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Black Tie International:
2012 Women in Leadership Awards


Dr. Maureen Whelihan, Rena Blades and Dorothy Bradshaw are the recipients of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, 2012 Women In Leadership Awards and will be recognized at a May 3 luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Maureen Whelihan, Rena Blades and Dorothy Bradshaw are the recipients of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, 2012 Women In Leadership Awards and will be recognized at a May 3 luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

         Executive Women of the Palm Beaches

Announces Women In Leadership Award Recipients

To Be Honored May 3 at Kravis Luncheon


WEST PALM BEACH  - Three women who have distinguished themselves as professionals, as leaders and as community servants have been chosen by Executive Women of the Palm Beaches to receive its 2012 Women In Leadership Awards. Rena Blades, Dorothy Bradshaw and Dr. Maureen Whelihan will be recognized at the annual Women In Leadership Awards Luncheon on May 3 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Additionally, in honor of the organization’s 30th anniversary, Executive Women will present an Inspirational Leadership Award to Cynthia Allen Gracey, a Delray Beach attorney and longtime advocate of women’s rights.

Journalist, author and television personality Joan Lunden will be the keynote speaker.

The Women In Leadership Awards honor women in three community sectors -- volunteer, public and private -- whose talents and qualities have an impact in their business and charitable activities. They may be unsung heroes who give extraordinary effort to worthy causes, entrepreneurs who translate their enthusiasm and concepts into successful businesses, or public servants who understand the meaning of service and deliver it with pride and excellence.

Executive Women’s mission is to promote the professional and personal advancement of women through networking and resource sharing and by helping them to develop and realize their potential as leaders. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit EWPB’s scholarship and grant programs that are administered through its charitable foundation, Executive Women Outreach.

Honored in the volunteer sector, Bradshaw is Procurement Bureau chief for the South Florida Water Management District. She has served as president of the Boys and Girls Clubs, on the board of Junior Achievement, on countless projects for the American Lung Association, as co-chair and chair of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, and more recently as chair of the 2010 Walk To Defeat ALS and the 2011 Heart Walk. She’s also on the board of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Speak Up for Children.

Honored in the public sector, Blades has been CEO of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council since 2004. She has overseen its unprecedented growth, securing new grants and funding for arts education and the strengthening of cultural organizations throughout the county, expanding services to artists and spearheading the Council’s move to new headquarters in Lake Worth. She also has served as a board member and treasurer of the Florida Cultural Alliance, a member of the Palm Beach County Six Pillars Community Plan committee, a member of Palm Beach County’s Overall Economic Development Program Committee (2006-10), the West Palm Beach Downtown Master Plan Advisory Committee (2006-09) and the Capital Campaign Committee for the Center for Creative Education;  a grant panelist for the Bank of America Neighborhoods for Excellence program (2007), chair of the Palm Beach County Economic Summit Quality of Place Committee (2005), co-chair of the Resource Development Committee of Palm Beach County School District’s Arts in Education Comprehensive Plan (2005-06) and a volunteer at St. Mark’s Episcopal School, 2005-2011.

A practicing gynecologist in West Palm Beach, Whelihan, nominated in the private sector, is only the fourth woman to serve as president of the Palm Beach County Medical Society (2009). She co-founded the society’s Services Project Access, a program that coordinates voluntary physician and hospital care, diagnostic services and medication assistance for low-income residents. Since 2005, Project Access has donated more than $8 million in care to help more than 5,500 residents.  She serves on the board of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, co-chaired Lupus Foundation’s Models of Success, and was named the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s woman of the year in 2003 for raising $50,000 in eight weeks.

 In recognition of her lifelong example and service to Palm Beach County, EWPB will present its founder and first president Cynthia Allen Gracey with its Inspirational Leadership Award. Despite dealing with CMT, a lifelong neuromuscular disorder, Gracey has raised two sons, served as a caregiver to her parents and other family members, practiced law and been visionary community activist.

For information about sponsorship opportunities to support EWPB’s programs or to purchase tickets to the luncheon, call (561) 684-9117, email  or visit


Joyce Brooks

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