Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation; Amanda Horne, co-owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bay; and Dr. Jan Pullen, head of school at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School are honored for their outstanding contributions to the community. The event also included a tribute to the organization’s founder and lifetime supporter Janet Entwistle.
(Sarasota-Manatee, FL) Ashley Brown, president and CEO of the Women’s Resource Center, recognized three 2017 “Wonder Women” at the organization’s annual Founders’ Legacy Luncheon on May 5 at the IMG Academy Golf Club in Bradenton. Brown also paid tribute to the organization’s founder Jan Entwistle who died in October. Bonnie Tyler, the 67-year-old inventor of the Negg™Maker, the first ever hand-held hardboiled egg peeler, served as keynote speaker for the event.
As Brown explained, “Wonder Women” are “women leaders who have made outstanding contributions in volunteer and/or professional activities in the areas of business, community leadership, education, healthcare, entrepreneurship, or lifetime achievement.” This year’s Wonder Women are Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation; Dr. Jan Pullen, head of school at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School; and Amanda Horne, co-owner of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar.
“Amanda Horne is an extraordinarily active community leader within Manatee and Sarasota counties who has worked tirelessly for causes she feels most passionately about—women, girls and education,” says Brown. “As a volunteer, she’s volunteered and served on committees for hundreds of charitable events over the years, including Planned Parenthood, USF, PACE Center for Girls, and the Manatee Community Foundation.” Brown adds that this summer Horne and her husband John will initiate a new program that will bring low-income children to the Anna Maria Oyster Bar to enjoy breakfast and be matched with educational mentors prior to going off to their summer day programs.
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Jan Pullen dedicated herself to serving Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School. “Under Jan’s leadership, Saint Stephen’s has added an upper school building, an award-winning, eco-friendly middle school building, a state-of-the-art athletic complex, and the high-tech Marine Science Center,” says Brown. “Students interact on a regular basis via the internet with classrooms in more than 20 countries. Jan personally initiated this global program by visiting and connecting with schools in Tanzania and China.”
As executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation, Susie Bowie has “continuously worked towards goals of creating innovative sources of fundraising and strengthening the foundation’s relationship with the community,” says Brown. “The Manatee Community Foundation recently joined other area foundations as a supporting partner for the C4, the Consortium of College on the Creative Coast, which includes New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida, and the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. The C4 works together to cross register students and offer possibilities that strengthen student opportunities. Susie gives her free time, treasures and talents to a host of local organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters.”
The event also included a tribute to WRC Manatee center founder and lifetime supporter, Janet Entwistle. Brown adds that she was especially touched to honor Entwistle, a “trailblazer, whose passion and vision for the Women’s Resource Center will live on through the life-changing work done there every day. Jan was the most positive person you can imagine. Her can-do attitude made her a successful financial adviser for Merrill Lynch for 37 years and her selfless serving helped instill the confidence in thousands of area women going through transition.”
The keynote address was by entrepreneur Bonnie Tyler, the 67-year-old inventor of the Negg™Maker, the first ever hand-held hardboiled egg peeler. Tyler’s speech, “Age Doesn’t Matter,” touched on her experience. “Age really doesn’t matter,” she said. “Actually, being older has its benefits. I’m no longer afraid to ask questions, or to look foolish by clearly showing a lack of knowledge. I fully believe determination and having the will to succeed is the bigger part of the equation.”
About the Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and supporting women during all life stages and circumstances. Ongoing programs are offered in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton, and include career coaching and development, health and wellness workshops, yoga and mindfulness classes, mental health counseling, peer resource advising, mentoring, and family law information. To learn more, visit www.thewomensresourcecenter.org.