The National Council of Jewish Women, Sarasota-Manatee Section’s 37th Annual Women in Power Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at Michael’s on East. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m with lunch being served at noon. The event will honor four women whose accomplishments mirror NCJW’s focus on social justice by improving the lives of women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. For the first time, Closed Captioning will be available at the event. Please contact co-chairs Joan Bour or Karen Pariser to inquire about Sponsorships.
Jo Rutstein is a Realtor specializing in luxury properties in Sarasota and Longboat Key and a top 25 Realtor for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. She is also a proud recipient of the FIVE STAR Best in Client Satisfaction Award for 11 years. Her mother’s strength and perseverance showed Jo that anything is possible, which helped her in graduating from East Carolina University. Family has always been very important to Jo and continues to be one of her greatest strengths. She has held many positions within Children First including Chairwoman of the board. She is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Sarasota, Jewish Family and Children Services and American Jewish Committee having co-chaired many of their events. She has served on committees for the Ringling College of Art & Design and a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood. Each year Jo and her husband Stan sponsor a piece of artwork for Embracing our Differences. They also provide annual education scholarships through the Hillels of the Florida Suncoast through the Rutstein Judaic Essay contest. Jo also supports the performing arts community including the symphony, ballet and the opera.
Diane was born and raised in Washington, D.C. by several “Women of Power”, an intelligent, beautiful mother who ran the Classified Library at US Information Agency and her grandmother. Diane met Bob Roskamp in 1984 when they partnered to start Freedom Group, Inc. to develop senior living communities locally and nationally. Their Florida projects include Sarasota Bay Club, Jacaranda Trace in Venice and The Glenview in Naples. Their senior living campuses have become a model for successful “life care” communities in the U.S. They married in 1996 and moved to Longboat Key. Out of family challenges and the onslaught of our epidemic of Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States, the Roskamp Foundation founded the local Roskamp Institute on Whitfield Ave. for research in diseases of the brain. Researchers, MD’s, and PhD specialists come from all over the world to join the Roskamp team of brain researchers in Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, Gulf War Illnesses, Parkinson’s, Tourettes, Head Trauma and other related brain diseases. Diane also serves on several national and local boards including Minding Your Mind for teen suicide prevention, as a Life Trustee at Ringling College and as a Founding Mother of Designing Women.
Luz is the executive director of UnidosNow, a non-profit organization committed to empower Hispanic/Latinos to achieve the American dream through education, integration, and civic engagement.
Luz emigrated from Peru to Canada where she practiced family and group therapy as a psychotherapist for 16 years. She has a proven track record in community-building and engagement. She previously served as Program Director for Healthy Start Manatee and as a Community Health Director for the Florida Department of Health in Manatee. Luz is passionate about education, health, cultural competency, and understanding the social determinants influencing socio-economic well-being. Her significant work includes developing and overseeing diverse community-based initiatives to empower underserved and at-risk communities via prevention and education. Luz has been recognized with numerous awards for building strong relationships in the Manasota region with private, public, faith-based, and civic organizations to close the education achievement gap, reverse negative health trends, and empowering people to civic integration.
Julie’s formal education, including a BS in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Certified Public Accountant have served her well in her employment and Non-profit Board experience. Her work experience includes Audit Manager, and Director of Religious Education. When you think of Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, you think of Julie! She was the Vice-chair, Board of Trustees from 2009-2010, Chair, Board of Trustees from 2010-2015. Julie became Interim Director in April of 2015 and Executive Director in September 2015 to the present. Julie is also the President, Board of Trustees, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School Endowment Board; and their Co-Chair, Social Justice Committee, a position she has held for many years. Julie is married to Brock H. Leach. They have two children who are the joy of their lives.