Women In Leadership and Management Program

WILMA Sponsors

In 2016, under the Chairmanship of Mark Meek, the Board created a set of strategic goals designed to lead the Chamber through the year 2020.  One of those goals was to advocate for education, training, and workforce development in the Clackamas region.

During a long drive home from a statewide chamber event, the upcoming Board Chair, Fred Charlton, and Vice Chair, Shelly Parini, had an in-depth conversation about addressing the critical shortfalls in leadership and management development in Clackamas, especially as it relates to investing in women.

With the encouragement and support of Chamber CEO Laura Edmonds, Laura and Shelly Parini pitched the idea of creating the Women in Leadership and Management Academy to the Chamber’s Board of Directors who enthusiastically responded in agreement. Part of what made the pitch so perfect was Clackamas Community College, who for over a decade has provided hundreds of employees the opportunity to improve their management and interpersonal skills through a credentialed Leadership Academy offered by the Connections for Business and Industry.

The College took the Chamber’s vision and created a customized professional development experience for future WILMA participants.  To complement the learning experience, the Chamber also facilitates afternoon mentoring sessions with a myriad of diverse Clackamas County leaders who discuss issues ranging from intergenerational differences in the workplace; cultivating work life balance; to the power of mentoring.

It was important to the Chamber Board, however, that we not only invest in educating and mentoring our emerging Clackamas County leaders, but we celebrate those who go on to make significant contributions to their own organizations and communities.  And that is how the Women and Leadership and Management Awards Luncheon came to be.

The Women in Leadership and Management Academy (WILMA) provides current and future leaders with the opportunity to learn and practice interpersonal skills they can utilize every day in the workforce. The academy provides a mix of classroom and workplace knowledge that are further strengthened through a professional mentor.

Over the last several years, almost 100 professionals have completed the Chamber’s Leadership Academy located at Clackamas Community College. The academy’s emphasis on both personal and professional growth has helped many graduates make significant contributions to their organizations.

Academy participants attend six training sessions with, the morning devoted to interactive leadership sessions and the afternoon to mentoring and community involvement. Click here to find out more about the academy.

In honor of the Chamber’s commitment to investing in and developing women leaders, we hold a Women in Leadership and Management Awards event each year to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in leadership.

Nominated by their peers, the Women in Leadership and Management Awardees are recognized for their high-level achievements of being executives and leaders who encourage, inspire, and mentor others to assume leadership positions within Clackamas County.

Click here to learn more.

WILMA Committee Members


  • Donna Baton, Milwaukie Floors & More


  • Shelly Parini, Clackamas Water Environment Services
  • Lauren Haney, Clackamas Water Environment Services
  • Christi Houser, Country Financial
  • Chamber Staff

Past WILMA Recipients

Click here to nominate a recipient or learn more about this year’s luncheon. (link to event page)

WILMA In The News

Chamber Magazine – Page 17