The Florida Forum of IWF is an invitation-only organization of more than 170 women of significant achievement. We are CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. We are elected officials, artists, attorneys, physicians and social justice leaders. We are exemplary women representing every sector.
We are committed to advancing women’s leadership and championing equality in our community. Our Forum answers high-achieving women leaders’ need for a community of diverse thinkers and values action purpose. We act on our beliefs for moving forward women through expanding leaders’ knowledge, building community in our network and fostering opportunities for leadership.
Our members invest in each other and our communities through our local dinner gatherings, pop-ups, lunch and learns, global conferences, and personal relationship building. Our aim is to increase our individual impact, multiplying our positive force in Miami Dade and Broward counties. We do this work in collaboration with our two sister chapters: Palm Beach and the Suncoast of Florida, which covers a broad area of the western state from Tampa to Naples.
Our purpose is advancing women’s leadership and championing equality.
Dear IWF Sisters:
Congratulations. This has been a tremendous year of accomplishment for our IWF sisterhood. We have excelled as leaders in business, government, community, education and much more and I am grateful to be a part of this formidable group.
As an organization, we have also achieved a long list of successes over the past twelve months through connecting, communicating, sharing experiences, and supporting one another. These core elements are crucial to our organization’s mission and the inspiration of our founder.
As I look back on my first year as Forum president, I see the strides that we have made toward this vision by making connection and communication an integral part of all our efforts. I am excited to share some of our achievements in four areas, 1) our record number of new members, 2) key organizational changes, 3) robust programming and events and 4) planning for our future. Here are a few highlights:
- One of our biggest successes this year has been welcoming a record 33 new members, building upon the already amazing depth and breadth of our Forum. This impressive new group of leaders reinforces what already makes our organization so strong: an incredibly diverse mix of talent, drive and intellect unique to Miami.
- Moved the Forum from a fiscal year to a calendar year, changed the banking relationship and opened up a Zelle account. These changes will result in greater efficiency for our Forum.
- Updated the Forum’s Strategic Plan to drive a more systematic process to define and deliver on our most important goals and objectives.
- Established a weekly newsletter with the goal of consolidating and streamlining communication and completed a member survey that produced data that will help serve our Forum in the future.
- Hosted nearly 30 in-person and/or Zoom events, which was critical to reconnect and reengage after more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. These included leading panel discussions on pressing issues such as the Dobbs decision by SCOTUS, Climate change with an expert from The Aspen Institute and Decrypting Crypto with Mayor Suarez. Our first-ever Mother’s Day Dine Around was truly enjoyable and will become a tradition. Immense thanks to all the chairs and committee volunteers who made each of these events and achievements a success.
- Formed the Leadership Fellows Committee with a generous gift from Toni Randolph. This program elevates and enables outstanding women to maximize contributions to their companies, communities, and the world.
- Launched a first-time collaboration with the other Florida Forums to establish the Women Corporate Directors Initiative. I am thrilled about this effort’s mission to help outstanding women find their deserving place on corporate boards. In particular, we are targeting Florida-based companies on the esteemed Russell 3000 list.
Each one of these successes was the result of our Forum’s Board and vast collective talent and teamwork of our members.
As we continue to engage, participate, cooperate -- connect and communicate – we are poised to achieve an even more impressive list of accomplishments.
Thank you again for making our Forum a powerful sisterhood of success.
A Message from the President
Dear IWF Sisters,
As I embark on my term as President, I am excited for the year ahead and humbled to serve as President of our IWF Florida Forum. I follow in the footsteps of so many accomplished women who have left their indelible mark on our organization and community.
I am ready to lead our members into a year that will open the door to a renewed sense of fellowship following one of the most challenging and unprecedented periods of our lifetime.
I am also excited about the opportunities before us. Our sisterhood has proven unbreakable over the past eighteen months, and I know that the new methods for engagement and connectivity will continue to build upon that foundation.
As we look ahead, our organization and community will face no shortage of ongoing challenges. Nevertheless, I am encouraged about our future – primarily because of our recent successes.
While this past year was historically trying, it was also a banner year for women and their accomplishments around the world in politics, business, science and all sectors. Just here in our South Florida sisterhood, there are so many firsts and successes to celebrate. Our friend and fellow IWF sister Daniella Levine-Cava rose to become Miami-Dade County’s first woman Mayor. Alina Hudak, became the first woman City Manager for Miami Beach. Madeline Pumariega, became the first female president to lead Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education in the country. And Monica Richardson, became the first black Executive Director in the Miami Herald’s 117-Year history. No doubt, our founder, Elly Guggenheimer, would have been proud.
One of IWF’s core tenets reads “We believe our power lies in our unity.” This unity means support… personally, professionally…outside of our forum and within. Among the almost 200 members in our forum today, we have an immense pool of talent, and our unique blend of South Florida diversity. This makes our group rich, strong, and special.
In the coming IWF year, I am optimistic that our chapter will return to in-person events and programming. Our Chairs and Co-Chairs of the Dine Around, Live & Learn, and Diversity & Inclusion Committees have planned a year of engaging, thought-provoking activities via Zoom and in-person settings featuring special guests and speakers. Opportunities to come together are invaluable and are part of our core mission. We gather to share knowledge, ideas, enrich each other’s lives and provide a network of support. We unite to create possibilities for each other and the next generation of women leaders.
I look forward to working with each of you to continuing our mission to create connections that will lead to endless returns in our personal and professional lives.
Lastly, let’s not forget that we are part of an organization with more than 7,000 diverse and accomplished women from 33 nations on six continents. Let us continue to shape a future in which leadership is equipped to transform the world regardless of gender!
Expanding Leaders' Knowledge and Skills
Our international educational and leadership development experiences, including our Fellows Program and IWF Intensive program, build the knowledge, contacts and skills to address the world’s greatest challenges. These programs strengthen women’s capabilities for today and tomorrow. Through them, we invest in making women stronger, smarter and more influential.
Connecting Leaders for Excellence and Impact
This global network of innovative thinkers creates a powerful exchange built on trust. We convene different perspectives that inspire and increase imagination for what’s possible, most notably at our annual World Leadership and Cornerstone conferences. Our leaders are stronger and more effective than they would be individually, benefiting from the experience of outstanding peers from other industries, countries and generations.
Accelerating and Mobilizing Emerging Leaders
We cultivate leaders. We inspire, elevate and enable the next generation to carry on the work of transforming the world. These are the leaders of the future, and the responsibility to equip and empower them is more urgent than ever.
We believe that the intractable challenges we face can only be solved if women attain their equal place and status – if women share their diverse perspectives, contribute different styles of leadership and present new solutions only they can develop
We believe the potential for women is unlimited and opportunities should be, as well.
We believe an investment in women is an investment in the future
We believe that our power lies in our unity
We believe in transferring knowledge and momentum to the leaders of tomorrow to improve our world – to energize, demand and accelerate the imperative of change.
We connect and cultivate long-lasting friendships – we support each other in an environment built upon trust.
We elevate the next generation today to become leaders tomorrow.
That’s why we champion equality.
The story of the International Women’s Forum began when Elinor “Elly” Guggenheimer – chair of the New York City Planning Commission – went to a meeting in Philadelphia. When she arrived, she was told that the only women allowed in the building were waitresses and maids. Determined to participate, Elly found a maid’s uniform, put it on and took her rightful place at the table. At that moment, she knew something had to change.
In 1974, Elly established the organization that grew to become IWF. She had three partners in this endeavor: Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange; Eleanor Holmes Norton, now Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives representing the District of Columbia; and Muriel Fox, one of the first female public relations executives and founder of NOW.
Their stated goal: “Bring together women of diverse accomplishments and provide them with a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences.”
At the time, women were just beginning to break into the highest levels of leadership. One woman ascended the Fortune 500 list with the first female CEO as another woman was about to scale Mount Everest.
Today, we are those CEOs and mountain climbers. We are Nobel Laureates and sports legends; entrepreneurs and film stars; astronauts, prime ministers and presidents.
We support the emerging leaders of tomorrow who will achieve breakthroughs that cannot yet be imagined.
After nearly 50 years, we continue to bring together the world’s most high-achieving women. We connect and promote more than 7,000 leaders across 33 countries around the world. We are truly global.