By: Sharon Aron Baron
Tamarac resident Ilene Lieberman was honored at the 4th Annual Woman of Distinction Awards Breakfast on Friday where she won the “Woman of the Year” award.
Lieberman, who was the first female strong mayor in Broward County [Lauderhill] and a Broward County Commissioner for 16 years, who worked tirelessly on issues ranging from waste-hauling contracts to airport runway expansions along with planning for a new courthouse, was honored along with eight other successful women.
She told the sell-out crowd at the BB&T Center on Friday that is was very important for everyone in the audience to see the lesson in that morning. “Each of the Woman of Distinction have chosen a different path that led them here today,” she said. “But the message that they give to everyone of us is choose your passion; choose your dream, do what you do best, but do it best.”
Lieberman said that it never occurred to her after she was first elected in 1984 what an amazing opportunity being in local government was. “We make a difference in people’s lives day after day. Constituents call you, or they may see you out shopping at Publix, and based on that conversation, you can make it better for everyone.”
The Women of Distinction is a hallmark event produced by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce and powered by the Florida Panthers to honor prominent women of Broward County. After being nominated in November, nine of Broward County’s most influential women were selected. Attended by business owners, professionals, public officials, and other movers and shakers, this three-time sold out event attracts a diverse and influential audience. Themed “Rise Up!” this year, here are all of the Women of Distinction honorees:
- Veda Coleman-Wright – Public Information Office Director, Broward Sheriff’s Office
- Dr. Traci Lynn – CEO, Traci Lynn Jewelry
- Donna Borland – General Manager, VITAS Healthcare
- Sherry Friedlander-Olsen – Founder, A Child is Missing, Inc.
- Dee Thompson – CEO, Dee Thompson Speaks
- Karen Pandy-Cherry – President, Refresh Live Foundation
- Ilene Lieberman – First Female Strong Mayor in Broward County
- Sandra Carey – Deputy Consul General, The Bahamas
- Nerissa Street – Founder, Be Your Own Answer
LRCC said they believe that women have immensely contributed to our society, most evident by those they honor each year. Past recipients have includes: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Nicki E. Grossman, Former President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Pauline Grant, MS, MBA, FACHE, CEO of Broward Health; Alice E. Ancona, Director of Global Outreach, Florida Chamber of Commerce Dr. Lanalee Sam, Medical Director of Elite OBGYN; Michelle Austin Pamies, Partner, Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC; Captain Josefa Benjamin, Broward County Sheriff’s Office; Maria Munro, CEO of Unique Productions International; Danielle Knox, WSVN Channel 7 News Anchor and Entrepreneur; and Dr. Celia Earle, Governor, Kiwanis Florida Division and Vice President at Brown and Caldwell.