Women on the Rise is a non-profit organization headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri with a mission to educate, elevate, and empower women in all aspects of music and the music industry.

Leah Watts
Board President

Leah Watts has been singing since before she could talk, but it wasn't until 3 years ago that she decided to share it. Since then, Leah has gone full steam ahead pursuing her passion. Leah can be found on Spotify, social media, in local coffeeshops & bars, and various other venues across the state. Leah is inspired by people, their passions, and their dreams and she hopes to use her music to inspire others.

Lynne Grimes
Board Treasurer

Guitar and piano are the only instruments I claim to play. I am a Walt Chambers (my dear friend and guitar mentor) and Bruce Hornsby wanna be. I have played in various bands and countless bars/venues for the last thirty years, opened for The Wallflowers, Quiet Riot, and Techn9ne, written and recorded a CD, jingles, and contributed music for a theatrical production. I love words, melodies, harmonies and playing guitar and piano.

Barb Wilmoth
Board Secretary

Paralegal by day, rock drummer by night.  Barb started her musical career playing bass in original and cover bands during much of the 90’s and 00’s. However, she always secretly wanted to be a drummer, so in 2010 she decided to take the plunge and started taking drum lessons.  She hasn’t looked back since.  She currently plays for Radial Red, an original female fronted rock trio.  A few of her favorite drummers are Neal Peart, Phil Ehart, Vinnie Colaiuta, Stanton Moore & Dominic Howard. 

Kathy Forste
Board Member

Kathy’s passion for music began as a child. At the age of 13 she wrote her first “real song” and has been writing songs and playing guitar ever since. She started performing about 28 years ago as a solo artist in Oklahoma, she has played everywhere from Seattle, Washington to the Bluebird Café in Nashville, and has written, recorded and produced three CD’s. In 2008, Kathy started KC Café Radio and has been the sole ear for choosing the music for the 24/7 internet radio station, as well as interviewing over 100 singer/songwriters around the world. Kathy also teaches guitar and ukulele in Lee's Summit, MO.

Jillian Riscoe
Board Member

Singing and performing since the age of 7, Jillian has had her share of success. The Kansas City native has toured and performed all across the United States, including at major sporting events and the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project. She has received regional music awards, secured national radio airplay, and opened up for artists like Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield, Lisa Loeb, Everclear, Tantric, Stabbing Westward.

Always striving to push forward, Jillian has been hard at work in the studio with Matt Richards of Avenue Record Company LLC. She is writing and recording new solo material and says the new music represents “freedom, self-growth, and empowerment.”