in-company-of-women-logo_web.jpgMIAMI — Miami-Dade County is seeking nominations of outstanding women leaders in the community for the 24th Annual “In the Company of Women Awards.” Nominations may be submitted only by mail and must be postmarked by Friday, Dec. 16. The 24th annual awards ceremony will be held on March 21, 6-9 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

The event recognizes women who have been nominated by the community and chosen by a panel  of judges to be honored for their outstanding accomplishments as residents of Miami-Dade County.

These distinguished women will be recognized for having exemplified Professional Development, Community Responsibility, Leadership and Vision, Contribution to Women's Progress, and Promotion of Pluralism throughout their careers and lives. The ceremony will include professional awards, the Community Spirit Award, the Posthumous Award, and the Mayor's Pioneer Award

A committee of community leaders will review each nomination to determine the nominee's eligibility, with the exclusion of the Mayor's Pioneer Award, which will be reviewed by appointees from the Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.  Selections are based on the nominee's contributions to women's progress in her profession and/or area of interest.  For the Mayor's Pioneer Award, emphasis is on the nominee's overall involvement in the community and women's progress.

Since 1989, men and women have gathered to honor the outstanding achievements of women during the annual “In the Company of Women” event. This popular and prestigious event serves as part of Women's History Month, observed annually in March. The event has received recognition from the National Association of Counties and the Southern Region of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

The 23rd annual awards recognized 12 Miami-Dade women, including: for Arts & Entertainment — Eveline Pierre, founder of the Haitian Heritage Museum; Business & Economics — Patricia Thorp, senior counselor, RBB Public Relations; Communications & Literature — Michele Gillen, chief investigative reporter, CBS Miami; Education & Research — Dr. Stacey Mancuso, principle, DASH; Government & Law — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Health & Human Services — Lucy Morillo-Agnetti, president & CEO, Miami Children's Hospital Foundation; Science & Technology — Sherry Thompson Giordano, executive director, IT Women, and June Randall, chief,

Administration & Technology Division, Miami-Dade County Police; Sports & Athletics — Marta Montenegro, founder, publisher & editor-in-chief, SoBeFit magazine; Mayor's Pioneer Award — Elaine Bloom, former

member of the Florida House of Representatives; Community Spirit Award — Donna Ginn, founder & managing partner, Crossroad Consulting Group; and posthumous honors — Amanda Haworth, detective, Miami-Dade Police Warrants Bureau.

Past recipients of the “In the Company of Women Awards” have included state Sen. Larcenia Bullard (1996), Celia Cruz (1990), Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1989), Gloria Estefan (1989), Arva Moore Parks (2002),

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (1997), Cristina Saralegui (1992), Dorothy Shula (1992), state Sen. Frederica Wilson (1994), Teresa Zubizarreta (1993), and many other distinguished female role models of Miami-Dade County.

For information on how to nominate, call Laura Morilla, Miami-Dade County Commission for Women, 305-375-4967.

Photo: In the Company of Women logo