Women Connecting Women

2019 Event Recap

Thank you joining us in another remarkable evening. It was truly remarkable to see so many women in business in our community networking, laughing and being present in the moment. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did. It was an honor to award and highlight so many “Hidden Gems” doing great work in our community.

    2019 Hidden Gem Award Recipients

    Professional Business Woman of the Year

    Tanya Guydos, IberiaBank

    For 13 years, Tanya has managed both client relationships and business development for multiple locations. An active Meninak member, she also volunteers for United Way’s Real Sense Program, Junior Achievement, and Jacksonville Sister Cities Association. A member of Rethreaded’s Circle of Sisters helps ensure that women, children, and young adults become be financially independent. Past president of the Transportation and Logistics Council, Tanya loves serving her clients.

    Women’s Advocate of the Year

    Maribel Hernandez, Jacksonville Women’s Network

    Maribel Hernandez is a distinguished toastmaster with more than 30 years of business experience in local government, corporate and non-profit sectors. She currently serves as President of two non- profits: Jacksonville Women’s Network and the First Coast Multilingual Toastmasters. She also owns a small business, Celebrate, and is the Director of Religious Education for Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

    Women Business Owner of the Year

    Tracey Phillips, Promotional Presence

    Tracey’s dream to encourage and empower other women to start their own businesses has been the driving force behind the inception of her company. After 15 years in the corporate world, she dedicated herself to helping businesses increase their brand awareness and grow revenues. An active community citizen both in Jacksonville and St. Johns County, she raises funds for the homeless and is marketing chair for Women Business Owners.

    Professional Minority Woman

    Betzy Santiago, FSCJ

    Betzy loves to match people with opportunities and considers herself a conduit for growth and connectivity. As past president of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber and former board member of Girls on the Run, Betzy also served on Mayor Brown’s team as Community Liaison. She is energized by driving change and being a part of significant projects. She believes her family and mentors have helped her reach many goals in life and credits her success to her community involvement.

    Female First Responder of the Year

    Rising Star: Skye Barber, Police Sargeant Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

    A 10 year veteran of the JSO, Skye supervises the International Affairs Unit and the Safety and Prevention Unit. The IAU serves to build trust between the JSO and the non-English speaking community. The SPU serves as a liaison between citizens, community groups, youth, schools, and businesses to provide safety awareness, crime prevention, and school safety. Skye also oversees the School Crossing Guard program, in 93 schools with 300+ guards.

    Female First Responder of the Year

    Legacy Leader: Michelle Cook, Chief of Police, City of Atlantic Beach

    Michelle Cook is entering into her 28th year of law enforcement service, having retired as third in command at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. In 2017, she became the Chief of Police for the Atlantic Beach Police Department. A board member of the Continuance of Care, Michelle has been a Guest Panelist for Gen W, a board member for Leadership Jax, and a member of the Jax Journey Oversight Committee. Michelle is a proud public servant and mother of four.

    Legacy Award

    Paula Liang, Catalist Chair

    An attorney by trade, Paula found her passion when she took a leave to raise her three children. Volunteerism turned into leadership roles in non- profits, then employment. She immersed herself in the non-profit sector and now serves as a consultant to nonprofits, and as Board Chair of Catalyst, a national network of women’s funds, foundations and giving circles that supports the creation, and expansion of the women’s collective giving movement. Paula has raised money to fund research into the Status of Women and Girls and is involved nationally with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as others, to bring infrastructure support to the collective giving sector. Past president of the Women’s Giving Alliance, past board president of Hubbard House, past director at PACE Center for Girls, she now serves on the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Coalition. A constant advocate for women, she has dedicated much of her life to supporting women’s causes globally.

    Michelle Cook is entering into her 28th year of law enforcement service, having retired as third in command at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. In 2017, she became the Chief of Police for the Atlantic Beach Police Department. A board member of the Continuance of Care, Michelle has been a Guest Panelist for Gen W, a board member for Leadership Jax, and a member of the Jax Journey Oversight Committee. Michelle is a proud public servant and mother of four.

    “Thank YOU for such a terrific event. Many attendees commented on how the events were made extra special by the Excitement of the Hidden Gem award winners and the other inspiring women that spoke on behalf of girls and women! I was honored to be a sponsor and am looking forward to October 2020.

    Jean Watson

    Sweet Repeats

    “The best year yet!”

    Chelle Thomas

    Rock Solid Law

    “I thought the evening was fantastic…lots of exceptional women. Networking and booths were wonderful.”
    Anonymous

    Event Attendee

    I loved having so many amazing women from all different areas and professions around Jacksonville in one room!

    Kaci Honeycutt

    VyStar Credit Union

    “The event was spectacular!”

    Debbie Buckland

    Chair of Chamber Board of Directors

    2019 Sponsors

    Diamond Sponsor

    Emerald Sponsor

    Pearl  Sponsors

    Amethyst  Sponsor

    Save the Date for 2020

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