Mayor Bower to host 4th Annual Women’s Conference

Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower

Dynamic speakers, a luncheon featuring the artistry of extraordinary women chefs, and a program honoring outstanding women who shaped Florida’s history are featured at the 4th Annual Miami Beach Women’s Conference, which will be held on Friday, March 16, in honor of National Women’s History Month.

The event, which is hosted by Mayor Matti Bower, in conjunction with Women’s Exhibit, features the exciting Mayor’s Panel in the morning, where speakers will explore the role of politics. At the first program, entitled “So You’re Elected – Now What?” a panel of esteemed women leaders will discuss the role of women in politics and the special opportunities and challenges they face as elected officials.

The panelists for the first morning session at 9 a.m. include Mayor Bower, former Florida Representative Elaine Bloom, who served as Speaker Pro-Tem in the Florida Legislature, Florida Senator Gwen Margolis, and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, who served in that post from 1994- 2010, and who is president and CEO of the Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami.

The second morning panel, entitled “Protection for Women,” features a panel of seasoned legal and crime prevention professionals discussing how women can protect themselves physically, legally and from the devastation of identity theft.

The panelists will include Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, who was appointed in 1993 and re-elected for five terms, and who, as legal counsel for the Dade County Grand Jury created Florida’s first domestic violence unit, and Miami Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, who is a former member of the Florida Legislature, a crime and loss prevention specialist and a member of the Homeland Security Consortium. Joining them will be Beth Littrell, LAMBDA Legal’s staff attorney who, as director of the ACLU of Georgia led President Obama’s initiative spearheading hospital visitation rights for same sex partners.

One of the highlights of the day is always the annual Lunch in the Garden fundraiser featuring the culinary artistry of top women chefs, caterers and restaurateurs at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (located adjacent to the Convention Center and City Hall). This year will be extra special, as it will serve to introduce to guests the exquisitely restored garden. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will be honored as a special guest. Luncheon tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

The event will also honor Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998), who moved to Miami as a young woman to work for the Miami Herald. Her most influential work, “The Everglades: River of Grass,” sparked the movement to reclaim and restore the Everglades as a treasured Florida habitat.

The conference, which was created by Mayor Bower during her first year in office, draws several hundred attendees each year. The entire program, with the exception of the luncheon, is free. For more information, visit

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