December 2018 Newsletter Print

President's Message


I knew this day would arrive quickly, but it’s still hard to believe that it’s time to deliver my final message to the wonderful women of the Jacksonville Women’s Network!

This has been a year of firsts for JWN. We started the year with a goal of increasing networking opportunities and gaining community visibility, and we have done both.

We began with some changes in our popular Luncheon Ladder, growing group size from 4 to 6 members per month. We saw a lot of diversity in scheduling, too, as some groups met for breakfast, others for lunch, and a few met after work for cocktail hour. A few groups even joined forces to enjoy a 12-member experience.

The year’s traditional events kicked off with our Speaker’s Forum featuring Jeannette Walls, the best- selling author of The Glass Castle,followed by programs such as Ageing Gracefully and our Mega Luncheon, which recognized Past Presidents (many of whom were in attendance). We also added Meet Up Events and encouraged members to invite guests. The Meet Ups included a back of the house tour of the TIAA  Stadium, a tour of the Jacksonville Zoo, a cooking class at Jax Kitchen, a Farm to Table Feast at Fresh Ministries, and some painting fun as well.

At these programs, you may have noticed that we had two beautiful eight-foot banners. We’ve also created a brochure about JWN and spotlighted two or three members each month in our newsletter, as well as recognizing your honors and achievements.

JWN was also invited to participate in a panel with other women’s organizations and gained tremendous recognition from the Professional Women’s Council. We have stepped up our game and are increasing our visibility in the community, and we’ll continue to form alliances with other organizations to gain even greater prominence. 

We have had a FULL year and I’d like to thank the 2018 board and committee members for their hard work in meeting these goals. I’d also like to thank & recognize our new Administrator, Kristin Thompson, who hit the ground running and has been doing a great job.  

JWN continues to recognize and support our members in both their personal and professional endeavors. As we wrap up another year, please remember that each one of you is a Voice of Influence – and don’t hesitate to get involved! You never know what connections you will make.

It has been a true honor to serve as your President this past year, and I hope that you, too, have made new friends and formed new business relationships this past year.   



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In the News

Congratulations to members Rosa Beckett and Julie Negrete Anderson for winning prestigous awards at the Professional Women's Council Women Connecting Women Event in October.

Congratulations to member Pixie Larizza for being recognized in the Ponte Vedra Recorder!

Congratulations to member Cheryl Munn who received Nemours’ Florida Berry Service Excellence Award! The Berry Award recognizes Associates who put forth exceptional efforts and discretionary effort — doing whatever it takes to help all of us deliver our very best for children, families and Associates.

JWN Member Dr. Lynne Raiser (UNF professor emerita) presented “Lessons from Florida on Culturally Responsive Teaching” at the University of Turku in Finland, May  4, 2018.  Included in the keynote was Dr. Darby Delane’s “Emancipated School Project” focused on chronically disciplined middle schoolers who became school leaders.  The Symposium on Multicultural Education  included members of the Finnish Ministry of Culture’s Diversity in Education partnership seeking to add linguistic and cultural diversity to their national curriculum. Finland has one of the highest rated school systems in the world and is seeking to enhance the education of increasing numbers of immigrant children.    

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Of Special Note

2018 Amended Bylaws

The 2018 Amended bylaws that were voted and approved at the Annual Meeting are included in the link below.

Amended Bylaws

2019 Lunch Ladders - Helpful Tips

  • Leaders should contact their group within one week to schedule before the end of the month.
  • If you have not been contacted by your group leader within a week, don't wait.  Reach out to them.
  • There are tools such as that are free and can help you schedule easily by adding all your available dates/times and sending link to the others so that they can easily mark their availability.
  • A luncheon ladder does not have to occur at lunch...can be breakfast, coffee, dinner.
  • If you are not able to participate in luncheon ladders, either temporarily or permanent, you can opt out by contacting our Chapter Administrator, Kristin Thompson at  If your schedule lightens up or you decide to participate again, simply contact Kristin to opt back in.
  • You can always combine with another group, if desired, or if there are only a couple that can attend from your group.
  • Have a topic or two for discussion to encourage dialogue (examples:  JWN branding, issue important to women or current events). 
  • Take a selfie of your group and post on the JWN Facebook page or send to the JWN administrator for posting.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

During this past year we lost three Jacksonville Women’s Network members who were much loved and respected by those of us who had the good fortune to know them.  Each was a long-term JWN member and an exemplary woman of influence.

Afesa Adams, Ph.D.

Dr. Afesa Adams received her Ph.D. from the University of Utah, where she eventually served as Chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Studies and then the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, the first position at the University that held responsibility for diversity on campus. In 1987, Afesa began her tenure as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Florida. In February 2011 she received the University of Utah Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. Afesa retired in 2013 after serving eight years as Senior Research Associate at Florida Institute of Education. She received Professor Emeritus at both the University of Utah and University of North Florida. Despite her many professional accomplishments, Afesa's greatest love was her family. She was a long term JWN member and served as JWN President in 2004.

Peg Chassman

Peg Chassman received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Columbia University and began her career as a high school guidance counselor and physical education instructor.  In 1974, she opened a Sir Speedy printing franchise in Jacksonville and later owned and managed rental properties through her company, PFC Services.  Peg’s passion was community service. She was past president of both Women Business Owners of North Florida and the Jacksonville Women’s Network.  In 2000, she was named a “Legend of Leadership” by the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She was a long-standing director of the YWCA and active with Volunteers in Medicine.  Peg served as an advocate for children as a Guardian ad Litem and was recognized as an Outstanding Advocate by the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council. She was a recipient of The Florida Times-Union’s 1999 EVE Award for Volunteer Service.   Peg was a JWN member since 1999 and served as President in 2008.

 Christine Rasche, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine Elizabeth Rasche moved to Jacksonville from her hometown of St. Louis, Mo. in 1972 after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington University.  A founding faculty member at UNF, she established the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, created and directed the Women's Studies Program, and served as President of the UNF Faculty Association. She received numerous Outstanding Teaching and Service Awards and the Susan B. Anthony Award. She was a founding member of Hubbard House (for those of you new to Jacksonville- a shelter where abused women can take refuge). She served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women; was a Director of The Florida Ballet, and organizer and President of Friends of the Florida Ballet. She helped found the UNF Women's Center; was on the Board of Directors and President of Girls, Inc.; and was a member of and actively participated in Leadership Jacksonville programs.  Chris was a JWN member since 1999 and served on our Board in 2014.

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Upcoming Events

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