PANAMA CITY – The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle honored nine Women of Distinction on August 26 during the Awards Gala at the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort.
“We are honored to recognize the honorees as women who exemplify the mission of Girl Scouts,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. chief executive officer. “The recipients are women who have distinguished themselves through leadership and community service demonstrating courage, confidence, and character while making the world a better place,” she continued.
The Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Margaret McLane, retired Marketing Specialist, 325th Services Squadron, Tyndall AFB and past board president of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle. The Pearl Award is bestowed upon an adult Girl Scout for her significant contributions to the Girl Scout movement in support of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Given in memory of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, the significance of the pearls symbolize the devotion by Low to the success of the start of Girl Scouting which included selling a strand of pearls to fund the early operations.
Rita Acoba, retired VP of Bay Bank and Trust, received the Diamond Award, presented to a woman whose contributions to the community embody the vision of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts. The woman honored displays courage, confidence and character while truly making the world a better place.
Joining Margaret McLane and Rita Acoba as Women of Distinction Honorees are:
SSgt. Ashley Adkins, United States Air Force: Leadership Honoree
Mary Bruce, Retired, ACURE: Social Service Honoree
Marilyn Garrett-Fenimore, Owner, Managing Concepts: Youth Services Award Honoree
Marcia Pell, Certified Diabetes Educator and Dietician: Health and Fitness Honoree
Hiba Rahim, Council on American Islamic Relations: Community Impact Honoree
A program inspired by Girl Scouts nationally, and hosted locally by the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, the Women of Distinction awards honor women who truly demonstrate their commitment to the community. The women selected join the over 140 women in the Florida Panhandle who have been honored as Women of Distinction since the program’s inception in 1998.
The Awards Gala began at 6 p.m. with a social hour, silent auction and entertainment by local young artists Sarah Nicole and Andrew Tinch. A variety of silent auction items ranged from themed baskets to a weekend stay donated by the Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort. Additionally, the festivities included a live auction of fine jewelry from local jewelers raising funds to support programs and activities for girls in the community. Exquisite pieces were graciously donated by Creative Gems, Star Gallery, Coin & Bullion Reserves, and Maharaja’s.
The dinner and awards program was hosted by Bryan Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Northwest Florida and Janice Lucas, director of the LEAD Coalition at Gulf Coast State College. Included on the agenda was a presentation by Monica Espanola, Girl Scout Ambassador from Troop 939. Also recognized were the women nominated as Women of Distinction nominees, they include:
Rita Acoba – Retired, VP Bay Bank & Trust
SSgt Ashley Adkins – United States Air Force
Erin Baur – Erin E. Baur, Attorney at Law
Mary Bruce – Retired, ACURE
Wilanne Daniels – Jackson County Board of Commissioners
Marilyn Fenimore – Owner, Managing Concepts
Irene Field – Marketing Manager, VBA Design
Pam Johnson – Owner, Allstate Insurance Agency
Teresa King – Administrative Site Coordinator, Gryphon Technologies
Philomena Martrain – Bay County Chamber of Commerce
Bobbie Massey – Owner, Bobbie Massey School of Dance
Sharon McGhee – Owner, McGhee CPA Consultants
Elizabeth Moore – President, Anchor Consulting Engineering & Inspection
Katrin Patterson – Director, Gulf Coast School for Autism
Marcia Pell – Certified Diabetes Educator and Dietician
Hiba Rahim – Council on American Islamic Relations
Paige Schnell – Owner, Tracery Interiors
Mary “Roonie” Scovel – A.D./Head Women’s Basketball Coach GCSC
Allison Smith – VP, Business Development for Herbafex
Kristina Taunton – Owner, Love Your Gown
Brittany Trumbull – VP, Anchor Consulting Engineering & Inspection
Jennifer Vigil – CEO, Panama City Community Development Council