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Leading Waco Women Summit Series

Leading Waco Women

Shannon Sedgwick Davis
CEO, Bridgeway Foundation & Author, To Stop a Warlord

Shannon Sedgwick Davis is the CEO of Bridgeway Foundation and the author of To Stop a Warlord. The Bridgeway Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to ending and preventing mass atrocities around the world. Established in 2000 as the charitable giving arm of Bridgeway Capital Management, the organization serves as a catalyst for peace and reconciliation in international communities suffering from oppression, genocide, and other human rights violations.

An attorney, activist, and passionate advocate for social justice, Ms. Sedgwick Davis has guided the Bridgeway Foundation in pioneering solutions to seemingly intractable issues around the world. The organization has supported the work of groups like Aegis Trust, Resolve Uganda, Human Rights Watch, Invisible Children, and dozens of community-based organizations. Ms. Sedgwick Davis and the Bridgeway Foundation have been credited for their pivotal role in mobilizing awareness, civilian protection, and recovery efforts to counter the violence of the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony, the first-ever indictee of the International Criminal Court. Ms. Sedgwick Davis and the Foundation’s work have been featured on NBC’s TODAY, TEDxSanAntonio, PBS NewsHour, and in Forbes.

Before joining Bridgeway Foundation in 2007, Ms. Sedgwick Davis served as Vice President of Geneva Global, a leading philanthropic consulting firm that advises individuals, foundations, non-profit organizations, and corporations on international development, global health, and poverty solutions. Previously, Ms. Sedgwick Davis was the Director of Public Affairs at the International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency that focuses on ending slavery, forced prostitution, and illegal land seizures in the developing world. Her work in helping rescue children from sex trafficking in the Svay Pak village of Cambodia was featured in the 2005 Emmy award-winning piece, “Children for Sale,” on Dateline.

Ms. Sedgwick Davis is an honors graduate of McMurry University and Baylor Law School, from which she received the institution’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2011. Her other recognitions include the Nomi Network’s 2014 Abolitionist Award; a Global Human Rights Hero award from Saving Innocence; the Navy SEAL “Fire in the Gut” Award; and the 2022 International Citizen of the Year Award from the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. Ms. Sedgwick Davis serves on the advisory council of The Elders and is a board member of several organizations including Humanity United, charity: water, Verdant Frontiers, and, formerly, TOMS.

The Leading Waco Women Summit Series was created to celebrate, empower and develop female leaders in the Waco community. The annual series provides professional development opportunities through half-day conferences, keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking. Each summit in the Leading Waco Women Series is focused on the three components of leadership: serving, empowering and mentoring. The Greater Waco Chamber celebrated the inaugural Leading Waco Women Summit in November 2018 with the presentation of Waco's first-ever ATHENA Leadership Award.

Registration Information

The community is invited to join us for each summit!

About the ATHENA Leadership Award

The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to leaders across professional sectors around the world. Its rich history, international scope and mentorship distinguish it as one of the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive. The ATHENA Leadership award celebrates women who achieve excellence in their professions, serve the community in a meaningful way, and help other women reach their full potential. The ATHENA Leadership award celebrates exemplary leadership and is reflective of a quote by Plato: "What is honored in a country will be cultivated there." Over 7,000 Recipients have been honored with the ATHENA Leadership award since the program’s inception in 1982. Each summer the Waco Chamber will accept nominations from the community and present the ATHENA Leadership award each year at the Leading Waco Women Serving Summit held in November. Learn more about the ATHENA Leadership Award >

ATHENA Leadership Award Nomination Information

Each summer, nominations open for potential candidates. After the nomination period closes, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce will form a Review and Recommendation Committee comprised of community leaders to review and score the nominations based on ATHENA International guidelines. The Review and Recommendation Committee will submit its scores and recommendations to the Executive Committee of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for consideration and action.  Nominations are scored solely on the information provided by the nominator. The top four nominees will be announced as finalists, but the ATHENA Leadership award recipient will not be announced until the Serving Summit.

Nomination Requirements:

ATHENA Leadership award nominees must meet each of the following three criteria:

  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession
  • Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community
  • Actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential

Nominee Qualifications:

  • ATHENA Leadership award Nominees may represent either the profit or not-for-profit sector.
  • Previous ATHENA Leadership award Recipients are not eligible for nomination, however, past nominees may be nominated again.
  • There is no minimum or maximum age qualification that must be met by ATHENA Leadership award Nominees.