Women of Distinction

Friday, November 18, 2022  |  11:15 a.m.
Signature Grand
6900 W State Rd 84, Davie, FL 33317


Women of Distinction honors and celebrates women leaders in South Florida chosen by the community and selected by an esteemed committee of past recipients and distinguished women leaders with a complement of events that culminate with a grand luncheon. This legacy event has honored over 260 women innovators, influencers, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs that have effected change in the community and beyond. Women of Distinction is a platform to honor women leaders and a networking opportunity to connect with leaders throughout South Florida.



2022 Event Emcee
Laurie Jennings
President, Laurie Jennings LIVE
March of Dimes longtime supporter and 2019 Honoree

Laurie Jennings is a 6-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and media expert. She has hosted national TV programs and been a trusted anchor in Cleveland, Boston and Miami over the past 30 years. She recently stepped away from the evening news desk at WPLG-TV to enjoy more flexibility for her family and launch her own media company, Laurie Jennings LIVE. She is now on air in commercials, online moderating live virtual events and serving as a trusted corporate spokesperson. 

2022 CHAIR

For nearly three years, Shannon Ballet has proudly served as Vice President of Marketing at Time4Learning, an award-winning online PreK-12 homeschool curriculum that is a part of the Cam- bum Learning® Group family of educational prod- ucts. Her journey at Time4Learning began in Janu- ary 2020, just before COVID-19 changed the world. Seemingly overnight, the pandemic trans- formed the way teachers, students and parents interacted with Prek-12 education. Throughout the pandemic, Shannon and her team remained committed to helping parents and students who were thrusted into this new reality and concerned about their children falling behind academically. She is driven by the idea that every student has unlimited potential, that par- ents and teachers matter, and that data, instruction, and practice are the keys to success in the home, classroom, and beyond.

Successful at building and leading teams that champion positive change, Shannon balances business needs with human and technology solutions. Curating highly effective marketing programs, powered by automation and business intelligence, she moves easily from vision and strategy, to imple- mentation and measurement - bringing the science to the art of marketing. Shannon has leveraged data and tech to optimize each stage of the custom- er journey during the accelerated growth period hyper-charged by the global pandemic. Through her multi-pronged approach to data-driven marketing, Shannon has helped Time4Learning, and homeschooling in general, transi- tion from a niche educational model to a well-known and mainstream school choice option. Shannon graduated from Florida International University's College of Busi- ness, and then earned her master's from Nova Southeastern University. She currently resides in Miami with her three daughters Emily, Sidney, and Sienna. She is humbled to be recognized as a March of Dimes 2021 Women of Distinction honoree, and for the work she cares so deeply about and will for years to come.

Ambassador Family

Like many expectant parents, Jennifer and Chris were excited about growing their family. That changed when their baby, Amelia, arrived at only 7 1/2 months weighing just 4 pounds, 10 ounces. She suffered from
respiratory distress and spent her 2 weeks fighting for life in a Neonate Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

It was a difficult time for the Yeary family. The NICU can be frightening and overwhelming for parents, especially when they must leave each night without their baby.

After 12 days in the NICU, Amelia was finally able to come home. Today, she is 1 years old and loves to dance, play, and spend time with her big sister, Charlotte.

Like Amelia, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the U.S. each year. For more than 80 years, March of Dimes has helped every family get the best possible start, which is even more critical today.
“Serving as an ambassador family and sharing our story lets us show our gratitude for the work of March of Dimes that has helped so many babies like Amelia,” says Jennifer and Chris. “We support March of Dimes as they help get us closer to a world where no mom or dad has to experience what we did.”


2022 Honorees


Amy Mahaney

Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of American National Bank

Amanda Poro

Medical Director of Clinical Effectiveness and Complex Care Programs at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Carla Albano

Author of Soul of a Swimmer

Daria Salyakina Ph.D.

Director of Personalized Medicine and Health Outcomes Research Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Eileen LaMarca

Vice President of Development The LaMarca Group

Dr. Kimberlee Coleman-Henderson

Regional Director South Florida OB Hospitalist Envision Physician Services

Madeleine Thakur

President Children’s Movement of Florida

Melida Akiti

Vice President of Ambulatory and Community Services Memorial Healthcare System

Melissa Dunn

Vice Mayor City of Lauderhill

Michele DiSorbo, LMHC

Regional Executive Director Camelot Community Care

Nichole Salisbury, R.N., IBCLC

Lactation Consultant BHCS Lactation Center Broward Health Coral Springs


Through partnerships with companies, organizations and individuals, March of Dimes is able to create unique moments for your clients, vendors and leadership teams. Sponsorship opportunities provide you with brand recognition, civic engagement and an exclusive client entertainment opportunity within the event. We look forward to working with you to discuss your partnership with March of Dimes. Please email Linda Tran at [email protected] or call  954-477-8144 to learn more! 



View our updated event acknowledgements and waivers here.