South Florida’s most influential business leaders gathered to attend the semi-annual “Extraordinary Women Leading Change” (EWLC) Leadership Conference, which has been a key platform for the EWLC inclusion movement focusing on gender collaboration in the C-Suite and in the command chain. The conference took place onboard Celebrity Reflection, from Celebrity Cruises, while docked at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on April 22nd.

GCI Worldwide Corporation and Celebrity Cruises hosted the Conference alongside partners such as T-ROC Global, Mass Mutual, Tenet Healthcare, Walgreens, UBS Financial Services, The South Florida Business Journal, Merrill Lynch, among others. “EWLC” also supports PACE Center for Girls, as part of its mission to foster the next generation of women leaders. Part of the proceeds benefit PACE.

Giselle Cheminand, Founder of the movement and President & CEO of GCI Worldwide Corporation, was joined by a top tier panel of business leaders including: Jeffrey Welch, CEO, Tenet Healthcare Miami Dade Group, Pamela Rauch, VP of External Affairs & Economic Development, FPL, Brett Beveridge, CEO, T-ROC Global, Teri Kaye, Partner, Daszkal & Bolton, Ginger Martin, President & CEO of American National Bank and “EWLC” Executive Board Chairwoman, Robert Covino, Head of SF Market, UBS Financial Services and Kathleen Bocek, Sr. VP of People, Places & Administration, Modernizing Medicine.
Leaders shared their perspectives on the benefits of gender inclusion in leadership roles, as well as how to be positioned as an influential leader, fine-tuning leadership skills, building strategic alliances and growing businesses. “We need cooperation and unity more than ever now especially in leadership roles. Leaders have a significant impact on creating space for diversity and inclusion; which is the key to higher level success and results,” says Cheminand.

The conference also included tributes to two esteemed awardees; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO, Celebrity Cruises, EWLC Chairwoman of the Advisory Board, and Susie Levan, President & CEO, Susie Levan & Associates. Lutoff-Perlo, who has led record financial performance for Celebrity Cruises and has been at the forefront of promoting women leaders on land and at sea, deeply understands the importance of this movement. “Gender inclusion is part of our culture, especially when it comes to leadership roles. Through the EWLC movement we are sharing strategies so more leaders can benefit from collaboration and become more successful,” she says.

The EWLC conference is in its 7th year of year-over-year growth and attracts participants from top organizations including Walgreens, Lockheed Martin, T-ROC Global, VITAS, Tenet Health Corporation, Celebrity Cruises, Mass Mutual, FPL, IBM, Wells Fargo, UPS, MasterCard, UDT, UBS Financial Services, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, BBX Capital, among many others.

Many attendees of the conference expressed their gratitude and shared many kind words that they took away from the experience:

“Determination, perseverance, never think you can’t do a job. Gender inclusion is not a movement it’s a must.” Vivian Ripak- Clinical Pharmacy supervisor at Walgreens

“Beside wishing I was here sooner. So many great leaders, such caring- everything I believe in.”
Randy Brandon- Senior Director of Talent Acquisition – T-ROC

“Great experience very motivational” Cristina Celdran– Registered Group Manager-Walgreens

“I want to be more involved in the community, Lisa and Susie were extremely inspirational” Missy Fierman – Senior Vice president Wealth Management – UBS

“The entire day was a gift” Marian Hoover- Nurse- Sikorsky Aircraft