August 2020 Newsletter Print

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Volume 5|August 2020
During 2020, the rhythms of the seasons have been easy to miss. The burst of energy that’s released when kids finish their last day of classes, graduation ceremonies, June weddings, summer vacations and back to school rituals, we’ve missed them all. Many of us have also missed the comradery of JWN’s Lunch Ladders and the ability to participate in live program meetings. After all, JWN is a place where we build and nurture our relationships.
JWN’s year started strongly – In January, lively games of JWN trivia broke the ice for new members, the speaker’s forum with John Spence drew a record level of sponsorships and the audience lingered to ponder the future of work and catch up with each other, and JWN’s board devoted two long evenings to strategic planning.
Then, KABOOM and COVID19.
Well, you have to play the cards you hold. And JWN is. 
You may have enjoyed the live/zoom program meetings and panel discussions featuring Betty CarleyBarbara DarbyHelen JacksonAudrey MoranDonna Orender, and Andrea Williams. And, like me, you are probably excited to hear about the September re-launch of the live OR zoom lunch ladder options.
But the board has done so much more. During the strategic planning sessions, board members took a hard look at JWN, determined that JWN remains worthwhile and acts to best fulfill its mission. 
We support and accelerate the advancement of
women in both personal and professional endeavors.
Start watching to see this work come to fruition in a new newsletter section – Achieving the JWN Mission – Strategic Progress.
Two women, one Democrat and one Republican, are highlighted in recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Each of these JWN members have been key players when the value of each vote was incalculable. Two women who inspire.
Leslie A. Goller 
Leslie Goller’s work to protect votes has continued for 20 years. 
Prior to the night of the 2000 election, I was just an ordinary voter. But that night, I took home the Florida Election Statutes and began my representation of the Florida Democratic Party and Democratic candidates; I still have the badly worn volume. I learned election law by the seat of my pants. I was the one who with Mike Langton asked how many ballots had the Presidential race not counted and was told by then Supervisor of Elections John Stafford “not very many.” Turns out that there were 27,000 ballots, 22,000 of which were considered over-votes (more than 1 vote marked in a race) voted in primarily African-American majority precincts and voted that way following the Sample Ballot bolded instructions to “Vote Every Page” when the actual ballot had the presidential race spread over two pages. The significance of this is that Bush ended up winning Florida by only 537 votes because the United States Supreme Court stopped the Florida Supreme Court ordered recount.
Since the 2000 election, I have worked every Duval County election as an election protection attorney sometimes working additional counties. This involves organizing and training poll watchers on how the voting process should work and election law, mobilizing election protection attorneys, answering hotline questions and issues, Canvassing Board oversight to make sure ballots are accepted and the voter’s votes are counted as intended.
Sadly voter suppression is very real; I have witnessed so many examples, such as: flyers handed out on FSCJ’s Downtown campus telling the recipient that Republican voters voted on Tuesday and Democratic voters voted on Wednesday; flyers delivered to African American homes telling them that their precinct had been changed and giving a wrong address; and third-party groups registering voters but not turning in Democratic registrants to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
Disheartening is the voter apathy that exists. To me, every election is important, particularly the upcoming November 3, 2020 election. Your vote should not be taken for granted and should be exercised. Just so, everyone has the right to have their vote counted. This is what Democracy is based on. 
Alberta Hipps
More than once, Alberta stood in a focal position when the value of each vote had the highest consequence. She was City Council President in 2000, the year of the Bush v. Gore election.
In August 2020 celebrations have highlighted the 100th Anniversary of the 19th amendment being ratified granting women the right to vote. We should all feel a debt of gratitude for the sacrifice it took to work years to reach this goal. Let us not take lightly how women, long before the 19th amendment was ratified, banded together, took risks and were very brave so that we have the opportunity to participate in elections.
Unfortunately, in this day and time our busy lives have so many demands it often means that some of us think it doesn’t matter if you vote. Not too long ago I volunteered on a campaign for a candidate that lost by two votes.   
Let us pledge to vote each in every election as a tribute to courage and perseverance it took to give us the right to vote. In addition, we can strive to devote some extra thought on how we influence those in our family and in our sphere of associates about the importance of voting. We can demonstrate in our own lives how to honor different lively opposite opinions on who to vote for without losing friendships. Our language can be civil and we can try to understand another person’s point of view. We can take time for careful consideration of a candidate’s qualifications, their history on making ethical decisions and if they know the importance of transparency in government.
I am proud to be a Republican for many different reasons. I am also proud that I have crossed party lines when I thought the candidate would not uphold the honor of having my vote that my “sisters” in the suffrage movement worked so hard to get approved. We all have a goal of leaving our community a better place no matter our differences. Voting can accomplish that goal by getting educated about the candidates and voting in every election. 
These Membership Facts?: JWN’s member retention rate was higher in 2020 than any year since at least 2000. In addition, 24 women have been nominated and are being considered for JWN membership. Helen Jackson is this year’s membership committee chair.
How JWN Leaders are Selected?:  The Nominating Committee is responsible for soliciting and recommending a slate of Officers and Board members for the upcoming year. This Committee is comprised of five Active Members and is chaired by the Immediate Past President. The other four Committee Members are appointed by the President. 
This year’s Committee, chaired by Maribel Hernandezalso includes Barbara DrakeJana Ertrachter, Nadine Gramlingand Kendra McCrary.
The proposed slate is then approved by the Board and submitted for election by the membership at the Annual Meeting. All Active Members are eligible to vote. This year’s Annual Meeting is Friday, October 16 at lunchtime. 
Program Committee Update
Contributed by Mindy Gillis and Pixie Larizzaboth JWN directors and program committee members
What a wonderful Mega Lunch Ladder event. Thank you to the 25 who were able to join live and to those who joined via Zoom. The meeting was filled with sistership and inspiration and also gave members an opportunity to showcase their businesses. These business showcase members included: Terri BartonAging True, Beverly Flannigan, Cypress Trust, Kristen Keen, RethreadedPixie Larizza, Pixieglas™ & Art You Wear™, Karen Brune MathisThe Daily Record,  Michaela Miller, Arbonne™ and our guest non-profit, Renewing Dignity. It was delightful to see the amazing work of our members and the contributions they make to our community.
We enthusiastically welcomed Audrey Moran who gave a keynote on women standing up and speaking out. Goosebumps is the word that we can use to describe her keynote. She spoke about the women’s suffrage movement and our 100-year anniversary of the winning the right for women to vote. The right to vote is one of the most pivotal points in time for women. So many women stood up, spoke out and risked their lives so that we can vote. Another significant pivotal moment when women stood up and spoke out occurred 25 years ago when the Sulzbacher Center opened. The Center opened to serve the underprivileged women, men and children achieve better lives. Another example, the Women’s Center of Jacksonville was opened 25 years ago and they are celebrating with a special first time ever “Shirley Webb Award” given to Delores Barr Weaver for her foundation’s continued support of the Women’s Center. Due to Mrs. Weaver’s foundation and other donors, women no longer have to suffer indignities when reporting assault crimes and during the after care they receive. Thank goodness for the women who stood up and said no more. The crux of Audrey’s message was to encourage us to stand up and speak out against injustices. We have a voice. Use it.
Our guest non-profit organization, Renewing Dignity provides underprivileged women and girls with sanitary items as many of these women and girls miss school or work because they do not have the proper sanitary items. An interesting fact is that food stamps do NOT cover the cost of sanitary items for females. If you are like us and you wanted to give to this cause the information is below. This is not required but providing you an opportunity to give if you feel led to do so. Please feel free to pass along this information to your networks and friends.
Several JWN members were included in Florida Trend’s 2020 edition of Florida Legal Elite. 1.4% of active Florida Bar members were selected by their peers to receive this recognition. 
  • Michelle Bedoya Barnett with AlexandeDeGance Barnett, specializing in Labor and Employment law.
  • Brenna M. Durden with Lewis Longman & Walker, specializing in Environmental and Land Use law
  • Gwen Griggs of ADVOS Legal, specializing in Business law
  • Rose Marie Preddy of Preddy Law Firm, specializing in Wills, Trusts and Estates
  • Beth ClarkBASCA CEO, received the Extraordinary Executive Director award from the Celebrate Clay Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Paul & Klare Reinhold Foundation. BASCA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental differences in Northeast Florida.
  • Michelle Cook won a six-way election for Clay County Sheriff. Michelle left her position as Chief of Police for the Atlantic Beach Police Department to run for this office.
  • Tracie Davis won the Democratic primary in the District 13 race for the State House of Representatives.
  • Mary FisherFounder/CEO of Fisher Design & Advertising joined forces with Savvy Outsourcing, a nationally recognized digital marketing firm. 
  • Senator Audrey Gibson was elected and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
  • Sherry Magillformer president of Jessie Ball duPont Fund and JWN, is chair of the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) advisory board. LISC Jacksonville acts as a bridge between capital and communities and aims to revitalize communities and advocate for equitable development in diverse low-income communities.
  • Generation W, founded and led by Donna Orender, will hold its annual thought leadership event virtually on September 11. This year’s theme is VISION 20/20 and it’s all about challenging how we see the world today. Registration is now open. Generation W is a national nonprofit based in Jacksonville that supports leadership development for women and girls. 
  • Jan Spence was elected to the board of Meetings Professionals International North Florida as the Director of Programs for the 2020 - 2021 year.
  • Robin Wahbypresident of Wahby Financial Group and JWN board member, was honored for 20 years of service to Angelwood Inc. and Wahby Financial Group was named Angelwood's Corporate Sponsor of the Year. Robin was also a host at Angelwood’s virtual gala. Diane Tuttle is Angelwood’s CEO. Angelwood Inc. assists families in caring for the special needs of their loved ones with intellectual and developmental differences across their lifespan.
  • Longtime JWN member Shirley Webb recently received the ultimate recognition, an award created in her honor. The initial Shirley Webb Leadership Award of Excellence was presented to Delores Barr Weaver at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville’s THRIVE! 100/25 Virtual Event. The presentation starts at minute 47.
Please send your news to Laurrie Campbell, JWN’s administrator,Did we forget someone? Please let us know and we’ll include it in the next newsletter.
By Mindy Gillis, Lunch Ladder Coordinator
We are excited to bring back that member favorite, the Lunch Ladder. The September Lunch Ladder groups are being distributed to each member who indicated that she wants to participate. A special thank you to those who filled out the survey for the Lunch Ladder.
During these challenging times with COVID, we are feverishly working towards creating meaningful experiences for our members. We will continue to try out new ideas and encourage you to continue to give us your feedback as we transition to the “next normal.” We currently have two options for the Lunch Ladders and are working on possible others. These options came from the feedback that you have been providing us.
Option 1
Live Lunch Ladder (in person): For those who filled out the survey and submitted that you would like to meet in person, you are on the Live Lunch Ladder list (if you didn’t fill out the survey and want to be in this group, please let our administrator, Laurrie Campbell, know).
Option 2
Zoom Lunch Ladder – For those who chose the zoom only option, you are included in the Zoom Lunch Ladder list. There will be a leader who schedules the meeting and sets up the Zoom link. Zoom is free to sign up and it gives you 45 minutes for each session. If you would like for someone to help you get a zoom link started, reach out to Laurrie and she will walk you through the process. 
The way the lunches are set up will be the same as before only the list will be smaller. If you are chosen to be the leader and you are too busy that month, no worries. We are all busy and understand. Please send a note back to your group asking if someone else would take the lead. If you are a member of the Lunch Ladder and you do not hear from the leader in a week, please feel free to reach out to the leader and offer to lead it. JWN is filled with amazing women with amazing careers and lives and they may forget to send a note. So, either way, please feel free to make the live Lunch Ladder scheduled. No judgment from us.
Achieving the JWN Mission – Strategic Progress Report
The Mission
 We support and accelerate the advancement of women in both personal and professional endeavors.
The Vision
To be recognized as a powerful influence for women in Florida.
Our Goals
1.    Increase engagement from membership.
2.    Improve membership satisfaction.
3.    Enhance visibility and awareness in the community.
What’s Happening to Make This So?
Each board member contributed to the development of these goals and strategic steps and each board member agreed that these are right goals and steps to focus on now.
Member groups have been formed and are working towards answering these questions. Each group is led by a board member.
Strategic Issue 1: Mission and Vision Engagement
How do we start living our new mission and vision cascading the brand throughout our membership?
Committee Chair – Jennifer Holland
Strategic Issue 2: Community Awareness
How can we enhance the community’s awareness and recognition of JWN as a powerful influence for women?
Committee Chair – Meg Folds
Strategic Issue 3: Member Experience
How do we create an environment that would allow our members to maximize their experience?
Committee Chair – Connie Hodges
  • September 14, 11:45 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting
  • October 5, 11:45 a.m. Board of Directors Meeting
  • October 16, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. JWN Annual Meeting: State Attorney Melissa Nelson.
  • December 7, 4:00 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting
  • December 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Holiday Gathering and New Member Induction.
2020 JWN Board Officers
  • Ann Mackey, President
  • Pixie Larizza, Secretary
  • Penny Zuber, Treasurer
2020 Directors
  • Nancy Dreicer
  • Meg Phillips Folds
  • Mindy Gillis
  • Maribel Hernandez, Immediate Past President
  • Connie Hodges
  • Jennifer Holland
  • Helen Jackson
  • Paula Shields
  • Robin Wahby

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