Tricia Coyne Photography

The Visionary Women Luncheon has a beautiful mission: to celebrate the power and purpose of women coming together to connect, listen and share. It's presented annually by Queens University of Charlotte, Wells Fargo Private Bank and the Mint Museum. 

Catherine M. Austin Designs, Todd Murphy Events and Watered Garden Florist transformed the Frances Young Dining Room at Morrison Hall on the university's campus into a garden inspired by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Porcupine Provisions created the delicious spring menu. And Arzberger Stationers set the tone for the event by designing the gorgeous invitations. 

Along with honoring all women, the luncheon is also a chance to pay tribute to the past 33 recipients of the Queens University of Charlotte's Business Woman of the Year; and the Charlotte Woman of the Year program, which began in 1955. Charlotte's 2018 Woman of the Year is the university’s president, Pamela Davies.

Host committee members Madelyn Caple, Pamela Davies, Hillary Cooper and past Charlotte Business Woman of the Year winners Joan Zimmerman, Theresa Drew and Mayor Vi Lyles planned an interesting program featuring speaker Alexis Jones. Alexis is an internationally recognized author, activist, speaker and media personality. She talked about her I Am That Girl nonprofit and why she founded the ProtectHer locker room program that educates male athletes  on the importance of respecting women. 

One of the most exciting moments was Madelyn Caple, Regional Manager for Wells Fargo Private Bank, announcing the Wells Fargo Foundation grant investments of over $750,000 in philanthropic support for nonprofits and organizations serving the needs of girls and women. Along with generous donations to many recipients, it was also revealed that Wells Fargo is the lead $50,000 underwriter of Charlotte’s innovative new Family Justice Center in partnership with The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage. It will give domestic violence victims and their children access to all the services they need in a single place. 


The 38th annual Speedway Children’s Charities Gala at the Ritz-Carlton honored 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champion team owner Rick Hendrick for his success on the track as well as his longtime support of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC). The black tie event is a fundraiser for SCC, which was founded by Bruton Smith and funds thousands of organizations nationally that help children. His son, Marcus Smith, is president of the Charlotte Chapter, which last year gave out $952,000 to 98 deserving charities in the Charlotte region. Marcus led the tribute to Rick during the evening that also included libations from The Punch Room, dinner from celebrity chef Bruce Moffet, a live auction and a performance by the country band Midland.

Photos by Daniel Coston