LeaderLuncheon 2023

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Thank You for Attending LeaderLuncheon!

We offer our genuine gratitude that you joined us at LeaderLuncheon 2023 in support of YWCA Utah’s life-saving and life-changing work! LeaderLuncheon allowed us to gather, honor women with the Outstanding Achievement Awards, and hear from YWCA Utah CEO, Liz Owens, and Dr. Bernice A. King on advancing our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women in our daily lives. We look forward to gathering again next year.

Stay tuned for pictures from LeaderLuncheon 2023.

2023 LeaderLuncheon Sponsors

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors for your support of YWCA Utah’s life-saving work and for making this event possible.

Presenting Sponsor

Keynote Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Thomas & Mary Schubach McCarthey

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors


2023 Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

Sen. Escamilla

Community Builder & Champion

On November 4, 2008, Senator Luz Escamilla was elected to the Utah State Senate to represent Senate District 10, becoming the first Latina elected in the Utah State Senate and the first immigrant elected in the Utah State Legislature. She is serving her fourth term in the Senate and serves in the Senate leadership team as the Senate Minority Leader.  

Senator Luz Escamilla received a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. In 2005, she was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman as the first director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs. In this position, she oversaw the directors of Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander Affairs. She was the vice president for Zions Bank in the Community Development Group, representing Zions Bank in community relationships across the state. At Zions Bank she worked as director of the Business Resource Center and the Hispanic/Latino market manager.  

In 2020, Senator Escamilla was the Chief Operations Officer at MiCARE Network, a Utah-based healthcare startup focused on solutions to care management. Currently, she is the co-founder and managing partner of ESCATEC Solutions, which focuses on improving customer experiences for different organizations and entities utilizing technology and innovation. 


Nubia Peña 

Race Equity & Social Justice

Nubia Peña is the Senior Advisor on Equity and Opportunity toGovernor Cox and the Director for the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs where their mission is to promote an inclusive climate for Utah’s growing diverse community through training, outreach, youth leadership development, and policy and research efforts. During the unprecedented pandemic, Ms. Peña was assigned by Governor Gary R. Herbert to oversee the Multicultural Advisory Committee of Utah’s COVID-19 Response in partnership with Byron Russell and Ze Min Xiao.  

During that year, she was selected as one of 25 law students in the nation to be recognized and highlighted for her social justice activism in the National Jurist, a leading news source in legal education. Ms. Peña was also named in Utah Business Magazine’s 2020 40 Under 40 award recipientss. 

Ms. Peña is immensely grateful for the extensive experience acquired during the past 15 years working as a community organizer, advocate, and ally for underrepresented populations. She has the great opportunity to facilitate dialogues amongst local and national leaders on complex topics of inclusion and justice 

Deborah Colimon 

Leader of Tomorrow

Deborah Colimon is a first-generation Haitian-American from West Palm Beach, FL. She is currently a senior at Utah Valley University, pursuing a degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, she will be attending grad school to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. 

Deborah currently works as a Presidential Intern for the office of People and Culture at UVU. As a Presidential Intern, Deborah focuses on advocating for underserved and underrepresented groups at UVU. She now sits on several committees such as the UVU’s Women’s Council, MLK Commemoration Committee, Inclusion Task Force, and the Executive DEI Team, to ensure that the students and faculty feel safe and represented at UVU. 

She is very passionate about social action and serving the members of her community. She currently serves as the president of the Black Student Union at UVU, is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an organization dedicated to public service with a primary focus on the Black community. In her free time, Deborah enjoys facetime calls with her nephew and collecting more house plants than she really needs. 


Jennifer Smith

Business & Social Innovation

Jennifer Smith is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Operations

Officer of Zions Bancorporation. In 2006, Jennifer joined Zions as the Chief Audit Executive after holding various positions at Wells Fargo & Company, including Senior Vice President Operations Risk Management and Senior Vice President and Director of Technology and Operations Audit.  

Most recently, she was honored as one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2022 and 2021; and one of their Women to Watch in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017; won the Women Tech Council’s Technology Leadership award in 2018; and was one of Utah Business’s CxOs of the Year in 2019. In 2013, she was globally selected as an International Women’s Forum Leadership Fellow; in 2014, she was selected to the first cohort of Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders.  

Jennifer is committed to the community as a strategic advisory Board Member for FTV Capital, Advancement Board chair for University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Science, Advisory Board member for Utah State University’s Data Analytics and Information Systems Department, and the Board for the Children’s Center of Utah. She was previously a member of YWCA Utah’s Board of Directors, United Way of Greater Salt Lake’s Board of Directors, and was a previous Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Utah mentor. 

Dr. Isabel Teresa Molina-Avella

Health & Wellness

Dr. Isabel Teresa Molina-Avella works with west side Salt Lake residents in different capacities. Her  interests are community capacity, mental health and substance use. The intersectionalities of these fields give her insights on the protective and risk factors for individuals and families in Utah. 

 She has taught for the Westside Leadership Institute, and  for refugee and immigrant background community-based organizations. She helps grow local residents’ organization capacity to respond to their own cultural and linguistic strengths and needs. As Associate Director at University Neighborhood Partners, her mission is to nurture the development of UNP’s community capacity and wellbeing, education pathways, and community leadership supported-partnerships. She works closely  in conjunction with Latino Behavioral Health Services, NAMI, URLEND, University of Utah Health, and Hartland Community 4 Youth & Families.  

Isabel has an appointment as assistant professor/lecturer at the College of Social Work. She earned her PhD and MSW degrees from the University of Utah; her MBA degree from Lake Superior State University; and her BS in Economics at UNAM, Mexico. 


Lori Teske Hudson 

Heart & Soul Award

Lori is Senior Vice President/Principal of Aspen Consulting Group, a management-consulting firm that works with financial institutions to elevate their customer stewardship and customer experience. Her financial industry experience spans 30+ years and includes senior marketing and sales management positions at several financial institutions in the northeast, as well as positions on national and regional financial services boards.  

 She is passionate about her work with two Utah non-profits. For over 20 years, she’s served in volunteer leadership roles with YWCA Utah, including Chair of the Board, Committee Chair for YWCA Utah’s Centennial Celebration, and, currently, Chair of the Community Advisory Council.  She completed two board terms for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area and now serves as Director Emeritus for the charity.   

 In 2019, Lori was appointed by the Salt Lake City mayor to co-chair the Outcomes Committee for the United Nations Civil Society Conference, which brought 5,000 people to Salt Lake City from around the world.  The conference had never before been held in the U.S. outside the UN headquarters in New York.   

 Originally from eastern Pennsylvania, Lori spent many years in New England prior to moving to Utah in 1998. She has a BS in Marketing from Boston College and her MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.