Triangle Business Journal Names Sharita Whitaker a 2023 Women in Business Award Winner

Triangle Business Journal

Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) has honored Sharita Whitaker with its 2023 Women in Business Award. TBJ received more than 100 nominations for this award, and Sharita was honored in the “inspiration” category. This is the second year in a row that TBJ has named a Smith Anderson attorney a Women in Business Award winner: Amy Batten joined this prestigious group in 2022, and Smith Anderson attorneys Kerry Shad and Sarah Fox are also past honorees. 

"This year’s class of honorees represent the best in professional accomplishment, leadership and community engagement,” said TBJ Market President and Publisher Jason Christie. “We applaud their efforts for what they have done and continue to do in the Triangle and beyond. We look forward to honoring each of them later this year.”

Sharita motivates others each day as an inspirational leader and mentor in her role as partner here at Smith Anderson. As a Black woman who focuses her practice on commercial real estate and real estate development – areas of law historically dominated by men – Sharita advises high profile clients who look to her for practical, accurate and clear legal counsel on their most complex real estate matters.

Sharita is also co-chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee, helping to guide the firm in its D&I initiatives that have resulted in a fundamental evolution of the firm’s culture and have served as inspiration for others in the legal industry. Sharita was a driving force on the committee behind the firm applying for and gaining admittance in the Class of 2023 Mid-sized Mansfield Rule Cohort—a national program that encourages the increased representation of diverse lawyers in leadership by setting benchmarks for firms to follow that broaden the pool of women, LGBTQ+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, and/or racial/ethnic minority lawyers who are considered for entry-level and lateral attorney job openings, leadership opportunities, equity partner promotions and opportunities to connect with clients and potential clients.

Another of Sharita’s inspiring roles at our firm is her work as co-leader of the firm’s Diversity Mentor Program. Through educational sessions, social activities and being available as a mentor, Sharita takes our diverse attorneys under her wing to help them become their best professional and personal selves. Sharita has served as co-chair of the NCBA’s award-winning Adelante Moving Forward! program designed to mentor and inspire future attorneys. She also is a volunteer lawyer for Legal Aid of NC and member of the Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association, Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women and the International Right of Way Association.

As member of Smith Anderson’s Real Estate Development Group, Sharita regularly assists clients with many aspects of commercial real estate, including, among other things: acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing; title analysis and title disputes; public utility real estate issues; right-of-way acquisitions; condemnation/eminent domain actions; and easement negotiation and drafting.

Subscribers to TBJ can view a gallery of all the 2023 winners here.

About Triangle Business Journal

Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) is the leading source of business news and events covering all industries in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. The Business Journals report on local and national issues that impact businesses and are a division of the American City Business Journals (ACBJ), the largest publisher of metropolitan business newsweeklies in the United States.


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