Carol Jenkins Barnett of Lakeland has worked her entire life to make a difference for all of Florida’s children, giving thousands of children a better opportunity to fulfill their potential. Her generous gifts of time, talent and treasure continue to impact the lives of countless Floridians. Mrs. Barnett has served as president of Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. since 1991, and as a member of the board of directors of Publix Super Markets, since 1983.
Elmira L. Leto of Key West is the founder and CEO of Samuel’s House, Inc., the umbrella agency of two permanent supportive housing units, Kathy’s Hope and Casa de Meredith and Mary Spottswood Women’s Center, Monroe County’s only emergency shelter for homeless women and children. Samuel’s House embraces all without question and provides a second chance to displaced women, women and men with children and intact families.
Katherine Fernandez Rundle is Miami-Dade County’s and Florida’s first Cuban-American State Attorney, having been re-elected six times since 1993. She was unopposed during the 2016 election and thus began her seventh term as the County’s top law enforcement officer.
Kathleen Scott Robertson was born in Norwood, MA on May 9, 1921 to Helen and Charles Robertson, both immigrants from Scotland. Helen and Charles had 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls, with Kathleen being the 5th born. Each child was expected to help support the family so after graduating from high school, Kathleen worked as a nanny and then at a parachute factory with much of her pay going to help pay the family bills.
In her brief life, Mary Lou Baker made a difference. Born in Utah, her family moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1925. She attended Florida Southern College and Stetson Law School. In 1942, she succeeded in winning a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, becoming only the second woman to hold office in that political body. When she took her seat in the wartime 1943 Legislature, she was the only woman. Baker boldly introduced the Women’s Rights bill.