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Board of Directors Caldwell Trust Company;
CEO – HooperWill Group a Lowman Holding
Rita Lowman is a 45 year banker who has blazed trails for the industry throughout her career. Her career highlights include serving as President of Pilot Bank, Chief Operating Officer of C1 Bank and managing 23 acquisitions including the NationsBank/Barnett acquisition in 1997 where she was awarded the Crystal Grenade. Rita currently serves on the Board of Directors of Caldwell Trust Company and Encore Bank.
Elected Chair of the 2017/2018 Florida Bankers Association, Rita was the third woman in 130 years to serve in this position. She serves on several other boards including 2020/21 Chair of the ReliaQuest Bowl, Southeastern US Cabinet of American Cancer Society. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Aquarium, American Bankers Association and the 2021 Chair of Go Red for the American Heart Association.
She has had numerous articles on banking published and is a requested speaker on subjects from Successful Management to Women in the Boardroom. Rita has been a featured speaker for the US Embassy in Mozambique, Caribbean Association of Bankers and more. The Tampa Bay Business Journal honored Rita in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as a Power 100 Most Influential People and named her a Power Legend in 2023. In 2019, The Secured Lender Women in Finance named Rita one of the 50 Most Influential Female Bankers in the US. She was named Business Woman of the Year (Angie’s Award) in 2018 and 2019 named by the Girl Scouts a Woman of Distinction. Most recently, Rita was named 2019 Outstanding Leader by the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. In March of 2021, Rita was recognized as Tampa Bay’s Woman of Influence and received the 2022 Guy King Community Mental Health Champion Award. Rita most recently judged the 2021 Miss Florida Pageant.
Rita’s book From the Farm to the Boardroom: Leadership Lessons was named the #1 Business Book of 2017 by Richter Publishing.
Her top priority is her family and her faith. Rita and her husband Gary also enjoy HooperWill Farm named after their sons where the family grows Black Angus cattle.
Dr. Vondalyn Wright
The Well Community Wellness Hub
Dr. Vondalyn Wright is a remarkable woman who has defied the odds and overcome numerous challenges to become a beacon of inspiration for her community. Born and raised in a low-income neighborhood, Dr. Wright experienced a childhood with limited guidance and support. As a young, single teenage parent, she faced significant obstacles and had few aspirations for her future. However, her unwavering determination and resilience allowed her to transcend her circumstances and achieve incredible success.
Driven by a passion for healthcare and a desire to make a difference, Dr. Wright embarked on an educational journey that would ultimately shape her life and career. Despite the challenges she faced, she managed to enroll in college and dedicated herself to the study of Pharmacy. Through hard work and unwavering commitment, she not only earned her degree but also went on to pursue a doctorate in the field.
With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Dr. Wright ventured into entrepreneurship, opening Health Matters Pharmacy five years ago. Her pharmacy quickly became a trusted pillar of the community, providing essential healthcare services and medications to those in need. Driven by her caring nature and a deep-rooted desire to serve, she went above and beyond her duties during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an essential employee, she fearlessly worked on the front lines, vaccinating the most vulnerable populations against the virus.
However, amidst her selfless efforts, Dr. Wright faced a personal battle that would test her strength and resilience even further. Diagnosed with breast cancer, she refused to let this setback define her. Instead, it became a catalyst for her to do even more for her community. In response, she founded the Fight Wright Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting breast cancer survivors and raising awareness about the disease.
Ever determined to provide comprehensive and accessible healthcare to her community, Dr. Wright is now on a mission to build a full medical hub called The Well in East Tampa. This visionary project aims to provide a one-stop location where individuals can access medical care, obtain necessary medications, and discuss their insurance needs all under one roof. By creating this hub, Dr. Wright seeks to eliminate barriers and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive quality healthcare.
Dr. Wright's journey from humble beginnings to becoming a successful entrepreneur, dedicated mother, loving wife, and breast cancer survivor is a testament to the power of perseverance and the belief that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Her story serves as an inspiration to individuals facing adversity, reminding them that with resilience and determination, they too can achieve their dreams and make a profound impact on their communities.
Florida Recovery Schools of Tampa Bay, Inc.
Tina Miller is a National Speaker, Author of 5 books, Comedian, and has worked professionally for over 25 years in Social Work, Education, and Juvenile Justice. Her passion for children motivated her to become a Licensed Therapeutic Foster Care Parent, and she has one amazing birth son.
Tina is the Founder and Executive Director of Florida Recovery Schools of Tampa Bay, Inc. where she opened two Recovery High Schools in Tampa Bay for youth seeking recovery from addictions. Tina has victory over childhood trauma, rape, and domestic violence. She celebrates 25 years of substance free from all mood- or mind-altering substances.
Her combination of education, expertise, and life experiences equip her audiences with the tools they need to fulfill their dreams to live their best lives. Tina’s Motto: “The truth is…there is hope!”
Dr. Sandra Braham
Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services
Dr. Sandra Braham is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), a $50 million human social services agency with 600 employees. Under her transformational leadership, the company has added $15 million in revenue during her seven-year tenure. Gulf Coast JFCS operationalizes over 45 programs covering areas such as child welfare and adoption, elder services and housing, behavioral health, workforce development, Jewish family services, support for Holocaust survivors and refugee resettlement. Additionally, she has spearheaded the launch of the St. Petersburg Police Department’s award-winning CALL program, an innovative approach to policing that sends social workers to respond to non-violent 911 calls.
Sandra was the first African American woman in The St.Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 125-year history elected to serve as the Board Chair in 2022. She currently remains engaged in the Tampa Bay community as a member of the Board for the Tampa Bay Chamber, the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Center, and the International Women’s Forum, Florida Suncoast Chapter. Sandra is active with the national Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies, serving as co-chair of its DEI affinity group, co-chair of its national executives’ conference, and she is a member of the national DEI Committee. She has received numerous awards and honors, among them Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year, The Tampa Chamber’s Woman of Influence, and Five Fabulous Females by St. Petersburg’s Academy Prep school. Dr. Braham is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and trainer and continues to inspire diverse audiences to lead with integrity and authenticity.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Sandra completed her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Missouri. She earned her master’s and doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at El Paso. Sandra purposely honed her leadership craft through participating in numerous programs, including Leadership Texas, Leadership America and Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management executive education program. She further studied leadership from the Jewish perspective, which culminated in a 10-day trip to Israel.
Sandra has been married to her husband Eric for 27 years and they have three adult children. Her groundbreaking memoir, “An Angel for Detroit,” was released in the fall of 2022. Her story has received
raving reviews for its candid, sometimes raw, emotional life experiences. The novel details her life being born and raised by a mother with schizophrenia, and spending time in foster care. It further illustrates the personal leadership and career journey that contributed to her success today. She loves to golf and was featured on a cover of African American Golf Digest Magazine, following an historic trip to Scotland.
Emerging Excellence, LLC
As the founder of Emerging Excellence, LLC, Rickie Burney is on a mission to help people understand what he champions as the universal truth: harnessing the power of change begins with how we think. The Tampa native educates through keynote speeches, coaching sessions, and mentorship how to live an impactful life.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and a solutions focused coaching certification, this motivated millennial is on the move. Paired with over 13 years of talent acquisition experience, he supports his clients in tackling the hurdles of career navigation and self-discovery.
As a servant leader, Rickie has served in executive leadership roles and maintained consistent engagement with community and leadership organizations to include the Brandon chapter of global leadership organization Toastmasters International, Tampa Organization of Black Affairs also known as TOBA, 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, Inc, and the youth organization Brothers United Building Brothers Alliance also known as (B.U.B.B.A.).
His critically acclaimed publication, Destined for Greatness: 90 Days of Transformational Affirmation, serves as a blueprint for readers to discover or realign with their foundational purpose in society through the transformation of daily thoughts and habits.
Most recently, Rickie can be seen on TUBI’s trending reality television competition show The G.O.A.T. where he reached top 10 status out of more than 100 empowerment speakers across the nation. Though he doesn’t believe there is only one G.O.A.T, he is committed to partnering with you to achieve your personal G.O.A.T. status.
Shalon Barnett is the Founder and Executive Director of Shalon’s HOPE which was established in 2016 with the passion to see women transform their lives. Shalon’s personal story is the driving force behind her commitment to coach and mentor others beyond the choices and situations of their past. She has faced the emotional impact of financial loss, a lack of identity, abandonment, incarceration, and areas of abuse.
Today, Shalon is a successful entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and transformation coach. She uses her experience and training to teach other women how to overcome their greatest challenges and fears. Our program is structured in a way to recover from their past, grow independently and reach back to help others. Shalon Barnett is a true testament to hope realized and fulfilled.
Thank you for attending!
Support the services of Shalon’s HOPE. They are designed to help women Renew, Transform, and Live their purpose. Every individual is different. Therefore, we serve women based on their immediate needs and future goals. With our mission, our services help to improve their outlook on life and self-esteem and to reunite them with their passion for life, love, and family.