YWCA Hamilton leader leads fight to empower women, fight racism

YWCA Executive Director Wendy Waters-Connell, sits for a portrait at the organization's historic Hamilton office, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Waters-Connell has been at the helm since Jan. 2018 and she is spearheading the effort to built a new facility and expand programs that will help women in need in Butler County

When the YWCA Hamilton hired an executive director to be the permanent replacement for Sherri Bluester, who died unexpectedly in 2016, they selected a woman that they believed would be the standard bearer for the agency's motto: "Eliminating racism. Empowering women. Promoting peace, justice, freedom & dignity for all."

Five years later, they know they selected the right person for the job.

Wendy Waters-Connell, 56, was voted in by the board in 2018 to fill the role full-time as executive director on a permanent basis following the untimely death of Bluester. Dr. Lee Sanders of Miami University had been serving as interim but did not take on the full-time role.

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Waters-Connell has been in Hamilton for a little over 30 years and earned an undergraduate nursing degree from Miami University through a scholarship from Fort Hamilton Hospital.

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