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Women Who SHINE

The Women Who SHINE designation was established to honor women who have had life-changing impact in others’ lives. The nomination and selection committee considered women who specifically exemplified excellence through their ability to Support, Honor, Inspire, Nurture, and Empower – the five pillars of SHINE.

The women who have been tapped into this society are outstanding examples of community servants. Like the Sisters of Notre Dame, these women foster the fullness of life, especially for those living in the margins. Their stories are a testament of how lives can be improved when we lift others up.

Toledo is rich with women who are doing remarkable things. This distinction is one small way to SHINE a light on the good works women are doing in our community, but we all can recognize the good that is happening all around us every day. Each of us has the power to lift others up. We encourage you to never miss an opportunity to Support, Honor, Inspire, Nurture, and Empower the women in your life.

2023 Honorees

Rachel was nominated for the kind, thorough, determined support she provides to people in need of safe, affordable housing. The stability that comes with a home is vital to success and Rachel has made it her life’s work to put people in homes so they may thrive. When asked why she believes it is important to help each other SHINE, Rachel said," I have been the beneficiary of many women who have come before me, supported me and paved the way for me to be able to serve my community the way that I do. By offering other women guidance and mentorship we empower them, learn from them, and collectively grow stronger. To serve other women is to serve the community and we are all better as a result."


Wendy Pestrue works with many populations as the CEO of the United Way of Greater Toledo, and was nominated in the Honor category for the admiration and respect she pays to everyone with whom she crosses paths. She treats each person with honor, no matter their background or socioeconomic status. Asked how she helps other women SHINE, Wendy replied, “Coco Chanel said, “a woman should be two things: who and what she wants.” “The thing that makes women SHINE is the desire to be collaborative instead of competitive. As a leader, colleague, or friend; I always ask women, where do you want to go and how do we help you achieve your goals. To me, this is about helping yourself and others SHINE equally.”


A first-generation college student, Dr. Pace's incessant pursuit of education is truly inspirational. Whether it's the clients she serves as a social worker, the young women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated who see a role model in her, the students she teachers, or her own sons who also have embraced education, she has inspired so many people to reach for the stars and beyond to find greatness within themselves Dr. Pace told us the way she helps others SHINE is by offering encouragement, support, and above all else prayer. She believes that prayer is the ultimate gift we can give to help others SHINE!


As the Executive Director of Mom's House for 16 years, Christina has fostered the growth and development of young moms and their families helping them to flourish. Beyond her work with the clients of Mom's House, Christina nurtures countless causes both as a volunteer and by using her voice as a cohost on Proclaim FM Morning Mix where she brings awareness to important community issues and efforts. Asked why it is important that we help each other shine, Christina summed it up perfectly, "Lifting each other up creates a collective strength that can help us all overcome barriers. She calls it the “power of the pack.” When we help someone else to shine, we help to mold the diamond within them. We help them through the fire all diamonds go through to be created and when they shine, all of our lights get brighter & sparkle and collectively as women, our voices, our pack, we get stronger!"


Nina Corder has dedicated her life to empowering others, and we are thrilled to recognize her for that! Globally, locally, personally, Nina is constantly building others up and helping them find the spark in themselves to achieve their dreams! She built an entire organization around the idea of empowerment and that organizations reaches thousands of women and girls every year. Nina is literally creating policy to help women SHINE! She is a changemaker and at work, every day for every woman. Nina's philosophy on helping others SHINE is simple, but so powerful, "Remember to always lift as you climb, choose service above all, and if we don't do it, who else is going to do it for us?"


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