News

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  • Friday, September 06, 2019 6:57 AM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)
    Lauren Lettelier grew up on a 160 acre cattle ranch in Citra, Florida (northern Marion County), but frequently visits Gainesville/Alachua County. 

    She recently accepted the position of Director of PR and Communications for North Florida Regional Medical Center and started in April 2019. Before coming to NFRMC, Lauren worked at WCJB TV20 News as the Ocala Bureau Reporter and Weekend Anchor until September 2014 when she accepted the Public Information Officer position at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. She served the citizens of Marion County in that position until March 2019.

    North Florida Regional Medical Center is truly North Central Florida’s community hospital. The hospital’s culture is so unique and incredible. As soon as you walk on our campus, you will notice people smiling and welcoming you. It’s truly an incredible place of healing for our community.   NFRMC is a 432-bed, full-service medical and surgical acute care center serving North Central Florida and offering comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences, minimally-invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, weight loss surgery and treatment, senior care, women's health and wound therapy, among other services. A proven leader, NFRMC is fully accredited, is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and a Quality Top Performer by The Joint Commission, is an accredited Chest Pain Center, is designated as a Blue Distinction (tm) Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, Spine Surgery and Bariatric Surgery, and earned a position in Truven Health's Top 100 Hospitals in 2017. North Florida Regional Medical Center is a member of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Based in Nashville, Tennessee, HCA is the nation's leading provider of healthcare services, a company comprised of locally managed facilities that includes about 177 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and Great Britain.

    Lauren attended her first GAWN meeting last month and she greatly enjoyed connecting with a network of professional business women in our community, and about learning about how she can support those women and their ambitions.  Her advice to others - 

    “Don’t give up! Think out of the box and work harder than everyone else. That is truly the key to success!”

    In addition to her duties at NFRMC, Lauren helps her family run their 160 acre cattle ranch called Lettelier Brangus, which is located in Citra, Florida. Together, they have raised some of the finest Brangus cattle the state of Florida has to offer. Lauren and her family are very passionate about guiding and empowering our youth in agriculture, spending their”free time” hosting fun and educational workshops in an effort to inspire those children interested in the cattle industry.



  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019 10:54 AM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Kimberly Heninger has lived in the Gainesville area for eight years and is a graduate of the University of Florida. She manages The Manor on Main Street, a new wedding and event venue. Located on Historic Main Street in Alachua, this 1902 Victorian home provides the perfect backdrop for weddings, gatherings, reunions, meetings, and more. In addition to offering unique quaint flex spaces, the Manor can accommodate overnight guests in suite rentals.  As an IFAS Master Gardener for eight years, Kimberly was initially drawn to the Manor through her interest in the gardens. Presented with the opportunity to restore both the gardens and home to its original beauty, Kimberly accepted the challenge. After five months of restoration, the Manor has booked events such as baby showers, birthday parties, office meetings, and graduation parties. Hoping to become the hub for the Alachua community, the Manor has a spacious outdoor venue for music, art shows, farmers markets, weddings, and parties.

    Kimberly comes from a background in health and wellness. She is a licensed physical therapist assistant, licensed massage therapist, and certified yoga instructor. She plans to incorporate these skills at the Manor for guests, events, and weekend workshops.

    Kimberly recently joined GAWN because she felt immediately comfortable at the first luncheon. She appreciated the diverse group of women who supported each other and rallied behind a good cause. Although she is new to the business world, she hopes to encourage others to pursue their dream and work towards their goals.

    For more information, visit:

    https://themanoronmainstreet.com

    Facebook: themanoronmainstreetalachua

    The Manor on Main Street

    14603 Main Street

    Alachua, FL 32615

    386-462-7595


  • Friday, April 05, 2019 12:52 PM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Robyn Brewington was born and raised in Alachua County and currently resides in nearby High Springs.  She works for American Integrity Insurance Group as a Territory Sales Manager.  American Integrity is a Florida based homeowner’s insurance company. She attended the University of Florida (Go Gators) and later went back to school and received a Master’s Degree from Webster University. She has been working in insurance since 2005 and says it has been a whirlwind since day one. 

    She enjoys being part of GAWN because she loves being inspired by the many success stories she sees among the women who attend. 

    In her role as a Territory Sales Manager she has a chance to work with a group of about 180 independent agents across 8 counties in Florida.  She spends a lot of time traveling, but absolutely loves what she does.  Her company continues to launch great products to serve Floridians with all of their homeowner needs. 

    She considers herself to be a life learner and is currently obtaining a certification in Digital Marketing because she is very interested in how this can help her in her current role. 

    During her career she has had a chance to be part of leadership groups and earned a Master’s in Leadership and Management, but she says she always has more to learn from other successful women and that is why she loves GAWN.

    Come hear Robyn's spotlight at the April luncheon!

  • Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:45 PM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Darlene Marshall is an award-winning author of historical romance featuring pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. Most of her novels are set in Florida, and she loves working at a job where business attire is shorts and a shirt festooned with pink flamingos and palm trees.

    Marshall arrived in North Central Florida in 1973 to attend the University of Florida for a degree in broadcast journalism (now Telecommunications) and fell in love with the large trees and rolling hills, although she misses the beaches of SW Florida. She’s worked as a broadcast and print journalist (WGGG, WCJB, Fort Myers News-Press), news anchor, news director, radio station owner (WNDT), and obituary writer. After selling radio station Wind FM she became a novelist because there were fake people in her head having adventures, so it was either write it down or check into therapy. She’s never been a pirate, but the day is not yet over.

    The fiction writing began in CompuServe’s LitForum back when 1. Dinosaurs ruled the internet 2. There was no internet, only dial-up 3. Cool kids had something called “email”.  Marshall was encouraged by other LitForum members (including authors Barbara Rogan and Diana Gabaldon) and decided to see if she could write a book. She could, then she wrote eight more (look for What the Parrot Saw in 2019!) and is now working on her next novel in the “High Seas” series. She’s still with the rebranded CompuServe, now the LitForum.com, where she’s section leader of Erotic Writing.

    What’s unique about her business is she offers you about the cheapest vacation you’ll ever take. For a couple of hours you can get away from it all, in the comfort of your own home, reading about strong women and good looking men, with a guaranteed happy ending. It’s the break you need from daily life.

    What she enjoys most about GAWN is realizing she can’t stay in her pajamas all day while she writes. It’s good for her to have conversations with people who aren’t in her head, the food is excellent at the meetings, and she’s surrounded by hardworking women and men who introduce her to new products, new sales techniques, and who are the best people in the world, her potential audience of readers.

    Her books have been published in English, German, and Estonian (seriously), and she’s represented by Barbara Collins Rosenberg of The Rosenberg Group. Too much of her time is spent on social media where you can find her at Instagram (www.instagram.com/darlenemarshallauthor/), Twitter (www.twitter.com/@darlenemarshall/) Facebook (www.facebook.com/dmarshallauthor/) and her website (www.darlenemarshall.com)

    Marshall’s married to local attorney Howard M. Rosenblatt and has two sons, a son-in-law, and a dachshund who listens as she reads her work aloud, but isn’t much for constructive criticism.

    For more information: darlenemarshall@darlenemarshall.com


  • Monday, November 12, 2018 4:59 PM | Kristy Moffat (Administrator)

    GAWN's Holiday Showcase is the perfect place to highlight your products and services to GAWN's members and guests.  It's always a fun-filled event with great food, door prizes, and a relaxed environment to learn about local businesses and do a little holiday shopping at the same time.

    The event will be held on Wednesday, December 12, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm at Sweetwater Branch Inn.

    If you're interested in becoming a vendor or sponsor of the event, please complete the application and email it to Kristy Moffat at kristy.moffat@brightway.com.  Registration as a sponsor or vendor can be done (and paid) online on our event page.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Wednesday, November 07, 2018 11:28 AM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Gina Dortch

    Gina grew up in a small town outside of Gainesville. At the age of 19 she enlisted in the United States Air Force where she held a Top Secret clearance working as a Command and Control Specialist.  Her clearance allowed her to work for NATO and live in beautiful countries such as Italy and Germany. After the Airforce she moved to Newport Beach California where she worked in sales and marketing. 

    Gina received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design and her masters in elementary education and started teaching only to realize that wasn’t her calling. But now she can say that she is in her element using all her varied experiences to benefit the businesses she work with and is happy to say that two years ago she made the decision to come back to Gainesville.

    In 2012 she moved from California to Charlotte NC and launched her business. TOPPRZ was built around a strategy that pizza companies have used for decades. The average American household opens the refrigerator dozens of times a day so if a pizzeria has their specials on a menu on top of their pizza boxes there’s a good chance the customer will keep them and stick it on the refrigerator and think of their pizza joint the first time the next craving rolls around.  93% of Americans eat pizza. That statistics by itself creates a solid platform for advertising. Since almost everybody eats pizza, the outreach is tremendous. And for the price of 7 cent per flyer, the TOPPRZ advertising method makes is very affordable.

    TOPPRZ is a non-traditional marketing company that allows businesses to team up with large pizza chains such as Dominos across the United States and put your business Exclusively on top of their pizza boxes. Studies show that Americans sort their mail over a trash can and only 2% of direct mail actually make it through the front door. But what if a direct mail flyer was on top of a pizza box?

    This advertising method automatically solves the biggest direct mail problem – making it inside the house. And it doesn’t come across as annoying junk mail. Because who will complain about an ad if there is a hot and delicious pizza underneath ready to feed empty bellies?  

    Since the years since she launched her business she has build a base of hundreds of pizzerias in the United States and her most recent addition Gator Dominos that has over 20 stores from here to Tampa. In addition, she has raised awareness for hundreds of local businesses from chiropractors to car dealerships, law firms to insurance companies. It’s a win win for both.  She recently hired 3 sales associates and 2 graphic designers to help meet her demand.

    The advice she would give to new business owners starting out would be if the idea lights you up and you can’t wait to get out of bed, then you’re on the right path for fulfilling your dream. Just know it will not be easy, it will take some time, but in the end it will all be worth it.

    One of the things that she love about GAWN are the powerful women that we have speaking that delivers valuable information. She also love that we have a beautiful place to come together and inspire and motivate one another to keep moving forward as business owners.

    Join us in November to meet Gina and get to know more about her during her Spotlight speech!

     


  • Friday, October 05, 2018 6:59 AM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Dorothy Thomas

    Dorothy is the Chair, for CHILD Center for Early Learning and the Organizer, for Campaign for a Children’s Trust of Alachua County.

    Prior to moving to Gainesville, Dorothy practiced law in New York City. After having children, she retired from practicing law and ultimately moved to Gainesville. As her children entered pre-school, she needed a good way to use her free time and began volunteering at SWAG (Southwest Advocacy Group). She eventually became the chair of SWAG, a group whose mission is to bring resources to an underserved, low-income area in southwest Gainesville. Her involvement with SWAG eventually led her to spearhead the creation of the CHILD Center, an early learning center designed to serve low income families. The CHILD Center is a collaboration between SWAG, UF’s Zucker Center, O2B Kids and Head Start, with support from the Early Learning Coalition and Alachua County. Not only does the CHILD Center provide high-quality early learning for children ages 0-5, it has a family engagement program, and is the hub of a model demonstration center whereby UF’s early learning experts have a platform to provide professional development to early learning professionals across the county.

    Dorothy's experiences with the CHILD Center led her to see the great need for a more collaborative and coordinated way to serve our county’s children. After looking at how children are best served across Florida, the idea of establishing a children’s services council (CSC) for Alachua County emerged. The creation of such councils is governed by Florida statute and can only be created by voters. CSCs provide funding exclusively for children’s programing, separate and apart from what is provided in the schools. "A true grassroots campaign has emerged, and we are hopeful that we can create this very type of council in this county by passing a referendum on the November 6 election ballot (Local Issue #1). If successful, our CSC will be called the Children’s Trust of Alachua County." The money/programs will be overseen by a totally independent board, and can fund things like early learning programs, after school programs, home visits to new moms by nurses, literacy efforts, and mental health and wellbeing programs (and much more!).

    You can learn more about SWAG and the CHILD Center at www.swadvocacygroup.org or on Facebook at
    www.facebook.com/SWAdvocacyGroupSWAG and www.facebook.com/CHILD-Center-for-Early-
    Learning.

    You can learn more about the Campaign for a Children’s Trust at
    www.childrenstrustofalachuacounty.org or on Facebook at
    www.facebook.com/CampaignForChildrensTrust/O


  • Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:23 PM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Linda Sherman of CenterPoint Consulting 

    Back in the 80s, Linda Sherman worked in construction manufacturing and professional industries.  She was a decision maker at a time when there were relatively few women in key roles., But it was her willingness to tackle and resolve tough problems through critical thinking that got her to be in such a position at the time.  Later she went on to work with several Fortune 500s in finance, contracts, program and project management. In each of these roles, Linda brought in her own tools and systems.

    However, many of these larger companies relied on unethical tactics.  They held back payments for extended periods of time, demanded additional work without compensation, and they moved up time frames and then penalizing with back charges if the businesses couldn’t meet these unrealistic demands.

    These are just a few examples of the situations Linda witnessed; their tactics drove small businesses to the brink of disaster – and even closure. This realization broke her heart and drove her to quit a 30-year career and a 6-figure paycheck in order to help small businesses be profitable, competitive, and avoid the pitfall and traps larger corporations use.

    Linda now works directly with small businesses where she knows she can make a real difference, teaching people how to implement sustainable, long-term strategies for growth.

    Learn more about Linda and her business at the April monthly luncheon.



  • Monday, March 12, 2018 1:05 PM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Jennifer Siorek has lived in Gainesville since 2009 after moving from Orlando, Florida. She is married to her first childhood friend (they even attended preschool together) and has one daughter who is in middle school. They recently welcomed into their family a beagle puppy adopted from Gainesville Pet Rescue. Jennifer enjoys learning foreign languages, spending time with her family, eating sushi and doing Zumba.

    She has a degree in advertising with a minor in Spanish and has been on the sales team at Advantage Publishing, Inc. (API) since 2016. Advantage publishes HOME magazine, Business in Greater Gainesville and Guide to Greater Gainesville and hosts Taste of Greater Gainesville, an annual non-profit event that benefits four local children’s charities. 

    She has been in advertising sales for 18 years and has worked at such companies as BellSouth Advertising & Publishing in Atlanta, the Orlando Sentinel in downtown Orlando and MediaEdge Communications here in Gainesville prior to joining Advantage Publishing.

    Jennifer volunteers her time serving on the Advisory Council for Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Central Florida, is a committee member of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s annual Kickoff for a Cure event, serves as an Ambassador for the Builders Association of North Central Florida (BANCF) and enjoys volunteering every year at Taste of Greater Gainesville.

    She looks forward to attending GAWN each month and enjoys the friendly and positive networking atmosphere.

    Jennifer may be reached at j.siorek@advantagepublishinginc.com or (352)226-8119.


  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:09 AM | Leslie Merryman (Administrator)

    Gwen hails from the Great White North aka Canada eh, where she studied education, travel & tourism marketing. She moved to Ohio & married her husband in 2000. In 2013 she became a US Citizen and moved with her family to Florida. She has 2 sons, a dog, a cat & a gecko. She is a runner & runs the Gate River Run in Jacksonville yearly as a fundraiser for Girls on the Run as a Solemate. Prior to moving to Florida and working for the Hartley Press she worked in the printing industry for Lithographic Services and Western States Envelope Company where she developed a diverse background in print sales, customer service & account management.

    At the Hartley Press they harness the POWER of the printed word to deliver results for you. The Hartley Press offers high quality sheet fed, heat set web, and digital press work. Their specialties are magazines, catalogs, directories, books, newsletters, brochures, calendars and other commercial products. They also do direct-mail postcards & custom printed packaging. An ideal referral for Gwen would be Marketing companies or Marketing departments within a large corporation, Publishers, Ad Agencies and Graphic Design firms.

    Gwen just joined GAWN & is excited to get to know everyone. She loves the energy and camaraderie she experienced on her first visit here.

    Gwen’s goal in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion some humor & some style.

    To learn more about the Hartley Press and their print capabilities please go to www.thehartleypress.com

    Gwen can be reached at gfreeman@thehartleypress.com


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