Women Who Lead

News/Talk 760 WJR’s “The New Women Who Lead Show” hosted by Ann Thomas and Dr. Carole Kowalczyk airs every 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7 .pm. Each edition of this show will feature inspiring woman making an impact on this community and women’s health.



News/Talk 760 WJR’s “Women Who Lead spotlights women from across the Great Lakes Region who are leaders in their industries and communities. Whether a CEO, small business owner or volunteer, this honor recognizes women for both personal and professional accomplishments.

Hosted by WJR’s Ann Thomas, each edition of this podcast series presents an interview with an impressive and inspiring woman who is making a positive impact on our communities.

During her 34 years at WJR, Ann has received numerous awards from United Press International, the Associated Press, and the Detroit Press Club for her work on and off the air.

Ann began her career at WJR in 1982 as an intern from Michigan State University and has since remained a part of the WJR team.

When she is not hosting “Women Who Lead”, Ann is the executive producer for WJR’s “The Paul W. Smith Show” weekday mornings from 5:30 to 9:00.

WJR and Ann Thomas thank Andra Rush of The Rush Group Family of Companies for her continued support of Women Who Lead



See the Photos of the Women Who Lead Honor Breakfast at Joe Muer Seafood! Click Here!

  • Dr. Rose B. BellancaCongratulations to Dr. Rose Bellanca, President of Washtenaw Community College. Dr. Bellanca tells Ann Thomas she always wanted to be an educator. She also tells an inspiring story about her personal struggle with the SAT test and how it affected the way she looks at the world and deals with students.

  • Gretchen SMALL COLORCongratulations to Gretchen Carhartt Valade, the Grosse Pointe woman behind the Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans, the Dirty Dog Jazz Café & Mack Avenue Records. The 90 year old philanthropist tells Ann Thomas she has loved music since she was a little girl.

  • Michiganian of the Year award winner Tonya Allen, CEO of the Skillman Foundation at a vacant floor in the same building as their offices in Detroit, Michigan on October 20, 2015. (Image by Daniel Mears/ Detroit News)

    Congratulations to Tonya Allen, President & CEO of The Skillman Foundation. Tonya tells Ann Thomas she came back to Detroit more than twenty years ago to figure out a way to make a difference for the city’s children.

  • Dr. Susan Smyth_Photo_300dpiCongratulations to Dr. Susan Smyth, Chief Scientist for General Motors Manufacturing & Director of GM’s Manufacturing Systems Research Lab.  Susan tells Ann Thomas she was always interested in math and science and she is thrilled to be leading the automaker’s research team.

  • rochelle photoCongratulations to Detroit Free Press Columnist Rochelle Riley. Rochelle tells Ann Thomas she loves being a newspaper columnist because it gives her an opportunity to make a difference in the community.

  • Untitled-2Congratulations to Kelly Rossman McKinney, Truscott Rossman Chief Executive Officer. Kelly tells Ann Thomas she worked hard over the years growing her successful strategic communications business but she loved every minute of it.


  • lisaCongratulations to Lisa Dancsok, Rock Ventures Vice-President. Lisa tells Ann Thomas over the years she has worked on several important projects for the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit but she’s most proud of creating the state’s Pure Michigan campaign.

  • DP+Co staff Portraits for Conoco Philips

    Congratulations to Amy Tattrie Loepp, Owner of Tattrie Strategies and Co-Founder & Treasurer of Impact 100 Oakland County, a new charity designed to financially help a nonprofit in Oakland County. Amy tells Ann Thomas she has had a great response to this new charity.

  • Dr. Carole Kowalczyk NEWCongratulations to Dr. Carole Kowalczyk, Founder of the Michigan Center for Fertility & Women’s Health.  Carole tells Ann Thomas it’s great going to work every day because she is helping couples create a family.

  • TCpicforJCOCCongratulations to Tammy Carnrike, Detroit Regional Chamber Chief Operating Officer. Tammy tells Ann Thomas she has a great job because she is part of the team spreading the word about Detroit’s amazing comeback.

  • Patti Poppe (preferred)Congratulations to Patti Poppe, incoming Consumers Energy President & CEO. Patti tells Ann Thomas it’s important for educators and parents to encourage children to stick with math and science because those subjects are important for success in many careers.

  • PEP_MerrittTerry_8x10_150305Congratulations to Terry Merritt, Senior Vice-President at Walbridge and a member of the Walbridge Board of Directors. Terry tells Ann Thomas she loves her job because it gives her an opportunity to help young women get a good start in their careers.

Discover the amazing women from our first five years of Women Who Lead
2016 Honorees
2015 Honorees
2014 Honorees
2013 Honorees
2012 Honorees
2011 Honoress