The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas was launched in 1998 when two of our founders, Pat Lile and Olivia Farrell, saw the need for funding dedicated to investing in projects that support women and girls in our community. These women were instrumental in seeking out prominent female leaders from “Top 100 Women in Arkansas,” where the idea for an organization for and by women was initiated. We strive to not only expand educational opportunities for women who do not have access to them, but also empower and equip women with necessary resources for emerging occupations, improve the economic status of women, and promote a mentorship for women and girls who are in need of tangible and emotional support.
In 1999, the first Power of the Purse luncheon was held to announce the grants made possible to support these causes with donations from the original founders. WFA now holds this fundraising event each year to honor accomplished women, announce grants made that year, and highlight other WFA programs.
2018 Luncheon Details
Where/when: Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center, Wally Allen Ballroom | September 14, 2018 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
2018 Power of the Purse event chairs: Colette D. Honorable and R. Lacy Selig
Woman of the Year in Business: Marcy Doderer, CEO of Arkansas Children’s
Women of the Year in Philanthropy: Ellon Cockrill
1st Lady’s Woman in Public Service: Annie Abrams
Brownie Ledbetter Civic Engagement Award: Mary Louise Williams
Learn who we are, what we do, and how you can help women in Arkansas be stronger. When women succeed, Arkansas succeeds.
Sponsorships are available now! PotP-2018-Sponsorship-Packet
Please email sponsorship form to email@example.com or mail form with check to:
200 River Market Ave., Suite 100 Little Rock AR 72201
Please keep checking our website for our formal announcement of this year’s honorees and details about ticket reservations.
2018 Woman in Business
Marcy Doderer took the helm as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Children’s on July 15, 2013. Over the last five years she has led the transformation of ACH into a health system, which includes multiple clinics, research institute and two pediatric hospitals serving over 700,000 children in Arkansas. Prior to her role at Arkansas Children’s, she served as a member of senior leadership for CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in various capacities since 2002. Marcy held progressive leadership roles in Texas, serving in both large and small hospital facilities.
Marcy is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) and is active in many professional organizations. She has served on various boards and committees at the state and national level aimed at improving child health. She is currently a board member of the Children’s Hospital Solutions for Patient Safety, the Children’s Hospital Association, and Healthy Active Arkansas. Marcy is also active with the Little Rock Regional Chamber and Fifty for the Future.
As a professional and a mother, Marcy is passionate about improving healthcare for children in Arkansas. She obtained her BS in Finance from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and her MA in Hospital and Health Administration from The University of Iowa.
2018 Woman in Philanthropy
Ellon Cockrill, a WFA original founder, has dedicated her life to philanthropy in Central Arkansas. Ellon has been a founding member of several organizations, served on over 10 boards of directors, and has received several awards recognizing her service. Ellon has been involved in several organizations including: United Way, St. Vincent’s Foundation, Centers for Youth and Families, American Heart Association, and ACANSA. She was previously honored by The Centers for Youth & Families as a 2017 Hero of Hope.
AR 1st Lady’s Woman in Public Service
Mary Louise Williams
Brownie Ledbetter Civic Engagement Award
Mary Louise Williams is a retired educator having served more than 30 years as a music teacher and administrator. She has been actively involved in service to the community for her entire life, having served on a number of boards and commissions, sometimes as the only woman or only African American. She has worked with people from all walks of life and backgrounds to improve the lives of the people of Arkansas, and especially those who are underserved. She is an activist, and continues to work, even at ninety years old, to ensure that the rights of all are protected and that all voices are heard.
She has mentored scores of women and men in the political arena, academia and civic engagement. She is a strong proponent of education and has personally contributed to a number of students’ college education. She has received numerous awards for her service, activism and commitment to fairness, and she continues active involvement in a number of causes and organizations.
She had the opportunity to work with Brownee Ledbetter—finding her to be a highly ethical woman dedicated to the betterment of others, and she is pleased to receive this award named in Brownee’s honor.
Colette D. Honorable
Power of the Purse Co-chair
Colette D. Honorable, a native of Little Rock, is a partner with the global law firm Reed Smith, LLP. Colette is a member of Reed Smith’s Energy and Natural Resources Group resident in the Washington, DC office. She is a highly regarded policymaker in domestic and international energy sectors. She recently served as commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after being nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate in December 2014 for a term that expired in June 2017. Colette joined FERC from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, where she had served since October 2007 and led as chair from 2011 – 2015.
Colette’s professional career includes more than 15 years of public service, including serving as Chief of Staff at the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and in the cabinet of Governor Mike Beebe. Colette is a motivational speaker in the US and abroad, with a passion for motivating women and girls. She previously served as a member of the board for the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and was humbled to be the inaugural recipient of the WFA First Lady’s Woman in Public Service Award in 2016.
She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her teenage daughter, Sydney, and retired mother, Joyce. “Having been a proud supporter of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas over the years, and an example of the power of educating women and girls,” Colette said, “it will be both a privilege and joy to serve as co-chair of the 2018 Power of the Purse.” Twenty years of the work of so many to ensure the success of women and girls in Arkansas is something to celebrate!
Rose Lacy Selig
Power of the Purse Co-chair
Rose Lacy Selig – Born and raised in Saline County, Lacy is a consultant working with non-profits around the world on strategic planning and development. “Raising and properly managing funding are common goals of all non-profits, whether it is our local church, a national cancer center, or an international children’s charity. I love knowing that my work allows organizations to fulfill their visions, multiply impact, and change lives.”
Lacy attended Bryant Schools, Mount St. Mary Academy, and the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts before attending the University of St Andrews and the London School of Economics. Lacy now lives in Washington, DC and makes regular trips to Arkansas for work and family.
She says she is honored to serve as the Co-Chair for the WFA’s 20th Anniversary Power of the Purse. “My grandmother, Helen Selig, was one of the 100 Founders of the WFA. As a business leader, social activist, and Mayor of Hot Springs, she instilled in me the importance of giving back and lending a hand to fellow Arkansans, particularly fellow Arkansas women and girls. I am proud to be a part of this 20th Year Celebration to honor the leading women of Arkansas and grow the life-changing work of the Women’s Foundation.”