PANAMA CITY – The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle honored all nominees on stage with ten being recognized as honorees in specific categories at the Women of Distinction Awards Gala on August 25, 2018 at the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort.
“It has been an honor to meet these extraordinary women and recognize them as the distinguished women that they are,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. chief executive officer. “The recipients are women who have demonstrated their commitment through leadership and community service; they signify courage, confidence, and character, while making the world a better place, and exemplify the Girl Scout mission.” she continued.
Sandy Sims, Eastern District General Manager for Gulf Power Company, 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 Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Kelly Layman, owner of In Layman’s Terms, Inc. and 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. The award is given in memory of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, with the significance of the pearl symbolizing 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 of Girl Scouts.
A new award was given this year that follows one of the Girl Scouts National Initiatives, the Emerald Award and was presented to Jessica Foster with WJHG TV. The award honors a woman who exemplifies leadership and serves as role model for today’s girls, she embodies the characteristics of today’s G.I.R.L. Go Getter, Innovator, Risk Taker, and Leader.
Joining Sandy Sims, Kelly Layman and Jessica Foster as Women of Distinction Honorees include:
• Pamela Kidwell, Corporate College and Business Innovation Center: Business Innovation
• Brenda Parker, Hancock Whitney Bank: Financial Literacy
• Margo Anderson, City of Lynn Haven, Mayor: Visionary
• Teri Cable, Florida Therapy Services: Community Service
• Becca Hardin, Bay Economic Development Alliance: Community Impact
• Darnita Rivers, Patterson Elementary School: Youth Impact
• Anita Broughton, Buffalo Rock-Pepsi: Leadership
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 150 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 the Girl Scout Choir. A variety of silent auction items ranged from themed baskets to a weekend condo staycation on Panama City Beach.
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 in the program was a presentation by Emma Wooton, a Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient from Troop 161.