Fort Lauderdale, Fl. – March 25, 2024 – The recent Women’s Empowerment Conference (WEC) hosted by the Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF) at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa was nothing short of spectacular, leaving an indelible mark on the over 350 women who attended. An array of distinguished speakers graced this year’s conference, each bringing unique stories of triumph, resilience, and empowerment.

The stunning setting of the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa served as the perfect backdrop for this empowering event, blending the beauty of nature with the spirit of empowerment and sisterhood that defines JWOF.

Tessanne Chin, the powerhouse voice and winner of NBC’s The Voice, alongside Cindy Breakspeare, a trifecta beauty contest winner and mother of the multi-Grammy winner Junior Gong Marley, captivated the audience with their inspiring journeys. Dr. Camelia Lawrence, a skilled breast surgeon and the first Black female to don the iconic red ringmaster jacket of the PT Barnum circus, along with Sara Misir, the Caribbean’s only female Formula driver, shared words of inspiration and encouragement, urging attendees to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

JWOF demonstrated its commitment to nurturing the next generation by awarding scholarships to two deserving students, including the prestigious Broward Meat & Fish Award. Plus, a Legacy Scholarship, generously provided by JWOF member Valrie Simpson and family, was given in honor of her mother, Bertha Simpson.

NEW JWOF BOARD – L-R Aisha Rainford, President, Natasha Wright, Next Gen Director, Noya Hastings – Ritchie, Secretary, Debbie Dickinson, Director at Large – Legal, Michelle Williamson, Vice President, Caren Muir, direct at Large, Pauline Foster, Treasurer

But the accolades didn’t stop there. The city of Lauderhill honored JWOF with a Proclamation, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the community. And in a symbolic passing of the torch, Janice McIntosh handed over the presidency to Aisha Rainford, marking the beginning of a new era for JWOF. In her farewell remarks, McIntosh shared, “As I pass this baton, I do so with pride and confidence, knowing that we have laid a foundation strong enough to support the dreams and aspirations of countless women. Our journey together has been one of profound growth and impact, and I look forward to seeing the heights JWOF will reach under new leadership.” The new Board was sworn in by Judge Jackie Powell in a ceremony that symbolized the beginning of a new chapter for JWOF.

Cathy Goodall chaired the conference excellently, her management ensured a seamless and enriching experience for all attendees. The event featured over 19 vendors, providing a vibrant marketplace for attendees to explore and support local businesses. Entertainment was a highlight of the conference, with DJ Fergie setting the mood, a Photobooth capturing memories, carnival dancers bringing the energy, and a steelpan drummer adding a touch of Caribbean flair.

This year’s WEC was a testament to the power of women supporting women, and the enduring impact of JWOF’s mission to empower, enlighten, and uplift.