Boxer and wellness advocate Laila Ali to headline the 22nd annual SmartWomen Luncheon & Expo

May 16, 2024


Hosted by St. Joseph’s/Candler, this event brings successful and inspirational speakers to SmartWomen of Savannah and the Lowcountry.

Boxer, role-model, chef and TV host will bring her energy and stories about her life’s journey to success to Savannah as the keynote speaker at the 22nd annual St. Joseph’s/Candler SmartWomen Luncheon & Expo.

Daughter of boxing great Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali has blazed her own path beyond her undefeated boxing career by setting new benchmarks for women both in the media and as a role model. She has provided expert commentary for NBC Sports and other television programs and uses her platform to advocate for equality for women in sports. She became a chef and founded her own lifestyle brand. Laila Ali

The SmartWomen Luncheon & Expo is an annual fundraiser for St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Telfair Mammography Fund. The goal of the Telfair Mammography Fund is to ensure that all women have access to mammography and other breast health services, even if they are underinsured or have no insurance. In our region, approximately 25 percent of the population meets that criterion. With our five locations and our Mobile Mammography Unit, St. Joseph’s/Candler offers that access where women live and work.

Over the last several years, the Telfair Mammography Fund has seen an increase in utilization, and is in constant need of additional monetary support. The SmartWomen Luncheon & Expo has raised more than $2 million to meet this goal since its inception. Last year alone, SmartWomen raised more than $220,000, a record-breaking total for this event.

We are proud to announce that this year’s presenting sponsor is once again Chatham Parkway Lexus and Hilton Head Lexus, a strong supporter and longtime contributor to the Telfair Mammography Fund.

“Laila Ali is the perfect continuation of inspiring SmartWomen speakers at the preeminent event in this region,” said Winston Pittman, Sr., President/Owner of Chatham Parkway Lexus and Hilton Head Lexus. “The impact that the Telfair Mammography Fund has had on our community is immeasurable, and we continue to see an amazing level of support for this event as last year’s record-breaking results shows.  It is our privilege to be the presenting sponsor for this incredible event.”

We also want to thank Savannah Chatham Imaging, who is again this year’s Speaker Sponsor and who also supports the Telfair Mammography Fund through their many years of service to our program.

“We are honored to do our part in making this event not just a fundraising success but also an unforgettable experience for those who attend,” said Dr. Robert Myers of Savannah Chatham Imaging. “Laila Ali will be a wonderful speaker and representative for this great cause. We are excited to once again partner with St. Joseph's/Candler and look forward to another incredible year.”

The 2024 chair of SmartWomen, Price Mingledorff, also anticipates we will have another record-breaking year.

“SmartWomen is always such a special day for us and the 1,400 people who come,” Mingledorff said. “Not only is Laila Ali an exceptional keynote speaker, but we anticipate that what we will offer in the Expo will be some of the best we’ve ever had. But the most special part is knowing the profound effect the money raised will have on uninsured and underinsured women in this region.”

For more information on SmartWomen sponsorship opportunities, please call the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations at 912-819-8683 or email

About SmartWomen

When: Wednesday, October 9, 2024

Where: Savannah Convention Center

Expo: 10 a.m.

Lunch and program: Noon

Learn more at

The SmartWomen media sponsors are WTOC, The Savannah Morning News and 98.7 The River.


About Laila Ali

Laila Ali — pro athlete, wellness advocate, TV host and chef — is the force behind the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand. Alongside her husband, former NFL star Curtis Conway, Laila cherishes family life in Georgia with their two children, Curtis Jr. and Sydney. Laila Ali

Daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, Laila leads with the light of his legacy as a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, whose record includes 24 wins (21 of which were “knockouts”) and zero losses.

These exceptional accolades were recognized when women’s boxing made its debut in the Olympics; Laila made history by becoming the first woman to provide expert commentary for NBC Sports in 2012. By 2022, her enduring impact was officially honored when she was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Continuing to set new benchmarks for women, Laila became a regular panelist and contributor for the CBS Sports Network’s all-female sports commentary program, “We Need to Talk”—the first of its kind in sports broadcasting. Laila is also a past President of the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a non-profit organization supported by some of the biggest athletes in the world. Through the WSF, Laila promotes equality for women in sports, advocating for programs that encourage confidence, health, strength and upholds Title IX. Ultimately, her dedication to female empowerment is an ongoing mission: she continues to inspire others as a sought-after speaker and author of her book for young women entitled “Reach: Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power!”

Her ferocity as a role model equals her tenacity as a chef; she has triumphed as a two-time champion on Food Network’s celebrity edition of “Chopped.” Always up for a good challenge, she even made it to the final round of the fourth season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007, capturing the hearts of millions.

Laila has also appeared in various cooking segments on Rachael Ray, Dr. Oz, and The Chew, along with having cooked her famous “oven-baked fried chicken” on Steve Harvey’s hit daytime talk show. Adding to her television repertoire, Laila has hosted multiple seasons of “Everyday Health”, which aired on national syndication on ABC, in addition to being the previous co-host of “American Gladiators” and former host of “All-In With Laila Ali,” which aired in weekend syndication on CBS. She has also hosted the Emmy Award-Winning show Home Made Simple which aired every Saturday on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) for three seasons.

As a revered leader in the health community, Laila Ali was the 2012 “Mombassador” for the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon.

From wellness guru to global role model, it is her fierce social activism that has led to multiple endorsements for major brands such as Subway, Kohls, T.J. Maxx, Activa and Purina. She is also recognized for her fiery entrepreneurial spirit; her cookbook "Food For Life'' is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She has even created her own line of organic seasonings called Laila Ali Spice Blends, YouPlenish nutrition supplements, skincare and apparel. And most recently, she launched Laila Ali Home Decor with At Home.

With the same thrust of devotion, Laila is a major supporter of charitable organizations such as Feeding America, Peace 4 Kids, American Dental Association and more.

Hands down, as a steadfast health and athletic advocate, Laila continues to engage her followers with her own lifestyle blog, “Laila Ali Lifestyle.”


About Lexus

​Lexus' passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance ​enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus ​began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. ​Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in ​more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 244 ​dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With eight models incorporating Lexus ​Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers nine F SPORT models, ​one F performance model and one F model. Lexus is committed to being a visionary ​brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.


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