WLRN Women’s Empowerment Panel

On October 6 the YMCA of Greater Toledo’s, Women’s Leadership Resource Network hosted a professional development panel that featured insightful women leaders across the community to share their expertise, wisdom, and differing perspectives. 

The panelists included: 

 Lisa Hawker Chief Growth Officer, Hylant Group, Inc

Wendi R. Huntley, Esq. President & CEO, Connecting Kids To Meals

Andrea Gwyn, FACHE President, Mercy Health – St.Anne Hospital

Wendy Pestrue, JD President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toledo

Sharon Speyer Regional President, The Huntington National Bank

The panelist were introduced by WLRN Chair and Eastern Community YMCA Member Experience Director, Erin Fisher. The panel discussion was moderated by Rosalyn Whickum, YMCA of Greater Toledo Digital Media Specialist. Nearly 30 people were in attendance, representing the YMCA and other companies and organizations in the Greater Toledo community. 

“It was such an honor to be on a panel with these amazing community leaders!, said Lisa Hawker of Hylant Group, Inc. 

The YMCA’s WLRN looks forward to holding similar professional development events in the future. 

The event was recorded and is available to view below. 


My Y Story – Cathy Leonard

“In Jr High, I was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and the therapy for this was swimming. I joined the West Toledo YMCA and began working out with the swim team. Hated every minute of it but became an excellent swimmer.
Fast forward to adulthood and having my own children, I knew I wanted my kids to learn to swim so we joined the Wolf Creek YMCA.
While enjoying our family membership I started taking water fitness classes and even became a water fitness instructor. I wanted to help the aquatic department so I became a lifeguard and swim instructor. With this knowledge, I was asked to help open the Fort Meigs YMCA , and became the aquatics director.
From there, I became a lifeguard trainer and swim instructor trainer. My childhood experience with the Y, brought me to the Y as an adult which, in turn, led me to the most rewarding career”
– Cathy Leonard,
YMCA of Greater Toledo Association Efficiency Director