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Women of Distinction is Girl Scouts of Gateway Council's signature fundraising event to honor outstanding women in Northeast Florida for their professional accomplishments, service to others and community impact.

The 2020 Women of Distinction Jacksonville event has been postponed. Tickets and sponsorships are still available. We look forward to celebrating with you when the event is rescheduled!

Adam W. Herbert University Center
Jacksonville, Florida

Purchase tickets here.

Girl Scouts are invited to apply for the Women of Distinction mentorship program and be matched with an honoree to learn more about her professional accomplishments and service to the community.
Apply now!

Show your support for Girl Scouts and the difference-makers in our community. Become a sponsor today.

Women of Distinction 2020 Honorees

Angela Corey
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Angela Corey is a native of Jacksonville and a second-generation Floridian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Florida State University in 1976, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law in 1979.

Angela is a 35-year veteran prosecutor and began her career in 1981 under State Attorney Ed Austin. During her early tenure in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, she tried hundreds of cases. In 2007, she joined the 7th Judicial Circuit for a two year stint as an assistant state attorney in the homicide investigative unit. In August of 2008, she was elected to serve as the State Attorney of the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida where she served until 2016.

In addition to her distinguished career trial work, Angela has devoted an equal amount of time to training police and prosecutors on local, state and national levels. Since 1982, she has taught classes for the Police Academy at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She has served as training director for the State Attorney’s Office as well as lectured extensively on a variety of topics for the Florida Prosecuting Attorney’s Association. In addition to commitment to training for prosecutors, Corey is an adjunct professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville where she continues to train law enforcement officers.  Angela has further displayed her commitment to continuous learning by achieving board certification in criminal trial law.

Angela is involved in many community and civic activities. She previously served on the board of directors of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Florida State College at Jacksonville. She served on the transition teams for both Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. She recently served two terms on the board of Episcopal School of Jacksonville.  Angela still serves on the board of the David White Foundation.

Angela is very active in her church, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, having served on the vestry from 1987 to 1989. For 20 years, she participated almost every Sunday in Children’s Chapel, where she loved teaching the children from ages 5 to 10.  She currently serves as a member of the Sanctuary Guild.  Angela volunteers weekly at the Hubbard House Thrift Store.

Rose Devoe
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Rose Devoe is an employee of the Duval County Clerk of Courts Office in Jacksonville, where she is the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, working under the leadership of the Duval County Clerk of Courts Ronnie Fussell. In this capacity, she oversees the operations of the felony, misdemeanor, traffic violations bureau, beaches branch, appeals, criminal redactions, and criminal evidence departments. 

Rose began her career with the Duval County Clerk of Courts Office more than 37 years ago, rising from the ranks of court records clerk, trial clerk, court operations specialist, assistant to the clerk, and director of criminal operations. During her tenure with the Duval County Clerk’s Office, Rose has accumulated a wealth of experience through serving on key projects and working closely with Duval County’s Judicial Partners. The Jacksonville Business Journal recently selected Rose as a Woman of Influence for her support and participation in the Keys 2 Drive program implemented by the State Attorney’s Office in Duval County.

A native of Jacksonville, Rose attended the local public schools and colleges. She is the wife of the Rev. John J. Devoe, Jr., pastor of Grace Baptist Church of East Springfield. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters and one son, and the grandparents of two beautiful granddaughters. While serving as the first lady of Grace Baptist Church of East Springfield, she is involved in facilitating weekly Bible study sessions and organizing women’s events through the Ladies of Grace Women’s Ministry.  

When not engaged in serving the people of Duval County or leading the women’s ministry at her church, Rose enjoys event planning and design, creating beautiful interiors, and being in the company of family and good friends.

Wanda Lanier
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Wanda currently serves as the president and CEO of Barnabas Center, where she has been her role since June 2010. Barnabas Center is a nonprofit agency serving Nassau County that serves as a “safety net” for families in need or in crisis. A multi-service agency that was founded in 1986, Barnabas Center provides food, housing and utility assistance, medical and dental care for individuals and families who are in crisis or struggling due to job loss, health issues, disability, lack of health insurance or other problems. Wanda led Barnabas through a successful capital campaign that raised $1.5 million to achieve a major expansion of services in 2014 and a subsequent endowment campaign that raised $1.5 million. The expansion resulted in Barnabas transitioning from a part-time, free urgent care medical clinic to a comprehensive medical home in which uninsured adults have access to primary medical care, dental care and mental health services — the only program of its kind in Northeast Florida that is privately funded. 

Wanda is an experienced nonprofit executive who has served in leadership roles in several nonprofit organizations throughout her career. Prior to her position at Barnabas Center, she served for three years as the development director for North Carolina Outward Bound in Asheville, N.C. Before this role, she lived in Jacksonville for 21 years, where she led agencies addressing health care, poverty and homeless issues, as well as managing her own fundraising and grant writing business. Wanda was the first executive director of the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville, which she served for five years. Wanda has also served as the associate director of Community Connections of Jacksonville (formerly the YWCA) and vice president of community initiatives for United Way of Northeast Florida. She began her career more than 30 years ago at Hubbard House, a domestic violence shelter in Jacksonville.

Wanda earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Winthrop University, and completed her graduate studies in sociology at Southern Illinois University. She was a Florida Times-Union EVE Award finalist in 2019, and was nominated for the Nassau County Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year for 2019. She is a founding member of the Sulzbacher Center in Jacksonville, and served as an Olympic Torchbearer in the 1996 Olympics for her role in addressing homeless issues in Northeast Florida. She is a graduate of Leadership Asheville and Leadership Jacksonville, and is a member of the Jacksonville Women’s Network, Association of Fundraising Professionals and Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida and has served on numerous nonprofit and public boards over the past 30 years. 

Wanda is divorced and balances her life by enjoying the outdoors, especially the beach and mountains. She is an avid swimmer, hiker, gardener, and reader and enjoys traveling and spending time with her two grown sons and their families who live in St. Augustine and in Portland, Maine. 

Paula Liang
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A graduate of Brown University and Boston University School of Law and an attorney by training, Paula found her passion when she took a leave to raise her children. Volunteerism turned into leadership roles in non-profits, then employment. She was a fundraiser for an independent school, and eventually the lead volunteer manager and fundraiser in a social service agency. 

After moving to Florida in 2011, she immersed herself in the nonprofit sector, and has served as the co-chair of the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance. She is a past president of the Women’s Giving Alliance of Jacksonville and the past board chair of Hubbard House, the certified domestic violence center for Duval and Baker counties

Paula currently serves as the chair of Catalist (formerly Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network), which has 80 affiliates from 28 states and the District of Columbia, as well as affiliates in Melbourne, Australia, and London, England, whose 17,000 individual members annually invest more than $15 million into their communities. 

For the last year, she has also been working with leaders of four other networks of giving circles under a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to co-design infrastructure support for the entire sector. 

Melanie Patz
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Melanie Patz joined Baptist Health September 2014. As Vice President of Community Investment and Impact, Melanie directs the development of the Community Health Needs Assessment in collaboration with Brooks Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic Florida, St. Vincent’s Health System and UF Health Jacksonville. She leads the development and implementation of plans to address the needs prioritized in the plan for each of Baptist Health’s five hospitals and supports the Baptist Health Social Responsibility Board Committee as they invest $1.5 million to improve the health of the Northeast Florida community. She leads a team of seven professionals who implement programs, engage the faith community, and work with local nonprofits to improve the health and well-being of Northeast Floridians. Melanie serves as executive sponsor of Baptist Health’s PRIDE Team Member Community. Melanie has 25 years of nonprofit management experience, a bachelor’s degree in business management from Samford University, and a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in economics from the University of North Florida.

Melanie co-leads the Jacksonville Community Remembrance Project (JCRP), Jacksonville’s chapter of EJI’s Community Remembrance Project. The goals of JCRP are to foster healing through learning about racism and understanding its impact past and present and to encourage Jacksonville residents to use their influence and authority to create a Jacksonville free from racism. JCRP’s many committed volunteers are working to achieve those goals through art; historical research, documentation and exhibits; community education and discussions; and commemoration events. It is more painful to hide our ugly history of racial terror lynchings than to expose them to the light of day. JCRP is committed to truth, healing and justice.

Melanie serves as the chair of the Jacksonville System of Care Initiative Board of Directors. She served on the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals for five years and on the United Way Worldwide Advisory Councils for Health and Education and was a member of the UWW Education Social Change Task Force. 

In her previous position of vice president of community impact for United Way of Northeast Florida, Melanie directed the investment of Community Fund dollars toward significant, sustained improvement in education, income and health and supervised United Way initiatives and collaborations: Achievers For Life, Advocacy, Born Learning, Empowering Effective Teachers, United Way 2-1-1, Life: Act 2, Success By 6, RealSense Prosperity Campaign, Youth Employment and Full Service Schools of Jacksonville. 

Melanie is a graduate of the 2005 Community Coaches program and Class of 2006 Leadership Jacksonville. Melanie was recognized as a 2013 Woman of Influence by the Jacksonville Business Journal, and as a Community Health Hero by Agape Community Health in 2019.

Melanie enjoys running and reading. She and her husband Jason live in Avondale.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Presented by

PSMC Stacked

  
Gold Sponsors

  • Baptist Health
  • FLorida Blue
  • UF Health Jacksonville
  • Main Street America

  
Silver Sponsor

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