What does 'extraordinary' mean to you?
League of Extraordinary Women defy challenges, define their success.
Women rise by lifting others — and locally a team of superwomen go above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment of others. The League of Extraordinary Women (LEW) is part of the weVENTURE initiative at Florida Institute of Technology, which advocates for greater economic power for women.
The mission of LEW is to bring together area women leaders who work together to increase opportunity for other women locally and beyond. This happens through networking, mentorship and other forms of community service.
The women in the extraordinary group are high-achieving community leaders in the areas of business, philanthropy and more. Part of the strength of LEW lies in diversity — across age, industry and background — according to Erica Lemp, executive director of weVENTURE at Florida Tech.
“These women sit on boards, run businesses, and generally lift the tide for women in Brevard through their mentorship and example. When they get together, they discuss ways to impact the community through advocacy and action,” Lemp said.
Membership is extended through recommendation as current members seek to bring in other women who give back, are business or community leaders, and are committed to empowering other women.
Benefits of the program include invitations to three members-only networking events each year, a reservation to the invite-only annual Sharing the Gift of Success Celebration, a reserved seat at weVENTURE’s annual IMPACT Business and Leadership Summit, invites to exclusive Florida Tech events and more. Members also serve as mentors on weVENTURE’s Women Elevating Women initiative that connects students at Florida Tech with local women business leaders.
“The League ties into the mission of weVENTURE because it unites a community of diverse business women, philanthropists and entrepreneurs for best practice sharing, advocacy, and action,” Lemp said. “These women come together to increase the economic and social impact of Brevard businesses and non-profits. The financial support given through League membership allows us to continue building capacity for local women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.”
More information on weVENTURE’s League of Extraordinary Women is available at http://weventure.fit.edu/support/lew.php.
We asked some LEW members to answer this question: What does “extraordinary” mean to you? Here are their answers:
Nina G. Salvaggio, 26
Public Relations/ Community Communications Specialist at The Viera Company
“To me, extraordinary people are ordinary people who see opportunities in this world to effect small changes that gradually build and eventually become a change the world will notice and rejoice in. Extraordinary is something that is just that, EXTRA — it’s something or someone who goes far above and beyond the ordinary to become something so remarkable and so amazing that it deserves its own word to describe it. Extraordinary to me is a word used to describe something or someone that leaves me awestruck and speechless; it’s something that moves me to also do a little extra and push myself to do and become the extraordinary I see.”
Wendy Romeu, 43
President/CEO of Alluvionic
“An extraordinary woman is one who is extremely driven and focused to achieve her goals while staying sincere, kind and compassionate. She can identify the needs of others and strives to meet those needs in all that she undertakes. She works to go above and beyond in every aspect of her life without sacrificing integrity. She is committed to success and empowers those around her by being a positive force with strength of character, dignity and grace.”
Lila Buescher, 55
CEO and President, Gabrielle Place
“To me, extraordinary is all about choice. If we choose to take the necessary action to achieve our life dreams and goals, or to complete simple tasks unselfishly and with love and compassion, the journey will undoubtedly generate peace and heart happiness; consequently living an extraordinary life.”
Karen Montas, 40
Managing Attorney at Johnson & Montas, PA
“Extraordinary means above and beyond —‚ remarkable. In reference to the League of Extraordinary Women, the word “extraordinary” reflects the attitude of the members. These women have the remarkable ability to go above and beyond in most aspects of their lives. They are all successful businesswomen. However, it’s not those successes that make them “extraordinary”— it’s what they DO with those successes that makes them extraordinary. They all actively give their time, energy and money to charitable and philanthropic organizations. They are remarkable in their involvement in their community.”
Tina Lange, 43
PR/Marketing, Owner of Strategic Ink Public Relations
“Those who are "extraordinary" don't merely live their lives, reacting to daily challenges, doing their normal work/personal responsibilities; they go beyond that. They strive to be role models for others and to lead by example and take extra steps to help others in ways that don't benefit them personally. Extraordinary individuals are memorable — they make a positive impact on those around them — and they try to be selfless. I also believe that extraordinary people want to make a real difference, use their talents and experiences to help make the world a better place.”
Alecia Blattler, 33
Director, Workplace Giving for United Way of Brevard
“I think the meaning is in the word, itself: EXTRA-ordinary, as in “beyond ordinary.” You don’t have to be a public persona or have a prestigious job title to be an extraordinary woman (or person). In some capacity, each of us is beyond ordinary. I believe it is incumbent upon us all to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary in others, as well as ourselves. What do you love? What makes you feel purposeful and alive? What do you contribute that no one else does? In that, you are beyond ordinary. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. Use it for good.”
Kelly G. Swartz, 40
Lawyer & Partner at Widerman Malek
“I believe extraordinary people approach life with a desire to find solutions and help others along their path to extraordinariness. The ability to see a challenge, rather than a problem, and then to work to overcome that challenge is the first step. The next step is a willingness to share the knowledge gained from past experiences to help others, so we can all learn from that experience together.”
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