Chief Mission Impact Officer Saundra Stokes is Interim CEO

A- A A+

Chief Mission Impact Officer Saundra Stokes is Interim CEO

Categories: Women's Leadership Development, YWCA Utah's Story

Congratulations, Liz Owens! Saundra Stokes Announced Interim CEO

After taking lead of YWCA Utah in 2020, just as a global pandemic, racial reckoning, and labor shortages among the very many day to day needs and emergencies of the organization changed, Liz Owens navigated the unprecedented times with grace and kindness. She continued to lead by example as she announced her pregnancy and worked with leadership to expand benefits for YWCA Utah staff and grant paid parental leave for the first time. Help us congratulate Chief Executive Officer Liz Owens as her family welcomes a new addition! As Liz takes time to focus on her growing family and is away from the organization for an extended time, Saundra Stokes was carefully selected as interim CEO. During this time, she will take on CEO responsibilities for all of YWCA Utah.

About Saundra Stokes

Saundra Stokes has worked within the nonprofit sector for over 20 years. She is passionate about advancing racial equity, social justice, inclusion and belonging. As a seasoned facilitator, she is at her best when working with groups and organizations to increase their understanding of structural racism, intersectionality and implicit bias. She applies her skills to conduct team building activities and guided conversations to help people discuss and understand issues that are often avoided in the workplace. She helps teams connect better to each other through collaboration, conflict management and community building.
“Being the Chief Mission Impact Officer is looking at our mission and making sure it’s anchored throughout our [domestic violence, childcare, racial and gender equity] programs and that our mission is coming to life among us employees as providers of services.”

Saundra continues saying, “Part of my work has been helping us [at YWCA Utah] flush out what does racial equity look like at YWCA and what activities are we generating and participating in that are assisting us in advancing racial and gender equity…because that’s how our mission comes to life.” Source: Saundra Stokes on KRCL RadioActive.

Her work is rooted in helping people understand how implicit biases and microaggressions impact people’s daily lives, leaks into their individual work practices and manifests within workplace culture. Saundra’s facilitation style includes the use of interactive and engaging activities that increase people’s awareness on how they function within a system/structure that is either perpetuating or disrupting bias.

Liz Owens is expected to return before the end of the 2022 calendar year.