Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year | Queens University of Charlotte

Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year

Celebrating Exceptional Businesswomen


Queens University of Charlotte is proud to host the Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year event, continuing a rich tradition spanning over thirty years of honoring and developing female talent in our community. The award recognizes a leading female executive who has made significant, sustained contributions to the business community. We are pleased to present the 2021 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year award to Tanya Blackmon, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer of Novant Health.

2021 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year

Tanya Blackmon White

Tanya S. Blackmon, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer, Novant Health  

Tanya S. Blackmon is Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer (CDIEO) for Novant Health, a $5 Billion healthcare system. Tanya leads a system-wide culture change strategy to embed diversity, inclusion and equity across the Novant Health system of 30,000 team members. Under her leadership, Novant Health has earned national recognition for diversity, inclusion and equity including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Inaugural Health Equity Award, Human Right Campaign Healthcare Equity Index Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality, NACD NXT Board of Trustees as #1 Diversity Innovator in America for Nonprofits, American Heroes for NC Liberty Award, and Forbes’ list of Best Employers for Women and Best Employers for Diversity.

During her 25-year tenure, Tanya broadened her perspective to include an executive lens as the president of two medical centers within the Novant Health footprint. Her passion is to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment for all stakeholders – patients and families, team members, suppliers and the community at large. Tanya brings to her role a deep understanding and expertise in the business of healthcare to ensure that the work of embedding diversity, inclusion and equity aligns with the strategic business goals of the organization. Tanya is a committed problem solver who believes that innovation is a critical tool for meeting the challenges of today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Tanya is a leader in the Charlotte community, currently serving as a trustee of both the Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation Board, Queens University Board and is a member of the A Way Home Foundation board. She is a former delegate for the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board and has previously served as a member of the North Carolina Hospital Association Policy Development Committee. She has also been a board member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Medic Board of Commissioners and a past board chair for Crisis Assistance Ministry. 

Tanya holds an MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from North Carolina A&T State University and a Certification in Diversity and Intercultural Competency from Wake Forest University. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 1993.


Established in 1986, this award honors the achievements of exceptional businesswomen based on their contributions to the business, civic and cultural communities in the Charlotte region. Past recipients include Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager, Peggy Brookhouse, founder and president Brookhouse, Carol Lovin, executive vice president and systems chief of staff for Atrium Heath; Theresa Drew, retired managing partner, Carolinas Practice for Deloitte & Touche LLP; and Andrea Smith, former chief administrative officer for Bank of America.

Recognized for its longstanding history and prestige, the Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year kicks off the spring award season. With ample professional development and networking opportunities, this event reaches 275 of the area's business and thought leaders. The nomination process for selection of the annual Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year is available each year during the month of September and can be accessed on this landing page.

Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year Awards Luncheon

The annual luncheon honoring the selected Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year is held on the beautiful campus of Queens University each spring. Registration for this event traditionally opens in December and sells out each year.

To be added to the mailing list to receive information about the nomination process and event details, please click the link below.

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Previous Award Recipients

2021 Tanya S. Blackmon 2009 Cathy Bessant 1997 Carol Pontis
2020 Dena Diorio 2008 Jennifer Appleby 1996 Phyllis Schultz
2019 Peggy Brookhouse 2007 Lauri Eberhart 1995 Ruth Shaw
2018 Carol Lovin 2006 Dee Dixon 1994 Katie Tyler
2017 Theresa Drew 2005 Christie Taylor 1993 Linda McFarland Farthing
2016 Andrea B. Smith 2004 Peyton Howell 1992 Jill Flynn
2015 Debra Plousha Moore 2003 Dana Rader 1991 Muriel Helms
2014 Susan DeVore   2002 Krista Tillman 1990 Patricia Rodgers
2013 Lynn Good 2001 Vicki Wilson-McElreath 1989 Betty Trautwein & Elaine Lyerly
2012 Laura A. Schulte 2000 Mary Tribble 1988 Dale Halton
2011 Ann Caulkins 1999 Jeannie Falknor 1987 Bonnie Widenhouse
2010 Carol Hevey 1998 Gail Brinn Wilkins 1986 Joan Zimmerman

For more information, please contact Cristin Corder Lee at or 704-337-2489.

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