West Palm Beach, Fla. – November 5, 2022 – In the four decades since its inception, Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation, Inc. (EWPBF) has affected the lives of countless women and their families. On October 25, 2022, a few of those women took the podium at its 2022 Fall Luncheon to say “thank you.”
Among the speakers were Palm Beach Atlantic University President Dr. Debra Schwinn, Palm Beach State College President Dr. Ava Parker and Nechama Deana Karp, once an Executive Women scholarship recipient and now a Control Center supervisor for Florida Power & Light. Dr. Schwinn and Dr. Parker spoke about how the annual EWPBF scholarships support not only its female students, but also the institutions as a whole, by providing hope, encouragement and successful graduates.
But Karp went a step further by sharing how EWPBF inspired her to start her own nonprofit, once she graduated Florida Atlantic University with a degree in electrical engineering. She recalled a particularly hard day, in which she was juggling work, school work and parenting, when she learned that she had received a much-needed scholarship.
“I thought it was a prank,” she said. “Then I found out a woman in FAU’s Engineering Department had nominated me. All I had to do was attend a luncheon to say thank you to this organization of amazing women. (The nominator) reminded me that I was the one doing the hard work. Once I was in the room, surrounded by kind, smiling people, it inspired me to pay it forward.”
The luncheon was held at the West Palm Beach Marriott to celebrate the impact of the grant and scholarship programs. This season marks a milestone for the organization commemorating its 40th anniversary. It was founded in 1982 to provide a place and voice to the professional women who make up the business community of Palm Beach County. Through scholarships and the Lois Kwasman Community Grant, which funds local non-profit programs that assist women and girls who are in need in developing life skills, EWPB has changed career trajectories.
Barbara Stark, executive director/CEO of the Milagro Center in Delray Beach, shared how EWPBF’s funding of its “Girls Go Build” after-school and out-of-school program has exposed young women to careers in construction and landscape design. Working with mentors from local construction companies, program participants have built a deck, picnic tables and planters. They also have cultivated and maintained a garden for the planters. Their next project will involve working with Habitat for Humanity to build two cases for a food pantry, which will be stocked by other Milagro students, Stark said. The “Girls Go Build” program has inspired the next generation of female construction professionals.
“I am very proud to be a part of such an amazing organization that recognizes the needs of young women,” said EWPBF President Katie Klause-Newitt. “Our goal, since inception, is to help these women to push themselves to succeed in their dreams. Our hope is that they remain in Palm Beach County to be the next business leaders for the next 40 years and beyond.”
The next EWPB event will be its annual Holiday Party, held December 9, 2022, at The Club at Admirals Cove, 200 Admirals Cove Blvd., Jupiter, FL 33477. The event is open to the public, and tickets are available at www.ewpb.org.
Empowering women to succeed and lead, the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit professional association that inspires integrity, equality and leadership in the workplace and community. To learn more, visit www.ewpb.org.