Over 150 people were at the Common Chord (formerly the River Music Experience) in Davenport on October 15 to celebrate Lead(h)er’s sixth annual Birthday Party & Girl on Fire Awards. The evening raised awareness and funds for the Quad Cities’ premier mentorship program, Lead(h)er.

Loredana Cooper was named Lead(h)er’s Girl on Fire Award Mentor of the Year and Charla Wood was named Mentee of the Year at the event.

Lead(h)er Girl on Fire Award winners Loredana Cooper (Mentor of the Year) and Charla Wood (Mentee of the Year) (photos: Lead(h)er)

For the past six years and counting, Lead(h)er has supported women who desire mentorship to accelerate their personal and professional development in the workforce while building long-lasting relationships in the community.

“Lead(h)er is extremely happy about our recent Birthday Party & Girl on Fire Awards- It was truly our greatest show yet! Over 150 people met under the Big Top to honor women like Loredana and Charla, but to also highlight the everyday impact of over 1,000 women in the Quad Cities,” said Megan Brown-Saldana, executive director of Lead(h)er. “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, like Northwest Bank and Trust Company, Lead(h)er showcased why mentorship matters, especially for women in the workforce.”

The 2022 Birthday Party & Girl on Fire Awards included sideshow acts, carnival-themed games, a stiltwalker, and an awards presentation recognizing this year’s Mentor and Mentee of the Year. Each table featured a unique item that was later used in the Silent Auction at the end of the evening. The event raised $15,000 and will match 30 women in the Strike a Match Mentorship program.

Since the organization was founded in 2016, over 1,000 women have been matched with mentors in the Quad Cities. For more information or to become a mentor or mentee, click here or visit Lead(h)er’s Facebook page.