• Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:45 PM | Deleted user

    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, 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 (, Twitter ( Facebook ( and her website (

    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:

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

    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  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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 or on Facebook at and

    You can learn more about the Campaign for a Children’s Trust at or on Facebook at

  • Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:23 PM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 or (352)226-8119.

  • Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:09 AM | Deleted user

    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

    Gwen can be reached at

  • Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:41 AM | Kristy Moffat

    Hundreds of professionals come through the doors of GAWN each year. Would you like to make sure they know who you are, while supporting the work of GAWN at the same time?

    We have an annual sponsorship option for our members in 2018. Sponsorship benefits include:

    • Recognition and signage at all GAWN events
    • Logo displayed on GAWN website, linking to member company website
    • Promotion via social media
    • Recognition in GAWN communications
    • Sponsor table and associated benefits at 2017 Holiday Showcase
    • Other benefits to be determined

    The cost is $500 for the year, open to paid members only.  We have a limit of four sponsorship spots for now, but may consider adding others later depending on interest.

    We are also accepting vendor applications for our 2017 Holiday Showcase, which will be on Wednesday, December 13 from 11:30-1:30 at Sweetwater Branch Inn. Vendors will share an 8 foot table with another vendor, and have the opportunity to gain exposure and network with attendees. The cost is $50, and includes admission for one person.

    Applications and payments must be submitted by November 30 to be considered. Registration is available on the event page.  Please contact board members Trish Bulko or Kristy Moffat with any questions.

    2018 Sponsorship ApplicationHoliday Showcase Vendor Application

  • Monday, October 30, 2017 1:19 PM | Deleted user

    Born and raised in southern New Hampshire, Kerry Spears has always had a love for old homes, beautiful details and classic character. After living in Charleston, SC, she discovered her love only grew fonder for the charm of historical architecture. Kerry decided to pursue a career in interior design and work as a design assistant, where she learned the ins and outs of the business. Through a passion for beautiful homes and an innate skill for aesthetics, Kerry Spears Interiors was brought to life.

    Kerry Spears Interiors is a full-scale interior design firm with a fresh aesthetic and a passion for details. She specializes in finish and decor selections, home renovations and new construction. Each aspect of the project is tailored toward the client and their distinctive lifestyle to create a comfortable, personal and functional space. Between the color on the walls and the fabric on the furniture, she will design a space that is uniquely yours. She works from initial ideas all the way through the completion of the project and considers every detail along the way. Kerry’s signature style fuses traditional interiors with a fresh, modern flair. Her style is ever evolving as she stays on top of trends to incorporate them into her clients’ homes in a timeless way.

    Kerry Spears Interiors also offers e-design services. These are projects done solely through communication over the phone, email and Facetime, allowing projects to be completed anywhere.

    Kerry has worked on projects all over the United States, including Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. She currently lives in Gainesville, FL with her husband, Reid, and Mini Bernedoodle, Louie.

    Some of Kerry’s completed projects will be featured in Home Magazine Gainesville throughout 2018.

    You can find a portfolio of Kerry’s work and contact information at

  • Tuesday, October 03, 2017 11:41 AM | Deleted user

    Ronnie spent a lot of time in Latin America but for the last few years, Gainesville has been her home. It’s her second time around here. "I like Gainesville, and I like having Gainesville be the place I come home to when I return from a trip (I also really like to travel!)."

    Ronnie is about to have a chapter published in an anthology that focuses on women who have spent time in Latin America, Women Travel Alone Together, with a likely publication date in early 2018.

    Like so many of us she multi-tasks constantly, but a lot of her focus these days is on her small business as an editor, writer and translator. As a copyeditor, she has particular expertise in editing the works of journalists, scholars and researchers for whom English is a second language. She has also edited two memoirs by Puerto Rican authors, an environmental education book by a group of authors at Cornell University, and is now editing a book on reggaeton.

    She is always looking for more editing, translating or writing work, not just for the money, which obviously counts, but also because she really enjoys the work! When she edits, writes or translates, she learns a lot about the subject at hand and that brings her a lot of satisfaction.  She is a veteran journalist who was a correspondent and bureau chief for CNN based in Nicaragua and Chile from 1987 through 1996. She got to Nicaragua as a freelancer in 1984. Her work in Latin America included reporting from all the countries in the region.

    She was a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Colombia from 2011 to 2012.  She was also the recipient of a grant from Transparency International in Colombia in 2013. Her projects focused on digital tracking of corruption in that country. She began my career in journalism at the San Juan Star in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Currently, she also teaches journalism classes at the University of Florida, and is also a writer for Americas Duty Free & Travel Retail.

    Ronnie is fluent in Spanish.

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