Attorney General Pam Bondi Welcomes Three Inducted Into Florida Women’s Commission Hall Of Fame
By Space Coast Daily // January 28, 2016
Carol Barnett, Helen Ferré, Elmira Leto
Attorney General Pam Bondi welcomed three outstanding women into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
Governor Scott chose inductees Carol Jenkins Barnett, Helen Aguirre Ferré and Elmira Louise Leto from a list of 10 distinguished nominees selected by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women for making significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and all Floridians.
“We honor and recognize these three women for their outstanding service and dedication to others,” said Attorney General Bondi.
“The inductees’ remarkable work continues to help countless Floridians live fuller lives, and I am truly grateful for their service.”
Carol Jenkins Barnett of Lakeland has worked her entire life to make a difference in Florida’s youth, giving thousands of children a better opportunity to fulfill their potential.
For more than 20 years, Barnett has served as president of Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc., and as a Publix Super Markets Board of Directors member. Barnett initiated the Feed Me a Story children’s reading initiative and was appointed vice-chair of the Florida Partnership for School Readiness Board.
At the United Way Women’s Leadership Summit in 2015, Barnett received the Women in Philanthropy Award. Barnett has also served on the boards of Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, All Saints Academy and the Florida Council on Economic Education. Currently, Barnett sits on the United Way Leadership Council and the Polk Education Foundation Board of Directors.
Helen Aguirre Ferré of Miami Shores is an award-winning bilingual journalist and communications consultant. For more than 12 years, Ferré has been the face of public affairs programming at WPBT2, hosting the weekly series ISSUES and launching ISSUES REPORTS.
With WPBT2, Ferré acted as an investigative arm of journalism, reaching audiences from Florida’s Treasure Coast to the Florida Keys. Ferré is the co-founder of Operation Saving Lives, a humanitarian task force that supplies medicine, food and water to victims of Hurricane Mitch in Latin America.
Ferré is the first woman to chair the Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education. In 2013, Ferré received the American Red Cross Spectrum Award.
Elmira L. Leto of Key West is the founder and CEO of Samuel’s House, Inc., the umbrella agency of two permanent supportive housing units, Kathy’s Hope and Casa de Meredith and Mary Spottswood Women’s Center.
Samuel’s House is the only emergency shelter for homeless women and children and provides a second chance to displaced women, women and men with children and intact families.
Leto is a founding member of the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League and the Monroe County Continuum of Care, where she is an active participant and officer on the Board of Directors.
Leto’s faith and perseverance in addressing local homeless and social issues, and her advocacy on behalf of women, children and families make a substantial difference in the lives of many families faced with desperate and sometimes life-threatening situations of domestic violence.
“The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame committee must choose only 10 nominees from hundreds of applications received. We are honored to have so many highly accomplished women in Florida,” says Elizabeth Pines, chair of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Committee.
“What makes our job so difficult is choosing from the scores of women who are leaders in every sector of society. These nominees have truly impacted their communities and the state of Florida in the most profound ways.”
The Commission accepts nominations for the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame from the public each year from April 1 – July 15.
“It is an honor for the Florida Commission on the Status Women to be involved in the recognition of women and their accomplishments each year through the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. The Governor has chosen three outstanding women,” stated Yvonne Fry, chair of the Commission.
“Their impact on all citizens of Florida provides evidence of the critical role that women have played in shaping our state.”
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 is the Third Annual Florida Women’s Day at the Capitol. The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is joining women’s organizations from across the state to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the legislative process and become engaged in public policy.
Participants gain a better understanding of how decisions are made at the Capitol and learn the tools needed to become leaders on policy changes that affect women.
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