Honoring our past. Empowering her future.

Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary!



Join us on October 11, 2023, the International Day of the Girl, as we celebrate 25 years of service and impact in our community and champion gender and racial equity by empowering women and girls of color in the Washington metropolitan area.


Andrea Dykes, Deborah Gandy, Lisa Ross, and Tiffani Whittaker

Meet our 2023 Visionary Award Honorees

Carol Thompson Cole has extensive executive management experience in the public and private sectors, including a strong history of leadership in the Greater Washington region’s philanthropy and nonprofit community and federal and local government. She has successfully partnered with cross-sector stakeholders to build networks in the region to tackle major social challenges, bringing the expertise, passion, and reach necessary to achieve life-changing results.

Born and raised in the region with deep roots in the community, Carol Thompson Cole began work at Youth Invest Partners (formerly Venture Philanthropy Partners) in 2003 and became President and CEO in 2007. Her education includes: BA, Smith College; master in public administration, Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, New York University; senior executive in the State and Local Government Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her experience highlights include: Special advisor to President Clinton on the District of Columbia and Executive Director of the DC Inter-Agency Task Force, Executive Office of the President; Vice-President for Government and Environmental Affairs at RJR Nabisco; District of Columbia City Administrator; Deputy Mayor for Operations and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, District of Columbia.

Doreen Gentzler spent more than 33 years anchoring News4 at 6 and News4 at 11 for NBC4, the #1 television station in Washington, D.C.  She retired from the station in December 2022.

For 28 of those years, Gentzler anchored with Jim Vance, making them one of the longest-tenured anchor teams in the country.  Vance died in July 2017, and Gentzler led NBC4’s on-air and off-air tributes.

Born in DC and educated in Arlington, Gentzler is proud of her deep roots in the Washington area.  She spent several years honing her reporting and anchoring skills in Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Cleveland, then Philadelphia at WCAU before joining NBC4 in 1989.  Gentzler also filled in for vacationing news anchors on “The Today Show” and “NBC at Sunrise.”

In addition to anchoring, Gentzler served as the station’s medical reporter through most of her tenure at NBC4, filing cutting-edge health reports for all the station’s newscasts and serving as the spokesperson for the annual NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo which provided access to healthcare to tens of thousands in the region.

In her award-winning News 4 Your Health segments, Gentzler brought viewers into hospital operating rooms, profiled medical breakthroughs, and showed the latest technology helping to save lives.  Her reporting brought her to Bosnia, Ecuador, and the Persian Gulf, where she reported live from the USNS Comfort, a navy hospital ship tending to U.S. troops.

In 2014, Gentzler’s health reporting expanded to focus on mental health when NBC4 initiated a station-wide project called “Changing Minds”.  The project, which continues to exist, has garnered local and national recognition for highlighting a wide range of issues related to mental illness, a subject that can be challenging to cover in a TV news format.

Gentzler has won several local Emmy awards for reporting and anchoring as well as three other Emmy awards for news writing and reporting while in Cleveland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

She and her family live in Washington, DC.



Mario Marino

Zients Family Foundation


Emanuel and Anna Weinstein Foundation


Laura Fuentes

Leonade Jones

William Kennard and Deborah Kennedy Kennard

Margaret Stone


Please contact our development team: 25thReception@wawf.org.


Help us support gender and racial equity and empower women and girls of color in the Washington metropolitan region.