Women Who Rock Awards Luncheon


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hilton Rialto Place

2017 Excellence in Leadership Award

Marcia Gaedcke, Titusville Chamber of Commerce

Each year, the Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes a female community leader who advocates for positive social change to create a more equitable society. Nominations should reflect an individual who has demonstrated leadership in improving our community for women and who possesses leadership qualities (e.g. decision-making, team building, and character) with a focus on fostering relationships and promoting positive working environments. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Examples of support that explains how the nominee is making a difference in the community in their chosen field
  • Recognizing women’s accomplishments or general improvement of the status of women
  • Examples to demonstrate that high ethical standards in leadership were exercised: decision –making, team building, character, communication, etc.

2017 Emerging Leader Award

Alecia Blattler, Workplace Giving at United Way of Brevard

Each year, the Young Emerging Leader Award recognizes a female under 35 years-old who demonstrates high ethical standards, commitment, confidence, ability to inspire, intuition, and creativity as leadership skills and is a role model for members of their community. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Ability to express opinions with conviction and sound judgment on topics that the nominee is passionate about
  • Provide examples of how the nominee served as a role model for members of the community by demonstrating high ethical standards, commitment, confidence, ability to inspire, intuition, and creativity
  • Uses social media to promote a positive and inclusive environment while bringing attention to vital social issues for women and girls

2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Misty Marot, CEO, Novel Engineering

Each year, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a female who creates the products, services, and jobs that fuel our economy and helps our community grow. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Engages in shaping regional and industry agendas to improve the community they work in
  • Has built a product or provides a service that has brought value to the marketplace through technical or social change
  • Has contributed to the economic impact of our region: number of jobs created, revenues increased, etc.
  • Conducts business with a focus on inclusion and equality in the workplace and respective industry

2017 Joan Bixby Awards


Dr. Robyn Tapley                    Sarah Oram                 Shaheida Ramajan

Each year, the Joan Bixby Award recognizes a Florida Tech staff and/or faculty member and a student (male or female) who enhances the climate for women’s participation and development on Florida Tech’s campus. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria: (Provide specific details about how nominee demonstrated these qualities.)

  • Has earned the respect of the community and/or colleagues by being a role model/mentor for other women and girls
  • Is a leader in their field of expertise and reinforces practices that emphasizes inclusion and equality
  • Someone who invests in their own professional development through networking, mentoring, education, etc.

2017 Zonta Yellow Rose Award for Excellence in Community Service

Dr. Sue Kiley, The Women's Center in Brevard County

Each year in honor of Zonta Rose Day, Zontians all over the world present a yellow rose to men and women who have honored Zonta’s vision by helping women achieve their full potential. . In such a world, every woman is literate and has access to education, health care, legal and economic resources on an equal basis with men. In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.  Nominees will be evaluated on how they demonstrated their commitment to women and the community.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring opportuntites for this event, please call our office at 321-674-7007 or email us at weVENTURE@fit.edu.

Past Award Recipients

Excellence in Leadership Award:

Ms. Debbie Goode, Partner, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, CPAs and Advisors (2016)

Ms. Lisa Rice, CareerSource Brevard President and CEO (2015)

Entrepreneur of the year award:

Ms. Betsy Farmer, Executive Director, Promise in Brevard (2016)

MS. Susan Glasgow, Kegman, Inc (2015)

Emerging Leader award:

Ms. Jennifer Sugarman, President and CEO, Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce (2016)

Ms. Kati Brunson, Rockwell Collins (2015)

Joan Bixby Award:

Dr. Dwayne McCay, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Florida Institute of Technology (2016)

Ms. Julie Shankle, Director of Online Learning at Florida Institute of Technology  (2016)

Ms. Lorian Schweikert, Doctoral Candidate, Biological Sciences at Florida Institute of Technology (2016)

Dr. Joni Oglesby, PhD. VP for Support Services and Title IX Coordinator (2015)

Ms. Shannon Ferry, FAA Chief Instructor, Aviation Flight Training at Florida Tech (2015)

Dr. Monical Baloga, VP for Institutional Effectiveness and International Programs (2014)

Ms. Mary Dyer, Business Manager in External Relations and Economic Development (2014)

Ms. Tara Drumm, Undergraduate student in Interdisciplinary Science (2014)

Dr. Niescja Turner, Associate Professor of Physics and Space Sciences (2013)

Ms. Jarin Eisenberg, Program Coordinator Nathan M Bisk College of Business at FIT (2013)

Ms. Carla Deras, undergraduate student in Aerospace Engineering (2013)

Ms. Lisa Steelman, Ph.D. (2012)

Ms. Beth Gitlin (2012)

Ms. Deborah Carstens, Ph.D. (2011)

Mr. John Reynolds (2011)

Ms. Trisha J.Ross (2011)

Ms. Mary Ellen Roy: Director of Marketing, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business (2010)

Ms. Bethany Vitaris: Student, M.S. Engineering Management, B.S. Mechanical Engineering  (2010)

Dr. Semen Köksal: Professor, Department Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences (2010)

Dr. Mary Bonhomme: Associate Provost for Online Learning (2009)

Mr. Ken Droscher: Associate Vice President of Advancement, Executive Director of the Alumni Association (2009)

Ms. J. Carey Gleason: Board of Directors, Women's Business Center at Florida Tech (2009)

Ms. Melissa Rego: College of Aeronautics. (2008 & 2009)

Ms. Debora Masters: Administrative Secretary for College of Psychology and Liberal Arts. (2008)

Dr. Donn Miller-Kermani: Director of Women's Business Center at Florida Tech. (2008)

Dr. Carolyn Fausnaugh: retired Assistant Professor of Strategy and New Ventures. (2008)

Ms. Marjorie Beckett: Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. (2008)

Dr. Shirley (Annie) Becker: President of Women's Business Center, Associate Dean of Research in College of Business, Professor of Business. (2005 & 2007)

Ms. Jillian Daniels: Aviation Management student. (2007)

Ms. Stephanie Hopper: Director of Labs for College of Engineering. (2007)

Ms. Megan Kramer-Jaunich: Graduate Student Assistant for College of Engineering. (2007)

Ms. Erin Pelletier: Marin Biology student. (2005)

Ms. Paola Lopez: Marine Biology student. (2005)

Dr. Maria Pozo de Fernandez: Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering. (2004)

Ms. Paula Krist: Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. (2004)

Ms. Davlyn Chin: Computer Science student. (2004)

Ms. Ruth Caulk: Marine Environmental Studies student. (2004)

Florida Tech Award of Distinction:

General Ann E, Dunnwoody, Military's first demale four-star general (2013)

Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos, American Cancer Society (2013)

Zonta Yellow Rose Award for Excellence in Community  Service:

Ms. Mary Allen, Founder and President of Genesis House (2016)

Community Award:

Ms. Judge Catharuba Haynes (2013)

Ms. Lola Mitchell, Career and Family Success Center at Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida College) (2013)

Ms. Donna Skattum, Advocate for education (2012)

Ms. Marilyn J "Bunny" Finney (2012)

Space Coast Community Award:

Ms. Lola Mitchell: Career Transitions Consulting (2014)

Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos: family practitioner, wife, mother, and a survivor of domestic violence (2013)

Ms. Donna Skattum: Managing Editor, Space Coast Living (2012)

Ms. Marilyn J. "Bunny" Finney: local philanthropist (2011)

Ms. Carol Craig: Founder/CEO of Craig Technologies (2010)

Ms. Cari A. Curi: Kalianas Med Spa & Wellness Center (2009)