Joan Bour
Joan Bour

Joan Bour is buoyed by the fact that there is never a shortage of nominees for the National Council of Jewish Women Sarasota-Manatee Section’s annual Women in Power luncheon.

Bour, a former president of the organization, serves as co-chair for the event that will honor four women in the community. The four were chosen from about 20 nominees whose contributions mirror NCJW’s focus on social justice by improving the lives of women, children and families.

These are women who are compassionate, courageous, leaders in their fields, women who inspire and empower other women, women who make a real difference in the Sarasota-Manatee community.

“There is nothing more impactful or empowering as another woman’s story,” Bour said.

The event started in Sarasota 37 years ago as a brown bag lunch and evolved into NCJW’s popular annual fundraiser for two scholarship programs that benefit nontraditional students and young teenagers or tweens.

This year’s honorees are:

Diane Roskamp, developer of senior living communities, co-founder of the Sarasota-based Roskamp Institute, local and national board member.

Jo Rutstein, Realtor who is a nonprofit event leader, scholarship sponsor, and supporter of the performing arts.

Luz Corcuera, psychotherapist, director of Healthy Start Manatee, community organizer for education, health and empowerment.

Julie Leach, CPA and non profit board of trustees member, social justice outreach and service leader nonprofit executive director.

Bour is a former preschool and elementary school teacher who started working as a continuing education coordinator at an Orlando hospital when she and her husband moved to Florida in 1986. After they retired and moved to Sarasota, she joined NCJW’s Blankie Project and embraced NCJW’s many other programs that improve the lives of women and families.

NCJW’s Blankie Project

When she attended NCJW’s Washington Institute, Bour took her advocacy efforts to a new level, serving two years as president of the local Sarasota-Manatee section.

“I went to Washington Institute and that just really changed me,” Bour said. “I found my voice. Not that it was hidden, but it was hidden in a different way.”

NCJW, which was formed in 1893, is open to women of all faiths who embrace the section’s advocacy efforts of voting rights, equal pay for women and religious freedom.

Bour, who has been on the WIP selection committee for the past three years, encourages any woman who wants to hear the honorees’ remarkable stories to attend the luncheon. This year, closed captioning will be offered for the first time.

“We all walk in as women. We go to a Women in Power luncheon, we listen to these women who are so empowered,” Bour said. “We all walk out with our heads held a little bit higher and feeling empowered. They did that. I can do that.”

For information and tickets, please call our hotline at 941-342-1855.

Event

Women in Power Luncheon
Networking starts at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16
Michael’s on East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota
Tickets: 941-342-1855. Click Here to learn more