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Florida Executive Women (FEW) Celebrates 40th Anniversary on December 1, 2020

(FEW) has been a strong force for executive women in Central Florida for 40 years. Shirley Pickford, PhD founded and incorporated the organization in 1979. Her goals in doing so were to promote the place of women in the professions and to establish a mutual support system for executive-level women. Members have included a diverse group of accomplished and influential women leaders throughout the area. Prominent among them have been senior-level decision-makers from both large and small corporations, executive directors of non-profit organizations, business entrepreneurs, community leaders Orlando Mayor and Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Orange County Comptroller Martha “Marty” Haynie, even military leaders Rear Admiral Louise Wilmot and Captain Barbara Beil at the former Naval Training Center.

Current President, Beverly Paulk, feels FEW is a vital and critical organization in Central Florida. “FEW has assisted more than 60 women with college scholarships and contributed time and money to helping more than 250 non-profit organizations. I personally enjoy supporting other women and their business, their projects, and whatever is going on in their lives. FEW provides me an opportunity to give back in meaningful ways which, in turn, enriches my life. I regard FEW as a forever organization, and there are several of us who are examples of that.”

In keeping with these challenging times, the 40th Celebration will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, December 1st. The overarching theme for this celebration is “Supporting, Inspiring and Empowering” executive women. Throughout the program, participants will hear about the organization’s past accomplishments, present initiatives and plans for how FEW will shape the community in coming years.

Former FEW Presidents and the President-Elect will share their perspectives. Ms. Haynie, FEW President 1997, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The Celebration will take participants on an historic journey, enhanced by a video presentation “40 Years of FEW” (working title). Highlights include recorded interviews with Dr. Pickford, Glenda Hood, Beverly Paulk, Ava Doppelt, Margie Varney, Kathryn “Kate”Kinsley, Sibille Pritchard, Sandra Wilkening, CeCe Rivers, Debra Hendrickson, Jacki Hale, Amy Pennock and Ms. Haynie. Along with additional featured presentations, there will be surprise guest appearances. President-Elect Verbelee Neilsen-Swanson says, “I am looking forward to hearing the stories of the strong women of this organization from the last 40 years. Their accomplishments helped paved the way for women leaders in Orlando. I will be especially pleased to hear from former FEW scholarship recipients Terri Walsh and Liefke Meyers. This will be a remarkable event.”

For more information about FEW, visit fewcfl.org.

FEW brings together a diverse group of accomplished and influential leaders to promote women’s full participation in Central Florida, strong relationships among the membership, and awareness of business, entrepreneurial, and community trends.

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About the author

Diane Sears

A career journalist, author and advocate for business growth, Diane Sears is the CEO, editor and publisher of i4 Business. She is also the founder and president of DiVerse Media LLC, which has handled content marketing projects including nonfiction books, white papers, executive speeches and scripts since 2000. She is co-founder of the nonprofit Go for the Greens Foundation, which helps connect women-owned and minority-owned business owners with growth opportunities internationally.

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