BusinessWoman of the Year | Queens University of 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 30 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. 

2020 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year

Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager

Dena R. Diorio
Mecklenburg County Manager

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio has been named the 2020 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year.

Diorio is responsible for executing the policy decisions of the Board of County Commissioners and leading the County organization by overseeing the administration of County departments. She also advises the Board on operational and financial matters, services and other issues, and submits an annual operating and capital budget for the Board’s consideration.

Diorio joined Mecklenburg County in 2007 as director of the Department of Financial Services. In 2013, she was promoted to assistant county manager for fiscal control, policies and standards compliance where she provided executive management oversight of the County’s Financial Services Department (comprising Central Finance, Human Services Finance, and the Office of Tax Collector) as well as MECKLINK Finance and the Assessor’s Office.

Raised in Westchester County, New York, Diorio started her career in New York City. Later, she took jobs in Stamford and Danbury, Connecticut until moving to Mecklenburg County. She earned her B.S. in social services from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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: Peggy Brookhouse, president and partner of Luquire George Andrews, Carol Lovin, executive vice president and systems chief of staff for Atrium Heath; Theresa Drew, managing partner, Carolinas Practice for Deloitte & Touche LLP; and Andrea Smith, 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.

Event Registration

Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year Awards Program

The 2020 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year Awards Ceremony will take place at Truist Field.  The networking reception will include contactless food stations and bar spread throughout the concourse.  All attendees will receive a ticket for a socially distanced seat in the stadium for the program.  If unable to attend in person, there is a virtual registration option to watch a livestream of the program.   

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

Truist Field

  • 4:00 PM – Registration and Reception
  • 5:00 PM – Program

COVID-19 Statement:

The safety and health of our attendees, sponsors, speakers, honoree, and staff is of the utmost importance to Queens University of Charlotte, the Charlotte Knights, and Mecklenburg County.  The Charlotte Knights work directly with the Mecklenburg County Health Department to develop and implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols in accordance with all local, state, and federal guidelines.   All attendees will be asked to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols including wear a mask, maintain social distance recommendations, and sign the Truist Field and Charlotte Knights Waiver of Liability.

Registration Options:

 Section Sponsorship | $800 - Eight tickets to the reception and awards program

  • Reserved section of socially distant seats
  • Recognition in event program, signage, and presentation

Individual Ticket | $100 - One ticket to the reception and awards program including a socially distant seat

Virtual Individual Ticket | $25 - Access for one to view awards program

Virtual Table of Eight | $200 - Access for eight to view the awards program

Register Here

Presented to the community by:

Wells Fargo




Supporting Sponsor:

county seal

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

Previous Award Recipients

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

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