We are thrilled to be joined by Outstanding Women Awards honorees for our third annual OWA Women’s Leadership Forum Breakfast, sponsored by Capital One: “Mission Possible: Motivate, Advocate, Lead” on April 4, 2017 at the Richmond Marriott Short Pump.

Join us for an honest conversation about women in leadership with Outstanding Women Award honorees Delegate Betsy Carr, Lakshmi Challa, Dr. Carmen Foster, Nancy Oglesby and moderator, Judy Pahren.

Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Program will be held from 8:45 – 11 a.m.

We will also announce the first ever recipient of YWCA Richmond’s Rising Outstanding Woman Award, presented by Capital One and McGuireWoods LLP.

Haven’t gotten your ticket yet? Click here to register for this empowering event!


Meet our panel

Delegate Betsy Carr

OWA Honoree 2005

Betsy Carr was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009 representing parts of the City of Richmond and the County of Chesterfield on both sides of the James River. In the House of Delegates she serves on the Appropriations, Transportation, Rules, and General Laws Committees, and is focused on improving education, healthcare and preserving our environment.  She also serves on the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules and the Virginia Housing Commission. She is Treasurer of the House Democratic Caucus.

In addition to serving as a delegate, she also serves as outreach director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Richmond. She is a founder and past director of the Micah Initiative, which involves over 120 faith communities in partnerships with 25 city elementary schools, providing over 1,700 mentors, tutors and volunteers. This program is serving as a model for other similar partnerships in the country.

Betsy represented the fifth district of the City of Richmond on the Richmond School Board from 2006-2010. On the School Board, she chaired the Facilities Committee, served on the Audit and Finance Committees and represented the Board on the Community Partnerships Committee.

Previously, Betsy has worked as supervisor of statewide programs at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, community relations and resource development chairperson at the University of Richmond’s Women’s Resource Center, and as a Development Associate at the Virginia Historical Society. While active in the Junior League she chaired the training committee.

She is a graduate of Hope in the Cities’ Connecting Communities Fellowship Program and studied at the University of Richmond’s Management Training Institute.  In 2008 she served on the Virginia State Capitol Civil Rights Memorial Celebration Committee. An exhibition of Betsy’s photographs, taken during a World Neighbors trip to Mali, Africa, hangs in the Wilder Museum at Virginia Union University.

Betsy is an honors graduate of Hollins College (now Hollins University). She is the first Hollins graduate to be elected to serve in the Virginia General Assembly. She has three grown sons and three grandchildren. (Bio courtesy of Betsycarr.org)


Lakshmi Challa

OWA Honoree 2016 – Business

Lakshmi Challa is the chief executive officer of Challa Law Offices, headquartered in Richmond, which specializes in immigration law. She leads the firm’s three offices including an affiliate office in Hyderabad, India. She has been voted Henrico Community Leader of the Year, honored as one of Virginia’s Influential Woman by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, awarded the John C. Kenny Pro Bono Service Award by the Richmond Bar Association, and invited to participate in President Obama’s White House Roundtable Discussion on Innovation and Immigration.

Through her practice, she works to facilitate foreign investment and trade with the United States, recently touring and presenting alongside consular officials with the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA India Roadshow.  She is in her ninth year as Special Counsel to the Virginia Attorney General for Immigration assisting state agencies and academic institutions on immigration.  As a sport’s enthusiast, she enjoys assisting international sports players with their work authorization.

Lakshmi’s community involvement and connections translate very well with the firm’s pro bono efforts. Through the firm’s legal clinic and its affiliated community advocates, she assists victims of domestic and sexual violence, children who have been trafficked to the U.S. and unaccompanied minors with their immigration needs. Additionally, she and her firm have donated numerous hours to religious organizations of all denominations, so that their workers can serve their communities.

Lakshmi was selected as the 2016 OWA Honoree in Business for her significant accomplishments as a business owner and leader, as well as her selfless commitment to educating organizations on new immigration legislation, often meeting with government leaders on proposed legislative changes and their impact on the international business community.



Carmen Foster, Ed.D.

OWA Honoree 2004 – Education

Dr. Carmen F. Foster has extensive professional experience in public, academic & museum administration, community outreach, nonprofit board leadership, organizational and leadership development & historical research.  She currently serve as Faculty for Federal Executive Institute’s signature program, “Leadership for a Democratic Society.”

Previously, she served as Director of the Master’s Program in Public Policy at Harvard University, Executive Director of Grace Harris Leadership Institute at VCU, Executive Director at University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies, Community Affairs Director at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Executive Assistant to two Mayors, and in board leadership & facilitation to several nonprofits. She recently coordinated Barbara Jackson Scholars program for University Council for Educational Administration, headquartered at UVA.

She holds Ed.D. from UVA, MPA from Harvard & completed Harvard’s Program for Senior Executives in State & Local Government. She has M.S. in Communication from Clarion University & B.S. in Mass Communications from VCU.In 2005 she received the Alumni Service Award at first annual Black Policy conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

She received a 3-year fellowship in 1994 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and traveled throughout Ghana, South Africa, China and Brazil to explore leadership, spirituality and healing for women & communities of color. VCU inducted her as an alumna member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 2012 and as Outstanding Alumna from VCU’s School of Humanities and Sciences in 1988. (Bio Courtesy of: LinkedIn)


Nancy Oglesby

OWA Honoree 2012 – Law & Government

As a career prosecutor, Nancy has handled thousands of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault cases in her career.  In addition, she has trained many professionals including prosecutors, law enforcement officers, advocates, medical professionals and forensic interviewers on the issues surrounding these types of crimes.  She has had the opportunity to be appointed to state committees and task forces in these areas by three Virginia Governors.  She also contributed to the development of Virginia’s Model Law Enforcement Policy in both the areas of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  Nancy was given the Virginia S. Duvall Distinguished Juvenile and Domestic Court Prosecutor award for 2011.  Nancy is married and has two daughters, Mackenzie and Berkeley. (Bio Courtesy of: Justice3D)

Judy Pahren

Judy PahrenOWA Honoree 2014 – Business

Judy Pahren is a Senior Vice President in Human Resources and Executive Coach at Capital One, where she has held numerous leadership positions across the company over the past 20 years. As executive sponsor of Capital One’s Women’s Initiative and plays a key role in the development of women at Capital One. Through her leadership, Capital One has also focused on developing future leaders by hosting the Future Leaders Forum for Young Women for the past 10 years.

Judy is an avid supporter of the Richmond community, serving as Past President of the Maymont Foundation and serving on the Board of Trustees for ChildSavers/Memorial Child Guidance Clinic Endowment, and The Collegiate School. She is a Director of the Duke Alumni Association Board. She chairs the Duke Alumni Admission Committee for Central Virginia and is a member of the Leadership Team for Duke in Richmond. Past board service includes Board Chairman of the Richmond Forum, Vice Chair for the Powell Center for Economic Literacy, and Childsavers Operating Board.

In addition to her recognition as a 2014 Outstanding Women Award honoree, Judy has received several other accolades for her business and community contributions including 2011 Style Weekly Executive Women in Business and the 2013 Forever Duke Award.