Embracing and Empowering Women to Serve Central Florida


Wendy Brandon, Central Florida Regional Hospital

First Row (L) to (R): Maryann Barry, Kat Gordon, Kim Strong, Ann Marie Varga, Dr. Jay, Pat Williams (in place of Ruth Williams), Cyndia Morales-Muñiz

Second Row (L) to (R): Wendy Brandon, Traci Smith, Jennifer Johnson, Monique Yeager, Denise Bennett-Walls

WAA STeering Committee

(R) Cathy Droke, President WEC, (L) Wendy Brandon


On behalf of the Women's Executive Council, we would like to sincerely thank the Orlando community for supporting the 43rd Annual Women's Achievement Awards.  A special note of gratitude to the WAA Steering Committee for their countless hours of work and dedication to our vision of Empowering and Embracing Women to Serve Central Florida.  Applause to John Forsythe and Leslie Gayle, Morning Co-Hosts, Magic 107.7 keeping evening light and informative. Our sincere thanks to each of our Corporate Partners, Sponsors and guests.  Without your contribution, we would not be able to change lives!

Gina Talley

Eva Shoemaker

Cathy Droke

Dauri Sandison

Julie Koves

Liz Rizzo-Whelpley

Rosanne Rak

Meridyth Shaw

Dorothy Russell

Emmy Zumwalt

Kathleen Peters

Valerie McDonald

Heidi Jordon

Sandra Blossey

Shelly Ferrone

(R) Cathy Droke, President WEC, (L) Wendy Brandon

WAA ChairPerson: 

Bobbi Govanus

Scholarship Chair:

Rhonda Shurtleff

Nominations Chair:

Toni Crabtree

Silent Auction Chair:

Nancy Freeman


Diane Fouts


Deanna Snyder

Nominee Reception:
Diana Larsen

  • Shelby Birch: Interdisciplinary Studies | University of Central Florida
  • Savanna Braud: Industrial Engineer | University of Central Florida
  • ​Chelsea Camps: Bio Medical Science | University of Central Florida
  • ​Alyssa Cartwright: Health Sciences | University of Central Florida
  • Kyra Clark: Journalism | University of Central Florida
  • Claudia Cobos: Bio Med | Valencia College
  • ​Magdalena D'Aiuto: Political Science | University of Central Florida
  • Fedorah Dorvilme: Psychology | University of Central Florida
  • Monica "Nici" Haerter: Masters of Mental Health | Rollins College
  • ​Laketta Harmon: Masters of Human Resources | Rollins Collegs
  • Kayla Johnson: Social Work | University of Central Florida
  • Jeslin Kera: Bio Med | University of Central Florida
  • Rebecca Marshall: Digital Media/Communications | Seminole State College
  • ​Sophia Marvel: Physical Therapy | Seminole State College
  • Lucia McGee: Finance | University of Central Florida
  • Jillian Mei-Li Blueford: Clinical Mental Health | Rollins College
  • Stephanie Morales: Nursing | Valencia College
  • Melissa Nettles: Business & Information Management | Seminole State College
  • ​Nhu Nguyen: Human Resources Management | University of Central Florida
  • Gwen Popaditch: Business Administration | University of Central Florida
  • Samantha Propper: Cardiovascular Technologist | Valencia College
  • ​Brooke Rusoff: Psychology & Early Childhood Development | University of Central Florida
  • Lydia Silbernagel: English | Valencia College
  • Breanne Swartz: Communications Sciences & Disorders | University of Central Florida
  • Allison "Billy" Table: Communications | University of Central Florida
  • Dana Viviano: Doctorate Nurse Practitioner | University of Central Florida
  • Amy Wagner: Mental Health | Rollins College
  • Nensi Zeqo: Economics | Valencia College

2015 Scholarship recipients

  • Maria Rodriguez-Scott | Strategic Partners
  • MENTORSHIP HONOREE: Jayashree Shivamoggi, PhD | Rollins College
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE HONOREE: Kim Strong | YMCA of Central Florida
  • PUBLIC SERIVE HONOREE: Ann Marie Varga | Orange County Government
  • Eryn Vargo | Diaper Bank of Central Florida
  • Dianne M. Webb | Stonebridge Financial Planning Group
  • COMMUNICATIONS HONOREE: ​Ruth Williams | Franklin Covey
  • ​Sicily Wilson | YMCA of Central Florida
  • BUSINESS HONOREE: ​Monique Yeager | Tijuana Flats
  • Rachel Landrum | FIS Global
  • Jeanetta Lawrence | Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic, LLC
  • Christi Lawson | Foley & Lardner
  • Martha Mannarino | Shepherd's Hope, Inc.
  • Jodi McLean | Key Person of Influence
  • Vicky McVay-Froom | The Real Estate Firm of Orlando
  • Linda Meeuwenberg | Professional Development Association
  • DIVERSITY HONOREE: Cyndia Morales-Muñiz, EdD | UCF
  • Giorgina Pinedo-Rolon | Gio Communications, Inc
  • Cindy Price | Price Financial Services
  • NON-PROFIT LEADERSHIP: Maryann Barry | Girl Scouts of Citrus Council
  • ENTREPRENEUR HONOREE: Denise Bennett-Walls | Vaco Orlando, LLC
  • Maribeth Bisienere | Walt Disney
  • CENTRAL FLORIDA WOMAN OF THE YEAR Wendy Brandon | Central Florida Regional Hospital

  • Toni Crabtree | Crabtree Healthy Living
  • Danya "Shea" Glenny | weVENTURE
  • ​EDUCATION HONOREE: Kathleen "Kat" Gordon | Orange County Public Schools
  • Peggy Hall | Britton Group, Inc
  • Loretta Faith Harris | CHPublishing, Inc
  • ​​Daphne Keys | Global Hope Network International

2015 Nominees