Milwaukee business leaders Jeanette Mitchell and May yer Thao will receive the 2019 Sacagawea Award, presented by Professional Dimensions.
The annual award ceremony honors pioneering leaders, chosen for their career accomplishments, commitment to community and support of the advancement of women.
Mitchell is chief creative officer of Leadership By Dr. Jeanette, a leadership development consulting firm. Prior to starting her own businesses, she was program director for Cardinal Stritch University’s Leadership Center, where she managed and directed the Professionals of Color lines of business. She also founded and was executive director of the Stritch Leadership Center, through which she developed innovative programming for professionals of color.
Mitchell’s current projects include the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, the African American Leadership Alliance-Milwaukee and the African American Leadership Program.
[caption id="attachment_148773" align="alignright" width="258"] May yer Thao[/caption]
Thao has served as executive director of the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce since 2015.
During her tenure, Thao has deployed the most business loans in the chamber’s history, growing its profile and community outreach. She has also forged partnerships with other Milwaukee organizations, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.
Thao was featured in a 2017 BizTimes cover story as one of several women leaders who are driving economic development in the region. She’s been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the Wisconsin Minority Business Champion and the Wisconsin Hmong Woman of the year.
“Both of these professionals have made an incredible impact in Milwaukee and blazed trails for the women that will follow them," said Johannah Karstedt St. John, CEO of Professional Dimensions. "Shining a light on women leaders who have contributed in this way is core to who we are as an organization and we are proud to shine that light on Dr. Mitchell and Ms. Thao this year."
The 2019 Sacagawea Awards will be held on March 7 at the Pfister Hotel.
Milwaukee-based artist Ian Baker Johnson has been named the 2019 Sacagawea Award artist. She will create three pieces of art: one piece will be crafted for each winner, and one that will reside in the permanent Sacagawea collection at Alverno College.