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President’s Update – April 2018

Dear Sisters in the Florida Forum:

As we enter the second quarter of 2018, we are still reeling from the horrific massacre of 17 high school students by a deranged young man wielding a weapon of war. And it happened right in our own backyard. While the carnage and suffering of the families is difficult to fathom, we’ve heard the voices of young leaders emerge and we’ve seen them rise up and take action to change the status quo. Among those inspiring leaders is Emma Gonzalez, an 18 year old who lost many of her classmates, and while grieving and in pain, had the presence of mind to seize the moment, use her power, confront the elected officials who are supposed to protect children, organize massive demonstrations and change laws.

Strong, fearless, determined. Emma reminds us of the importance of women’s leadership.

I want to thank all of you who participated in our strategic planning workshops focused on membership. Your work has resulted in a new membership process that we hope will result in the nomination of a diverse group of outstanding new members. You’ve all received the nomination packet via email – please get to work! 

A number of other issues emerged as we discussed membership, particularly the importance of substance and content in our IWF events. Along those lines, Mary Young and Ana Viamonte Ros have produced a number of outstanding Lunch & Learn gatherings at the Coral Reef Yacht Club. The January meeting featured Kathy Andersen of the Women’s Fund on their Pay Equity project being conducted in Miami-Dade. In February IWF member Cheryl Little, the executive director of Americans for Immigrant Justice, described the difficult, inhumane and heart-breaking circumstances of refugees and undocumented residents seeking a better life. Our March L & L featured IWF member Penny Shaffer, Florida Blue president, who helped us understand the complicated world of health insurance. Our next Lunch and Learn will be at Goodwill Industries. If you have ideas for programs, please contact Mary or Ana.

The Dine-Around Committee, led by Beth Dunlop and Loretta Ciraldo, is also working diligently to provide evenings of interest and substance. Hope you’ll join us at the Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, an evening hosted by Beatrice Loussaint with a special behind-the-scenes tour.

And only a few miles north, our Palm Beach chapter has been providing elegant and interesting evenings, most recently a tour of the Flagler Museum by its new director followed by a delicious gourmet meal.

IWF Florida Forum is your organization – a membership of some of the best and smartest women leaders in our region. Your participation and involvement are what makes us what we are. Thank you for your support.

Warmest regards,

katy sorenson