Recognizing and Celebrating Leaders Across our Community

For the past 15 years, the start of summer has brought hundreds of community leaders, volunteers and members of the business community together to celebrate the accomplishments of women in numerous roles.

The annual Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon is Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the Civic Arena. At last year’s luncheon, over 1,000 guests were in attendance as we honored outstanding women and employers. We not only recognize and celebrate leadership at the event, but we honor the role all of us play in creating a community of vision, hope and strength. The 2017 speaker is Col. Grace Link, Director of Staff for the Missouri Air Guard (Read more in sidebar).

Celebrate with us! Wed., June 14th is the Patron’s Party for Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join us for this lovely event celebrating the annual Women of Excellence and honoring the event’s guest speaker. This year’s Patron’s Party will be held at the home of Craig and Jennifer Culver. RSVP required on or by June 9 to Erica Fattig, YWCA, at 816-232-4481. Tickets are $75 per person with proceeds benefiting the YWCA.

Ways to Get Involved with Women of Excellence:

 1. Purchase tickets or a table:  Mark your calendar and join us in saluting women and employers at this event. Online ticket purchases are available via the link:

PURCHASE HERE:  Women of Excellence Luncheon Tickets (online)

(You may contact Erica Fattig at 232-4481 for additional information about purchasing tickets or tables by check.)

2. We encourage you to become a Women of Excellence event sponsor or centerpiece sponsor! You can find sponsorship forms below.

Sponsorship Forms (Please print and mail back to YWCA)



3. Buy a cupcake at the Women of Excellence event for your chance to win a $900 diamond necklace, donated by Kristen’s Coin & Jewelry! 

At this year’s Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Cupcake Raffle by purchasing cupcakes for $5 each. Each cupcake represents a chance to win this lovely diamond necklace, valued at $900 and generously donated by Kristen’s Coin & Jewelry! If you haven’t already, be sure to purchase your Women of Excellence table or individual tickets so you can get a chance at this amazing piece.

4. Bid on the Punta Mita Dream Vacation or a Designer Purse: 

mexicoIt’s time to bid on a dream come true! Once again, Steven Craig has generously donated a one-week (seven night) stay at the fabulous Punta Mita Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, for the YWCA to auction off to one lucky bidder.

Bidding starts at $8,500 for this three-bedroom, 6-person occupancy ocean-view residence at the exclusive Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. (A luxury trip valued at over $30,000). Bid here today! 



As a fun new addition this year, we are also auctioning off 10 designer purses! Brands include Tod’s, Versace, Miu Miu and Prada. Check out the selection and then place your bids by visiting the YWCA bidding page.





5. Steve’s Centerpiece Challenge: Will you help the YWCA achieve this opportunity? Get Ready for Your Persimmon Envelope! For the past eight years, Steve Craig has hosted “Steve’s Centerpiece Challenge” at the annual Women of Excellence event as a key part of the fundraising effort to help women and children. Each year, the unique centerpiece items from the luncheon tables are auctioned at the event.

Every year, the combined donations from attendees grows — and we are so thankful to Steve Craig and everyone who participates in this exciting part of Women of Excellence! Bring cash, check or credit card number with you to the luncheon so that you’ll be ready to participate in this exciting challenge….and help the YWCA’s critical mission at the same time.

Women of Excellence Keynote Speaker 2017

About Col. Grace Link:  As Director of Staff for the Missouri Air Guard, Col. Grace Link serves as a senior advisor to the adjutant general, coordinates joint military functions and formulates long-term strategic plans in support of nearly 2,300 Citizen Airmen throughout the state – including the 139th Airlift in St. Joseph. A civil engineer and Airman since 1987, Link most recently served as the Deputy Missouri Support Group Commander at the 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph and was responsible for programming, coordinating and executing all military construction, fire protection, environmental protection, and emergency management programs.

Link has also led numerous military construction projects including Operation New Horizon in El Salvador, a Wounded Warrior Project in Colorado, and was recently the Commander for a European Reassurance Initiative Humanitarian Civic Assistance orphanage reconstruction project in Latvia. She currently serves as the Wing representative on the State Partnership Program with Panama.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology from Missouri Western State University and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University. She is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.