SRQ Announces 2014 Annual Women in Business Competition Judges


This May, SRQ | The Magazine will recognize women who have made meaningful contributions to the Sarasota and Bradenton communities through their business, non-profit and philanthropic endeavors. Local community residents were asked to nominate women who they believed were deserving of recognition from demonstrating leadership in the past year. Those nominees were asked to submit a formal application for review by our panel of judges who identified the final Leadership Circle. Our judges, this year, are successful women in business with extensive backgrounds and professional experience working in and around Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. Nominees, finalists and winners will be recognized in the upcoming May 2014 issue.


Samantha Bond, president and owner, SB Recommend: Samantha is president and owner of SB Recommend an agency focused on fulfilling small business insurance needs and an Associate Member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Samantha currently serves as president of the Network of Executive Women based in Tampa.

Linda Simmons, president and CEO, R.R. Simmons Construction Corporation: Linda is president and CEO of various entities that comprise the R.R. Simmons family of companies. She has been a member and/or board member of a number of business and professional organizations including the Tampa Bay Chapter of CREW, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Mid Florida Chapter of Associated General Contractors among others.

Jeannette Kraar, program director, IGNITE 360 Mentoring Program: Jeannette is the Program Director of the IGNITE 360 mentoring Program developed by the Women’s Business Center at Florida Institute of Technology. Jeannette is also the owner and president of Performance Management International, LLC, and a highly acclaimed business consultant, entrepreneur and author.

Wanda Lipscomb-Vasquez, program coordinator, Women’s Business Center at FIT: Wanda Lipscomb-Vasquez is the program coordinator, Women’s Business Center at FIT where she consults start-up businesses and works with the Women’s Business Center to grow the IGNITE 360 mentoring program. As co-owner of Acureach Consulting LLC, Wanda helped small to mid-size companies develop effective business models and profit-driven cost structures through a research-based approach.


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