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Women to Watch

There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise. ~W.E.B. Dubois.

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JA) announced JoAnn Curtin Elardo, co-founder and president of Wicked Dolphin Distillery, as a 2023 laureate to be inducted into the JA Business Hall Of Fame.

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Nina Gray and Mike Lyster

Nina Gray was named the recipient of the 5th annual Murray Hendel Civic Achievement Award for her tireless work in aiding the needy in Collier County. The award was presented by the Collier Citizens Council.

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Boys & Girls Club of Collier County recognized Karen Pulte with its Giving is Living Award.

Immokalee Foundation President and CEO Noemi Y. Perez received a 2022 Top Latino Lideres (Latino Leaders) Award from Latin Times Media.

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Sue Ryan was invited to Delaware, to deliver a TEDx Talk titled: Ultimate Freedom – Unlocking the Power of Choice.

Jackie Stephens, CEO of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County, announced the appointment of Christine Jones to its board of directors.

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Erin Otterbeck, Pace Executive Board Member and VP of Naples Operations and Business Development for AlliKriste Custom Kitchen and Cabinetry, will chair Pace Center for Girls – Collier at Immokalee’s 25th Anniversary Believing in Girls Luncheon.

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida (JA) announced that Stacey L. Herring, First Vice President, Morgan Stanley Private Bank, will serve as Event Chair for its 2023 Hall of Fame event.

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Rachael Williams and Jennifer Marchionda will co-chair the Naples Therapeutic Riding Center’s (NTRC) Kentucky Derby Party.

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Shannon Puopolo has been sworn in as the Secretary of the Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professionals Association (SWFLBPA).

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London Bay promoted Gina Watters to Director of Marketing.

Baker Senior Center Naples named Marisa Luizzi as its Chief Cognitive Health Officer.

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Alexa Wespiser joined Priority Marketing as its social media specialist.


Calusa Bay Design hired Allison Hernandez as an associate interior designer, Kori Korczyk as studio director and Monica Lukas as director of business development.

Florida Association attorney Colby Keefe graduated from the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.


Students to Watch

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Two Community School of Naples students, junior Zachary Dahlquist and sophomore Sadie Lipman, earned the Award of Merit for their work on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Committee during the National High School United Nations Conference (NHSUNC).

For consideration in Women to Watch, email a recent success story of a woman you’d like to celebrate, along with her high-resolution photo, to This might include a big accomplishment, award or honor received, appointment to a Board, educational achievement, etc.

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