Women In Power Luncheon

Women In Power Luncheon 2020

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 at Michael’s On East

The National Council of Jewish Women, Sarasota-Manatee Section’s 38th Annual Women in Power Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at Michael’s on East. Networking begins at 11:30a.m with lunch 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. Closed Captioning will be available at the event. For sponsorship and reservation information, please click here.

Award-Winning Journalist and Civil Rights Legend

Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an Emmy and two-time Peabody award-winning journalist whose career spans almost 60 years.  Prior to her professional journey,   Hunter-Gault became an active part of the Civil Rights Movement as one of the first two African American students to desegregate the University of Georgia in 1961. Upon graduation, she began her journalism career at The New Yorker magazine, and went on to work in all media, including the investigative news team and evening news anchor at WRC-TV, Washington D.C. in 1967. The following year, she went on to do award winning work at The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter specializing in coverage of the urban black community. Hunter-Gault later joined The MacNeil Lehrer NewsHour as substitute anchor and national correspondent from 1983 to 1997, when she eventually left to take the position of National Public Radio’s Johannesburg-based chief correspondent in Africa. After winning a Peabody award for her coverage of the continent that year, she joined CNN as its Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent until 2005, when she left and added two more books to the two she had previously authored, including In My Place, an autobiography detailing her years leading to her entry into the University of Georgia. In 2001, The University of Georgia’s Academic Building was named for her and Hamilton Holmes and The Henry W. Grady School of Journalism has a chair named in her honor. She and her husband have created a fund for students at the university embracing part of her journalists  journey called Giving Voice to the Voiceless. A sought after lecturer and free-lance writer, she  also currently contributes to the PBS NewsHour with her pioneering series Race Matters, looking at solutions to racism.

She is married to Ronald Gault and is the Mother of two children, Suesan, a multi media artist and performer and Chuma, an actor and director. Charlayne especially enjoys Sarasota’s performing arts and is currently working with the Florida State Theater’s Suffragette Project marking the upcoming 100th anniversary of that pioneering Movement.

Women’s Resource Center and Hispanic American Association Leader, UnidosNow Member, Capital Campaign for St. Jude Chair – 15 Years

Kathy Conley Schersten grew up in the Mardi Gras capital of New Orleans, where she graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican College as a Spanish/English major. Her interest in anything and everything Hispanic led her to study at the National University of Mexico, and to teaching positions in Colombia, Venezuela and Spain. She moved to Sarasota in 1978, in time to join the ERA movement, lobbying in Tallahassee with the American Association of University Women and holding a courthouse candle light vigil to support passage of the amendment. Leadership roles in the Women’s Resource Center and Hispanic American Association gave her a platform to pursue equity, opportunity, and social justice for women, minorities and immigrants. These include undocumented high school students and New College women scholarship undergraduates. As a mentor to many Hispanic teens, her “Madrina” title is one she carries proudly. The UnidosNow organization was created for people like Kathy. She saw this and joined in its mission to elevate the lives of the first generation Hispanics in our area. She led the Capital Campaign for St. Jude and has chaired their Annual Gala Fundraiser for 15 years. Kathy has held the gavel for organizations such as The Women’s Resource Center (founding member), AAUW, Sarasota Education Foundation, Senior Friendship Centers, and the Van Wezel Advisory Board.

Non-Profit Board Member, Stuart Murray Group Founder and President, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Defense

Sandra Stuart is the Founder and President of the Stuart Murray Group (SMG) LLC. Prior to the formation of SMG in 2008, Stuart served as senior partner at Clark and Weinstock, a Washington D.C. public relations firm.

In the private sector, she represented clients in a variety of public policy areas, including technology, international relations, and nonprofits. Stuart served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Defense (DOD), and was a senior member of the White House, NSC, Department of State, CIA and DOD council on international matters. For her service, Sandi was twice awarded the DOD’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Department’s highest civilian honor. Stuart served as President of America’s Trust, is on the Board of Directors for the California State Society, and Chairs the Board of Trustees of the Florida House in Washington D.C. Stuart was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, and is on the Executive Board of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Stuart received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina.

Non-Profit Event Leader, Past President of the Sarasota Manatee Jewish Federation, Original Caseworker for the Children Protection Team in Sarasota

Patti Wertheimer moved to Sarasota with her family from Cincinnati, Ohio in 1960. After graduating from Florida International University, she began her career as a juvenile and family caseworker in Dade and Sarasota counties with the Department of Health and Children Services and was one of the original caseworkers at the Child Protection Team in Sarasota. From 2003 to 2008, Patti combined her passion for youth and Israel when she lent her professional expertise to The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. She spearheaded the Bob Malkin Young Ambassador teen leadership program, an initiative that helps local teens nurture a connection to Judaism and Israel while strengthening leadership skills. Wertheimer also served as chair of Israel@65, celebrating Israel’s 65th anniversary. Patti has served on the boards of Temple Beth Sholom, the Martin & Mildred Paver Religious School, the Flanzer Jewish Community Center, was most recently President of the Sarasota Manatee Jewish Federation. Patti has volunteered for numerous community efforts over the years, including the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Children First’s Fairy Tale Ball and All Faiths Food Bank’s Bowls of Hope. She has been happily married to her husband David for 36 years and they have three grown children, Brian (married to Vena) Steven, Sarah and one adored granddaughter, Rebecca!