Board Emerita

Joan Bailey 2003
Susan Shands Jones 2004
Nancy Gilbert 2005
Jean Medley 2006
Dr. Geraldine Kearse Brookins 2007
Claudia Hauberg 2008
Jan Taylor 2009
Judy Mitchell Wiener 2010
Seetha Srinivasan 2011
LoRose Moore 2012-13
Kathleen O’Beirne 2014-15
Elta Johnston 2015-16
Julieta Mendez 2017
Kim Burke 2018
Susan Phillips, CPA 2019
Dr. Vonda G. Reeves 2020
Shanell Watson, CPA 2021
Margaret Oertling Cupples 2022
Lindsay Thomas Dowdle 2023
Mary Largent Purvis 2024
Dr. Michelle Owens 2025

Our History

  • Community Foundation of MS logo


    The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi began as a field-of-interest fund within the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.

  • Power of the Purse newspaper article

    Inaugural Power of the Purse

    The first Power of the Purse event, an informative session on how women could get involved in philanthropy, was hosted.

  • womens-fund-logo

    Public Launch

    The Community Foundation officially launched the Women’s Fund.

  • New Events

    The Fund hosted several new events, including the first Lunch and Learn, Change by Design, and Dining by Fireflies

  • International Women’s Day in Mississippi

    Former governor Haley Barbour declared March 8th “International Women’s Day” in Mississippi.

  • Carol Penick

    First Executive Directcor

    Carol Penick appointed as the first Executive Director.

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation logo

    W.K. Kellogg Foundation funding

    W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded The Fund a two-year, $375,500 capacity-building grant to support future endeavors.

  • Independent Organization

    The Fund officially separated from the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and became an independent, statewide organization.

  • Teen Pregnancy Spending Report Cover

    Teen Pregnancy Focus

    The Foundation committed to addressing proper sex education and teen pregnancy, and released an informational packet on the cost of teen pregnancy in Mississippi.

  • Partnership for Women’s Prosperity

    The Foundation joined the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP), an organization focused on supporting economically vulnerable women by providing opportunities in education, job training, and employment.

  • Fact Not Fiction condoms

    Fact Not Fiction

    The Foundation launched Fact Not Fiction, a website and statewide advertising campaign with the goal of lowering Mississippi’s rate of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

  • Mature Endowment

    The Foundation’s endowment was valued at $1 million, and it awarded $235,000 in grants.

  • Two-Generation

    The Foundation implemented the Two-Generation model, awarding grants to community colleges throughout Mississippi.

  • Policy Success

    The Foundation worked with the Community College Board to pass Senate Bill 2563, which requires community colleges to address the needs of women.

  • David & Lucile Packard Foundation Funding

    The Foundation continued to gain recognition locally and nationally, receiving a $1 million grant from the Packard Foundation.

  • Carol Penick


    Carol Penick announced her retirement after serving as the Executive Director of the Foundation for 9 years.

  • Tracy DeVries

    Tracy DeVries

    Tracy DeVries became the new Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation, effective January 1, 2017.

  • Women's Access to Quality Jobs in Mississippi

    New Research Released

    The Foundation released research on women’s access to quality jobs in Mississippi showing that closing the wage gap between similar men and women workers would cut the poverty rate in Mississippi BY HALF.

  • She's on Board

    She’s on Board

    The Foundation hosted its first annual “She’s on Board” training seminar where more than 130 women received board governance training.

  • Melanie Powell

    Melanie Powell became the new Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation, effective March 1, 2024.

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