After a two-month search, The Momentum Board of Directors has selected Birmingham native and Momentum graduate April Benetollo as the new CEO of the women’s leadership organization. Benetollo succeeds Barbara Royal, Momentum’s founder and CEO from 2002 until her retirement in August.
“April’s professional background, enthusiasm, and first-hand experience at Momentum make her the perfect choice to lead our organization into the next phase of our strategic plan,” said Vickie Saxon, president of Momentum’s board of directors and vice president of enterprise resources at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. “We have ambitious goals for the next five years and are fortunate to have April’s shared vision to get us there.”
Benetollo is a Momentum alumna from the program’s tenth class and served on the Momentum executive board for two years before joining the organization in October 2016 as director of marketing and development. She has served as interim CEO since September. Prior to joining Momentum, Benetollo was senior vice president of marketing at Daxko, a Birmingham-based software success story. As a member of Daxko’s executive team from its startup in early 2000 until 2016, Benetollo held leadership positions in general management, marketing, sales, product strategy, HR and career development, all reporting to the CEO.
“I am incredibly honored to be selected to carry on this amazing program that Barbara, our board, and our corporate partners have built, as well as expand into new areas,” Benetollo said. “Barbara was very much ahead of her time when she started Momentum 15 years ago. Since then, the issue of under-representation of women in leadership has moved from a hushed discussion to a national conversation. We now have organizations from New York to the West Coast looking at our Momentum program, stunned at the success we’ve had right here in Alabama. But there is still much work to be done.”
In the coming years, Momentum plans to expand its programs and services to include early-career women, men who support diversity in leadership, and more community involvement.
Benetollo is a board member of TechAlabama, a sister organization of TechBirmingham, as well as an advisory board member of UAB’s Information Engineering Management program and the Marketing and Sales Advisory Board for the UAB Collat School of Business. April is a frequent public speaker on leadership development, employee engagement, healthy teams, diversity, emotional intelligence, public speaking, marketing, positioning, and brand awareness.