Each year, the Women’s Foundation of Collier County, a field-of-interest fund at the Community Foundation of Collier County, honors ten local women leaders who, through their leadership styles, are an inspiration to all women seeking to make a difference through philanthropy and civic engagement. The 2018 Women of Initiative will be honored at a luncheon event on April 6, 2018, at Naples Grande Beach Resort. Event registration will be available in early January 2018.
Congratulations to the 2018 Women of Initiative
(l-r): Pat Jilk, Brenda Melton, Jeanne Nealon, Amanda Jaron, Wynell Schrenk, Debra Haley, Bunny Brooks, Emily James, Judy Hushon, Alice Arena
Photo by WILKINSON Photography
Penny Allyn spent the majority of her life in Central New York. Today, although a resident of Naples, spends her summer months in Skaneateles, NY with her extended family and friends. Penny is the proud mother of four sons and recently became a grandmother to her thirteenth grandchild. She spent thirteen years coaching the Skaneateles girls’ tennis team; thirty years teaching Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church; thirteen years serving on the Skaneateles Town Board and taught physical education both full-time and part-time from 1960-1995. In addition, she served on the boards of Central New York Red Cross, Central New York Community Foundation, WCNY Public Television and the Allyn Family Foundation. In Naples, Penny serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity, the Selection Committee of Habitat, on the mission committee of Naples Community Church and captains the USTA women’s tennis team at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club. Penny is a 1960 graduate of Syracuse University from the School of Education. She and her husband Bill will be celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary in May.
Dusti Beaubien and her husband have moved 29 times including to Belgium and Brazil. Abandoning her desire for a career in design she focused on a new vocation….volunteering. This began in earnest at the Ann Arbor Ronald McDonald House in the 1980’s. As a seasonal resident of Florida she quickly found Café of Life in Bonita and then The League Club in 2002. She has held several board and committee positions and chaired their major fundraiser in 2016. She served on the Laces of Love Board for 10 years, bought and delivered sneakers and held fundraising events in her home. In 2009, Florida became their full-time home and she joined Naples Garden Club, chaired Hospitality, served as Club Chaplain and continues to serve on various committees. Dusti started a Service League in her community and two years ago, co-founded a community foundation that provides well-vetted grants in Collier and Lee Counties. She is an alumni of Greater Naples Leadership, Class XIII. Jerry and Dusti’s children are daughter Aimee Beaubien and husband, Steven Rapp, who reside in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Photography at the School of the Art Institute.Son Jason, VP of Operations for MS Industries, and his wife Angie live in Birmingham, AL with 3 brilliant and athletic grandchildren.
Susan Reed Benson and her husband, Dick, have been full-time residents of Naples since 1994. Since moving to Naples, Sue has been involved with a number of civic activities particularly The League Club, holding several leadership positions, including president. During her year as VP Fundraising she started the Circle of Friends. Through that group well over a million dollars has been returned to our community through a grants program which has helped 28 to 32 agencies each year. An endowment fund was started during her year as president. Also, she was a member of Class VII of Greater Naples Leadership. Sue graduated from Birmingham Seaholm (Michigan) High School, attended the University of Michigan and the University of Oslo and graduated from Western Michigan University. She taught high school English and math for two years. Dick became a partner with Arthur Andersen & Co. which led to transfers to live in Birmingham, Michigan, Lake Forest, Illinois, Athens, Greece, Toledo, Ohio, Barcelona, Spain, and White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Shorter assignments took them to Brussels, Belgium, Geneva, Switzerland and Jakarta, Indonesia. She was involved with a number of civic activities in several of these communities. Since 1985, Sue has spent summers in Llafranc, Spain, a village an hour and a half north of Barcelona on the Mediterranean.
Mary Beth Crawford is a Principal of Cummings & Lockwood LLC’s Private Clients Group and is currently serving as Principal-in-Charge of the Firm’s Bonita Springs, Florida, office. Mary Beth first joined the Firm in 1998, became a Principal in 2006 and has 18 years of experience in trusts and estates law. Mary Beth brings a caring and comprehensive approach to estate planning and provides her clients and their families with both the technical and personal guidance they need in developing the proper plan. She received her J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, and her B.A. from the University of Florida, as well. She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1997, and has been Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts & Estates since 2004. She is a Member of the Florida Bar Association, Collier County Bar Association, and Collier County Women’s Bar Association. Mary Beth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Angels Undercover of Collier County, Inc. and is Chair of the David Lawrence Center & Foundation Planned Giving Committee. In addition, she is a member of the Membership Committee at the Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida and the Planned Giving Committee of The Terraces Foundation, and was actively involved in Leadership Bonita, Class of 2004. Mary Beth lives in Naples, Florida with her husband, Walter, and their four children, Morgan, Mitch, Megan and Michael.
Kathy Feinstein is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Sport Performance Consultant. Since 1998, her practice has empowered, teens, adults, families and teams to achieve greater satisfaction in sport, health and life. With a passion for the community, Kathy chairs the governing board for Charity for Change. She serves on the advisory board for the Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County as well as serving as a trustee for the Shelter for Abused Women and Children. Kathy also volunteers for the Blue Zone Project as a “Purpose Now” workshop facilitator. Additionally, Kathy derives great joy in her role as mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She is an avid fan of all things sport. Kathy’s enthusiasm for sports heightened while parenting two competitive athletes and continues today with a fierce passion for sport psychology. She loves challenging her limitations, great music of all kinds, reading and is affectionately known by friends and family as a book hound. Kathy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.
Kimberly Leach Johnson, Quarles & Brady Chair, is one of southern Florida’s most successful attorneys. She is a five-time FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth ManagerSM, a Top 50 Women Florida Super Lawyer®, and one of Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite. From lifetime gift planning, estate planning and comprehensive document preparation, Kim guides her clients through the processes of defining final wishes and seeing them through with confidence, confidentiality, and competence. A consummate financial manager and longtime elected member of Quarles & Brady’s executive committee, Kim is Chair of the 500+ lawyer, AmLaw 200 firm that serves clients across the country. As Firm Chair, Kim is actively involved in Quarles & Brady’s corporate social responsibility efforts. In addition, she is passionate about and personally supports several local causes, including FGCU , and is also actively involved in Camp Boggy Creek, Paul Newman’s camp for chronically and terminally ill children. She is married to Kenneth R. Johnson, Esquire, and they are the proud parents of Kyle, Kurtis and Kristofor and the grandparents of Kolton.
Susie McCurry resided in Iowa prior to moving to Naples in 1999. Her career as CFO for two family businesses in Iowa and Hawaii, followed a position as a director of preschool and day care centers in California. Since retiring to Naples, Susan remains involved in Iowa with the Holden Family Foundation, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Highland Ridge Retirement Community, and serves as a Trustee of Grinnell College. In Naples, most of Susan’s time has been devoted to participating in fund raising committees and chairing events for Naples charities. Currently, she serves as a Trustee for the Naples Children & Education Foundation. She has chaired the Grant Committee for the past two years to support improving the health, education, and emotional lives of underprivileged and at risk children in Collier County.
Kathleen Peck is the Broker Associate for All in One Realty Group, Inc. She has been active in the Naples community and has been recognized for her involvement by the National Association of Realtors, Naples Area Board of Realtors and Collier Building Industry Association. A National award winning Realtor, she is responsible for developing and maintaining a broad client base by; communicating marketing strategies, providing strategic consultative real estate services, preparing competitive market analysis, negotiating favorable terms and conditions for her clients and ensuring timely and accurate closings. Prior to calling Naples home, Ms. Peck was a Digital Document Solutions Executive for the Xerox Corporation. Ms. Peck received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing from George Mason University. Ms. Peck’s community involvement currently or previously includes; Co-founder of Lighthouse of Collier, Inc., Angel Wings Memory Gowns, Inc., PACE Center for Girls, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County and Zonta Club of Naples.
Diana Riley, recently retired Entrepreneur and Founder of Swinging With Purpose™, Inc., along with her husband, Hollins, have recently transitioned to full-time Naples residents. Diana has always been involved in her communities, including a Young Entrepreneur’s Project (Maryland) aimed at teaching teens how to create businesses that serve needs within their communities to a Contributor for the Shelter’s (Naples) Financial Literacy training program. Growing restless in retirement, Diana began to transform her vision into reality whereby she would combine her passion for golf and women and children to make a difference. Swinging With Purpose™, through golf-related fundraising activities, provides in-kind and monetary support to organizations serving the needs of women and children in our community. In its fourth year, more than $300,000 has been distributed to various beneficiaries. Her passion, as recently described by Chris DiMarco, Contributor/Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, with Golf Legend, Nancy Lopez, is “crazy good”. Diana is also an alumna of Greater Naples Leadership, Class XIX.
Kathryn Woods was born and raised in New Jersey until the age of twelve, when her father was transferred to Minneapolis. It was the good thing for her family, as the Runcie children would now have an excellent, affordable college education. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Education, Kathryn taught kindergarten for a year, married Bill Esping and moved to Omaha, Nebraska. There, she taught another years before having her three children, Julie, Bill and Jennifer. They are her greatest gift and have given her eight wonderful grandchildren. She lived in Nebraska for 23 years, one year in Manhattan and then Dallas, Texas. After the loss of her husband, Kathryn was given another blessing by meeting her now husband Rodney. In Omaha, she was involved in the Junior League; in Dallas with Casa and The Salvation Army. Currently, her passion has been the Naples Botanical Garden, chairing a successful 2016 Hats in the Garden event.
See our YouTube channel for a video interview with our honorees from 2013-2016.