International Womens Forum To Hold Fall Meeting At Loews
By Marilyn Bowden
The International Women’s Forum, a group of influential women from a variety of occupations, will hold its annual fall conference in Miami Beach. Betsy Love, director of programs for the group, said at least 600 women are expected to attend the Oct. 26-28 event at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. “Women business and political leaders will come together in our city,” said Robin Reiter-Faragalli, president of Florida Women’s Forum and a vice president of development for the international organization, “to examine the global concerns of creating tolerance and understanding in multi-cultural communities and to explore economic, health, technological, urban planning and cultural issues affecting all of us in the coming century.” Highlights, she said, include a program addressing health care and trade in the Americas and an architectural tour conducted by Arquitectonica principal Laurinda Spear. The International Women’s Forum schedules two conferences yearly, Ms. Reiter-Faragalli said, with the fall gathering changing locations within the US. “I suggested Miami,” she said. “Our group put together a welcome package — and here they come.” The availability of a new first-class hotel was helpful, she said. “Loews has been very gracious,” Ms. Reiter-Faragalli said. “The importance of 600 women prominent in their fields coming in is not lost on them. They rolled out the red carpet. They do understand the word hospitality.” Women’s Forum, founded in 1982, has 60 chapters in 20 countries, Ms. Love said, with about 3,600 members. Membership is by invitation only. Ms. Reiter-Faragalli said the seven-year-old Florida chapter, which covers Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and also has some members from Jacksonville, is about 55 members strong “and growing.” Local members include Kay Apfel, chairman of Consumer Asset Management; Pamela Conover, COO of Cunard Line Ltd.; Nancy Jean Davis, chairman of the board of McArthur Management Co.; Miami Beach Commissioner Nancy Liebman; Barry University President Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin; Anna Rentz, president of Northern Trust Bank of Florida; Rachel Reeves, publisher of The Miami Times; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, dean of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, and Teri Zubizarreta, president of Zubi Advertising Services. Each year, the organization honors two or three exceptional women by inducting them into a hall of fame, said Florida chapter member Jana Sigars-Malina of the law firm Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, gala chair for the conference. This year’s inductees, she said, are singer Gloria Estefan and Hanna Suchocka, former prime minister of Poland, now serving as justice minister and attorney general. They will join luminaries such as US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, chef Julia Child, jazz artist Ella Fitzgerald, present and former heads of state, journalists, artists, activists and Olympic athletes on the hall of fame roster. Ms. Sigars-Malina said up to 1,000 people are expected to attend the awards ceremony, which caps the conference the evening of Oct. 28. “We’re encouraging people to buy tables to support this event,” she said. “With so many women from around the world who are very active in their communities and in their governments, this will really place Miami on the map internationally.” In addition to being influential in their communities, she said, members have an average annual income of $340,000. “That means they bring money to spend,” she says. “This is a good economic and marketing opportunity for Miami.” Details: Kathleen Pasley or Betsy Love, (202) 775-8917.