The 2015 SRQ Women In Business Judges. From L to R: Wanda Lipscomb-Vasquez, Jo Watson Hackl, Donna Orender, Sam Bond, Nancy Whitworth, Jill Langford Dame, Linda Simmons
This January, SRQ | The Magazine produces the second annual Women in Business Competition, recognizing women who have made meaningful contributions to the Sarasota and Bradenton communities through their business, non-profit and philanthropic endeavors. Local community residents will be asked to nominate women who they believe are deserving of recognition. Nominees have the opportunity to submit formal applications sharing their stories of success. Our panel of judges will review and identify the finalists and winners. This year, our judges panel is represented by successful women from Tampa Bay, Melbourne and Jacksonville, FL and Greenville, SC. Nominees, finalists and winners will be recognized in the May 2015 edition of SRQ.
Meet the 2015 Women in Business Judges:
Sam Bond, president and owner, Sam Bond Benefit Group, is president and owner of Sam Bond Benefit Group, an agency focused on fulfilling small business insurance needs and an Associate Member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). She currently serves on the Board of Network of Executive Women, a thirty year old professional association.
Linda Simmons, president and CEO, R.R. Simmons Construction Corporation, is president and CEO of various entities that comprise the R.R. Simmons family of companies, including R.R. Simmons Construction Corporation, a Tampa based Design/Builder of commercial and industrial facilities. 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. A philanthropist, Linda also served on the United Way of Tampa Bay Board of Directors and was a founder of UW Women’s Leadership Program.
Wanda Lipscomb-Vasquez, director, Florida Institute of Technology Women’s Business Center is the director of the 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 for second-stage businesses. 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.
Jo Watson Hackl, attorney, Wyche, P.A., is an attorney with Wyche, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina where she concentrates her practice in corporate and securities law. She is past President of the Greenville County Bar Association and was selected by The Best Lawyers in America listing as the 2015 Greenville Business Organizations “Lawyer of the Year.” She is a Liberty Fellow and Riley Fellow and has been recognized as a “Woman of Achievement” by the YWCA. She was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. She also serves on the Boards of the United Way of Greenville County, EMRYS and Camperdown Academy.
Nancy Whitworth, deputy city manager, director of economic development, City of Greenville, is responsible for commercial and neighborhood revitalization, downtown development, business recruitment and retention, planning and zoning and building codes. A native South Carolinian, she has been in Greenville for over thirty years and has played an integral role in Greenville’s transformation. Nancy is also a member of The University Center of Greenville, Inc., Board of Trustees, Greenville Professional Women’s Forum, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Upstate and Clemson University Advancement Board for Real Estate Development.
Jill Langford Dame, executive director, Leadership Jacksonville, Inc., is a longtime resident of Jacksonville, Florida. She has served as a volunteer and consultant to nonprofit organizations focusing on organizational development, fundraising, and strategic planning. Jill has served as president of the Junior League of Jacksonville, PACE Center for Girls Jacksonville, the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and Willing Hands. Jill currently serves as the executive director of Leadership Jacksonville, Inc. Her many honors and recognitions include being chosen as a 2013 Women of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Gateway Council and a 2014 Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Donna Orender, CEO, Orender Unlimited, is a recognized leader and business executive. The Jacksonville based company assists other companies and people in making a transformational impact in their own lives and the marketplace. Donna recently launched GENERATION W, a brand focused on educating, inspiring, and connecting women and girls. Most recently, Donna served six years as the president of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Serving as the league’s second president, her focused management resulted in growth in every business metric, including sponsorship, attendance, television ratings, digital growth, and merchandise sales.
Nominations for the 2015 Women in Business Competition open on Monday, January 12 and close on Friday, February 6, 2015. To make a nomination, visit SRQMAG.COM/HearMeRoar. For information on the 2015 SRQ Women in Business competition, please visit SRQMAG.COM