Jackson County Chamber of Commerce First Federal Co-Organizer of “Ladies First” | Local

Special for Floridian

Last Friday, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and First Federal Bank hosted a new event that, according to a pre-event press release, was “aimed at elevating local women to leadership.”

“Ladies First: A Focus on Putting Yourself First in Mind, Body and Spirit” was held at Eastside Baptist Church in Marianna. Organizers said it brought together “local women leaders for professional and personal development, as well as a targeted networking opportunity.”

Young entrepreneurs and seasoned community leaders came together for this morning event.

The group of “spirit” speakers on stage was moderated by Sandy Spear, senior vice president and regional sales manager for First Federal Bank. This panel emphasized the importance of continuing education, lifelong learning and professional development.

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The “body” panel was moderated by Brooke Donaldson, CEO of Jackson Hospital. This panel focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle while balancing the challenges of a busy career and family life. Donaldson was joined by an OBGYN, a dermatologist and a nutritionist.

The “spirit” panel was moderated by Carmen Smith, executive director of Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity. This panel focused on mental health and spiritual well-being.

Between the panels were three segments titled “Raising Strong Women,” with comments from three mother-daughter duos about the experiences they shared working together. Participants were Desiree Baggett and Grace Daffin from A Wild Hair, Karen Edwards and Katrice Davis from the Jackson County Health Department, and Kathy Milton and Lindsy Chance from Chipola Realty.

The day ended with a conversation with Jackson County native Angela Riley Santone. She is currently senior vice president of human resources at AT&T. House President and CEO Tiffany Wilson Garling spoke with Santone about how she maintains a balanced life while overseeing human resources operations for AT&T’s more than 200,000 employees.

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