Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Honors Women of Brevard During Mother’s Day Salute

By  //  May 11, 2016

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Mother's Day ay salute honorees included seated, left to right, R: G. Bonavito, E. Wilson and B. Thrower. Standing, left to right, Dr. P. Nellius-Guthrie, S. Brown, D. Sibley, M. Cadore, J. Dames, J. McClure and K. Heriquez. Not pictured. Mona Stephenson. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Mother’s Day salute honorees included, seated, left to right, R: G. Bonavito, E. Wilson and B. Thrower. Standing, left to right, Dr. P. Nellius-Guthrie, S. Brown, D. Sibley, M. Cadore, J. Dames, J. McClure and K. Heriquez. Not pictured, Mona Stephenson. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – The men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity took time to honor the women of Brevard County during a Mother’s Day Salute held on May 7 at Martin Andersen Senior Center in Rockledge.

The Keynote Speaker was Sigma Brother Frank Mizzell III, a program manager who was recently featured on the Steve Harvey Show with his lovely wife Lynn Mizzell (Mizzell Moments). He gave an inspiring message to the mothers on a Mothers Love.

President Michael Cadore of the Brevard Sigmas/Kappa Chi Sigma Chapter said, “Other than God’s Love, a Mothers Love is the strongest, we, the men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Salute them all. Thank God for mothers!”

President Cadore was truly humbled and honored to present several outstanding mothers, who were selected by the Brevard sorority chapters and the men of Phi Beta Sigma.

Dr. Patricia Nellius-Guthrie is the founding CEO of Brevard Family Partnership, the Lead Child Welfare Agency in Brevard County, where she has served since its inception in 2004. She holds a Master’s and Doctorate in Counseling with a specialization in trauma treatment. Out of a deep desire to impact change and improve the quality of life for vulnerable children and families, Nellius-Guthrie worked her way from the field up to administration. She has served in the human service sector with specific focus on system reform for over 25 years.

Dr. Jennifer Dames published an article in Florida Science Teacher: Increasing Student Interest in STEM through a Summer Camp Experience. Throughout her career Dr. Dames has shared her energy with a variety of professional and service organizations and boards, including the National Science Teachers Association, Florida Education Fund and National Association of Research in Teacher Education. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is married to the Rev. Glenn B. Dames, Jr., and they have three children.

Attorney Dedra S. Sibley  worked for several large Fortune 500 companies while completing her educational goals. She was employed by Rockwell International and Northrop Grumman for a combined period of 15 years, prior to embarking on her second career in law. After completing law school Sibley went to work for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office as a Criminal Defense Attorney. She then established her own practice, Sibley Law Group, P.A. in addition to being ‘Of Counsel’ at the law firm of Arcadier & Associates, P.A. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and has been married to Dennis Sibley, Sr. for almost 30 years and is the mother of 2 sons.

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The men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity took time to honor the women of Brevard County during a Mother’s Day Salute held on May 7 at Martin Andersen Senior Center in Rockledge. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Jenny McClure established and owns a wedding and event business, is very active in the local chamber of commerce, Brevard County Bridal Association as well as the Associate of Bridal Consultants.

Geraldine Ann Bonavito, a native of Salamanca, NY, proudly raised five sons of her own, then two more sons and two daughters from a second marriage. She loves spending time with her 18 grandchildren and beautiful great granddaughter. Bonavito’s passion for community volunteer work began at a young age when she served as school safety patrol. For 10 years, she was a SHINE counselor with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, providing seniors of Brevard County with free Medicare and Health Insurance Assistance. Bonavito was recognized by former Governor Jeb Bush in a ceremony at the capitol. Currently, she actively volunteers with the Martin Andersen Senior Center since 2001, including serving as President for seven years. Bonavito oversees Center operations, providing health, social, educational and recreational services to seniors of Brevard.

Mona Stephenson is a mother of 3 children and has been involved in the Rockledge Community for 10 years as Vice President and Branch Manager of PNC Bank. Prior to joining the bank, Stephenson owned Island Breeze Café in Cocoa. She is the current President of Rockledge Rotary. Having been a Rockledge Rotarian for 9 years has given her the joy of “Serving Others Above Self” which is the Rotary Moto. Rockledge Rotary serves the community through various service projects and traditionally hosts one major fund raiser per year, Space Coast Derby Day, which has provided many thousands of dollars to ELC, Crosswinds Youth Services, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Rockledge High School Interact Club, Robotics Team, and too many more to mention. She is a mentor for second stage businesses through the we Venture Ignite 360 program at FIT, a former board member of BSBAC (Brevard Small Business Assistance Council), and former member of the League of Extraordinary Women.

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Barbie Thrower joined Community Treatment Center, Inc. as the Executive Director/CEO in October of 2013 where she oversees all programmatic functions; residential treatment, outpatient treatment, staff organization, funding resources, grant availability and community resources. Her main focus is providing long term planning and implementation of CTC’s commitment to the principles of recovery and reintegration into society for the client base. Thrower has a passion for people, especially mothers whose children are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. She has a trademark pending MOM-ANON, a support group for emotional counseling and support services for mothers to regain control of their life. Thrower has two children of whom she is extremely proud of.

Kerri Henriquez married her high school sweetheart and together they have three children. The family moved to Florida from New York in 2003, and she enrolled her girls in the local soccer club and quickly became involved with the community of Rockledge. Henriquez became a board member with the Rockledge Soccer club and then in 2014 became the President of the Rockledge High School Girls Soccer Booster Club. Henriqueze attended Adelphi University where she earned her Master’s in Social Work and began her career working with the mentally ill at Circles of Care. She went onto to help create and build up the Clinical Social Work department in the newly established Level 1 Trauma Emergency Department at Arnold Palmer Hospital in 2006. Henriquez is currently employed with the Housing Authority of Brevard County where she runs a program to help Section 8 and Public Housing tenants become self-sufficient. She works very closely with our low income community to help them earn college degrees, vocational certifications with in the health field, find suitable employment and improve their life skills.

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Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity President Michael Cadore was truly humbled and honored to present several outstanding mothers, who were selected by the Brevard sorority chapters and the men of Phi Beta Sigma.

Shetina Brown, aka Ms. RYFCL, is a resident of Rockledge, mother of four and grandmother of three. Her passion is to make a difference in someone’s life. As a faithful member of RYFCL for 21 years as a cheer coach, team mom, team mom and cheer coordinator, she currently is the president. Brown is a member of Metropolitan Baptist church and volunteers in the youth department. She has been the Property manager for American Housing helping families in subsidized housing for 23 years and the proud owner of OTF landscaping service.

Mrs. Elouise Betsy Ross Wilson’s strong commitment of service to education and to the community has resulted in her making significant contributions in this vein. This stems from her passion for academic excellence and personal development for all humanity, with a special concern for women and minorities. With a Master of Science Degree from Nova University she received certification as a Guidance Counselor from the University of Central Florida. Wilson’s achievements are astonishing along with a teaching career of more than 40 years in the Brevard County School System.

Sponsors of the event included Steve Phelps, Edward Jones Financial, Brevard Family Partnership, Housing Authority of Brevard County, PNC Bank, Aging matters in Brevard, Copytronics, American Services Technology, Jill Mimbs All State Insurance Viera.

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