Miami-Dade Parks’ 2024 In the Company of Women Awards to honor 15 inspiring women and commemorate Women’s History Month

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department announces the 2024 In the Company of Women Awards winners, as it marks the 35th year hosting the prestigious awards ceremony in partnership with the Miami-Dade Commission for Women and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and presented by Amerant Bank. This year, 15 inspiring women leaders have been selected to join the ranks of a distinguished group of awardees.

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the In the Company of Women Awards,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “These are women leaders who shine above the rest. They are extraordinary role models within our community who are bettering lives while empowering and inspiring women and girls. They serve as a reminder that nothing is out of reach, and so we thank them for all that they have contributed to the Miami-Dade County community through their stellar accomplishments.”

The awards ceremony, a time-honored tradition and Miami-Dade County’s premier event celebrating National Women’s History Month, honors women who have excelled professionally and contributed to the community and to women’s progress through their leadership and vision. Created in 1989 to promote community during a time when Miami-Dade County was experiencing significant transformations, the award was meant to bring our diverse community together. Notable alumnae include leaders from a variety of fields, including former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, United States Representatives Frederica Wilson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, salsa legend Celia Cruz, Grammy award-winning recording artist Gloria Estefan, and philanthropist Darlene Boytell-Perez, among others.

“The Commission for Women is proud to be a partner of the In the Company of Women Awards to honor the legacies and the outstanding work of the women who shape Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade County Commission for Women Chair Michelle Abreu. “The Awards not only honor women making history but help to support the girls who will be the future of our County. Congratulations!”

Today, In the Company of Women continues the legacy of honoring Miami-Dade County’s most amazing women. While we celebrate these leaders during the awards ceremony, we also highlight the work and contributions of The Women’s Park – a Miami-Dade County Park, which was created to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women who helped to improve our community’s quality of life.

“For the last 35 years, through the In the Company of Women Awards, Miami-Dade Parks has recognized the extraordinary accomplishments of women and their contributions to strengthening our community,” said Miami-Dade Parks Director Maria I. Nardi. “This year, we honor a diverse group of 15 amazing women and celebrate our shared endeavor to support the next generation of women leaders, and to build a greener, healthier, and more resilient Miami-Dade County.”

2024 Winners 

Mayor’s Pioneer Award:

  • Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, President and CEO, The Miami Foundation
  • Johanna Cervone, Chief of Staff, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava

 Mayor’s Pioneer Award (Posthumous):

  • Jeannett Slesnick, Philanthropist, Realtor, Slesnick & Jochem

Arts and Entertainment Award:

  • Sandy Dorsainvil, Producer, Sounds of Little Haiti

Business and Economics Award:

  • Carolyn D. Donaldson, President & CEO, CMS Global Investments LLC

Communications and Literature Award:

  • Teri Arvesu Gonzalez, Senior Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability, Televisa Univision; President, Univision Foundation

Communications and Literature Award (Posthumous)

  • Georgia Tasker, Journalist and Author

Education and Research Award:

  • Zinzi Bailey, ScD, MSPH, Social Epidemiologist and Voluntary Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota

Government and Law Award – Elected:

  • Honorable Raquel A. Regalado, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 7

Government and Law Award – Non-elected:

  • Stephanie V. Daniels, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department

Health and Human Services Award:

  • Joanne Ruggiero, MSN, MA, NE-BC, CMSRN, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Holtz Children’s Hospital and The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial

Science and Technology Award:

  • Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Sciences

Sports and Athletics Award:

  • Jennifer Alvarez, Senior Vice President of Brand and Chief Creative Officer, Miami HEAT + Kaseya Center

Young Professional Award:

  • Marry Vuong, Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Community Spirit Award:

  • Honorable Marleine Bastien, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, District 2

The In the Company of Women Awards ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149. It commemorates March’s Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. The event begins with a reception, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards presentation. Tickets for the awards ceremony dinner can be purchased at

In the Company of Women, presented by Amerant Bank, is made possible by the support of generous sponsors including Amerant Bank, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County Chairman Oliver Gilbert, III, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Marleine Bastien – District 2, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado – District 7, The Miami Foundation, Florida International University, Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kevin M. Cabrera, District 6, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Senator Rene Garcia, District 13, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Roberto J. Gonzalez, District 11, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, District 8, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne McGhee, District 9, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Micky Steinberg, District 4, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan Carlos Bermudez, District 12, Carnival Cruise Line, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, District 5, Miami-Dade County Vice Chairman Anthony Rodriguez, District 10, Univision Network, Zoo Miami, Brightline, Grove Bank & Trust, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, University of Miami, FCC Environmental Services, Florida Power & Light, United Way of Miami, Bacardi, Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida and Guitars Over Guns.

Proceeds from the In the Company of Women Awards support the mission of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, which is to advance and sustain the community’s recreational, environmental education and resiliency infrastructure by mobilizing financial support and popular commitment to Miami-Dade County’s parks system. To be a part of this special celebration by becoming a sponsor, please download our Sponsorship Brochure, and email if interested.

About Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of more than 285 parks and 40,000+ acres of parks and natural areas, comprised of active, passive parklands and nature preserves. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world and focused on placemaking, health and fitness, and conservation and stewardship.

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