Women’s Chamber Of Commerce Is Not Your Mother’s Chamber

Chamber Manager Selena Smith, Chamber President LeAnna Carey and Board Member James Gelfand.

The Women’s Chamber of Commerce began its new fiscal year with the statement, “This isn’t your mother’s chamber,” said newly installed Chamber President LeAnna Carey, founder of Women Who Innovate. “It is going to take more than 200 years for gender parity to take place, and that is unacceptable. Gender parity is a business issue, not a woman’s issue; we need male advocates in our workplaces. The Women’s Chamber looks forward to making our dent. That is why we have elected our first male to the board.”

Since being installed at the National Croquet Club in July, the board and members have not looked back.

“We must work together to create an environment of equal opportunities. Men must be willing to change business cultures and address the barriers that prevent female advancement,” said James Gelfand, executive manager of Sandhill Crane Golf Club and the first ever man on the chamber’s board. “Women mean business. There is not a better time than now for men and women to work together to create new opportunities and gender equality for future generations. We should utilize all of our human talent to stay competitive.”

The 2018-19 executive board members are: President LeAnna Carey, First Vice President Lorin Romeo Romay, Second Vice President Valerie Dorsey, Secretary Toni May, Treasurer Mary Elias and Immediate Past President Heather Gray.

Members of the board of directors include: Kelsey Burke, Jessica Gross, Cynthia Heathcoe, Dede Lyons, Amy Murphy, CaraJoy Nash, Nicole Rymer and James Gelfand.

New board members were just the tip of the iceberg for this 24-year-old organization. The first event of the season was a networking mixer at Contemporary Living that revealed the organization’s new logo created by Sallie Colas, and spearheaded by CaraJoy Nash of She’s Online.

The organization followed up the mixer with a luncheon “Understanding the Judicial System and Leadership Journeys” moderated by Deputy Inspector General Kalinthia Dillard and a sold-out Dancing With Our Stars featuring dances by Jill and Rich Switzer of Legends Radio, Anne Marie Sorrell of the Mosaic Group, Toni May with MayMedia and meteorologist Chris Farrell, who also served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Events scheduled this year include an update on the opioid epidemic with State Attorney Dave Aronberg, understanding the November ballot items, a day at Art Basel in Miami, New Year New You cooking demonstrations, Sip and Shops and the 24th annual Giraffe Awards luncheon celebrating Women’s History Month in March.

The Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County was founded in 1994 by businesswomen who envisioned building the chamber into the leading business organization for women in Palm Beach County.

For more information about the chamber and events, visit www.womenschamber.biz.