YWCA South Florida announces First But Not The Last inductees

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YWCA South Florida announces First But Not The Last inductees

Categories: First But Not The Last, Media

Miami, Fla. – YWCA South Florida has unveiled six local leaders as the second annual delegation for the organization’s “First But Not The Last” Women Leaders of South Florida event. Inductees include Dr. Lilian Abbo, infectious disease specialist with Jackson Health System; Irela Bague, Chief Bay Officer for Miami-Dade County; Lucia Davis-Raiford, president of The Carrie Meek Foundation; Maria Julia Mas Blet, senior vice president with Wells Fargo Private Bank; Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, democratic U.S. Representative for Florida’s 20th congressional district; and Dr. Greg Haile, president of Broward College who will receive the YWCA’s inaugural First But Not The Last Man-Kind Award.

This year’s class of inductees will be honored on Friday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Gulfstream Park during YWCA’s annual gala sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and co-chaired by Barbara Fonte and Mayela Rojas Sanchez. The event will be emceed by one of Miami’s most recognizable voices in Spanish radio, Javier Romero. Romero was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last fall and has been the morning host on Miami’s AMOR 107.5 for decades. Live entertainment at the event will be provided by GRAMMY-nominated artists, Palo!

YWCA’s First But Not The Last event celebrates the achievements of dynamic leaders in South Florida who have broken barriers in their respective industries. Recipients have been selected because of their accomplishment of being first in their field.

Last year’s class included Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava, Miami-Dade County 11th Circuit Court Chief Judge Bertila Soto, Southern District of Florida Senior Judge Patricia A. Seitz, Broward County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Sharief, Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Lisa Lutoff- Perlo, Miami Herald Executive Editor Monica Richardson, Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega, FPL Director of External Affairs Juliet Rouhlac, and AARP National Board of Directors Chairwoman Annette Franqui.

“The leaders we recognize at First But Not The Last are trailblazers because they are instrumental in leading the way for women and people of color across South Florida,” says Kerry-Ann Royes, YWCA South Florida’s president and CEO. “We are excited to build upon last year’s inauguration with our 2022 inductees.”

“These individuals are passionate about their roles within our community and recognize how critical their leadership is for our future generations. It will be an honor to come together among colleagues and friends to recognize them for their contributions.”

Fonte and Sanchez, along with YWCA leaders, advisors and fellow committee members, selected the 2022 inductees based on community leadership, their roles within their fields, and an outward commitment to YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

The 2022 First But Not The Last committee includes Sanchez and Fonte, as well as Dexter Bridgeman, Yolanda Valencia and Rosy Lopez. Cloud Nine Nonprofit Advisors, a Fort Lauderdale-based nonprofit consulting firm, is assisting in the production of the event.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are currently available for the 2022 First But Not The Last event. Businesses or individuals interested in supporting the event or purchasing tickets can email development@ywcasouthflorida.org.


YWCA South Florida seeks to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Combining direct service programming and advocacy, YWCA South Florida works across three key areas: racial justice and civil rights; empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls; and health and safety of women and girls. The organization has been at the forefront of some of South Florida’s most significant social issues since it was founded in 1921 and has worked to improve the lives of more than 3.1 million adults and children.

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