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The LRCC’s 2nd Annual Women of Distinction Awards Breakfast

March 2015



The Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) hosted its second annual Women of Distinction Awards Breakfast on Friday March 6, 2015 at the Woodlands Golf and Country Club, 4600 Woodlands Blvd in Tamarac. The event was well supported by the community and over 200 business owners and entrepreneurs attended this popular breakfast.


According to Maria Munro, President of the LRCC, ‘Central Broward is proud to be a place where all our residents can find dynamic and exciting opportunities to thrive and help build a brighter future for our region. This year’s honorees have made extraordinary contributions to our community and we applaud them and are grateful for their collective contributions.’


The awardees were:

Dinah Stephenson With over 19 years of experience in the construction industry, this woman of distinction has spearheaded efforts in her company that led to its growth from a small construction company to a mid-size contractor. She is passionate about mentorship and giving back to her community and through the foundation she shares with her husband, has made countless donations to various charitable organizations in the community.


Phoebe R Francois currently serves as a Magistrate in the Family Law Division of the 17th County, Florida. Her law career has been extensive, including serving as prosecutor, public defender, and in her own private practice. Throughout her career, she has maintained a service-oriented focus and has received awards for her pro bono and community service work. She has accepted pro bono cases from Broward Lawyers Care, the One Voice Children’s Law Center, the Urban League, and the NAACP Legal Redress Committee.


Vonnie McGowan Arscott as the current President and CEO of Nostalgia in Gold, our next woman of distinction gives back to her community by regularly recognizing other women’s contributions to Broward county. In her spare time, Dr. Vonnie MGowan-Ascott helps to provide funding to underprivileged children in Broward County and volunteers for the Lauderhill Police Department as a Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate.


Janet Bullard  Our next woman of distinction serves as CEO of Chamber Health Plans Inc and is a founding LRCC member. In more than 30 years in the insurance industry, Jan Bullard has received nearly every award possible and is a four-time winner of the prestigious One Million Dollar Circle of Achievement Award from American National Insurance. In 2000, she was also named Guardian Angel of the Health Insurance World by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for her efforts in helping medically and financially challenged individuals to obtain affordable health coverage.


Yolanda Cash-Jackson is a highly experienced Government Law Attorney and Shareholder at Becker and Poliakoff. Her selfless contributions to the community has garnered her respect and admiration in the community. Her passion for leadership has led her to lobby for great causes such as funding for historically black colleges. Her tenacious attitude is infectious and inspires everyone she touches.


Dawn Stagiliano This woman of distinction has used her position as Director of Government, Regulatory, and Community Investment at Comcast to truly help the community. She has spearheaded events such as Comcast Cares, to help rehabilitate distressed areas in Broward County. Her leadership through community initiatives like this has improved the lives of the residents in Broward County in innumerable ways and raised awareness for the growing needs of the community


Gabrielle Finley-Hazle has built an outstanding career of healthcare executive leadership experience in our nation. She rose in the ranks of the healthcare industry for 12 years before being named Chief Executive Officer of Florida Medical Center (FMC) in September 2012. Under her tenure, Florida Medical Center is named among the Top 10% of the Nation for Cardiology in 2014 and received the highest distinction for stroke care as designated by the American Heart/Stroke Association.


Sandra Bernard-Bastien combined her backgrounds as a Broward County English teacher and a Marketing Manager in a way that can only be described as magical for the Children’s Services Council of Broward County. Now serving as the Chief Communications Officer, she prides herself on making sure Broward’s children has the resources necessary to become responsible, productive adults.


Aude Sicard Our next honoree has spent the last 30 years at Jackson Memorial Hospital where she currently works as a Managed Healthcare Analyst. Throughout her career, her community involvement brought her to host television and radio programs geared at educating and informing the community about issues ranging from access to health care, the importance of the census, new laws and regulations, to getting out the votes.


Paola Isaac Baraya As the International Economic Development Specialist for Broward County, Paola Isaac Baraya’s day-to-day responsibilities include being the face of the county for investors from around the world. Her service in developing international trade strategies to position Broward county as an epicenter for international trade has won her such honors as International Businesswoman of the year.


WOMAN OF THE YEAR Gabrielle Finley-Hazle, CEO of Florida Medical Center, a Campus of Northshore Tenet Health was named WOMAN OF THE YEAR.

In accepting her award, Mrs Finley-Hazle pointed out that it was special to her as she is a local girl from our community. She mentioned her early years at the Elementary School and the Boyd Anderson High School which propelled her to enter Cornell University on a scholarship. She said it was a pleasure to serve her community and encouraged the young girls in the audience from Castle Hill Elementary School to strive for excellence at all times and that ‘whatever is in your heart, whatever you want to be when you are an adult, you can be as you can all learn from my story.’’ She also detailed her concern that young people were becoming victims of cardiovascular issues as an increasing number of young people were coming through the corridors of the FMC and being diagnosed with heart and stroke related illnesses. The FMC CEO also emphasized the adaptation of a healthy lifestyle, how critically important it was to make healthy choices in our diet and to exercise and manage stress. She gave the commitment that the FMC would continue to work with the community and that the community should continue to attend the regular Health and Wellness Fairs which have become quite popular.


The Women of Distinction Breakfast was attended by County Commissioner Dale Holness, State Representative Hazel Rogers, City of Lauderhill Vice Mayor Margaret Bates, Commissioners Howard Berger and Commissioner Kenneth Thurston and business leaders and entrepreneurs from the Central Broward Region.


The Breakfast was sponsored by Lindell Douglas & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., Signs Umbree, Republic Service and the National Weekly as the Media Sponsor.


Contact: Colleen Gutzmore Director of Operations Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce 5557 W Oakland Park Boulevard Lauderhill, FL 33319 Tel: 954 318 6118 Fax: 954 318 6120 Email:


Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce, 4462 N University Dr, Lauderhill FL 33351

Phone: (954) 318-6118 | Email:



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