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  • Thursday, June 20, 2024 3:13 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    As a financial consultant for Thrivent, I provide comprehensive, customized financial guidance. I also have access to a broader array of products and tools to help people address their financial and investment objectives. No matter what your goals, time horizon or risk tolerance level, I can help you take steps to achieve your goals.

    I specialize in Retirement Income Planning, Legacy Planning and Portfolio Management. It's important to understand how different factors can affect your financial picture. I help clients analyze your current situation and develop an in-depth financial program. This includes helping implement an integrated financial strategy. Our team can also assist you by providing a product- or issue-based solution, or we can take a values-based approach to preparing for your financial future.

    I’ve been in Gainesville most of my life having grown up here. My 18+ career with Thrivent has allowed me to give back to the causes that are important to me. Educating and uplifting women so they can make informed decisions in their financial life. The best part of my job is getting to be a part of people's lives and walking the path with them to financial security. My clients are my family and I treat them with the respect and concern I would for my own family. 

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2024 1:09 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    Alyssa Ciaccio, originally hailing from New York, found her calling in the heart of Gainesville. Transitioning from a career in teaching, Alyssa embarked on a journey that led her to discover her innate gift as a medium. Drawn by familial ties and the allure of serving her community, Alyssa embraced Gainesville wholeheartedly, never looking back.

    In her pursuit of healing and spiritual connection, Alyssa founded The Florida Medium. This unique venture offers solace and closure by bridging the gap between the living and the departed. With a compassionate touch, Alyssa guides individuals through grief, offering comfort and wisdom garnered from the other side. Her services extend beyond mere mediumship; through Heart Mind Healing in Thornebrook, she provides mentoring sessions and workshops, empowering others to explore their own spiritual gifts.

    Reflecting on her journey, Alyssa emphasizes the importance of overcoming fear and taking the leap into entrepreneurship. Despite initial hesitation, she discovered fulfillment in being her own boss and touching lives in profound ways. For Alyssa, the essence of Gainesville lies in its capacity for growth and community spirit, a sentiment she embodies in both her business and personal endeavors.

    For those venturing into the realm of entrepreneurship, Alyssa offers simple yet powerful advice: embrace the unknown and trust in the journey ahead. With courage and determination, one can unlock boundless possibilities and find fulfillment in the pursuit of their passion.

    In Gainesville, Alyssa Ciaccio stands as a beacon of hope, guiding souls on their journey of healing and self-discovery. Through The Florida Medium, she weaves threads of connection that transcend the veil between worlds, illuminating the path towards healing and spiritual awakening.

  • Tuesday, May 07, 2024 10:38 AM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    My name is Michelle Vickers, but most people know me as Shelley. I am a proud lifelong resident of Alachua County and a true ACR. Growing up as a contractor’s daughter, I was always involved in the family business, a tradition that has significantly shaped my life. My father and brother are both contractors and hope to get my license too. My mother’s dedication to keeping me engaged growing up has fostered a deep-seated passion for community involvement and networking, qualities that continue to flourish with each passing day.

    I work at Scherer Construction as the Marketing Manager, where my role in community and client engagements is not just a job, but a calling. I am deeply in love with the construction world and the process of helping our clients bring their vision to reality. It fills me with pride to see our Scherer Construction project signs throughout the town, knowing that we play a pivotal role in the growth and development of our community.

    Joining the Gainesville Area Women’s Network (GAWN) was a natural step for me. Being a woman in what is often perceived as a man’s world, I find it refreshing and empowering to connect and network with other women in business. The atmosphere in GAWN is one of heartfelt support, love, and encouragement. My hope is that through this group, we can grow personally and professionally together within our community.

    I take great pride in working for Scherer Construction, especially as we celebrate our 40th year in business. It's exciting to think about the future and the potential we have to continue being the contractor of choice for commercial construction needs in North Central Florida. I am deeply committed to the success of our company and the positive impact we can make in the construction industry.

    Being a single girl mom, I am passionate about setting an example for her. I want to show her that through hard work and networking within our community, anything is achievable. It’s crucial to stay connected, to be hands-on, have passion, and make a difference, and I strive to show her these values every day. I am heavily involved in various committees and boards, driven by my desire to see our community succeed and grow stronger together. People always say that I am "everywhere", but to me if you are not seen you are forgotten. I want our community, current and future clients to know that we care and are here to help them every step of the way. We will always show up and be present. I do this personally with my family, my daughter and with what I do in business.

    I do love our area (Gainesville/Alachua), my professional role in the construction industry, and my personal dedication to empowering women and making a positive impact in the community. I believe that together, we can all succeed and make Alachua County a better place for everyone, while being role models for the next generation to come.

    If you ever have any commercial construction needs, questions or interests, I am your girl - Scherer Shelley! I am here to assist you every step of the way! ❤

    Michelle (Shelley) Vickers

    Community & Client Relations / Executive Admin / Marketing Manager

  • Friday, February 16, 2024 3:35 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    Jane has 18 years of experience in the banking and financial services industries, serving in a host of roles in both commercial and retail lending. She specializes in commercial loans and banking solutions, including commercial real estate, investment real estate, construction, SBA financing, C & I, lines of credit and equipment financing. Jane takes a consultative approach to lending by evaluating her client’s goals to ensure that they obtain the best loan product to fit their needs.

    Jane is a Gainesville native, a graduate of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and a graduate of the University of Florida, with a degree in Economics.

    She is active in the Gainesville community, currently serving as an Ambassador for the Builders Association of North Central Florida, Advisory Board Member for the F.W. Buchholz Academies of Finance and Entrepreneurship and an Auxiliary Board Member for Children’s Home Society. She is also a graduate of Leadership Gainesville, Class of 39 and has served on many other non-profit boards and committees in roles such as Chairperson, Co-Chair and Treasurer.

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 2:39 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    At our January Luncheon, Denise Weber introduced the GAWN Book Read, which is similar to a Book Club, but meets in groups of 6 at various locations. Sign-ups will be on the back table at each luncheon. Groups will meet at 6:00 pm on the 2nd Saturday each month beginning February 6th.

    The first book, for discussion 2/6, is: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

    For future month's book selections, click GAWN Book Read List.pdf

    Contact Denise for further information: (subject line: GAWN Book Read)

  • Thursday, November 30, 2023 6:34 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    Effective January 1, 2024, we will be adjusting our luncheon registration prices and deadlines in order to cover the cost of food and labor increases. The new registration prices and deadlines will be as follows:

     GAWN Members -Early Registration, $22, available through Wednesday of the week before the luncheon

     GAWN Members - Regular Registration, $35, available from Thursday of the week before the luncheon through the day of the luncheon

     Guests - Early Registration, $27, available through Wednesday of the week before the luncheon

     Guests - Regular Registration, $40, available from Thursday of the week before the luncheon through the day of the luncheon.

    Please try to register as early as possible for each of the luncheons. Early registration will not only save you money, it will also help your GAWN Board have an accurate count of attendees to provide to our venue.  In turn, our venue will be able to ensure that they prepare enough of their delicious food for all of us to enjoy. Thank you!

  • Friday, November 03, 2023 11:40 AM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    image000000.jpgDenise Weber is a local landscape designer with nearly 30 years’ experience in the residential sector. She is the principal designer for Denise Weber Landscapes, and she collaborates with top-notch local contractors to provide a design/build service to the Gainesville area.

    For Denise, her work is about creating outdoor living environments alive with diversity, natural beauty, and shrinking energy footprints. Her interest is in creating functional spaces using combinations of native, Florida-friendly, and edible plants. It is about creating spaces to be cared for over spaces to be managed. Denise believes a well-designed, well-installed landscape can bring a host of benefits and provide a "sense of place" on the principles of health, safety, and welfare.

    Denise holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and a second degree in Landscape Design and Construction from Colorado State University. She is TurfSWAP certified with the Alachua County EPA and certified in stormwater management with the state of Florida.

    Denise Weber Landscapes are Designed, Created and Built on the Concept of Shrinking the Energy Footprint and Providing a Sense of Place.


  • Thursday, October 05, 2023 2:10 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    When my father was dying, he repeatedly asked me, “What should I do? What should I do?” Being able to reassure him with calm and loving presence was the first step in my journey toward becoming a certificated end-of-life doula in 2015, after a career as an educator and an editor. Before that time, my loved ones had been fortunate to receive tremendously competent medical support; thereafter, I was able to provide spiritual, emotional, and practical support to them and my clients.

    Joining GAWN this year has been a highlight of 2023. Before moving to Gainesville in 2018, I was a lifelong resident of northern Ohio and began offering end-of-life doula services there. GAWN has helped me to connect with the special women in the Gainesville area community who form the membership. The monthly meetings are energizing because of inspiring speakers, and also because of the lovely new people I meet each month.

    I joined GAWN as part of a group of End-of-Life Doulas who represent the Gainesville area membership if a statewide organization called FEOLDA, which stands for Florida End-of-Life Doulas. My mission is the same as FEOLDA’s ( “to provide resources, non-medical care, advocacy, and compassionate support for the dying” and their families and friends.

    It amazes me to be part of FEOLDA’s collection of talented and compassionate souls. Each member has areas to which they gravitate. We have experts in grief/mourning, advance directives and preparation, media resources, advocacy, funeral/burial, legacy projects, and education. I am among those who focus on bedside vigil, but we are all trained to provide non-medical, personalized care in all areas.

    Each of us meets personally with a new client to devise a care plan based on the needs of the individual. Each scenario is different, and each of us has expertise in meeting unique needs. I am fortunate to be able to collaborate with my colleagues whenever necessary to provide what each client might need. The colleagues who joined GAWN with me are as follows.

    • William Turner Heath is multitalented. As a licensed funeral director and host of The Calling Hours ( or ) he is also a certified end-of-life doula and media specialist;
    • Shanti Vani ( or 352-225-1385 ) enhances her end-of-life doula practice as a grief recovery training specialist;
    • Rev. Jane Roy is an interfaith minister, green burial specialist, co-host of My Trail Ends, as well as partner in William and Weed Funeral Services ( or 352-204-2381); and
    • Anna Schwait has expertise in Advanced Directives (; 352-538-7161).

    The privilege of accompanying the dying has provided me with some of the most meaningful times in my life. My areas of focus are bedside vigil and legacy works, but I delight in meeting the needs of clients and their families with practical support, ethical will preparation, life review, and additional services to facilitate the best experience during this sacred passage. Please feel free to contact me by phone, text, or email:

    Phone: 216-316-4454 or Email:

  • Thursday, October 05, 2023 1:59 PM | Elizabeth Mattke (Administrator)

    Jennifer is the Business Development Manager at West Networks, which helps local  and national companies improve the speed and reliability of their internet connections both in their office locations as well as at off-site or mobile deployments.

    Jennifer has been in the Alachua County community for 19 years and counting.  She has worked in technology and telecommunications for nearly 25 years and is a great resource for all your internet connectivity questions.

    This is her second time joining GAWN and she’s thrilled to be back.  She first joined GAWN in a previous life when she was the local Cox Business representative for several years. 

    In addition to GAWN, Jennifer is also involved in several other local network associations.  She is currently a Gainesville Chamber Diplomat, a board member of the Hawthorne Area Chamber, a former Ambassador of the Ocala CEP, and a member of the Alachua County Hospitality Council.  She is also a founding organizer of TEDxGainesville, which is the locally executed version of the famous “TED Talks.”

    Jennifer loves facilitating connections so please don’t hesitate to reach out to her if she can help your networking efforts.

    Jennifer Phelps Business Development Manager
    Mobile/Text: (904) 874-4229
    2404 NW 43rd St Gainesville, FL 32606 or

  • Sunday, June 11, 2023 10:29 AM | Kristy Moffat

    We were informed and entertained by Elizabeth Hanselman's two-minute speech during our most recent luncheon!  She won our Spotlight Award drawing at our May luncheon.  Here is a summary of what she had to say:

    "To put it simply, GAWN changed my life! I had recently relocated from the Big Apple and was trying to start a Massage Therapy practice when I attended my first meeting in January of 1995. There was this red-headed fellow who I assumed must either be connected to the restaurant or married to one of the other members. However, Robert Hanselman was the very first male member of GAWN and very much single!

    At the April meeting, Robert finally got the courage to approach me, we traded business cards and… the rest is history – we got married a little over a year later. I guess you can say I got the most from networking!

    Fast-forward several years and we both stopped attending meetings until I was selected to be the Program Director of Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run Training in Gainesville in the Fall of 2010. At that point I re-joined GAWN with the idea of guiding people to better fitness through a Program that easily fits into most people’s lifestyle, provides accountability, and produces results while having fun.

    The Run/Walk/Run approach is particularly empowering for women over 50 who often sell themselves short and are discouraged from their full potential by senseless fitness fads and misleading information! In 2017 I added a Walking Only group to Gainesville Galloway for those who cannot or should not run but want to participate in run/walk events and get out in the fresh air with other like-minded and encouraging people.

    What I like about GAWN is the friendly atmosphere, the opportunity to showcase my business with a table-top display and the range of topics presented. However, the members of GAWN are the best part of every luncheon.

    Besides GAWN, I am also a member of the Writes’ Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) and have written my first novel (about running, of course) and am pursuing both an agent for the book and studying how to edit and proofread so I can help other writers.

    As for advice to anyone starting out is Network! Network! Network! Meeting people not only increases your “bottom line” but also enhances you as an individual. Everyone has something of value to bring to the table…and unless you’re willing to meet and mingle, you may very well miss out on something, or someone, special."

    Elizabeth Hanselman

    Gainesville Galloway Program Director


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