LaVanda Brown works hard every day to empower women and eliminate racism: YWCA.GC's dual mission. While honoring its historic legacy with programs like its annual MLK Celebration, she has also transformed the nonprofit with a series of highly effective programs like #WhatWomenBring, honoring South Carolina's women in business, community, and culture; WE 360° for women entrepreneurs of color; Racial Equity & Inclusion workshops; and Y Girls Code technology clubs to increase opportunities for girls of color. Along with other recognition, she has been featured in the Philanthropy Journal.
Director, Amazon Technical Academy
A purposeful leader who elevates people and transforms organizations, Amazon executive Sarah Castle was promoted to director before she was 40 years old. Prior to taking her current role, she worked in Amazon’s books division, on Amazon Alexa voice technology, and in mergers & acquisitions: often one of only a few women working on technical teams. Today she is also an author and an instructor at the College of Charleston, has served as a speaker at The Citadel’s 2022 Women in Entrepreneurship series, and has been a guest on the Snack-Sized Business Podcast. Sarah earned a master’s degree from Cornell University after graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.