SRQ MEDIA Announces Keynote Speaker and Trailblazer Honoree for the Annual Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon | Thursday, May 2, 2019


SRQ MEDIA will host the fifth annual Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10:30am-3pm at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota featuring nationally-recognized keynote speaker, a noted luminary who has made a significant impact in their field and the announcement of the winners from this year’s 2019 Women in Business Competition

The awards luncheon begins with an engaging Keynote Speaker who will share their story of success. SRQ MEDIA will also honor this year’s recipient of the prestigious Trailblazer Award to recognize a luminary who has made a significant impact in their field.

SRQ MEDIA is pleased to announce Geralyn Lucas as this year’s Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker. Lucas is the best-selling author of Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy and accomplished producer whose book was made into an Emmy nominated movie and inspired collaborations with Betsey Johnson and Stila cosmetics.  Legendary civil rights journalist and the first black reporter for the Washington Post Dorothy Butler Gillam will be honored with the Women in Business Trailblazer Award.

Keynote Speaker Geralyn Lucas. Photo Courtesy of the speaker.

Hear Me Roar Keynote Speaker, Geralyn Lucas was only 27 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shaking the foundations of her world, she was faced with the harrowing decision of whether or not to undergo a mastectomy. She shared her incredible journey in her memoir, Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy. Filled with courage, humor, and inspirational candor, Lucas’ book and message is not just for women who have experienced the effects of cancer. “This is a universal story for women,” she says, “A lot of people say going through a serious illness makes you look deeply at who you are, and that can be true. But you don’t have to have breast cancer to do that.” Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy was made into an Emmy nominated movie that premiered on Lifetime television starring Sarah Chalke and Patti LaBelle in October, 2006. The theme song “I am not my hair” for the movie was written by Pink and India Arie. Inspired by Lucas’ book, dress designer and breast cancer survivor Betsey Johnson designed a T-shirt to promote Why I Wore Lipstick: To My Mastectomy; cosmetic company Stila created a lipstick called Geralyn; and The Young Breast Cancer Survivor Foundation and Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation both endorsed the book. Lucas has become an activist, informing women about breast cancer, and early detection. She recently created a Webby honored YouTube Short. Prior to her writing career, Geralyn was a network television executive and producer at the ABC News Show 20/20 and Lifetime Television.  Her work received high ratings and many awards including an Emmy® and a GLAAD Media Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, Tyler, and their two children.

Trailblazer Honoree Dorthy Butler Gilliam. Photo credit: Kea Dupree Photography

SRQ MEDIA is honored to announce Dorothy Butler Gilliam as recipient of the 2019 Trailblazer Award. Dorothy Butler Gilliam has been a journalist for more than six decades. In 1961, she became the first black woman reporter for the Washington Post. She would later become an editor and a columnist for the paper before retiring in 2003. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to nurture other journalists of color and to diversify newsrooms across the United States. Her work as a civil rights journalist has been featured in three documentaries: “Freedom’s Call,” “Southern Journalists Who Covered the Civil Rights Movement,” and “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media.” During her career, Ms. Gilliam appeared regularly on television, including PBS, and hosted her own show on BET. She formerly served as president of the National Association of Black Journalists and of the Unity Journalists of Color.

2018 Trailblazer Honoree Patti Cazzato. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Past Trailblazer Award recipients include Adrienne Vittadini (2015), Pamela Fiori (2016),  Nancy Bernardini (2017) and Patti Cazzato (2018).

The Women In Business Competition Winners of 2018. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Powered by SRQ’s Women In Business Initiative, the Women In Business Competition Awards Program will announce this year’s distinguished award winners who have made meaningful and significant contributions to our region in business, education, philanthropy, arts and culture and healthcare and induct them into the Class of 2019 Leadership Circle.

SRQ MEDIA would like to thank the 2019 Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon event sponsors for their support of this community platform: Champion Sponsor Seaside Bank, Innovator Sponsor, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Host Sponsor The Hyatt Regency Sarasota and Champion Sponsors New Balance Sarasota and Waterworks Members Club.

To purchase tickets to the SRQ Women in Business Hear Me Roar Leadership and Awards Luncheon click HERE. Table Sponsorship (10 seats), $850. Half Table Sponsorship (5 seats), $425. Individual Ticket, $65. For other sponsorship opportunities, contact SVP of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Ashley Grant at 941-365-7702 x204 or via email at

We look forward to celebrating our fabulous presenters and award recipients at this year’s Hear Me Roar Program with you!

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