Our Women United affinity group has appointed Petra Jenkins, Account Manager for General Mills, as its new chair for a two-year term. Jenkins assumes the mantle of leadership from Lisa Guillette, Executive Director of Foster Forward.
An all-volunteer group, Women United is an initiative of UWRI focused on improving childhood literacy and grade-level reading by harnessing the power and strength of women. The group features 139 local members from every corner of the state—executives and managers, mothers and daughters, co-workers, friends and neighbors—who commit not only their financial support, but also their time and talents. Previously, the group was known as the Women’s Leadership Council.
Over the past five years, Women United members have made gifts totaling more than $2.1 million to UWRI, including $125,000 to increase girls’ access to STEM programming, and $116,503 to support the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative in 2017. The group also actively volunteers, creating mentoring partnerships with local schools and libraries, delivering hands-on STEM and literacy workshops for students during out-of-school time programs, and collaborating with local businesses and community leaders to expand access to educational opportunities for youth. There are currently more than 70,000 Women United members across 165 communities nationwide.
“I am honored to be named chair of Women United and have the opportunity to help advance the work of a group wholly committed to improving childhood literacy,” said Jenkins. “I truly believe that there is power in numbers, and giving every student the tools they need to learn and succeed is, without question, the best investment we can make in our future.”
As Account Manager with General Mills, Petra calls on a multibillion dollar company in the wholesale club industry where she helps manage $180 million in sales and oversees the frozen, dairy, and refrigerated portfolios. In addition to Women United, Petra is on the Board of the Alliance Francaise de Providence, serves on the Women Ending Hunger Committee of the RI Community Food Bank, and mentors young girls through Foster Forward. She is also past president of the Junior League of RI and has been an active member of the organization since 2003.
Originally from Germany, Petra has been a resident of Rhode Island for 20 years and lives on the East Side of Providence with her husband, John. She holds an MBA from Bryant University and a Bachelor of Arts from the American University of Paris.