2017 Women’s History Month

The National Women’s History Month Theme -- Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business

The Broward County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will observe National Women’s History Month, March 1st – 31st with a proclamation presentation from the County Commission, Governmental Center, March 28th, 10AM, Commission Chambers, Room 422. To further celebrate National Women’s History Month, an exhibit will be featured in the Governmental Center lobby, 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, to honor these business leaders whose achievements and contributions have expanded women’s participation in commerce and their power in the paid labor force.


Meet the Women Labor and Business Leaders of Broward County​ ​

Katherine Birnbaum

Katherine Birnbaum is a partner at Birnbaum, Lippman, & Gregoire. She has practiced exclusively in the area of marital and family law for approximately 20 years and is AV® Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Katherine is a Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney. Marital and Family Law Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. In addition to her certification as a specialist in marital and family law, she is a Certified Family Law Mediator. Katherine also receives appointments from the 17th Judicial Circuit Court as a Special Magistrate.

Katherine is the author of “Equitable Distribution and Special Equities,” Florida Dissolution of Marriage, and co-authored “Representing a Spouse Accused of Domestic Violence in Divorce Proceedings,” American Journal of Family Law, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer 1998). Katherine also lectures, including for the Broward County Family Law Section, the workshop series in Forensic and Behavioral Criminology on Child Custody Evaluations and Family Assessments, Nova Southeastern University Spring 2006 and the Family Law Litigation Workshop, Nova Southeastern University.

Her broader community work includes serving on the Executive Counsel of Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc. and also served as the co-Chair of “For the Public Good” 2006, 2007 and 2009. She served as Chair of the Broward County Bar Association Family Law Section, in 2001, a board member for The Stephen R. Booher American Inn of Court from 2005-2014, and a Board Member for the Broward County Women Lawyer’s Association in 1995 -1996. Katherine has been listed as a Super Lawyer for every year since 2009 and was recognized as one of the “Top Fifty Women Lawyers” across all practice areas by Florida Super Lawyers (2014).

​Sarah Franco

Sarah Franco

Sarah Franco is the founding Executive Director of Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options (JAFCO) in Broward County. JAFCO was created to fill an unmet child welfare need in the Jewish community and proudly serves any child or family in need. Over the past 25 years, JAFCO has grown from a one person grass roots foster care, adoption and family preservation agency with an annual budget of $50,000 to a major child welfare agency with a staff of 140 employees with an annual budget of $8.5 million dollars. The organization provides an entire continuum of support and residential services to abused and neglected children and those with developmental disabilities. In 2002, along with the dedicated staff and the Board of Directors of JAFCO, Sarah opened the Children’s Village providing either emergency shelter or group home placement for children from birth to age 21. In 2014, the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center was created providing family enrichment, support and respite services to special needs families. As part of our effort to expand JAFCO outside of Florida, they are now officially licensed to provide foster care and adoption in the greater Philadelphia area.

Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor’s Degree from York University, Toronto, Canada.

She is a second generation Holocaust Survivor and has one son. She was born in Israel and has lived in Toronto, Canada. She has dedicated her entire career to serving abused and neglected children in her local community and feels the words of Anne Frank best describe the meaning of life saying, “How wonderful it is, that one need not wait a single moment, before starting to improve the world.”

Marcie Gershoni

Marcie Gershoni

Marcie Gershoni, president of Community cable Consultants, is an experienced Cable professional. Marcie worked as an account executive for one of the largest Cable Providers, Comcast Cable, and then moved into the Cable Consulting field. During Marcie's time at Comcast, she recognized the need on the part of Board Associations for an experienced partner to assist them in navigating and negotiating the most beneficial cable and Internet agreements for their communities. Today, the important infrastructure upgrades that need to be addressed is beyond the scope of knowledge for many board members. Rather than representing the Cable provider’s interest, Marcie is concerned with what best serves the wants and needs of Broward residents in Community Associations.

Marcie formed Community Cable Consultants, LLC (CCC), with the desire to help communities, to make sure Homeowner and Condominium Associations have a representative only concerned with their needs and best interests. CCC represents and works solely on behalf of local Associations, not with builders or developers, which sets them apart in the Broadband Consulting industry. Marcie's 20+ year background at McGraw-Hill Construction, as well as her years in the cable industry, provides her with an understanding of the fiber infrastructure and technology needs that should be considered as associations move forward into the future.

Andrea McDowell JohnBaptiste

​Andrea McDowell JohnBaptiste

As CEO of Axum Management Capabilities, Inc., a South Florida-based global business development firm, Andrea JohnBaptiste leads a team of Knowledge Brokers© in managing projects for businesses, nonprofits and organizations. Her background in planning, systems design, public relations, training and organizational development, allows her to lend her skills to an array of projects to help businesses grow. She is particularly passionate about serving alongside small and start-up businesses and engaging in endeavors focused on the underserved.

Andrea has provided one-on-one business consulting and project support to a diverse range of clientele including global organizations such as: Pearson, Digicel and Siemens Industries. Infrastructure development, fundraising, training, social media and event management are a sample of the services provided to small, mid and large businesses. In addition, grant writing, board development, policy and procedure development are some of the consultative services provided to non-profit organizations such as the Broward Healthy Start Coalition, Broward County Minority Builders Coalition and Broward County Public Schools.

Andrea has served as a radio personality for 95.9FM WBIG; where she hosted the JB Bizline – a weekly show for entrepreneurs and/or those aspiring to entrepreneurship. In bringing information to her community, Andrea has engaged and interviewed national business experts, best-selling authors and international Artistes.

Andrea is a past chair of the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women- appointed by Broward County Commissioners Lieberman and Kiar. Andrea was a 2014 nominee for the National Women’s History Project: Women of Courage, Women of Character- as a Trailblazer and Pioneer- recognized for entrepreneurship, leadership and fundraising.

Karen Pandy-Cherry

Karen Pandy-Cherry

Karen Pandy-Cherry graduated from St. Thomas University Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership & Group Communications from Trinity International University. She owns Refresh Live, a Food, Education and Lifestyle Company which addresses her work combating economic inequality and social justice issues. Karen is the Board Vice Chair of the L.A. Lee YMCA, Mentorship Chair of New Leaders Council-Broward, and Author for the New Leaders Council Millennial Compact for America.

She is an honoree for the 2017 Women of Distinction Award presented by the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce. Karen is wife to Chef Chad Cherry and mother of three children, Kytana, Kyrsten and Zyon.

Pamella Reid

Pamella Reid

For the last four years, Pamella Reid has been actively involved in the enrichment and education of children throughout Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach counties. She is the Executive Director and Founder of Dreamcatchers for the Soul Foundation, Inc. a wellness organization for children that focuses on Mind, Body and Soul. Her goal is to provide tools that foster self-discovery, hope, discipline, and respect for self and others. These tools include Mindfulness, Yoga, and the art of Qi (feeling energy). A large part of her mission is to provide access to healthy, nutritional food choices and active lifestyles.

Pamella earned her Bachelor of Science degree at SUNY Purchase College, Westchester, NY and worked on her Masters in Television Production at Brooklyn College, NY. She received a ministerial license from Sedona University and is a science of Mind Healing Practitioner. She is owner and managing partner of her own Executive Search Firm, PER Consulting Services. Inc. Her specialties: Staffing, Recruiting, Executive Search, Original Research, Name Generation, Candidate Development Exercises, Strategic Online Sourcing, Comprehensive Succession Benchmarking Studies, and Competitive Intelligence.

In low-income schools, traumatic stress is a reality for millions of children who grow up in an overbearing climate of poverty, violence, and fear. This stress impedes learning and undermines physical and mental health. The children of today are the leaders of the future. Pamela believes that mindfulness and yoga could shape their tomorrows for the better. Today’s children are faced with a world that includes high stakes standardized testing and a national obsession with social media, high tech gadgets, fast-food and counterproductive reality shows. They don’t know what it means to sit still, to be focused, to breathe, to acknowledge their feelings or to be fully present. Pamela is committed to excellence in education, and the success of everyone who is enriched by Dreamcatchers for the Soul Foundation, Inc.

Danielle Rosse

Danielle Rosse

Defying all norms of first impressions, Danielle Rosse proves that looks and age can truly be deceiving. This charming 36-year-old is a savvy entrepreneur, a dedicated working mother and a fiercely keen leader focused in continually seeking to perfect the art of hospitality for her guests.
Danielle was just 22 and recently widowed when she first opened Oceans 234 in 2001. As Director of Operations, she transformed what was once a sleepy oceanfront diner into the alluring waterfront dining escape that Oceans 234 is recognized as today. In 2013, she purchased the restaurant to become the sole owner of the establishment and in 2015 the restaurant underwent a massive $1.8 million dollar renovation to elevate the guest’s experience.
This respected restauranteur also ensures to give back to the industry that she loves so dearly. Danielle sits on the board of directors for both the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce. She was named 2011 Coconut Creek Small Business Person of the Year; 2013 Soroptimist International Woman of Distinction; and in 2014 she was named the South Florida Business Journal Influential Woman of the Year.

Community involvement is rooted in the culture of Oceans 234 with connections in numerous non-profit organizations. Oceans 234 has been a huge supporter of Surfers for Autism (SFA) for the last five years, as well as assisting Woman In Distress since 2010 with their annual clothing drive which continues to grow each year. The restaurant also host’s an annual St. Baldricks shave-a-thon raising over $20,000 to date. Danielle also supports the Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed Neighborhood Initiative program that promotes the employment of at-risk youth during the summer months by having students intern at Oceans 234. Last year alone, she donated over $20,000 in auction items for various charities and nonprofit groups.