Girl Scouts honor 2014 women of distinction at awards gala

Congratulations to Roberta Rideout

From the Tallahassee Democrat:

The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle 2014 Women of Distinction Awards Gala celebrated the accomplishments of fourteen women who truly stand out for their commitment to the community on November 12, at the Florida State University Alumni Center.

“The Women of Distinction honorees are emblematic of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low who encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for future roles as professional women –in the arts, sciences and business – and for active civic involvement,” stated Kelly O’Keefe, an attorney with Berger and Singerman, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle Philanthropy Committee Chair and 2011 Woman of Distinction.

Mrs. Dana “Boots” Bryan, a retired educator, long time Girl Scout member and volunteer, received the Pearl Award. The Pearl Award is bestowed upon an adult Girl Scout for her significant contributions to the Girl Scout movement in support of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Given in memory of Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low, the significance of the pearls symbolize the devotion by Low to the success of the start of Girl Scouting which included selling a strand of pearls for $8,000 to fund the early operations.

Mrs. Nan Hillis, Chief Strategy Officer for Prime Meridian Bank, received the Diamond Award. The Diamond Award is presented to a woman whose contributions to the community embody the vision of Juliette Gordon Low.

The recipient embodies the following qualities as outlined in the Girl Scout Law: honesty, fairness, friendliness, helpfulness, considerate and caring for others, responsible, resourceful and have respect for herself and others.

Joining Mrs. Bryan and Mrs. Hillis as Women of Distinction were:

- Audra Pittman, Executive Director, Council on Culture and Arts. Category: Art

- Virginia Glass, Realtor, Hartung and Noblin, Inc. Category: Real Estate and Construction

- Mayda Williams, Retired, Owner, Target Copy. Category: Business

- Debra Austin, Retired Educator. Category: Education

- Lisa Sheryle Phipps, Owner, Chic Verte. Category: Environment

- Kristin Dozier, Commissioner, Leon County Board of Commissioners. Category: Government, Elected Official

- Honorable Simone Marstiller, Florida First District Court of Appeal. Category: Law

- Linda Kleindienst, Editor, 850 Business Magazine. Category: Media

- Michelle Ubben, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Sachs Media Group. Category: Public Relations

- Linda Figg, President/CEO, FIGG. Category: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

- Roberta Rideout, Founder/ Volunteer, Steinhatchee Food Bank, Fellowship Baptist Church. Category: Social Services

- Tomica Archie Smith, Executive Director, Palmer Munroe Teen Center, City of Tallahassee. Category: Youth Services

“The women honored exemplify the mission of Girl Scouts,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. chief executive officer. “They are women of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place,” she continued.

The Awards Gala began at 6 p.m. with a social hour, silent auction and entertainment by the Lost Sheep of Good Shepherd Church and Girl Scout Cadette Sara Bibby.

A variety of silent auction items were available including themed baskets and gift certificates. Josefina Tamayo served as auctioneer for the live auction of fine jewelry from local jewelers raising funds to support programs and activities for girls in the community.

Exquisite pieces were graciously donated by Diamond Center of Tallahassee, Jewelry by MariB, Quincie Hamby, Regina Merchant and Family and The Gem Collection.

The dinner and awards program began at 7 p.m. and was hosted by Heather Mitchell, President and CEO, United Way of the Big Bend, Inc., and R. Jai Gillum, Director of Income Strategies, United Way of the Big Bend, Inc. Included on the agenda were presentations by Shae Gibbs, Girl Scout Senior and a 2014 Girl Scout Leadership Institute delegate, and Maya King, Girl Scout Ambassador and a 2014 Girl Scout Leadership Institute delegate.

“We are grateful for the support of the businesses and individuals whose sponsorship enabled us to recognize these distinguished women and raise funds to build the next generation of women leaders through Girl Scouting,” stated Irene Field, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle director of fund development.


- Figg

- Sachs Media


- Avant Financial Group

- Berger Singerman

- Georgia Pacific

- Prince Ventures


- Arcadis

- Florida State University College of Business

- Prime Meridian Bank

- Thomas, Howell, Ferguson P.A.

Friends of Girl Scouts

- Akerman, Senterfitt, Attorneys at Law

- Coldwell Banker Hartung and Noblin, Inc.

- Holland & Knight

Media Sponsor

- Tallahassee Magazine