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Women to Watch

Concrete examples of successful women and their stories of achievement are the best inspiration and means of empowerment for other women to seek the heights in their professional career and take a leading role in society. ~ Dalia Grybauskaite

CHAPTER 64

Please join us in congratulating these women on their achievements and contributions to our community.

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Gail Markham, Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and Partner at Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co., P.A. (MNMW), has been awarded the Association of Family Law Professionals (AFLP) Hugh E. Starnes Think Outside The Box Award.

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Regina Eberwein, system director of research and strategic analysis of Lee Health, has been recognized nationally for her commitment and dedication to providing high quality care to the Southwest Florida community.

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Kathleen O. Berkey was named 2021 APEX Awards recipient at the annual event of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee.

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The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has appointed Laura Collett as its development and volunteer coordinator.

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Gulf Coast International Properties® has announced Sarah Wayne as recipient of the Live Exceptionally Five-Star Luxury Rental Specialist Award for the month of October 2021.

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The law firm of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. has announced that litigation attorney Monica Schmucker has completed arbitrator training and is now a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator.

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Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton has been named Florida’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS). Now in her 11th year leading the 115th largest school district in the U.S., Dr. Patton is the 9th woman to receive this honor since the inception of the awards program in 1988. Under her leadership, CCPS has achieved numerous accomplishments, including:

  • Improved district ranking to tie for 5th in the state from 33rd just nine years ago

  • Increased graduation rate 19.7%, bringing it to 92.2% from 72.5%

  • Earned district grade of “A” since 2017

  • One of seven districts to earn the “A” distinction for 2021

  • Students outperformed the state average on 21 out of 21 tested areas the past school year

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Marilyn E. Smith was honored at the IMAG History & Science Center 25th Anniversary Benefit Gala for her inspiration, vision and leadership in establishing the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum for children in Fort Myers 25 years ago.

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The FGCU Women’s Eagles Basketball Team starts the new season with some impressive stats. Last year, they finished 26-3. They were 25-1 with Kierstan Bell, 24-1 with Tyra Cox and 25-3 with T.K. Morehouse.

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A Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce 2021 Distinguished Public Service Award was presented to Noemi Garcia, of Collier County's Emergency Services.

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Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) announced that Missy Lamont and Lea Haven have been named to leadership roles for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International.

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New Horizons of SWFL welcomes Deborah Porter to its board of directors and Jennifer Nelson to its leadership team as the Director of Advancement.

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National law firm Quarles & Brady has named 11 attorney partners, including Jacqueline Johnson, an estate, trust and wealth preservation lawyer in Naples.

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Earn to Learn Florida has named Rebecca Gerke as finance and human resources director.

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Chelsea Castoria has been promoted to digital marketing director for CONRIC pr + marketing.

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

Jazmine, Angel, Aracely, Yazmin, Analee, Vianca, Victoria, Ruby, Carmela Post Graduation (

Jazmine, Angel, Aracely, Yazmin, Analee, Vianca, Victoria, Ruby and Carmela. 

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Jazz, Photo credit: Kaleigh Admire 

Jazmine, Angel, Aracely, Yazmin, Analee, Vianca, Victoria, Ruby, Carmela and Jazz graduated from Pace Center for Girls, Collier at Immokalee. These girls came to Pace broken, and were transformed into young women with bright futures.