Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: In the Company of Women honors 12 South Florida trailblazers

Bea L. Hines
Bea L. Hines

During March — Women’s History Month — various organizations will honor women throughout the country for their excellence.

One such event honoring women is 6 p.m. Thursday at Coral Gables Country Club, where 12 outstanding women were honored with the In the Company of Women award for their contributions to Miami-Dade County and South Florida.

The event marked 28 years that In the Company of Women has honored deserving women in the community. Hosted by Macy’s, the awards were presented to women who are proven trailblazers in their professions and who also give their time and talents to make our community a better place.

This year’s honorees:

▪ Maria I. Nardi, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces: the Mayor’s Pioneer Award.

▪ Lourdes Lopez, artistic director, Miami City Ballet: Arts and Entertainment.

▪ Tanya Ferreiro, CPA, Kaufman Rossin: Business and Economics.

▪ Mayte Padron Cordones, WPLG-Channel 10: Communication and Literature.

▪ Karen A. Tynes, Miami Herald Media Co.: Education and Research.

▪ Lisa C. Davis, councilwoman, Miami Gardens: Government and Law (Elected).

▪ Lillian Rivera, Ph.D., Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County: Health and Human Services.

▪ Helena Solo-Gabriele, Ph.D., University of Miami: Science and Technology.

▪ Jill Ellis, head coach, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team: Sports and Athletics.

▪ Sophie Baltic Herter, attorney, financial adviser and real estate broker: Posthumous.

▪ Patricia Robbins, Farm Share: Community Spirit.

Meteorologist Betty Davis of WPLG-Channel 10, is mistress of ceremonies.

In the Company of Women was created in 1989 as a way to unite the diverse population of Miami-Dade County by recognizing outstanding women who have impacted our community in a positive way. Proceeds from the event help support the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring (G.E.M.) Summer Arts Camp for girls ages 11 through 16. The camp offers the girls participation in projects, workshops and mentoring opportunities to help build self esteem.


The South Florida Chapter of the National Association of Black Women in Construction invites women to a luncheon Wednesday to learn about the $13 billion water industry and the opportunities available to them.

The luncheon will be at the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant, 1395 NW 57th Ave.

Networking starts at 11:30 a.m. and lunch is at noon.


The Greater Miami Symphonic Band will present its Spring Spectacular concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Gusman Hall at the University of Miami, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables.

The program will include Concerto for Bassoon performed by guest bassoon soloist Gabriel Beavers and featuring retired U.S. Air Force Col. Arnald D. Gabriel as guest conductor. The program will include Variations on a Korean Folk Song, Arabesque, The Hut of Baba Yaga/Great Gate of Kiev and Midway March.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students and children over 5, and are available at the box office on the day of the concert. You may also get tickets in advance by visiting


The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove will host its 14th annual Young Artists’ Gallery March 11-13 at its clubhouse, 2985 Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove.

The annual event showcases the art of students attending Miami-Dade public high schools. The show awards more than $7,000 in scholarships to talented young artists and teachers in the community.

The preview reception and awards party is open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. March 11, and the art show will be held from noon to 5 p.m. March 12-13.

The more than 180 works of art will be judged by Emily MacDonald-Korth and Chrtistine Rupp. MacDonald-Korth is a modern and contemporary art research specialist who works in art conservation and preservation, fine art and collections consulting, and historic paint analysis. She has worked on conservation and technical art history throughout the U.S., China and Italy.

Rupp, formerly the Coral Gables Museum director, is currently with the Dade Heritage Trust, which is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic sites.


The Miami Commission on the Status of Women invites the community to its 2016 breakfast event, honoring distinguished women in the community. The breakfast will be from 8 to 9 a.m. March 11 on the City Manager’s Terrace at Miami City Hall, 3500 Pan American Dr., Coconut Grove.

After the breakfast, guests are asked to attend the protocol portion of the commission meeting in the City Hall chambers just below the terrace, when the honorees will be recognized with a commendation by the mayor, respective city commissioners and the Status of Women commission.

RSVP by calling 305-416-1994.


Not too many people know that Florida had an underground railroad, which helped runaway slaves who were seeking freedom. If you are one of those not aware of the role Florida played in the slaves’ journey to freedom, you might want to attend the lecture presented by Madgdalena Lamarre at noon Monday in Room F222 at Miami Dade College Homestead Campus, 500 College Ter., Homestead.

Lamarre, a retired Miami Dade College professor, will examine the role Spanish Florida played as the first underground railroad to freedom for runaway slaves from the southern colonies.

Florida’s underground railroad ran from north to south and functioned until shortly after the American Revolution and predates the historically well-known underground railroad established by abolitionists in the 19th century.

Lamarre will also address the role played by African Americans in the early history of Florida, the establishment of early “maroon” (escaped slaves) communities in the Americas, the first legally recognized community of former slaves in the Americas, and a brief history of the Black Seminoles.

The lecture is free. ALunch can be order for $20 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185. You may also bring your own lunch, which is at 11:30 a.m. followed by the lecture.


A musical program, “By the Rivers of Babylon — the Music of the Iraqi and Indian Jewish Diasporas,” will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday at Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 DeSoto Blvd.

The program will include a special performance by George Mordecai, with accompanying musicians Sam Thomas, Rajneesh Bandhari, Eylem Basaldi and John Murchison.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 305-348-7266.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.