Ilona-OkunevaIlona Okuneva is currently interning for Women’s Intercultural Exchange. She is also managing Masa Sushi, a small sushi restaurant in the Steel Creek neighborhood. Ilona recently received her B.A. in professional communication and is finishing her M.A. in organizational leadership from Columbia College. Right now, she is working hard at WIE with the Mentoring Across Differences program to gain a better perspective of just how much of a positive impact the program is making. So, if you were a mentor or mentee in the MAD program, any and all feedback would be greatly welcomed.

Ilona also has gained a mentor in the process that is teaching her what it is like being a woman in the working world and helping her gain new life experiences. When she is not juggling work, school, and her internship, she is spoiling her two kittens, trying out new recipes, and hitting the gym.

Ilona is grateful for all of her opportunities and is excited about what’s to come in the future and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 980-355-7000.

Thank You

For Making Our Charlotte Wake Up Series A Success!

charlotte wake up call


Series 1 - Who are We? Hearing the voices of diverse Charlotteans
(Click on photo for their BIO)

Manuel Betancur

 Wanda Carter
Jennifer Davis
Gina Esquivel
Gina Esquivel

Siobhan Johnson
amy hawn nelson
Amy Hawn Nelson
Liana Rebolo
Liana Rebollo
Toussaint Romain
Toussaint Romain


 Series 2 - Who Am I? Understanding implicit bias
(Click on photo for their BIO)

 Vernon Gettone
Vernon Gettone, Ph.D.


Series 3 - What we found when we dug deeper
(Click on the photo for their BIO)

Greg Jarrell
Mary Nell McPherson
Mary Nell McPherson
Toussaint Romain
Toussaint Romain
brenda tindal
Brenda Tindle


 Series 4 - Investing in a Better Future: Affordable Housing in Charlotte
(Click on the photo for their BIO)
Hugh Mccoll
Hugh McColl
Dionne Nelson
Dionne Nelson
peter pappas
Peter Pappas
Robert Scott
Rev. Dr. Robert Scott

Terry Shook
pamela wideman
Pamela Wideman


    Series 5 - What Have I Learned? What do I do now?
(Click on photo for their BIO)
jerry cannon
Rev. Dr. Jerry Cannon
bob henderson
Rev. Dr. Bob Henderson
Mariam Jameel
Jessica schoorr saxe
Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe


Series Facilitators
(Click on photo for their BIO)
Brenda Anderson
Brenda Anderson
Gwen Thomas
Gwen Garnett

More information regarding the Covenant Series can be found by CLICKING HERE

We're Responding to Your Requests!

10th Anniversary Print Many of you told us after our 10th Anniversary Celebration that you would like a copy of the print unvailed at the Gala.  We heard you and now have available a limited supply of prints

The print was created by local artist, J. Stacy Utley, and presented to our Co-Founders, Stephanie Counts and Dee Dixon, along with our Trailblazers - Venessa Harrison, Sally Robinson, and Joan Zimmerman. It illustrates not only our founders but many of our supporters, volunteers and events over the past 10 years.

With your purchase of each print, the artist will sign, number and mail it directly to the shipping address you provide - no additional cost.

 Buy Your Print Today or Give As A Gift
$125 Each

For those of you who attended our 10th Anniversary and especially for those who didn't, the video below shown during our program shows who we are and what we're about.

On behalf of Women's Inter-Cultural Exchange, we would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to our Sponsors, Table Hosts and all attendees at our 10th Anniversary Celebration Gala on October 7th. We would also like to thank our celebration chairs, volunteers, auction donors, entertainment and corporations who made this a magical evening.  It is because of YOU that WIE is able to continue "Building Trust Across Race and Culture" in our community.

Additionally, we would like to give special recognition to our Trailblazers and all those who were honored.

We have a couple more events coming up that you will enjoy attending after which we will be announcing our 2017 Event Calendar.  We will notify you of these and all WIE events in our "WIE Wednesday" newsletter.  If you're not on our mailing list, you can sign up by clicking on the "SIGN UP NOW" button of the left.


Bert Harper

Stephanie Counts
Co-Founder & CEO Emeritus

Barbara Ellis

Barbara Ellis
Board Chair

Make a Donation

WIE is a 501c(3) charitible organization. Your donation is tax deductable!

Become A WIE Member


WIE is a 501c(3) organization.

Upcoming Events

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In Case You Missed It

Five Women to Watch in Charlotte - CharlotteFive

WIE's Stephanie Counts is one of the five.  Click her photo and scroll down to view the article.

Stephanie Counts 696x974

Is Charlotte too afraid or do we just not know how to talk about race?

Commentary by Ted Williams

Charlotte Skyline

After 2016’s wakeup, can 2017 be Charlotte’s year of racial reconciliation?

Love March

Does 'The Charlotte Way' Still Work? Hugh McColl And Harvey Gantt See Need For New 'Way' Forward

mccollganttMike Collins (center) of WFAE discussed with Hugh McColl (left) and Harvey Gantt (right) "The Charlotte Way", what it is and whether it is appropriate now in responding to the recent economic and societal issues in our community.

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