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Celebrating South Florida’s Prestigious Women

Giving thanks to all our honorees for being the leaders who make South Florida a better place.

After reading the profiles for SFBW’s Prestigious Women Awards, my first reaction is “Wow.” Our region is truly fortunate to have this amazing, talented collection of female leaders. It further reinforces what I experienced during the recent SFBW CEO Connect, “On the Heels of Success,” which is in the May issue of the magazine. The panel had four confident strong leaders, who are fully capable at handling the slights and attitudes of anybody standing in their way.

In reading through the awards profiles, it is gratifying to see women leading the way in fields that were traditionally male dominated. There are still profiles where women can point out, though, that they are a small minority in their chosen profession. It’s a slow steady grind to make change happen and I’m sure the journey isn’t done yet.

I think to my youth when Diahann Carroll played “Julia.” I had no idea that it was groundbreaking in showing an African American woman in a non-stereotypical lead role. (I just liked the show.) I loved Bea Arthur’s character “Maude,” as a strong woman who was not afraid to offer her opinions. I enjoyed watching Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes,” because he just seemed like a jerk. He got what was coming to him.

A slogan from an advertising commercial also popped in my head after reading the profiles, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”  A VOA article describes it this way, “The ad campaign successfully captured the zeitgeist of the United States at that time with an image of a confident, tall, slender, pants suit-wearing woman on the go, mirroring the country’s mainstream awareness of the women’s rights movement, led by feminist Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and many other activists.”

If the journey of women leaders is a marathon, I’m not sure how many miles they have to go, but they have come a long way.

Women have been busy rewriting career narratives and charting pathways that were uncommon just a few decades ago. (I think about the largely stereotypical occupations women had when I was growing up in a small Midwestern city.) Moreover, the great women leaders I know are more than just about empowering themselves and women. They are about empowering everyone in their organizations, their children and, well, everyone they touch.

I’ve seen during my career how the best women leaders carry on with intelligence, street smarts, savviness, wit, grit, determination and grace. They not only inspire women, but guys like me. I would not be the man I am without the key female mentors in my life.

In these times of divisiveness, great women leaders still find a way to project diversity and inclusivity. There’s an openness in their approach.

I am fortunate at Lifestyle Media Group to work with an amazing group of female leaders. Brandi, Monica, Mel, Michelle and Kim, here’s to you!

Thanks to all of the honorees for being the leaders that you are and for making South Florida a better place!

Make sure to check out a video recap of the event and all the photos from the luncheon.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.