Salute Her honors nine local women at annual Beauty of Diversity Awards

Honorees for the Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Awards. (Photo: Nakisha Washington)

Nationally syndicated Café Mocha Radio continued its tradition of honoring outstanding women with its annual Salute Her: Beauty of Diversity Awards. The five-city tour made its stop in Charlotte on Nov. 9 at the Booth Playhouse. This year’s ceremony celebrated nine local women for their commitment and impact in the Charlotte community.

“The Salute Her Tour brings Café Mocha to life in a way that not only inspires our listeners to be champions for positive change, but also allows us to recognize everyday ‘she-roes’ and celebrities who are doing just that,” Café Mocha creator and executive producer Sheila Eldridge said in a statement.

The inaugural “Toyota’s American Pride Award” — which honors a local female veteran — was presented to Michele Jones, vice president of training at Civility Management Solutions, LLC. Other honorees included:

  • Catherine Brewton, vice president of creative, BMI – Media Innovator Award
  • Erica Bryant, WSOC-TV anchor – Media Legend Award
  • Lashanda Millner-Murphy, co-founder, DW Designs Leadership Program – Business Legacy Award
  • Leslie Ware, physician assistant and health educator – Champion for Change Award
  • Madeline McClenney, founder, ExodusFoundation.org – Community Activist Award
  • Monique Stubbs-Hall, founder, Grooming Greatness Foundation – Woman of Style Award
  • Nellie Ashford, folk artist – Creating the Legacy Award
  • Regina Heyward, senior vice president and head of supplier diversity, Wells Fargo – Corporate Trailblazer Award

(left to right) Event emcees Jawn Murray, Loni Love and YoYo. (Photo: Nakisha Washington)

Singer/songwriter, and North Carolina native, Calvin Richardson kicked off the ceremony with a performance. Café Mocha hosts actress/comedian Loni Love and hip-hop legend YoYo served as the evening’s emcees along with media personality Jawn Murray.

Past honoree and star of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, Cynthia Bailey, ended with an intimate conversation. Bailey shared her thoughts on the portrayal of black women on reality television and how she balances family, career and self-care.

The tour also scheduled stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, Dallas and Atlanta.


Nakisha Washington is a style contributor who mixes prints and professionals. She’s a millennial development coach, content creator and lover of all things stylish!

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