Karen Williams

Karen Yvonne Williams leads passionately and has served multiple times as Chapter President.  She is past  ABWA District IV Vice President and currently co-leads the District IV Steering Committee.  A 2014 Top Ten American Business Woman, she is an information technology specialist and owner of  JC Williams Consulting, LLC.  In 2018, she was elected District of Columbia Mother of the Year by Mothers, Inc.


Recording Secretary

Arlene Reese

Arlene Reese has served the Chapter as treasurer and previously as secretary since joining ABWA in 2005.  Currently she is Hospitality Committee Chair, a position she has held for the past four years.  She retired as lead Manpower Management Analyst for Civilian and Military personnel, Department of the Navy, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

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Karen McDowell

Karen R. McDowell has served as Treasurer since 2016 when she joined the Chapter.  In 2019, she was elected Woman of the Year.  Karen is employed in the regulatory financial management industry.  She is enthusiastic about attending regional and national ABWA conferences and takes full advantage of courses sponsored by the Association at Park University.

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Vice President

Mary Lou Shippe

Mary Lou Shippe, immediate past president, joined ABWA in 1983 and affiliated with DC Charter almost five years ago.  She was president of another ABWA Chapter when it was chartered in the 1980’s.  A graduate of the Kansas University MBA Essentials program, she is also known as a guru for having completed the most APEX courses offered by the organization.


Financial Secretary

Kia Warner

Kia Warner is the 2020 Protége’ who earned this title by engaging and developing business skills.  She has assisted in establishing a mentoring program for middle school girls.  Kia joined the Chapter in 2019 and recently received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus.



Lorraine T. James

Lorraine T. James, member of ABWA since 1979, is a retired Nurse Manager who has served in all Chapter offices except Secretary.  She was selected the 2002 Top Ten Businesswoman and earned membership in the Inner Circle.  In addition, she is a charter member and the first elected President of the WaMarVa Area ABWA Council, which she also named.