For Immediate Release Media Contact
March 31, 2023Atokatha Ashmond Brew

Social Impact Women to Watch 2023 List Released by Nonprofit HR
 Annual List of 24 Professionals Exhibiting Extraordinary Leadership, Impactful Achievements

WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 31, 2023 – For several years during Women’s History Month, Nonprofit HR has proudly recognized women across North America who have made significant contributions to nonprofits, associations, foundations, social enterprises and the communities they serve. This year, we called on our expanded community to help us identify and recognize outstanding women who accomplish the seemingly impossible against all odds. A record-breaking number of individuals responded to our call for nominations and we are pleased to publish the 2023 list of women who have inspired us. The finalists listed below are 24 professional women who have exhibited extraordinary leadership, unwavering dedication and impactful achievements. Additional details on the finalists may be seen here.

  1. Itzel Almazan — People & Operations Director, Capital Area Immigration’s Rights (CAIR) Coalition
  2. Ayana Bias— Director of Advocacy & Volunteer Services, United Planning Organization
  3. Sarah Blas— Community Impact and Communications Lead, MindOpen Learning Strategies
  4. Anahid Brakke— President & CEO, San Diego Hunger Coalition
  5. Cynthia N. Colbert— President & CEO, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
  6. Denise Collazo— Chief of External Affairs, Faith in Action
  7. Mary Cortani— Founder & Executive Director, Operation Freedom Paws (OFP)
  8. Jennifer D. Dobbs — Executive Director, ArtsBridge Foundation
  9. Marilyn Edmunds Bowser — Vice President of People Operations, Vital Voices Global Partnership
  10. Bonnie Entler— President & CEO, Seeds of Literacy
  11. Chavi Khanna Koneru— Co-Founder & Executive Director, North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT)
  12. Indra Lahiri, PhD— Founder, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
  13. Pamela A. Leins, MSL— Executive Director, Boston Education Fund (BEDF)
  14. Jenny Malseed— VP of Strategy and Talent, GlobalGiving
  15. Heather L. Maurer, MA, CAE— CEO, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)
  16. MaryEllen McGuire, PhD— President & Founder, Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI)
  17. Carolyn Penn, MBA, PHR, SHRM-CP— Senior Vice President, Total Rewards & Compliance, So Others Might Eat
  18. Amelia Quinn— Founder & President, BeLoved Atlanta
  19. Nikki Santos— Executive Director, Center for Native American Youth
  20. Wanda Steptoe— Executive Director, New Endeavors By Women
  21. Paula Thompson— Executive Director, Voices for a Second Chance
  22. Kimberly Townsend— President & CEO, Loretto
  23. Ellen Voie, CAE— Founder, Women In Trucking Association
  24. Karen P. West— President & CEO, American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

“At Nonprofit HR, we believe that an organization’s people are its greatest asset, and women are the majority of the social impact workforce, leading mission-critical initiatives at every level. As a woman-owned-and-operated firm, we are fortunate to have many women on our staff. From our emerging professionals to senior management team, women are represented at every level at Nonprofit HR,” said Lisa Brown Alexander, Founder and CEO, Nonprofit HR.

Press seeking interviews may email Managing Director for Marketing and Strategic Communication, Atokatha Ashmond Brew, at

Download a copy of this news release here.


Nonprofit HR is the country’s leading and oldest firm focused exclusively on the talent management needs of the social sector, including nonprofits, associations, social enterprises and other mission-driven organizations. We focus our consulting efforts on the following practice areas: Strategy & Advisory, HR Outsourcing, Total Rewards, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Justice and Search. Nonprofit HR also offers customized learning and development in addition to research and events, all with the objective of strengthening the people management capacity of the workforce. Nonprofit HR was listed as one of the nation’s fastest-growing firms by Inc. 5000. Since 2000, our staff of credentialed experts has advanced the impact of some of the world’s most influential brands in the sector. Learn more at