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Last year's WILA Honorees

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

President's Award: 

The Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation will present the President’s Award to Bank of America at the 2022

Women In Leadership Awards Luncheon on April 21, 2022, at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion.

The President’s Award is given to a corporation or institution for the continual exemplary support of girls and women through their journey in leadership in Palm Beach County. This year we are pleased to honor Bank of America. 

Hear from Fabiola 




Nonprofit Sector: Jessica Cecere


Jessica Cecere is the Chief Executive Officer of Nonprofits First, Inc. and has over 30 years  of nonprofit leadership experience. Ms. Cecere is also a small business shareholder, , and an active community volunteer. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University. She is a BoardSource Certified Governance trainer and a Certified True Colors Facilitator. In years past, Jessica was also a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and a Certified Counselor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Cecere is an expert in board governance, nonprofit management, leadership facilitation and personal finance and has appeared in numerous local and national publications. Cecere was a long-time local television media source in the area of credit and personal finance, as well as, serving as a frequent guest host on Clear Channel Radio’s WJNO morning news. Jessica Cecere has a long history of community involvement with many community service and nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate and active alumnus of Leadership Florida and Leadership Palm Beach County. Jessica also serves as a volunteer on numerous committees. Jessica has served on 12 plus nonprofit boards and advisory councils from 1992 – 2022. Jessica is the Immediate Past Board Chair for the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and Puerto Rico and is also a current board member. She also serves as a board member of Leadership Palm Beach County and the Financial Executives Alliance for First Republic Bank.

For Profit Sector: Virginia M. Spencer

Virginia Spencer has been General Manager of Illustrated Properties since 1998. She is dedicated to the real estate industry locally and on a state-wide basis. Her real estate career expands well over 30 plus years, including many successful years in sales and then as Broker for Investment Equality until 1998. Current she serves as the director and Board member for the Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie Realtors and as the State Director for the Florida Realtors for the past 18 years. As the General Manager for Illustrated Properties, she assists managers and agents with day to day problems. She handles Escrow Disputes, Error and Omission disputes, and Ethics and Arbitration for all the company's associates. In addition, she leads on handling the licensing of the new offices for IPRE, Board of Realtor applications, and contract and customer issues. Virginia's philanthropy throughout Palm Beach County is endless. She was a founding member of the Nelle Smith Home for Girls, and past President of Junior Women's Club of the North Palm Beaches. She is a founding member of Illustrated Properties Charities. She is currently involved with the Girl Scouts of SE Florida as the Chair of the Emerald Awards. In addition, she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Girls Scouts and the "Virginia Spencer Award" through Illustrated Properties for leadership. She is also an active member of the Palm Beach County Business and Development Board, a Leadership Palm Beach County Alumni from the class of 1997, a Board Member and Trustee for the Palm Beach North Chamber, board member of Women in Business for the Chamber, member of the Flagler Museum, Impact PBC, EWPB and former President of the Board, where she also served on the Kwasman Committee, as Honoree Chair of WILA, and set up a scholarship fund at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Virignia's dedication to the community is evident by her passion for giving back and mentoring women in the community in a variety of sectors. She lives in Palm Beach Gardens with her husband Perry and they have two grown daughters. 

Public Sector: Melissa McKinlay

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2014, served as Mayor in 2017/2018, and was reelected without opposition in 2018. Prior to her election, Commissioner McKinlay spent nearly twenty years advocating on behalf of women, children, and families as a Legislative Aide to the Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Office, to members of the U.S. House and Senate, and as a volunteer with several organizations.

Her public service involves working at all three levels of government, including the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the U.S. House & Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Department of Community Affairs, and Sarasota County.

In addition to her public service, Commissioner McKinlay has spent a great deal of her time volunteering for such organizations as the Junior Leagues of Florida where she served as State Chairwoman, the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, ChildNet, Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Voices for Children of Palm Beach County, the Village of Wellington Education Advisory Committee, West Palm 100, American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club, several PTA/PTO and School Advisory Committees, and as a founding member of the Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team.

Currently, Commissioner McKinlay serves on the following boards and committees: Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, 16-County Coalition for Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the 15th Circuit State Attorney’s Addiction Recovery Task Force, Water Resources Task Force, Treasure Coast Local Emergency Planning Council, South Florida Fair Board of Trustees, the Glades Career Readiness Roundtable, the Glades Hunger Relief Workgroup (Co-Chair), Palms West Hospital Board of Trustees, the Junior League of the Palm Beaches Advocacy Committee, and the Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee.

Commissioner McKinlay was recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee, the only member from Florida. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Florida Association of Counties and was the first Palm Beach County Commissioner to lead this organization in twenty years. Additionally, she serves as one of two Florida members on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors, and serves as Vice Chair of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee after serving two years as the Committee Chair, the first woman and first Floridian to do so. At NACo, she was appointed to the Rural Action Caucus, elected to the NextGen Committee Board of Directors, and formerly served as President of the Women’s Caucus.

Emerging Leader: Trina Holmsted

Trina Holmsted is a life-long resident of Palm Beach County and is currently the Marketing Director of Palm Beach Outlets. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2009 and began her career in the Palm Beaches with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, establishing a commitment to give back to her community in a meaningful way. She transitioned into retail marketing in 2015 with Kendra Scott, a fashion-lifestyle brand founded on Family, Fashion, and Philanthropy. Through her work there, she was able to lead a team in executing the Kendra Gives Back program which included providing donations and funding to over 100 local nonprofits each year. As Marketing Director of Palm Beach Outlets, Trina creates and executes the marketing strategy for over 120 retailers and restaurants. Trina spear-headed a Food Distribution partnership between Palm Beach Outlets and Feeding South Florida that provided over two million meals to 40,000 families in Palm Beach County. In 2021, she was recognized by the International Council of Shopping Centers for her innovative partnership with Feeding South Florida and received the gold MAXI award in the community category.

Volunteer Sector: Julie Littky-Rubin

Julie H. Littky-Rubin is a Board-Certified Appellate Attorney in charge of Clark Fountain's appellate practice. Experienced in all aspects of complex civil trial law, Julie provides trial support to the firm and skillfully prepares memoranda of law and argues all types of major pre-trial motions. Julie also manages an extensive appellate practice, crafting winning appellate briefs, and presenting effective oral arguments. Firms and attorneys throughout Florida hire Julie to assist them with their appellate and trial support matters. For more than ten years, Julie has been named to the "Best Lawyers" list by The Best Lawyers in America in Appellate Practice and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs. Julie is continually included in prestigious professional lists, including the "Top 50: Women Lawyers in Florida" by Super Lawyers®, "Top Lawyers" by the South Florida Legal Guide, and "Legal Elite" by Florida Trend magazine.In our legal community, Julie frequently speaks at legal seminars throughout Florida and has published articles in the Florida Bar Journal.In our local community, Julie is the co-founder and president of the "We Are Dwyer" foundation.In addition to her extensive trial and appellate work, Julie produces the invaluable Week In Torts, a helpful and free summary of Florida Case Law.


2022 NOMINEES

PRIVATE SECTOR 



                                                                                               

Geri Emmitt-Duffy's Sports Grill/            Jordana J. Jarura, Menin Development.               Rebecca Miller, MPLD Development              Penny Murphy, Pioneer Linens                               Ann Marie Sorrell, The Mosaic Group                                   Amy Siegel Oran, Kelley Kronberg     

Duffy's Foundation                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                       






                                                                   

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                     Rachel Needle 

                                                                                                                                                                                              Whole Health Psychological Center


NON-PROFIT SECTOR


                                                

                       Hareen Bertisch                                               Lynda Charles                                    Temika Clay                                                    Jeri Goetz                                                                 Suzi Goldsmith                                                 Stephanie Immelmann

              Legal Aid Society of PBC                                Community Partners                      Community Leader                                      Pan-Handle  Challenge                                   The  Tri-County Humane Society             Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce

                    

             


                                          

                                                                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                  Cynthia Jenkins,                                    Ann-Marie Taylor                             Jamie M. Walton

                                                                                                                                                                  Federation of Families of                 Palm Beach Atlantic                        Clinics Can Help

                                                                                                                                                                   Florida, Inc.







PUBLIC SECTOR 




                                        


Julie Botel, City of Riviera Beach                                               Nancy Bolton, PBC School District                        Anne Gannon, PBC Tax Collector                               Maria Marino, Commissioner of PBC                             Dorritt M. Miller, Assistant County Administrator PBC






 



                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                            Rochelle Wolberg, Mounts Botanical Gardens        Suzanne Zadanosky, UBS Wealth Management       Maggie Zeidman, Town of Palm Beach



VOLUNTEER SECTOR 


         

                                                                                                                                                                                             Adrienne Percival, FAU WGSS Advisory Council                        Hope Silverman, Jewish Federation of PBC




                                                          EMERGING LEADER

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                      Megan Bob, Literacy Coalition of PBC





Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation, Inc.

1313 West Boynton Beach Blvd 1B #387 

Boynton Beach, FL 33426

info@ewpb.org
561.868.7070  |  

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