Volume 2|May, 2020
I often look to other women for inspiration; inspiration to learn, inspiration to accomplish and contribute and inspiration to aspire. There is something special and uniquely valuable about each of us and I do my best to see it. So, it is no surprise that I value my JWN membership – I’m always surrounded by inspiration when I participate in JWN activities and spend time with other members. Encouragement, challenge, prodding (sometimes not so gentle) and friendship – a perfect recipe for time well spent.

Traditionally, this newsletter had a section featuring two or three member profiles. Not anymore. Yes, I love reading about JWN members. We’ll still be highlighting members but with a different twist. The section is now titled “Members Who Inspire” and it will feature inspirational accomplishments or contributions by the featured JWN member. Remember when " You " was selected as  Time  m agazine's Person of the Year. This month, You, the women belonging to JWN, are the featured Women Who Inspire.

Do you know a woman who is accomplished and active in the community? Is she a member of JWN? If she isn’t, now is the time to nominate her for membership. Helen Jackson is this year’s chair of the membership committee and JWN could not have a better advocate for a vibrant and varied membership. The application process has been streamlined with a simplified nomination form . We are all looking forward to the time we can gather again. To continue making these gatherings worthwhile, please ensure the women you want to spend time with are there. Nominate her.

Like all leaders, my aim is to advance the mission of the organization. In fact, the entire JWN board is united and determined to continue our advancement. JWN’s mission: We support and accelerate the advancement of women in both personal and professional endeavors.  At Monday’s board meeting, the strategic plan was finalized. This plan is the culmination of passionate discussion, the culling of ideas and work completed by prior boards and many JWN members. I’ll share more with you in next month’s newsletter. And, more importantly, keep your eyes open for visible changes.  

Thank you for sharing your ideas for JWN with me, I appreciate hearing from you. It is a great pleasure to serve as your president.

You are the best,

Ann Mackey

Oh, one more thing, and it’s a very good thing. Our annual meeting will be at lunchtime on October 16 th . As it is the last formal program meeting of the year, the president has the privilege of selecting the speaker. I’m very pleased that State Attorney Melissa Nelson has accepted our invitation to speak. She will focus on a challenging aspect of leadership – leadership and integrity during periods of ambiguity and public divisiveness. This is so relevant today, please add this date to your calendar.

A word about resuming in-person program meetings: At the time of publication, gatherings of more than 10 are prohibited in Florida. Susan Mack, our VP and program chair, has organized an impressive program agenda for the year and we are hopeful that in-person programs can be resumed when permitted and safe. When these programs do resume, Susan will take responsibility for ensuring the event is safely organized and compliant with regulations. Each of us faces a personal decision about when it will be safe to participate in in-person programs. For each event, Susan will detail the safeguards being taken so each of us can make the individual decision that fits our personal circumstances. In no case will an event be held if the board determines it is not appropriate to do so.
JWN Takes Leading Role in
Elevating Women in Florida
Contributed by Georgia Reed, past JWN President

JWN is proud to have been one of the 14 organizations that supported and funded the Florida Women and Leadership Report commissioned by the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Coalition (JWLC). The report was released at a news conference with the Jax Chamber on December 12, 2019.

Debbie Buckland , CEO of BB&T, now Truist Bank, and a JWN member, chaired the JWLC. She along with Community Foundation CEO Nina Waters and Jax Chamber CEO Daniel Davis announced the recommendations of the study would be implemented by a new full-time staffer at the Chamber’s Elevate Women program. This is the first position of its kind dedicated
to expanding the role of women in our community.

Longtime JWN member and former JWN President Georgia Reed represented JWN on the JWLC. “This was a tremendous study with real-world recommendations for how to elevate women in our city,” said Reed. “JWN is proud to have helped fund and promote this important project.” Click here to read the full news release and report:

JWN contributed $1,000 to the effort and the committee and leadership raised additional funds for the full report and the staff position. Women in our community provided leadership to help all women in our city.
JWN members attend press conference on Chamber steps. Connie Hodges, Ann Mackey, Georgia Reed, Debbie Buckland, Pixie Larizza, and Snowden McFall.
Enjoying The “Virtual” Present, Looking Forward
To The “Live” Future

By Susan E. Mack , 2020 VP and Programs Chair

Y es, the Programs Committee has heard you! The uniform feedback we have received is that,
even when we are no longer sheltering at home, you would like to see a variety of different ways by which to attend events-- whether live member-only major Programs, smaller Meetups that include guests, or virtual networking. Going forward, we will be sure to distribute programs by all these different means.

Also, Safety First! We also heard that, for our first 2020 live event—the Mega Luncheon Ladder—to take place on Tuesday, June 16th , you wanted to know what safety measures would be in place to assure our members health and well-being. Here’s what is planned:

  • Assuming we have our usual registration of 50 or more for this live event, we will open up another, adjoining banquet room at Maggiano’s so we can maintain social distance;
  • We will confine vendor representation to six vendors, so the space will not be cramped;
  • Masks will be recommended for members during the networking portion of the program;
  • For luncheon, we will fill only every other seat at the dining tables;
  • Waiters will wear masks and gloves;
  • Plated meals will be served instead of family style; and
  • In the event you do not wish to attend in-person, we will enable attendance by Zoom Video at a reduced rate, in order that everyone will be able to hear the keynote speaker.

Registration for this first live major program of 2020 will commence on May 15, 2020 , in order to make sure that there are no unforeseen contingencies resulting from COVID-19 that will preclude holding the event.


Penny Zenker , author of The Productivity Zone--Stop the Tug of War with Time - will be our speaker about mindfulness and productivity on Tuesday, May 19 th at 5:30 pm. There is absolutely no cost associated with attending Penny’s presentation. We are pleased to provide this virtual meeting as a member service. Please register via the JWN website, and Penny’s Zoom information will be sent to you.


Some important detail about some of these live events:

  • June 16th Mega Luncheon Ladder- Our theme will be “Reopening Businesses” and our inspirational keynote speaker will be Katherine Way, owner of her own clothing line.

  • June 23rd Fellowship at the Cummer- The Cummer Museum’s Chief Curator Holly Kerris will provide insights about the Museum’s special and permanent art collections on a tour curated to our particular interests. We will gather for great conversation with sandwiches/ salads and soft drinks before proceeding to view art with Holly.
  • July 27th Title IX Event- Olympic gold medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar and former professional athlete and sports executive Donna Orender will share their insights about how Title IX has opened up opportunities for women. They will also be advising how to keep young athletes safe, given disturbing news about the prevalence of abuse.

Our inaugural Virtual Cocktail Hours on April 6th and April 21st PROVED to be fun and full of free- wheeling conversation. The first event drew 28 JWN members as attendees!

Look forward to seeing you, whether on our JWN Zoom facility or in person!
By Pixie Larizza , Board Member

As we all work to navigate the new COVID19 realities of business closures, furloughs and working from home, JWN has been brainstorming ways to support you, our members, during these challenging times. After all, our mission is to accelerate each other towards our goals.

ZOOM Virtual Happy Hours have been added to keep our members connected and these have been a hit with many of our members.

To help support our members’ businesses and finances, a “Special Newsletter” highlighting member businesses and the products and services they offer will be published during May.

If you have products or services that you would like to promote to other JWN members, we want to include you in this Special Edition Newsletter. To be included, please send your most enticing, but accurate, description of what you or your business offers. This newsletter won’t look like pages from a telephone book but instead will be interesting and lively to read. We all want to support each other. Please ensure the following information is provided.

  • Business Name

  • Member Name

  • Contact info

  • Website(s)

  • Special Promotion / discount (if any)

  • Products for sale

  • FB pages (if applicable)

Likewise, if you have time available because of a business slowdown, closure or furlough and would like to see if someone needs your expertise, let us know about your skills and you will be included too. Please provide the following information with your submission:

  • Member Name

  • Contact info

  • Business Specialty

  • Other

To be included in this Special Edition Newsletter, please submit your information no later than May 11. Forward this information to: Pixie Larizza and
Please send your news to JWN’s administrator, Laurrie Campbell

Did we forget someone? Please let us know and we’ll include it in the next newsletter.

Martha Barrett was awarded the Clanzel T. Brown Sr. Humanitarian Award at the Jacksonville Urban League's 47th Annual Equal Opportunity Luncheon. Martha is the Jacksonville Market Manager in Enterprise Business and Community Engagement at Bank of America.

Debbie Buckland , market president for BB&T, now Truist, received the 2020 Tomas Klechak Downtown Development Award at the annual NAIOP awards dinner March 6. The Klechak Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions resulting in a significant impact on the continued development of downtown Jacksonville. At the same awards dinner, Karen Mathis received the Jesse B. Smith Community Service Award. Karen is the editor of the Jacksonville Daily Record and Jacksonville Record & Observer.

Anna Brosche, Connie Hodges and Donna Orender are featured in a Covid-19 fundraising appeal for United Way of Northeast Florida. Anna is the Alliance Relationship Partner at BDO Alliance USA and Connie served as the CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida before she retired. You can watch the video here United4Jax .

Charmaine Chiu was one of 20 attorneys selected as a 2020 Ultimate Attorney by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Charmaine is team chair of the health care practice and board member at Smith Hulsey & Busey.

Michelle Cook , candidate for Clay County Sheriff and former Atlantic Beach Chief of Police, was selected to be Incident Commander for a 13-county region on Florida’s All Hazards Incident Management Team in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jill Dame was inducted into the Queens University of Charlotte Athletics Hall of Fame in the Royals Lifetime Achievement category. Jill played varsity tennis and volleyball at Queens and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Leadership Jacksonville.

Tracie Davis has been elected Secretary of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. Tracie currently serves as the Representative for Florida House of Representatives District 13.

Carolyn Gentry collaborated with Resident Community News reporter Susan Brandenburg to develop a feature article on Jacksonville Women’s Network. You may read the article here. Scroll to page 26.

Mary Jarrett and Emily Lisska were elected to the Memorial Park Association board of directors.

Donna Orende r was one of 10 women honored by Volunteers in Medicine during the fourth annual Women with Heart luncheon. Donna was honored for her commitment to health, leadership, advocacy, passion and hard work. She is the CEO of Orender Unlimited and founder of Generation W.

Meg Rose was the 2020 Corporate Chair for the JDFR One Walk in April. Monies raised by the Walk will be used to create a world without type 1 diabetes. Meg promoted the Walk on WJCT’s First Coast Connect hosted by Melissa Ross. Meg is Vice President of Field Operations at Firehouse Subs.
  • May 15 Registration for June 16 in-person program opens, as determined by the board
  • May 19, 5:30 p.m. Meetup: Penny Zenker on mindfulness and productivity (Zoom)
  • June 16, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mega Luncheon Ladder and Program: Reopening Businesses, Speaker Katherine Way and Member vendor fair (Maggiano’s).
  • June 23, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Meetup: Fellowship at the Cummer Museum.
  • July 27, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Dinner Program: Title IX and its Positive Impact on U.S. Women, Speakers Nancy Hogshead-Makar and Donna Orender (Jacksonville Doubletree).
  • July 31 Last day to submit new member nominations.
  • October 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Annual Meeting: State Attorney Melissa Nelson.
  • December 7, 5:30 p.m. Holiday Gathering and New Member Induction.

2020 JWN Board Officers

  • Ann Mackey, President
  • Susan Mack, Vice President and Program Chair
  • Pixie Larizza, Secretary
  • Penny Zuber, Treasurer

2020 Directors

  • Nancy Dreicer
  • Meg Phillips Folds
  • Mindy Gillis
  • Maribel Hernandez, Immediate Past President
  • Connie Hodges
  • Jennifer Holland
  • Helen Jackson
  • Paula Shields
  • Robin Wahby