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 50-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 $850,000 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. 


Non-Discrimination Statement

The Women's Executive Council does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of activities or operations.  These activities include but are not limited to the selection of volunteers and vendors, provision of services, scholarship recipients, and acknowledging women in our community. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our clients, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.

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. 



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

President: Taffy Abbaticchio



The Women's Executive Council of Downtown Orlando presents its 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




WEC recognizes the City of Orlando's 109th Birthday


President: Eloise Kirby



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

$20,000 Valencia Foundation Scholarship Annuity is started.


President: Marie Finnell



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

Three $1000 scholarships were awarded. 


President: Gert Garman



Five $1200 scholarships were awarded.


President: Ann Clodfelter



WEC debuts its second logo.




President: Janet Rapp



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


President: Rosyln Scheer



Six $1500 scholarships were awarded.


President: Roslyn Scheer



Ten $1500 scholarships were awarded.

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


President: Shelly Ferrone



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


President: Shelly Ferrone



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




WEC launched into social media and their Facebook page launched. 

Sponsor levels for the Women's Achievement Awards were introduced. 

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


President: Sandra Blossey




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


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


President: Deanna Snyder, RN



The 1972 Society is established. 




Sixteen $1972 scholarships were awarded.

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


President: Deanna Snyder, RN



Twenty $1972 scholarships were awarded.

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


President: Cathy Droke



Twenty-eight $1972 scholarships were awarded.

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


President: Cathy Droke



Thirty-one $1972 scholarships were awarded.

Strategic Operations Manual initiated.


President: Bobbi Govanus



Thirty $1972 Scholarships were awarded.


President: Bobbi Govanus




Thirty-five $1972 scholarships were awarded.

NEW CRM and website launched.


President: Diana Larsen



Thirty-one $1972 scholarships were awarded.

Legacy Day debuts


President: Heatherann Antonacci



Forty-six $1972 scholarships were awarded.

National Pandemic


President: Laura Lynn



Thirty $1972 scholarships were awarded.

National Pandemic Continues


President: Laura Lynn



Fifty $1972 scholarships were awarded.

Return to in-person luncheons & WAA


President: Yarmmys Vargas


Fifty $1972 scholarships were awarded.


President: Yarmmys Vargas


2024 and Beyond!

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