About Us

Our History

The Women’s Economic Development Council (WEDC) was incorporated in February, 1994 for the purpose of providing women with opportunities to contribute substantially to the economic development of our community.

WEDC’s founders, Diane Weston, President of Uwohali, Inc., and Sheri Sensabaugh, President of ACT Personnel, were paired as mentor and protégé
respectively, through an SBA program called WNET in 1992. In addition to accomplishing the WNET goal, Diane and Sheri became very good friends and
together gave birth to the initial concept of the Women’s Economic Development Council, or WEDC. WEDC has been granted a 501(c)(6) status by the IRS as a non-profit business organization.

  • Women's Business Council was created in order to be an advocate for women-owned businesses with the Huntsville/Madison county chamber.  WEDC members were crucial in the creation of the council and have continued to serve on the board year after year.
  • The Women’s Economic Development Council (WEDC) was incorporated in February, 1994.
  • WEDC Foundation was formed in 1998 in order to significantly increase the number of women who are economically self-sufficient in North Alabama.  They are the non-profit arm of WEDC.
  • Women’s Business Center of North Alabama is the WBCNA 2003 (Now catalyst 2017) – several of our members were instrumental in establishing the organization and getting it off the ground.  The goal of the organization was to help women get started and succeed in business by providing a lifetime of support for any individual wanting to get started on the path to entrepreneurship or wanting additional guidance to navigate the different stages of business growth. They have been so successful that they have had to rebrand to be more inclusive. (hence the catalyst)
  • WEDC Milestones is created to allow a path to membership for young professionals.
  • North Alabama Leadership Conference
  • North Alabama Leadership Conference
  • We celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 2017!

Our Values and Beliefs

We value and respect honest communication, integrity, equality, diversity and openness in our members, our organization and our community. We believe in supporting and encouraging each other in professional, personal and community endeavors. We believe in promoting an environment that elevates personal and professional growth and development. We believe in identifying, cultivating and supporting emerging women professionals. We believe in a community where women have influence, genuine engagement and “seats at the table”.


View our Statement on Cultural Equity

2022 Board and Committee Chairs

2022 Board and Committee Chairs

Our Founders

Our Past Presidents



The WEDC Foundation was established in 1998 by the Women’s Economic Development Council in Huntsville, Alabama as a separate 501 (c) (3) charitable organization The ongoing vision for the Foundation is to create a legacy of accomplished and independent women who will share their energy and success with others.
The WEDC is a vital supporter of the WEDC Foundation and its mission through mentoring WEDC Foundation scholars and through financial and volunteer support of WEDC Foundation programs.

Mentoring is a two-way street, and often the more experienced person, or “the Mentor” learns just as much from their “Mentee.”  I want to personally thank a few of my WEDC Mentors, including Sonya Greene, Lane Fabby, Patti Martin, and Gen. Paulette Risher, to name only a few.  They have been my sounding boards, confidants, and friends, and helped me navigate transitions in life.  Thank you!
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  • Diane Whitmore
  • Missile Defense Agency
Since being paired with my mentor, Lauren Smith, she has allowed me to be vulnerable and share things that I may not be able to share with co-workers, family, or friends. We all have busy schedules but by having someone you can rely on and be able to hold each other accountable, you see the real benefits of mentorship. Lauren has continued to make our relationship a top priority, and for that I am forever thankful!
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  • Keri Echols, CPA
  • Womack & Associates, LLC


The WEDC Milestones are a group of young women business professionals, who are mentored under WEDC as they provide opportunities to women for leadership and economic development through education, mentoring and networking. The WEDC Milestones group exists to create a developmental pipeline of women working towards strengthening the position of women in business and the community.

WEDC Milestone members are a diverse group of junior to mid-level executive professional women who aspire or desire to continue to progress in their career becoming successful business women who work together, mentor each other, and share resources to accelerate economic development.

The application window for the WEDC Milestones Program is now open! Potential Members, please click the button below to apply! You must submit a recommendation letter from a current WEDC Member with your application!