numerous other boards, including the Airport West Community Improvement District, Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance,the Georgia Natural Resources Foundation, New American Pathways (formerly RRISA), the United Way African-American Partnership and the Georgia Association of Corporate Counsel. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the Atlanta Chapter of Jack &Jill.
Kali is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and Vanderbilt University School of Law. She and her husband live in Southwest Atlanta with their two children.
Lori Billingsley – Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
Lori George Billingsley is the Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, she leads the company’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence, all directed to enabling a more engaged global workforce, mirror the markets we serve, and supporting a more inclusive culture to best position the employees of the company to drive growth.
She has been with the company for 17 years, having spent most of them in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility within Public Affairs. Most recently, she was the vice president of Community and Stakeholder Relations for Coca-Cola North America. Lori has over 30 years of public affairs, communications, community and stakeholder relations, and diversity and inclusion experience in developing and implementing breakthrough strategic initiatives that meet organizational goals, target audience needs and produce results. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, she had her own public relations consultancy, LG Communications; was a vice president at Porter/Novelli, a leading public relations firm; and a senior public affairs specialist for the District of Columbia Government.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (Vice Chair), Leadership Atlanta, ColorComm, Arete-Executive Women of Influence and the NAACP Foundation. She formerly served on the Boards of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, United Way of Greater Atlanta and Atlanta Mission. She is a member of the Howard University School of Communications Board of Visitors and the former Co-Chair of American University’s Women’s Network.
Lori is a featured speaker globally and has received numerous national awards, including the 2019 Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement from Howard University, PUSH for Excellence, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corporate Award, Inaugural Bravo! Award for Diversity and Inclusion from the Hispanic Public Relations Association, ColorComm Circle Award, Chairman’s Circle Leadership Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc., PRSA Order of the Phoenix Award, My Black Is Beautiful Rooted In Faith Award, and is a Georgia PRSA Hall of Fame Inductee.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in public relations at Howard University and her Master of Arts in public communications at American University. Lori is an ordained minister.
Martha Brooks – Corporate Director & Philanthropist
Martha built her global manufacturing career with Cummins, the world leader in diesel engines and power systems, running the global truck and bus business, then later the marketing, customer engineering and new product development for the engine business. She did business in more than 40 countries, lived 6 years in Europe during the collapse of the Soviet Union and 2 years in China in the early 80’s. After a wonderful 16 years at Cummins, she moved to Alcan as the CEO of the aluminum rolling and recycling business, where she drove innovation and customer focus. After shepherding her aluminum business through a difficult spinoff as a public company (Novelis), she led the sale process of the $11billion company to an Indian conglomerate, than ran the company for two more years before executing on her dream of a totally different second half dedicated to service.
As Board co-Chair of CARE, she works to change the business model of aid to include more social enterprise, more effective collaborations among NGO’s, governments and business, and a clear focus on the education and empowerment of women and girls as a key means of making sustainable progress. CARE operates in over 90 countries with the most marginalized of people and will celebrate its 75th anniversary next year.
In Atlanta, she has served many non-profits focused on changing the outcomes for our at risk kids, including Teach for America, Chairing the Mayoral Board of Service, and serving for 6 years on the Atlanta Community Food Bank board in Strategy and Development leadership functions. She is an active Rotarian. As a member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors (and former Chair), she has participated in election observation, most recently in Myanmar. She is a proud member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2010.
She keeps her business skills current with several public company Board positions—global aerospace and train leader Bombardier Inc., leading technology manufacturing and design firm Jabil Inc., and aluminum rolling and extrusion company Constellium SE. She has served on every type of committee and chaired many after a collective 35 years of public company board experience.
She holds a BA in Economics and Political Science as well as a Masters of Public and Private Management from Yale University. She serves on the Yale President’s Board of International Advisors as well as the Board of the Yale School of Management. She is a life long learner, a mother of 3 thriving boys, and wife of 35 years who never tires of travel and engaging with those who are making a positive impact on the world.
Kathy Colbenson – President & CEO, CHRIS 180
Over the years, Kathy has provided consistent leadership through innovation and initiatives that break down barriers and result in outreach and help for underserved, invisible populations. New programs include opening the Southeast’s first program for homeless youth that targeted outreach to LGBTQ youth in January 2000, creating the first supportive housing program in the state for homeless youth and youth aging out of foster care in 2010, creating new trauma-informed models for service delivery and adoption, and many other positive changes in services for children and families throughout the state.
In 2003, Kathy was humbled to receive the Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign; in 2010 Kathy was recognized with the Evelyn Ullman Innovative Leadership Award; in 2013, Kathy was honored to receive the Turknett Leadership Character Award and in 2019, Kathy was named one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs. Kathy is particularly proud that CHRIS 180 programs, services, and staff have been recognized for expertise and leadership in trauma-informed care and innovation. Recent recognitions include the TeleHealth Facility of the Year Award from the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth for the CHRIS Counseling Center, and the National Innovation and the Excellence Program Award from the National Center for Excellence and Innovation for our Keeping Families Together Program. Additionally, CHRIS 180 is the two-time winner of the Managing for Excellence Award (1998 & 2011) from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Kathy’s passions include volunteerism and donating to many social and environmental causes. In addition to CHRIS 180, Kathy is a former Board member and supporter of the East Atlanta Kids Club, an advisor for Bearing Bikes, and serves on the Board of the Georgia Commission on Service and Volunteerism and the Advisory Board for Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta. Kathy is married, has two grown daughters, three dogs, three cats and enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling and photography.
Cynthia Day – President & CEO, Citizens Trust Bank
Cynthia N. Day the President & Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Trust Bank joined Citizens Trust Bank in February 2003 as an Executive Vice President through an acquisition of the historical Citizens Federal Savings Bank of Birmingham, where she served as the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and in other capacities since 1993. Two years after the acquisition, Ms. Day became the Senior Executive Vice President & COO making her the first woman to hold this position for both institutions. In February 2012, she ascended to Chief Executive Officer, the first permanently named female CEO in the Company’s history.
As the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Day provides the vision and strategic direction for the Company. Further she provides leadership to a team of Citizens Trust Bank’s senior management professionals in an effort to achieve and accomplish the Bank’s strategic objectives. During her tenure, the bank has reached many milestones including achieving record level earnings since the inception of the institution and navigating the Bank through the worst economic cycle since the “Great Depression”. Yet, through her leadership, the Bank has remained healthy and financially strong. These achievements continue to receive recognition as Citizens Trust Bank has been consistently named one of the top African American Owned commercial banks in the country. On numerous occasions, the company was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of Georgia’s Top 100 publicly traded companies before the Company went private in 2017. Ms. Day has also been personally recognized for her leadership and mentorship in various community and professional organizations including being named in 2017 one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by the Georgia Trend Magazine, named multiple years as one of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Leaders in Finance” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and named the 2014 “CEO of the Year” by the Atlanta Business League.
Prior to becoming a banker, Ms. Day began her career with KMPG as a college graduate and ascended to audit manager before being recruited into the banking industry. During this time, she became a licensed Certified Public Accountant and has been a CPA for over 28 years. Ms. Day managed audit engagements for companies across several different industries including banking, insurance, manufacturing and educational institutions, many of which were publicly traded. She left KMPG in 1993 when she was recruited by Citizens Federal
Savings Bank to lead the financial area of the Bank and was quickly promoted to oversee the entire operations as the COO. With a career that spans over 25 years in the banking and finance industries, service is at the heart of everything she represents.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of: Citizens Bancshares Corporation, Aaron’s, Inc. where she chairs the Audit Committee, Primerica, Inc., The National Bankers Association, Georgia Bankers Association, and the Commerce Club. In addition, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and AICPA.
Day also consistently gives of her time to service. She serves on the board of The Atlanta Area Boy Scouts Council and she also makes time in her schedule to volunteer for activities at her daughter’s school. Recognizing her leadership and commitment to various community and professional organizations she has been noted as one of Black Enterprises’ “Most Powerful Women in Business” and has been featured in several business magazines. Day believes embodying a spirit of excellence and service are key elements to ensuring success in her Company and the community.
A native of Fayette, Alabama and a graduate of The University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Day received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. She and her husband, James Day,
reside in Smyrna, Georgia and are the proud parents of their daughter, Cydney.
Pat Gardner – State Representative, State of Georgia
Pat Gardner was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in a 2001 special election. Representative Gardner currently serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and the Ethics, Higher Education, Natural Resources & Environment and Transportation committees. She is secretary of the House Minority Caucus, chairs the City of Atlanta Delegation and is treasurer of the Working Families Caucus.An advocate for universal access to health care, Pat has initiated efforts to make the current Medicaid system available to every Georgia family.
As a longtime advocate for integration of mental health into the health care system, she recently chaired a study committee of the Fulton Delegation looking into the coordination of mental health care in that county. She received commendations from the Georgia Conservation Voters, the Georgia Network of Mental Health Consumers, the National Mental Health Association, the Breast Cancer Coalition, All About Developmental Disabilities and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The Women’s Policy Group awarded Pat their legislative award in 2004.
Gardner was the executive director of the Georgia Psychological Association for nearly 30 years and has been a tireless advocate for mental health services. As a certified association executive (CAE), she has worked in leadership positions with the Georgia Association of Association Executives and as president of the American Psychological Association’s Council of State Executives. Her interest in international affairs comes from living and travelling abroad and teaching Spanish for a number of years.
As a wife, mother, association executive and former teacher, Pat has lived in the Morningside neighborhood for more than 40 years with her husband and two children. As the Executive Director of the Georgia Psychological Association, she had nearly 30 years of experience in what it takes to run a small business and how to build coalitions to help advance public awareness and generate results on issues important to our health and our neighborhoods. Pat taught high school Spanish for 8 years, has spent a year in Spain and another in India, and loves to travel.
Pat has served on the Board of the Morningside/Lenox Park Association. She has also served on the Boards of the League of Women Voters, the Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia, the Mental Health Services Coalition, National Association for the Mentally Ill, 3 Keys (formerly Project Interconnections), the Besser Foundation, and Georgians for Choice. She is a member of the Midtown Atlanta Rotary Club, Leadership Atlanta and a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL). Endorsements include Georgia’s WIN List, the Black Caucus, AJC, and others.
Pat Gardner has served our community in the State House of Representatives since 2001 asWife, Mother, and GrandmotherFormer teacher and businesswomanConsistent, reliable, solution oriented leader
Condace Pressley – Director of Community & Public Affairs, Cox Media Group (WSB)
Condace Pressley is an award-winning journalist. She is a two-time Hall of Fame member – inducted in 2019 into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and in 2016 into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
As Director of Community Affairs for Cox Media Group Atlanta, Condace leads the company’s community efforts across its broadcast platforms including WSB-TV and the company’s four radio stations. She’s executive producer of People 2 People on WSB-TV and host of the “One on One” segment of the show.
Condace began her career in radio, first in Athens while still a student at The University of Georgia and then in Atlanta at WSB, KISS104.1 and B98.5. For more than 30 years she’s hosted the Sunday morning public affairs program “Perspectives” where she’s interviewed hundreds of community and thought leaders.
The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication honored Pressley with the John H. Drewry Outstanding Young Alumna Award in 1992. In 2015, The Grady College named Pressley to its Centennial Class of Journalism Fellows the college’s highest honor. She is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and has been profiled by The HistoryMakers, the world’s largest African American oral video history archive for her significant contributions to media. Condace is a former President of both the National Association of Black Journalists (2001-2003) and Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (1991-1995) and was the chapter’s 2012 Pioneer Black Journalist.
Condace has passion for community and is especially committed to empowering women through her work on the board of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Her community work includes service on the boards of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the advisory board of Crime Stoppers Atlanta, Project Healthy Grandparents and Day 1/The Alliance for Christian Media.
Condace loves travel and supports the arts. This devoted daughter and aunt resides in Marietta.
Bentina Chislom Terry – Sr. VP, Northwest Region, Georgia Power
Bentina C. Terry is Senior Vice President for Northwest Region for Georgia Power. In this role, Bentina is responsible for the company’s operations, sales, customer service, economic and community development, and external affairs activities for 1.4 million customers across metro Atlanta and the northwest corner of the state.
Bentina is actively involved in the community and feels fortunate to work for a company that has a passion for the communities it serves. She serves on the board of directors for the Midtown Alliance, Posse Foundation, Atlanta Police Foundation, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, and the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. She is also on the advisory council for the BB&T Open. In 2017, she graduated from Atlanta Regional Commission’s Leadership Institute and has been named one of Atlanta Business League’s 100 Most Influential Women.
Bentina has had a diverse career with Southern Company, beginning in 2001 at Georgia Power. She has worked at Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Southern Nuclear Operating Company, all Southern Company subsidiaries. In her career, she has been responsible for many different areas of the company including External Affairs, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Community and Economic Development, Corporate Communications, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, Compliance and Ethics, Corporate Services and aspects of Power Delivery. She also served as General Counsel of Southern Nuclear. Bentina began her career practicing law with Troutman Sanders law firm in Atlanta and also served as the Associate General Counsel at Progress Energy in Raleigh, NC prior to coming to Southern Company.
A native of Fayetteville, N.C., Bentina holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina State University. She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Georgia State Bar, Leadership Atlanta, Leadership North Carolina, Leadership Florida, the International Women’s Forum, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Incorporated. She has received various awards and recognitions for her contribution to the state of Florida and northwest Florida including being named one of Influence Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Florida Politics (2015), 850 Magazine’s Pinnacle Award (2014), Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chair Award (2014), the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leader of the Year (2013), and one of the Florida Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women (2012). She has been selected as a member of the “IN Power List” recognizing the top 100 most powerful and influential people in greater Pensacola area for seven consecutive years (2009-2016) and was named #1 in April 2016. She was also an International Women’s Forum (IWF) Fellow in 2012.
She is married to Antonio Terry and they have one dog, Bubba.
Sandy D. Welfare is a Senior Manager of WestRock’s Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (ePMO). In this role, Sandy leads the ePMO Program Operations for IT.
Sandy’s career began in 1989 in Greenwich, Connecticut where she joined Rand Insurance as the operations controller. Six years later, she accepted a position with Lucent Technologies, an international telecommunications leader, holding a number of positions including serving as accounting and treasury manager in Singapore (1999-2000) and then as senior operations manager in Australia and New Zealand (2000-2002). Sandy returned to Atlanta in 2002 as senior manager, global financial services.
In 2003, Sandy accepted a position as director of operations for Xchanging, a business processing outsourcing company. In 2006, her career took her to London, England as managing director for professional services, where she managed global business processing services for bank financial transactions, insurance and retail.
Upon returning from London in 2008, Sandy transitioned from Board Chair to the executive director of Cool Girls Inc, an award-winning early intervention after-school program dedicated to the empowerment of girls. After five years with Cool Girls, Sandy joined Women In Technology (WIT) as the executive director, and led WIT’s mission of empowering Georgia’s women and girls to excel in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).
Some of Sandy’s recent community leadership roles include:
– Kiwanis Club of Atlanta – 2019 President, Grants Committee Member (8 Years), past Treasurer and Board Member
– Cool Girls, Inc. – Cool Sister Mentor (10+ years), 2019 Hot Pink Party Event Chair, past Executive Director and Board Chair
– Westside Beacon Advisory Team Member – 2019 Lead Advisor for non-profit Raising Expectations
– Wheeler Academic Booster Club – Treasurer and general fundraising (3 years)
– Boy Scouts of America Leadership Council Member Troop 713 – (3 years)
– Spelman LEADS mentor (4 Years)
– Women Mentor Atlanta (2 years)
Sandy received her undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in New York, and a Master of Business Administration from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. Sandy resides in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Cliff and son Soloman.