History Fort Lauderdale and Galleria Fort Lauderdale will honor six impactful women who lead our community during “Women Trailblazers: Champions of Change - Broward County” presented by UKG, set for March 9 – 31. This year’s honorees are Lori Wheeler, vice president of Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Barbara Sharief, former Broward County commissioner and founder and CEO of South Florida Pediatric Homecare, Inc., Heather Geronemus, senior director, social equity, opportunity and impact at UKG, Stephanie Toothaker, Esq., chairwoman and chief strategist of Toothaker.org, Joy Satterlee, executive director of Art and Culture Center/Hollywood and Ramola Motwani, chairwoman, Merrimac Ventures.
Today’s modern champions, along with their historical female predecessors who helped to pave the way for our community, will be honored during a ticketed preview and recognition ceremony benefiting History Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, March 9, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at Galleria Fort Lauderdale (2414 East Sunrise Blvd). The photography exhibition celebrating their achievements will be on display through March 31.
Past pioneering women counterparts to be highlighted in the exhibit include Angeline Weir (1924 - 2007), Broward's first woman distaff solicitor and secretary to Broward State Attorney's office as well as the first woman to be appointed Municipal Court Judge in Hallandale; Sylvia Alridge (1884 -1962), creator of the first woman-owned employment agency in Fort Lauderdale plus a cab company and fundraiser/champion of desegregating healthcare; Elsie Bellamy Blackwell (1896 - 2001), business partner/owner of Blackwell pharmacy and restaurants Rockery Tea Room and Stranahan House’s Pioneer House, which was one of only three restaurants in the area in 1940; Jane Wray (1882-1969), preservationist who established Floyd L. Wray Foundation in 1969 to preserve 60 acres of land which would later become Flamingo Gardens, secretary and treasurer of Board of Flamingo Groves, and Hollywood School of Fine Arts teacher in 1926; Sadye Katz (1902-1986), co-owner of the first women's dress shop with her husband (Mack's Lady Shop), fundraiser for the first area synagogue, Temple Emanu-El (founding member), Holy Cross Hospital and War Memorial and founder of Service Men’s Center (1942); and Mary Brickell (1836 - 1922), regional pioneer and land owner who helped shape Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Colee Hammock and in 1917, was instrumental in developing Las Olas Boulevard and building a bridge over the New River Sound which connected the mainland to the beach.
As part of the special event, Dillard’s will host a pop-up shop with 10% of its sales benefiting History Fort Lauderdale.
History Fort Lauderdale and Galleria Fort Lauderdale’s “Women Trailblazers: Champions of Change - Broward County” is presented by UKG and sponsored by Memorial Healthcare System, Total Marine Solutions, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), PNC Bank, Broward Health, GPR | Goodman Public Relations, City & Shore PRIME magazine, Dillard’s and Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants.
Tickets for the special March 9 recognition ceremony preview honoring the six local women of today are $50 and are available at bit.ly/HFLWomenTrailblazers2023.
For more information about “Women Trailblazers: Champions of Change - Broward County 2023,” call (954) 463-4431 or visit historyfortlauderdale.org. Additional information about Galleria Fort Lauderdale is available at facebook.com/GalleriaFtLauderdale or www.galleriamall-fl.com.