Power of Women Luncheon to Empower Professional Women, Female Students


The seventh annual Power of Women luncheon and expo will be held Wednesday, April 18, in the Show Me Center at Southeast Missouri State University.

Sponsored in a collaborative effort by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Southeast’s Department of Athletics, Southeast Student Government and SoutheastHEALTH, the Power of Women luncheon connects female students with opportunities, women mentors and resources in the community.

“This event is a great opportunity to bring together extraordinary women to enhance the future of their next generation of colleagues,” said Amanda Lincoln, Power of Women committee member and director of development for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “Since its inception, 34 students have been awarded the Power of Women Scholarship and over 2,000 attendees have been empowered by our speakers.”

An expo, featuring local businesses, community groups and various campus organizations, will be held at 10:30 a.m. followed by a luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Community members and Southeast faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

Tricia Reinhart, a 1981 Southeast graduate and retired sales management executive,  will serve as the keynote speaker with an empowering message entitled “Seeds of Intention.”

Reinhart graduated from Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in home economics, clothing and textiles option, and a minor in marketing. In 2017, she established the “SEMO University Citizen” Endowed Scholarship through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

She is quick to share how much she owes her faculty mentors, who encouraged her to continue to pursue her education despite financial strains. These seeds, planted in her life by the faculty as well as the generosity of her family and scholarship donors, helped Reinhart achieve her goal of earning a college degree, graduating debt free.

Tricia Reinhart

Since graduation, Reinhart has led a highly successful career as a sales manager in the consumer products industry, ultimately becoming vice president of U.S. and North American sales for companies such as Brown’s Shoe Fit Co., Nestle Purina, Stride Rite and Procter & Gamble. While doing so, she remained an active member of her community and raised three children, who have launched successful lives and careers of their own.

Throughout her career, community involvement, family relationships and day-to-day life, Reinhart seeks opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. Together with her husband John, she continues to plant seeds wherever she goes to help others pursue their dreams.

During the luncheon, Abbie Crites-Leoni, president of the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association, will present Power of Women Scholarship awards to Southeast students Taylor Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri; Renee Bailey of Perryville, Missouri; Sydney Driscoll of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Rachel Fox of Nashville, Tennessee; Shannon Kobal of St. Charles, Missouri; Mahala Landeros of Sullivan, Missouri; Sarah Monteiro of Jackson, Missouri; Michelle Otte of Cape Girardeau; Sadie Roy of Trenton, Missouri; and Heather Smallwood of St. Louis.

The Power of Women Scholarship is awarded each year to women attending Southeast who are full-time students and demonstrate a passion for a life of service.

The Power of Women program for Southeast students began in 2012 and is designed to encourage women – Southeast alumni, businesswomen and community members throughout the region – to support Southeast Missouri State University through service and philanthropy. Through this program, the University Foundation hopes to connect female students at Southeast with financial resources to fund their education as well as opportunities to learn through mentorships, internships and service projects in the region. The Power of Women Scholarship was first awarded in the fall of 2013 and endowed in the spring of 2014.

Tickets for the luncheon are $35 per person or $200 for a table of six (table includes sponsoring two student hosts to attend the luncheon). The luncheon is free for Southeast students who may pick up a ticket in the Campus Life & Event Services Office in the University Center Room 414. Proceeds will benefit scholarships for female students at Southeast.

This year’s event is also sponsored by community businesses including Southern Bank, Edward Jones–Cheryl Mothes, Bold Marketing, Fox 23 My 49, River Radio, Chartwells and many others.

Reservations must be made by Thursday, April 12, by calling (573) 651-2259 or registering online at http://www.semo.edu/powerofwomen.