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TRIBUTES TO LYNN YEAKEL

Ever since the creation of Vision 2020 more than a decade ago, it was my great privilege to work closely with Lynn in furthering its mission of creating a level playing field for women. Lynn was a tireless and respected thought leader who was deeply committed to that objective, and her work ethic, dedication and enthusiasm were truly inspiring. Indeed, she was a true force of nature, and whenever she asked me or others to work on a particular project or to speak at a Congress or elsewhere, it was simply impossible to say no. Lynn was a visionary, and it is most fitting that VisionForward serves as her enduring legacy. She was a dear friend who will be greatly missed but long remembered.

Roberta Liebenberg

Member of VisionForward Strategic Leaders; Senior Partner, Fine, Kaplan and Black

We were honored to count Lynn as a friend and supporter of the League’s mission. From her founding of Women’s Way through her leadership of Vision2020, Lynn made our community better. Her warmth and vision of what we could achieve encouraged us. Lynn is an inspiration to so many, and we will miss her.

League of Women Voters of Radnor Township

Board members Anne Childs, Ginny Kreitler, Gayla McCluskey, Gillian Norris-Szanto, Mari Schaefer and Barbara Schraudenbach

We have lost a tremendous trailblazer for women in Lynn Yeakel. It is my honor to be one of the earliest members of the VisionForward (formerly Vision 2020) Congress representing Tennessee. It is my fervent hope that Drexel University will continue the amazing national organization of women that was begun by Lynn Yeakel and Rosemarie Greco. The most appropriate way to honor Lynn’s legacy is to keep her work moving forward. We will always miss Lynn’s guiding hand but can continue her dream.

Yvonne Wood

Yvonne Wood VisionForward Advocate, Tennessee

The Kimmel Cultural Campus lost our dear friend and tireless advocate for women’s equality last week. Lynn Yeakel will be remembered as a trailblazer for women’s rights and a true pioneer whose legacy lives on in Vision Forward and in the hearts & minds of every person she inspired. Ms. Yeakel embodied everything we stand for on the Kimmel Cultural Campus, breaking barriers with a heart for equity and a belief that everyone deserves a “Seat at the Table,” the name of the interactive exhibit on women’s suffrage and social movements she brought to the Kimmel Plaza in February 2020, and where it will remain through March in honor of Women’s History Month. It is Ms. Yeakel’s crown jewel, a legacy of her life’s work that will continue to educate and inspire generations.

Edward Cambron

COO & Executive Vice President, Kimmel Cultural Campus

Lynn was a visionary and, throughout her career, her passion, commitment and tenacity brought those visions to life. How fitting then that the finale to a life dedicated to women’s empowerment was Vision 2020. Even a global pandemic did not deter Lynn from bringing it to life.

Anne Ewers

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. (POKC) Board member and friend

Lynn Yeakel was a visionary for the cause of gender equality. All of us at the National Constitution Center were honored to collaborate with Lynn and Vision2020 in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. It was so meaningful to celebrate trailblazing women alongside Lynn Yeakel, herself a constitutional pathmaker. We mourn her loss and remain committed to honoring her inspiring legacy.

National Constitution Center

Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO; Vince Stango, Executive Vice President and COO

With Lynn Yeakel’s passing, we have lost a remarkable visionary. Working with Lynn Yeakel on Vision 2020 was an education in leadership and strategy. Lynn’s special insight was that we needed more than just a celebration in 2020 of the centennial of women voting. We needed — and Lynn built — a decade-long initiative starting in 2010 to advance gender equality so we could meaningfully celebrate 100 years of women voting in 2020. Lynn had the vision to organize Vision 2020 as a broad and diverse national coalition of organizations whose collective numbers exceeded 25 million women and girls. Lynn also emphasized the importance of shared leadership between women and men. Lynn set the course for our vision forward. Her memory is an inspiration to continue her mission.

Karen Kaplowitz

Member of Vision 2020 Leadership Circle; Founder, The New Ellis Group

Lynn was a mentor to me during my formative leadership years through to my presidency in the Junior League of Philadelphia. She always gave good advice. She also asked thought provoking questions in order to make me think of the possible solutions to issues that I was facing. Later on, she asked me to be an Ambassador for Vision 2020, and now with Vision Forward, her legacy continues. She will be missed greatly.

Heidi Vass Tirjan

Past President, Junior League of Philadelphia

Goodbye to a tremendous leader and force for good. Lynn Yeakel’s commitment to the pursuit of equality and her persistent encouragement of others were true gifts to us all. I was grateful for the chance to learn from her through Vision 2020 committee service and admired her no-nonsense style, grace, intellect and positivity. May we honor her memory and inspiration by continuing the work.

Betsy Oliphant Ross

Associate Publisher, Philadelphia magazine

Denial works when reality is too hard to grasp. Lynn’s passing is just such an event. Her vitality makes her oddly unqualified for a eulogy. And we all know dozens of projects and tasks she undertook on our behalfs that have made the larger society a better place to live. There is no one else I know who could turn politically naive women into elected officials. Who could carry the torch for democracy with genuine gusto and unfailing joy. There is much more to say … think about it … and help carry her many torches.

Juliet Goodfriend

Founder and Chair, Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Lynn was an extraordinary woman and will be missed. It was an honor to know her. May she rest in peace, knowing she helped change the world for the better.

Erin Vilardi

Founder, Vote Run Lead

I had the good fortune of working with Lynn in a variety of capacities for more than 18 years. I was constantly in awe of her energy, commitment, and innovation as she led existing programs and established exciting and important new ones. Her commitment to the critical ideals of inclusion, equality and shared leadership resonated with me and made it impossible to say no to anything she asked of me — and I’m so glad that was the case! I learned a great deal from Lynn over the years, and in return I always felt my contributions were respected and valued. In Jewish tradition, one does not give away the shoes of someone who has died because no one else can really fill another’s shoes. This is all the more true in Lynn’s case. Others will pick up the reins, of course, but there will only ever be one Lynn Yeakel, and she will be missed.

Ellie Cantor, PhD (DUCOM 1979), MBA

Lynn may not have attained the levers of power she repeatedly sought, however one cannot deny her leadership. During this period of divisiveness, she has laid a foundation for others to take up the mantle and provide a moral force for women’s rights.

Valerie Lee

Action Chair, League of Women Voters Dayton

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Lynn Yeakel. I had known Lynn from her time at Women’s Way and had the pleasure of working with her at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to women’s equality, and her vision for shared leadership, were an inspiration to women everywhere. She truly made a difference and will be greatly missed.

Marsha Braverman

Vice President, Braverman Associates LLC