Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation is Among Honorees

2023 Women of Power Honorees at Quad County Urban League’s Women’s Empowerment Summit

AURORA, IL, USA, April 19, 2023. “For decades the Quad County Urban League has been working in our community to advocate for educational excellence and economic self-reliance and their dedication to female empowerment is evident in all they do,” said Amy Baudouin, Board Chair, Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation (AWEF). “Their Women’s Empowerment Summit was an extraordinary event filled with inspiring stories and calls to action for all women to be true to themselves and step into their own power to serve others. We are truly humbled to be one of their Women of Power award recipients this year.”

“Cultures are defined by their stories, which educate us, instill values, and pass down culture,” said Theodia Gillespie, President & CEO, Quad County Urban League. “Women’s stories have not always been centered within the public discourse, and our intent, since the creation of this Summit has been to do just that.”

Amy Baudouin

Theodia Gillespie

The Women of Power Awards are given in recognition of accomplishments and leadership in forging new roles and inspiration for women, girls, and future generations. Those who were honored at last month’s Women’s Empowerment Summit, many of whom were featured speakers, included:

  • Sharon Bush, Grand Victoria Foundation
  • Debra Conroy, DuPage County Chair
  • Tremese Davis, Nicor Gas
  • Sarah Douglas, INTREN
  • Quentella Enty, KFA, Inc.
  • Jana Farmer, Ms Jana’s Candy
  • Rona Fourté, CBRE
  • Patricia Hanes, Pat Hanes & Associates
  • Yaneth Medina, Elgin State Bank
  • Corrine Pierog, Kane County Board Chairman
  • Terrie Simmons, Illinois MBDA Business Center
  • Ronalyn Stephen, Focus Care MD
  • State Senator Karina Villa, IL Senate, District 25
  • Mayor Lora Vitek, City of St. Charles, IL
  • Denise Winfrey, Will County Board District 6
  • Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation

AWEF was nominated to receive a Women of Power award by Julie Christman, President & CEO at the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, who also serves on the Women’s Empowerment Summit Committee. “The work of the Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation has been so great over the years, and I continue to be inspired by the way they are impacting the lives of girls and women throughout our community,” said Christman. “I believe that the Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation truly illustrates ‘Women of Power’ in action and I was glad to be able to nominate them for this distinction.”

Many are surprised to learn that the Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation is a true “working board.” All seven Board of Director members are volunteers, and, along with a few consultants, are responsible for the day-to-day work of the foundation.

Julie Christman

AWEF representatives honored at the Women’s Empowerment Summit included:

  • Amy Baudouin, AWEF Board Chair and Vice President of Facilities and Office Operations at VNA Health Care
  • Gretta Bieber, AWEF Board Vice Chair and Attorney at Alschuler, Simantz and Hem, LLC
  • Linda Pilmer, AWEF Board Secretary and Managing Broker and Owner at Pilmer Real Estate, Inc.
  • Rhonda Mont, AWEF Board Treasurer and Office Administration Manager at Cordogan Clark and Associates
  • Zaida Rodriguez, AWEF Board Member and Grants Administrator at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office
  • Commander Liz Robinson-Chan, AWEF Board Member and Commander, Bureau of Support Services at the Aurora Police Department
  • Janice Baez, AWEF Board Member and Founder of West Aurora High School’s Empowered Women of the Future Club and Aurora University student, double majoring in Political Science and Social Work
  • Cheryl O’Donoghue, AWEF Executive Consultant

Plans are already underway for the Quad County Urban League’s 2024 Women’s Empowerment Summit. The event is scheduled for Friday, March 15, 2024, at the Chicago Marriott Naperville. Those interested in more information, including sponsorship opportunities, are encouraged to email or phone 630.851.2203.


The Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation mission is to elevate and empower Aurora-area women and future women by making grants to tax-exempt nonprofits engaged in meaningful, measurable work that helps women over the hurdles of inequity and exclusion, propelling them forward with life-changing programs and services.  For more information about grants made by AWEF, including our grant guidelines and online application, visit