January 30, 2020
YWCA Central Alabama honored recently retired CEO Yolanda N. Sullivan as 2019 Jeana P. Hosch Woman of Valor. The award was presented Jan. 30, 2020, at the board’s Annual Meeting. This honor is bestowed each year upon deserving extraordinary, inspirational leaders who work tirelessly to care for women, children and families in the community.
“Yolanda’s tremendous heart and extreme passion for the women and children we serve have made a difference in our community,” said CEO Dr. LaRhonda S. Magras, who took the helm at YWCA Central Alabama last fall. “During her leadership, she empowered the staff in their day-to-day duties with an eye on a new vision for the organization and exploring innovative ways to grow the organization. From my short time knowing Yolanda, I would describe her as a resilient and graceful leader with a servant’s heart for our mission and community. We were fortunate to have her.”
Sullivan counted it a great honor “to be in this circle of women who have won this award in the past. Jeana Hosch was an amazing woman. She served with us on the board. She cared deeply about the men, women, children we served, and the families we helped along the way,” Sullivan explained. “We are a family that cares about our community, and together we make our community better.”
Also at the meeting, Board President Maggie Brooke welcomed a strong slate of talented women leaders to the YWCA Central Alabama Board of Directors. Bringing their expertise to the table are Deborah Danneman, Assistant District Attorney; Anissia Hatcher, VIVA Health’s Project Manager-Performance Improvement and Quality; Andrea Lewis, PHR, Human Capital Services Founder & CEO; and Patricia Warren, a Southern Nuclear Operating Company retiree.
During the event, YWCA Central Alabama presented its first-ever Annie Caudle Living the Mission Award to retired Facilities Services Senior Director Annie Caudle. She retired Dec. 31, 2019, after 35 years of service. Caudle exemplifies the YW mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Like Caudle, this year’s Woman of Valor is no stranger to the YW. Sullivan, who worked in the areas of finance and corporate human resources at Vulcan Materials, has been a volunteer with YWCA Central Alabama for 20 years. She served as board president during a successful $15 million capital campaign and has served as treasurer, vice president of finance, and as president of the YW’s Junior Board.
Sullivan, who was only the eighth executive director or CEO in the agency’s nearly 116-year history, has long been a vital part of the community, as well. She served on the board of The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and is a member of The Women’s Network, Zonta International, and Rotary Club of Birmingham. Sullivan has past service on the boards of United Way of Central Alabama, Birmingham Museum of Art, St. Vincent’s Health System, and The Bell Center. She is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham, Leadership Alabama, Momentum, and Project Corporate Leadership.
Pictured (left to right): YWCA Central Alabama CEO Dr. LaRhonda S. Magras, former CEO and 2019 Woman of Valor Yolanda N. Sullivan, and Heyward Hosch, husband of the late Jeana P. Hosch.