Our Legacy

 

 

OUR MISSION:  Women's Executive Council unites professional women by creating opportunities to recognize and inspire women leaders and students to serve our Central Florida community

The Women's Executive Council (WEC) was formed in 1972 by the late Dot Estes Ellis in order to involve the executive and professional women working in the downtown Orlando area with the Downtown Orlando Partnership (formerly the Orlando Central Business District or OCBD).  

WEC members joined various committees of OCBD and along with the city of Orlando, they worked with a local architectural firm in updating and beautifying Downtown.  WEC members orchestrated the construction of mini-parks in the downtown Orlando, planted trees along Orange Avenue and Jackson Street and painting the trash cans lining the sidewalks of the Downtown area.  The demand for new involvement for the WEC women brought about the successful "Happy Birthday Orlando" event in the years of 1984, 1985 and 1990 as well as Health Day, which was held from 1989-1993. 

Our organization's first annual "Women's Achievement Awards" was held in 1972 and continues today as we honor outstanding women in Arts, Business, Community Service, Education, Government, Technology, Communications/Media and Emerging Achiever.  Our "Woman of the Year Award" is coveted by many outstanding women.  We expanded the program in 1987 to include the awarding of college scholarships to deserving women.

 

Proud of our 45-year history in Central Florida, the Women's Executive Council's fundraising/signature events include the Fashion Show, Wine & Dine, and the Women's Achievement Awards luncheon.  Our fundraising efforts now generate enough income to provide 30 scholarships annually.

Profits from our charitable efforts and direct donations fund our scholarship awards through our 501(c)(3) Women's Executive Council Scholarship & Endowment Fund, Inc., and provide scholarships for women attending Valencia College, University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Seminole State College of Florida, Herzing University and Florida Institute of Technology. Our scholarships have been the turning point in the many lives that we have embraced and encouraged for their personal growth, self-improvement and professional development.  

Since our inception, the Women's Executive Council has awarded over $500,000 to women and local non-profit organizations in Central Florida.  We are truly grateful for the support of our partners and sponsors for their faith and trust in the Women's Executive Council. 

Historical Timeline

 

Women's Executive Council Invitation
October 13, 1972

Orlando Central Business District developed the Women's Executive Committee to beautify the City of Orlando and to promote women who owned their own businesses, held a government office, or represented businesses.  At this time, women were not allowed to serve on other city-sanctioned committees. 

Women's Executive Council debut their first logo. 

 


1980

The City of Orlando proclaims October 13 - 17, 1989 as Women's Achievement Week.

President: Taffy Abbaticchio

 


1981

The Women's Executive Council of Downtown Orlando presents their Tenth Annual Women's Achievement Week.  Proclaimed by Orlando Mayor Bill Federick and the Orange County Commission for October 13 -16, six women from the Orlando metropolitan area were recognized for achievement in the fields of government, education, arts, professions, community service, and business and the Downtown Orlando Outstanding Women of 1981 was chosen. 

Glenda Hood was honored as the Women's Executive Council's First Woman of the Year. 

 

President: Marie Finnell

 


 

1984

WEC recognizes the City of Orlando's 109th Birthday

 

President: Eloise Kirby


 

1987

WEC Awards their first two scholarships in the amount of $500.

$20,000 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Annuity is started.

 

President: Marie Finnell


 

1999

The City of Orlando proclaims October 13 - 17, 1999 as Women's Achievement Week.

Three $1000 scholarships awarded. 

 

President: Gert Garman


 

2002

Five $1200 scholarships awarded.

 

President: Ann Clodfelter


 

2003

WEC debuts its second logo.

 

 

 

President: Janet Rapp


 

2004

WEC enters the world wide web era and secures wecOrlando.com as their domain and our website is launched.

 

President: Rosyln Scheer


 

2005

Six $1500 scholarships awarded.

 

President: Roslyn Scheer


 

2009

Ten $1500 scholarship awarded.

Nine $250 Community Outreach Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations.

 

President: Shelly Ferrone


 

2010

Ten $250 Community Outreach Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations

 

President: Shelly Ferrone


 

2011

WEC debuts its third logo and its new marketing and brand are established. 

 

 

 

WEC launches into social media and their Facebook page is launched. 

Sponsor levels for the Women's Achievement Awards introduced. 

Five $500 Community Outreach Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations.

 

President: Sandra Blossey


 

 

2012

The Women's Achievement Awards is from a luncheon event to a dinner event. 

 

Five $500 Community Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations. 

 

President: Deanna Snyder


 

2013

The 1972 Society is established. 

 

 

 

Sixteen $1972 scholarships awarded.

Five $500 Community Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations. 

 

President: Deanna Snyder


 

2014

Twenty $1972 scholarships awarded.

Five $500 Community Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations. 

 

President: Cathy Droke


 

2015

Twenty-eight $1972 scholarships awarded.

Five $500 Community Grants awarded to local non-profit organizations. 

 

President: Cathy Droke


 

2016

Thirty-one $1972 scholarships awarded. 

Strategic Operations Manual initiated. 

 

President: Bobbi Govanus


 

2017

Thirty $1972 Scholarships awarded. 

 

President: Bobbi Govanus


 

 

2018

Thirty-five $1972 scholarships awarded.

NEW CRM and website launched.

 

President: Diana Larsen


 

2019

Thirty-one scholarships awarded.

Legacy Day debuts

 

President: Heatherann Antonacci


 

2020

?? scholarships awarded.

National Pandemic

 

President: Laura Lynn


 

2021 and Beyond!

What can YOU contribute to our legacy as we embrace and empower women in Central Florida?