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Thank you to those who attended our 2021 Jacksonville Women of Distinction event! Your support ensures that all girls in our local communities have the support, experiences, and opportunities they need to realize their potential. 

Our Jacksonville Women of Distinction event honors Northeast Florida's female leaders whose ethical leadership, professional accomplishments and community contributions inspire us all to make the world a better place!

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Women of Distinction 2021 Honorees

Molly Curry

Juanita Miles Hamilton grew up in Marion County and the following values were instilled in her at an early age to: “respect others and never think yourself as less than nor greater than anyone”, “stay grounded and do unto to others as you would have them do unto to you” and to “always stand up for the things that you believe in”. Those values were challenged in the year of 1965 at the young age of fifteen, when she was selected or elected to be one of the first Blacks to integrate North Marion High School in Sparr, Florida. To this day, she respects and continuously lives from the lessons and guidance of her parents and family.

Juanita retired in 2000 from the City of Gainesville. During her tenure as a Supervisor, she volunteered for eighteen years to obtain grant funding from the State of Florida Department of Agriculture as Coordinator and Administrator of the Summer Nutrition Grant Program providing daily lunches and snacks at 35 sites throughout the county for over 1,500 youth daily during the summer months when school was not in session. Additionally, she went over and above the call of duty writing annual grants, securing funding for the Staff and renovations to the Northeast Community Center, presently named the Clarence R. Kelly Center, Woodlawn Park and Fred Cone Park to serve underserved youth.

Shortly after retirement, Juanita began a new venture with the State of Florida designated Duval Heights Front Porch Community, Inc., thereby directing and promoting revitalization efforts to improve the overall quality of life for the residents. She volunteers many hours of service to this community by writing grants, seeking community partners and working with volunteers to implement programs addressing issues.

In 2003, she was the recipient of an award from Governor Jeb Bush for the Housing Rehabilitation Program in Duval Heights in partnership with the City of Gainesville. During that same year, Front Porch was awarded $180,000 from the State of Florida Communities Trust Fund for the Duval Stormwater Project to eliminate neighborhood drainage problems and to provide a place where schools in the area can bring youth to participate in ecological and biological academic studies and activities.

For several years, she served as the Area Chairperson of the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church managing twenty one churches in the following counties of Alachua, Levy, Putnam and Marion Counties respectively and implementing, executing and promoting mission programs and projects. She was awarded the City of Gainesville Employee Spotlight Award.

She is also a member of The Visionaires, Inc., Alachua County Bethune-Cookman University Alumni, Alachua County Black Caucus and has

served on the following: Guardian Ad Litem, City of Gainesville Enterprise Zone Development Board, SHIP Board, AHAC Committee, Eastside Redevelopment Board, Community Development Block Grant Board, Duval Elementary School Advisory Board, Horizon School Advisory Board, Caring and Sharing Learning Center, Focus on Leadership Academy, Police Advisory Board, Charter Review Committee and as an Officer and Member of Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church.

Juanita is a proud Mother of a Son and a Daughter in love and two Grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys reading, golfing and traveling. Juanita’s favorite quote is by the late Dr. Maya Angelou: “When you know better, you do better.”

Dr. Diana L. Greene
Dr. Diana Greene Portrait 2020

Dr. Diana L. Greene became Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), the 20thlargest school district in the nation on July 1, 2018 and serves 130,000 students within 200 schools and manages a $1.7 billion-dollar budget. Prior to her work in Duval, she was the Superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, where she made significant strides forward academically, financially and in terms of its public perception.

Known for her positive nature and engaging personality, Dr. Greene initiated her time as Superintendent in Manatee County by putting forward a leadership plan that consisted of what she named the Five C’s: Calmness, Consistency, Civility, Confidence and Community. Leading by example, Dr. Greene has overseen a district that has improved academically to the point that it received a B grade from the state two of the last three years (2015, 2017), after receiving a C grade the previous three years, even in the face of more rigorous standards. In addition, the Manatee District’s graduation rate rose 5.6% during the 2015-2016 school year, and was 2.8% higher than the statewide graduation rate.

On the financial front, the Manatee District’s fund balance (reserve fund) increased from $17.3 million to more than $25.5 million in the last three years, causing global credit ratings leader Fitch Ratings to raise its financial rating of the District two times in the last three years. Those accomplishments led directly to the passage of two separate countywide tax referendums in a span of 16 months. The first came on November 8, 2016, when Manatee County voters approved the renewal of a 15-year half-cent sales tax to help fund school district capital needs. The second came on March 20, 2018, when voters approved a four-year, one-mill property tax increase to help fund more competitive teacher and staff pay, and to add a half-hour of instruction for students each day. Combined, the referendums are expected to add more than $60 million annually to the District’s budget.

Prior to becoming Superintendent, Dr. Greene served as Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services in Manatee County. During her 33-year career as an educator, she has spent time as a teacher, assistant principal, principal as well as in curriculum development, staff development and in senior executive leadership. On a personal note, Dr. Greene is the daughter of a father who served in the Air Force, and she grew up living in locations all over the United States and abroad. She is married to James Greene, an independent financial advisor, and they have two sons, Aldon and Joshua. 

Dr. Cynthia Griffin
MY21_WODJAX_Cynthia Griffin

Dr. Cynthia Griffin is Florida Blue’s Vice President of Medicare Pharmacy Programs. In this role, she is responsible for managing the Medicare pharmacy operations, developing and integrating new clinical and operational functions in order to promote innovative and compliant programs, as well as transforming pharmacy programs to support changing health care models.  She also manages the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) relationship for the Medicare line of business. 

Griffin has been with Florida Blue since 2006 with over 35 years’ experience in health care.  Her experience includes Pharmacy Director for the Duval County Health Department, Pharmacy Director for Humana’s Jacksonville Market, Clinical Assistant Professor for Florida A&M University, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Director of Pharmacist Managed Anticoagulation Clinic, and Director of Primary Care Residency Program. 

Griffin has served on numerous boards and committees including the Downtown Development Authority for the City of Jacksonville, the State Medicaid Physician Prescribing Panel; the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacist Commission on Credentialing.  She served on the Florida State Board of Pharmacy from 2009-2013 (Vice Chair 2011 and Chair 2012). 

Griffin completed the Executive Leadership Program sponsored by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) in 2009, Leadership Jacksonville in 2011 and Leadership Florida 2016 (Class XXXIV).  She is a 2009 inductee into the Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy Gallery of Distinction.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy and a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Florida A&M University. She completed an Anticoagulation Traineeship program at the Medical College of Virginia and is a Fellow of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacist. 

She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. and the Bold City Links, Inc.  She leads the Women’s Ministry at her church, Wayman Temple AME.  She is also active member of the Women’s Missionary Society.

Griffin has been married to Rev. Dr. Mark Griffin, Sr. Pastor of Wayman Ministries, for 37 years.  They have two daughters Dr. Whitney Bunion and Crystal Griffin.  One son-in-love, Tony Bunion and two grandsons Marcus (10) and Maya (5) Bunion.

Kim Holland
Kim_Holland2

Kim Holland is a true example of how a person can flourish with dedication and professionalism.  In the field of civil engineering women make up less than 15%, and an even smaller number of women hold executive positions.  Kim has made significant career progress at RS&H, starting as a Project Manager in 2002 and being promoted to Vice President in 2012, being one of only two female executive engineers, in a firm of over 1,000, at the time.  Kim’s comprehensive knowledge of the industry has made her an effective leader and her strategic business development has helped to substantially grow the firm.

Kim has expanded service offerings beyond Design-Build, P3 Project Delivery, Toll Services, Transit, Engineering and Planning Services, to include Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Emerging Technologies.

Kim has helped position the company for success, and helped align the company for many signature projects including the First Coast Expressway providing 46 miles of new roadway to connect I-10 in Duval County with I-95 in St. Johns County; I-295 Express Lanes Design-Build from JTB to 9B; I-95/I-295 North Interchange providing a vital transportation improvement connecting JAXPORT, JAA, and downtown Jacksonville; and the JTA Skyway Modernization Program Manager which will oversee the conversion of an existing transit system to Autonomous vehicles.  Additionally, her transportation program has provided support during disaster and emergency situations, including the Emergency Repair of the Mathews Bridge, infrastructure assessments following Hurricane’s Matthew and Irma, and design of the Jacksonville Pier following collapse after the two hurricanes.

During her tenure, she has helped solidify and expand critical relationships with the Florida Department of Transportation, Jacksonville Port Authority, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the North Florida Planning Organization, and the City of Jacksonville.

Kim currently serves as on the Florida Chamber Board of Trustees and participates on the Finance Committee. She also serves on UNF’s Dean’s Leadership Council for the College of Computing Engineering and Construction.

Jenny Vipperman
MY21_WODJAC_Head_Shot_Jenny_Vipperman

Jenny Vipperman currently serves as the Chief Lending Officer of VyStar Credit Union, and while she has worked extensively in credit union lending management, her diverse background includes a wealth of other experience. After Jenny graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in psychology, she spent several years working in the automotive sector. This auto industry experience helped launch her credit union career when she was hired by a local credit union to create an in-house dealer finance division. While managing a successful lending unit, Jenny continued her higher education, and in 2010, she earned an MBA from George Mason University. That led her to career growth in the credit union lending field.

As Chief Lending Officer of a $10 billion in assets local, not-for-profit financial institution, Jenny has a passion for the credit union mission of serving the under-served. Her mission is not only to help credit unions stay relevant but also to ensure they embrace changes within the industry and remain well-positioned to make a positive impact on the lives of their members and local communities. To this end, Jenny has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in credit union lending with the goal of advancing financial inclusion and fairness in lending. She has been a presenter at credit union and banking industry events, including Money 20/20, Credit Union National Association Lending Council, the Jacksonville chapter of the National Diversity Council, among others.

Jenny currently serving on the boards of the National Credit Union Foundation, which provides financial literacy to credit union member and disaster recovery relief to credit unions so they may continue to serve members when they are in the most critical need, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Central and North Florida, which provides funding for blood cancer treatment research and family support services, and is an advisory member of the Credit Union Development Education program. Jenny is additionally a Jax Chamber Trustee and has previously served on the boards of the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum and Metro Area Credit Union Management Association. In 2019, Jenny was named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year for her philanthropic and fundraising efforts.

Jenny and her family reside in St. John’s County, and her daughter, Lila, is a second grader and current Brownie with Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.

2021 Regional Impact Award Honoree

Corie Pauling
Corie Pauling headshot

At TIAA since 2006, Corie Pauling became the organization’s Senior Vice President, Chief Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Officer and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility in July 2018. Corie was instrumental in the launch of the I&D function at TIAA over ten years ago and served as a primary legal and business advisor and thought leader in this area. In her prior role, Corie held the position of Senior Director, Associate General Counsel in the Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Group, in which she provided counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA’s executives, its prior I&D leaders and other Human Resources leaders and also business managers on a broad range of workforce issues, and she also managed employment litigation nationally. In the I&D space, she has extensive experience in strategy development, board interface, equal employment opportunity best practices, policy development, training/learning, metrics, data analytics and reporting, supplier diversity, pay and rating equity, global workforce compliance, talent acquisition, workforce development, employee resource groups, culture surveys, federal contractor compliance and workplace investigations. She also leads the TIAA enterprise’s Corporate Social Responsibility function, which last year led over 650 community service projects through 15,000 employee volunteers. Corie also led the Culture Action Team for TIAA’s Advocacy & Oversight area from 2016 through 2018.

An engaged civic leader and also a competitive 11-time marathoner, Corie was incredibly honored to be named on the list of 2019 Black Enterprise Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity and also to be recognized as a TIAA Working Mother of the Year in conjunction with the national publication Working Mother and a recipient of the Young Civic Leader Award by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She is a graduate of Charlotte’s groundbreaking Leadership Development Institute. Corie also served on the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and as chairperson of the NCBA’s 500-attorney Labor and Employment Law Section. Among other leadership posts, she also served as a committee chair of the Board of Directors for the Levine Museum of the New South, a member of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council Advisory Committee and a co-chair of the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As also an avid “late bloomer” runner, she is thrilled to have run the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2018 and is training now to qualify for the 2021 running.

Corie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan College of Engineering and a Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.

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