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Winners announced for the 2022 In the Company of Women Awards

MIAMI ( November 18, 2021 )

As the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department marks its 33rd year hosting the prestigious In the Company of Women awards, 12 inspiring women leaders have been selected to join the ranks of a distinguished group of awardees.

Presented in partnership with the Miami-Dade Commission for Women and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, the In the Company of Women awards honor women who have excelled professionally and contributed to the community and to women’s progress through their leadership and vision. Notable alumnae include famous faces from a variety of fields, including U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Frederica Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, salsa legend Celia Cruz, Grammy award-winning recording artist Gloria Estefan, and philanthropist Darlene Boytell-Perez, among others. To see the list of past winners and to learn more about In the Company of Women, visit the website here.

The awards ceremony dinner, scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Coral Gables Country Club, 990 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL, commemorates March’s Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. The event begins with a reception followed by a sit-down dinner and awards presentation. Join us as we celebrate these amazing women and recognize their contributions to the community. Tickets are on sale now! Purchase here (NOTE: Our community continues to closely monitor COVID trends and may continue to update County event protocols to keep residents and visitors safe based on the latest data. Should COVID-19 rates rise, event cancellation to protect the safety of the community is a potential possibility.)

“It fills me with pride to see so many talented women from across sectors being recognized with this award,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Thanks to women leaders like them and their many contributions to our community, we are opening the door for girls and women across Miami-Dade to dream big and use their passion, knowledge, and hard work to make our County a better place. I’m proud to have received this prestigious award several years ago and to stand with so many outstanding women role models."

“The Commission for Women is proud to be involved with the In the Company of Women Awards by honoring the legacies and labor of the women who shape Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade County Commission for Women Chair Monica Interian. “The Awards not only honor women making history but help to support the girls who will be the future of our County.”

“Miami-Dade Parks honors the diverse women leaders whose contributions are making an impact in the community,” said Miami-Dade Parks Director Maria I. Nardi. “We applaud the extraordinary accomplishments of the In the Company of Women awardees. Thank you for joining Parks in forming a network of opportunity to mentor and inspire the next generation, as we move forward in our shared endeavor to build a healthy, resilient and beautiful Miami-Dade County, that connects people and parks for life!”

2022 Winners:

Mayor’s Pioneer Award
Penny S. Shaffer, PhD, Market President, South Florida, Florida Blue

Arts and Entertainment Award
Marjorie Hahn, Musical & Executive Director, South Florida Youth Symphony

Business and Economics Award
My “Maggie” Vo, CFA, Managing General Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Fuel Venture Capital

Communications and Literature Award
Nancy Ancrum, Editorial Page Editor, Miami Herald

Education and Research Award
Caroline A. Lewis, Founder & Senior Climate Advisor, The Cleo Institute

Government and Law Award – Elected
Honorable Eileen Higgins, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 5

Government and Law Award – Non-elected
Darlene M. Fernandez, P.E., Assistant Director of Traffic Services, Traffic Signals and Signs Division, Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works

Health and Human Services Award
Loreen Chant, President and Chief Executive Officer, Health Foundation of South Florida

Science and Technology Award
Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, PhD, Director, John P. Hussman for Human Genomics and Executive Vice Chair, Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, Department of Human Genetics, University of Miami

Sports and Athletics Award
Caroline O’Connor, Chief Operating Officer, Miami Marlins

Young Professional Award
Loren Parra, Director of Public Affairs, The Miami Foundation

Community Spirit Award
Kerry-Ann Royes, CEO, YWCA South Florida

Proceeds from In the Company of Women support the mission of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, to advance and sustain the community's recreational, environmental education and resiliency infrastructure by mobilizing financial support and popular commitment to Miami-Dade County's parks system.

About Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces and the In the Company of Women Awards
Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of over 275 parks and more than 40,000 acres of parks and natural areas, comprised of active and passive parklands, and nature preserves. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world and focused on placemaking, health and fitness, and conservation and stewardship.

The In the Company of Women Awards Ceremony highlights the work and contributions of The Women’s Park – a Miami-Dade County Park – which opened in 1992 to recognize and celebrate women’s impact and influences in society. It is the first park in the nation of its kind, spearheaded by pioneer feminist Roxcy O’Neal Bolton, a coalition of women leaders, former Miami-Dade Mayor, the late Stephen P. Clark, and with the support of the Board of County Commissioners, it stands as a symbol of the trials and triumphs women have faced throughout the years.

The Women’s Park is home to the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring (G.E.M.) Summer Arts Camp, funded by The Children’s Trust, for girls ages 6-14, providing visual and performing arts and self-enrichment experiences, through classes and workshops in dance, musical theatre, music/chorus, painting, journalism, photography/videography, women’s history, community service, and leadership development.

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