weVENTURE Announces Nominees for 2021 Women Who Rock Awards

By  //  March 3, 2021

Nominees to be celebrated in red carpet fashion

March 23 Virtual Event Honors
Women’s History Month

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2021 Women Who Rock Awards. The annual ceremony honors Women’s History Month.

The winners chosen from the 65 individual and four business nominations will be revealed at a virtual event on Zoom from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 23. The theme for the event is the Oscars, and all nominees will be celebrated in red carpet fashion.

Women and companies were nominated by their peers and the general public across five categories: Female Small Business Owner of the Year, Excellence in Mentorship, Women in the Workplace Champion Award, Dr. Mary Helen McCay STEM Award and the Zonta Yellow Rose for Excellence in Community Service Award.

The 2021 Nominees are:

Female Small Business Owner of the Year

Kim Artlip, Owner/Promoter, IGNITE Wrestling; Wendy Barnes, Founder, Wendy Barnes Design; Mary Brotherton, Editor, bUneke Magazine; Wilma Connell, Founder, Vero Beach eMarketing; Latice Daniels, Owner, Hope House United; Maria Dockery, Owner, Femme Fatale ARMS and Training; Amy Donaldson, Captain and Co-Owner, Sea Tow Sebastian; Melissa Engasser, Founder, The Bedrock Clinic and Research Center, Inc.; Megan Hall, Owner, True Home Inspections; Kelley Higney, Founder and CEO, Bug Bite Thing; Kallee Jackson, Founder, Kallee Classy Fashions; Quinisha Jenkins, Owner, Q’s Crackin’ Crab and Seafood Kitchen; Delatron Johnson, Owner, Café Krewe 22; Kristina Latraverse, Studio Owner, Seagrass Pottery;  Leigh McDowell, Founder, The Elderberry Fairy; Emily McHugh, Founder, Casauri and Regional Director for Treasure Coast WBEC; Shari Pierce, Owner and Chef, A Kitchen of Her Own; Michelle Shoultz , President, Frazier Engineering; Ginger Snead, DPT, Owner, Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center; Julie Song, President, Florida Business & Manufacturing Solutions, Inc.; Rebecca Sparks, Owner, Apollo Realty; Tracy Stroderd, CEO, EverythingBrevard.com; April Symonds, Founder, Fields Family Baskets and Gifts; Zechra Williams, Owner, Evolution Beauty Lounge.

Excellence in Mentorship

Pamela Bress, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ready for Life Brevard; Grenita Brooks, Founder, International Mentoring Society; Jennifer East, Co-Founder, bUneke; Marta “Tiki” Fiol, Founder and President, Teaching Interventions Keeping Individuality, Inc (TIKI Inc); ; Cami Leech Florio, Chief Strategic Officer, St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care; Heide Gabriella, CEO, Avian Engineering and Florida Association of Veteran-Owned Businesses; Beth Gitlin, Ph.D., BJG Global Consulting and Florida Tech adjunct professor; Dana Gresky, Ph.D., Vice President, Value-Based Care at Health First; Rochelle Hood, President, PINK Consulting; Ann Luke, Sr. Vice President, Truist Bank; Joy Ruffen, Founder, Style with Joy and Leading Ladies Leaving Legacies Podcast; Ginger Snead, DPT, Owner, Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center; Natasha Cartagena Spencer, Senior Vice President and Branch Manager, Shelter Mortgage Company; Leslie Tibbetts, VP of Commercial Services, Community Credit Union; Linda Webster Dubea, Regional Manager, External Affairs, Florida Power & Light.

Women in the Workplace Champion – Business Champion

Call One, Inc., Dawn Mays, Chief Strategy Officer; Florida Power & Light, Bart Gaetjens, External Affairs Manager; H.A.L.O No-Kill Rescue, Jan Howington; Lockheed Martin, Sarah Hiza, Ph.D., VP Fleet Ballistic Missile Program.

Women in the Workplace Champion – Individual Champion

Joslyn Barroso, Director, Human Resources, Leonardo DRS; Natasha Cartagena Spencer, Senior VP/Branch Manager, Shelter Mortgage; Shalarie Highsmith, Deputy, Chief of Education and Training, U.S. Department of Defense; Rhonda Huckabee, Director of Operations, Italian Terrazzo and Tile; Suzy Leonard, Food and Dining Writer, Florida Today; Kimberly Modesitt, Landscaper and Owner, NatEv Life LLC; Teresa Bishop, Executive Director, Roundtable of St. Lucie County.

Dr. Mary Helen McCay STEM Award  

Sarah Angrisani, Founder, Coastal Community School; Kelly Billon, Orbital Launch Site Deputy Program Manager, Blue Origin; Kelli Hunsucker, Ph.D., Florida Tech Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences, Director, Science Bus; Rachel Weeks, Systems Test Engineer, United Launch Alliance and Chief Marketing Officer, Reinvented Magazine.

Zonta Yellow Rose for Excellence in Community Service

Dana Blickley, Property Appraiser, Brevard County Property Appraiser; Mary Brotherton, Editor-in-Chief, bUneke Magazine; Pamela Carithers, Executive Director, Lincoln Park Mainstreet; Jennifer Cleveland, Consultant, Inner Sight Living, Board Member, Center for the Visually Impaired; Jennifer East and Lynn Kinnison, Co-Founders, bUneke; Meredith Egan, COO, United Way of Indian River; Marta “Tiki” Fiol, Founder and President, Teaching Interventions Keeping Individuality, Inc (TIKI Inc); Barbara Schlitt Ford, Executive Director, Environmental Learning Center and In-House Counsel, Coldwell Banker Paradise; Chris Kern, Board Member, LEAD Brevard; Ellena Little, Executive Director, Club Esteem; Tara Pagliarini, Executive Director, Family Promise of Brevard; Stacey Patel, Brevard Democrats and Founder of Coronavirus Mutual Aid Network; Jonnie Mae Perry, President, American Association of University Women; Claudia Prado, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Univision; Visalakshi Srinivasan, M.D., Aging Services Clinic, Lincoln Park Mainstreet.

“We are honored to recognize such hard-working and deserving women and local businesses that prioritize diversity in their leadership ranks,” said weVENTURE WBC Executive Director Kathryn Rudloff.

Rudloff added, “We were truly overwhelmed by the response to our call for nominations. 2020 was a challenging year for so many reasons, but clearly there is much to celebrate. We are inspired by the perseverance, drive and generosity of our nominees. The Women Who Rock event is an opportunity to celebrate all of these amazing nominees who are breaking barriers and inspiring others through their work and leadership.”

CLICK HERE to register or learn more about becoming a sponsor for the 2021 Women Who Rock awards.

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