WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT
for a woman whose sensitivity to women’s needs led her to tremendous achievements for women:
Lori Spicer Robertson
Lori Spicer Robertson used to call herself a ‘hometown fleer” who chose to return after college and grad school to her hometown, determined to make a difference. Even as her career has climbed through major local and national organizations with an increasingly vibrant focus on workplace diversity and inclusion, Lori’s personal passion for supporting women and girls has resulted in creation of timely, empowering programs and events.
She earned her Bachelor’s in business at UT-Knoxville and a Master’s in communications at University of Florida. After a year in Washington invigorating the communication operation for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, she came home in 2007 to accept the position as communications specialist for the Greater Memphis Chamber.
And she dove into community leadership: on the board for Dance Works, board communications co-chair for MPACT Memphis, on the Leadership Council for Young Women Philanthropists of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. She was chapter and public relations chair for Memphis Urban League Young Professionals, and then its president, where she initiated a women’s summit.
In 2010 she became manager of Community Affairs & Engagement at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, building relations with key community leaders and groups throughout the Mid-South.
With female alumnae from several high schools, Lori produced Brown Girls Dream, a mentoring program offering service projects and life lessons by women from many walks of life. She also hosted a Memphis Prom Closet with donated dresses and a giveaway party for juniors and seniors in several schools, complete with hair and makeup tips and guidance on how to dress for your size, make good choices and own your own power.
Lori joined First Horizon National Corp. as change leadership manager in 2013 and then became chief communications and engagement officer for United Way of the Mid-South in 2016. She led the way to form the Memphis iteration of Women United, created to “harness the power and dedication of women leaders to transform the Mid-South community through awareness, service and advocacy.”
Anxious for connection with other moms, she and her best friend Erika Matlock Conley organized The Gathering, a supper club where women could escape their isolation and share their experiences as wives and mothers. The supper club led to launching in 2020 of Wundher, a digital media and experiential production company designed to connect women and mothers to their joy. Lori says Wundher is the culmination of all of her pet projects: to connect people, to share storytelling that models resilience for other women and to foster mentorship.
This “fempowerment” platform features a membership community of women from all backgrounds, race and ages; a podcast and vlog; brand partnerships; and curated experiences. A lively website connects women to past and current local activities and voices from women around the country.
After a year of work Wundher’s launch came just as COVID struck so most activities became virtual, including a conference titled “Joymaker 2021: The Future of Women and Work” with a slate of national speakers that drew a couple thousand attendees.
In-person events resumed last spring when 300 women in full finery gathered for the Mother of Wundher luncheon, giving every woman in the room an award for the often thankless journey of motherhood.
Wundher activities range from annual January vison-boarding partay to #MOMversations on race featuring a range of expert voices to evening cocktail gatherings with special speakers in support of local nonprofits and a march/rally in Overton Park in support of black children after George Floyd’s death.
Lori served Saks Fifth Avenue as vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion from September 2020 to February 2022. Sensitive to the weight and trauma that DEI officers carry, not only for their employees, but themselves, Lori initiated in late 2021 an annual DEI Summit to support self-care and wellness among DEI professionals.
She organized the second summit in December 2022 after moving in October to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
In her 2023 Linked In profile, Lori lists these titles:
MOM | VP, Chief DEI Officer | Founder, The DEI Collective & Wundher | Experience Curator | Corporate Collaborator | Speaker/Facilitator | Board Director | Career Aligner | Writer | Multihyphenate
The record of her professional and civic life is a litany of energetic, creative, passionate leadership to help women and girls live their fullest, most equitable and joyous life. Lori lives the Vision definition, constantly finding timely, new ways to respond to women’s needs with sensitivity and purpose.