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Businesswoman Debra L. Lee, former chairman and chief executive officer
of BET, will be the featured speaker at Girls Inc.’s 23rd annual Lunch for the Girls. The
luncheon will be held at the CHI Health Center Omaha (455 N. 10th St.) on Thursday,
September 14 from 11:30am – 1:00pm.
Honored as one of the most powerful women in the media and entertainment industries,
Debra Lee led BET Networks to become the largest global company dedicated to African
American programming. She blazed trails as one of America’s rare African American CEOs,
growing BET’s brand presence from a network known mostly for music videos to a ratings
record-breaker serving a demographic with more than $1.3 trillion in buying power.
Raised in the segregated South, Ms. Lee received a bachelor’s degree from Brown
University and both a J.D. and an M.A. from Harvard. She joined BET in 1986 as Vice
President and General Counsel and was elevated to Chairman and CEO in 2005. Now retired
from BET, she is active as a board member, philanthropist, keynote speaker, and champion
of diversity and women’s leadership. Ms. Lee currently serves as a member of the
Recording Academy’s task force on diversity and female inclusion, which is charged with
identifying the “various barriers and unconscious biases face by underrepresented
communities throughout the music industry.”
During her 30-plus year career, Ms. Lee was regarded as one of America’s most respected
business executives. Her many honors and recognitions include being named one of The
Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment, Billboard’s Power 100,
and Adweek’s Disruptors list. She is the first and only woman to receive the Grammy’s
Salute to Industry Icons Award on behalf of her contributions to American music and

Businesswoman Debra L. Lee is to be
Featured Speaker at 2023 Lunch for the Girls
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“We are excited to welcome Debra L. Lee to Lunch for the Girls 2023,” said Ashley Kuhn, Girls Inc. Interim Executive
Director. “She is one of America’s most respected business leaders, embodying the principles of ‘Strong, Smart, and
Bold,’ and her passion for empowering women and people of color will be inspirational to both Girls Inc. and the
audience as a whole.”
Girls Inc. is honored to welcome Ms. Lee to its signature fundraising event. Past Lunch for the Girls speakers have
included Malala Yousafzai, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madeleine Albright, Barbara
and Jenna Bush, Stacey Abrams, Gloria Steinem, Dr. Mae Jemison, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, and Warren Buffett.
Reservations for Lunch for the Girls are available starting June 15 for $100 per person or $200 per person for patron
reservations. Reservations can be made online through https://2023lftg.eventbrite.com, or visiting
https://girlsincomaha.org/special-events/lunch-for-the-girls/ , downloading a reservation form, and submitting it by
email to sdunning@girlsincomaha.org.

All proceeds from Lunch for the Girls support the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities for girls ages 5
to 18 at Girls Incorporated of Omaha, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be
“Strong, Smart and Bold.” Girls Inc. opened its first center in 1975, and currently operates two locations in north and
south Omaha. Serving over 2,000 girls through its centers and outreach programs, Girls Inc. provides transportation
from more than 50 schools in the Omaha area.
Girls Inc.’s programs cultivate learning and skill development in the areas of academic support and enrichment; career
and life planning; self-reliance and life skills; health and wellness; leadership and community action; and culture and
heritage. Curriculum and activities are chosen to be intrinsically appealing to girls and to engender interest and
enthusiasm. Athletic and enrichment activities are carefully chosen to complement academic offerings as well as to
develop physical health and fitness and to promote teamwork.
In 2016, Girls Inc. collaborated with Nebraska Medicine to open an on-site health clinic, striving to improve
the health outcomes of Girls Inc. girls and reduce barriers to preventative care.
For more information, or if you are a member of the media interested in covering this event, please contact
Lisa Winton at lwinton@vgagroup.com or (402) 345-5401 ext. 105.