FIT’s weVENTURE Announces Women Who Rock Recipients

Posted by on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 and is filed under , .

Honors to be Presented at March 14 Lunch in Melbourne    


MELBOURNE, FLA. (February 7, 2017) – weVENTURE, a Central Florida-based organization founded at Florida Institute of Technology and focused on accelerating sustainable business growth for entrepreneurs, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Women Who Rock Awards in honor of Women’s History Month.

The recipients will be recognized at a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, at the Hilton Rialto Place in Melbourne. Cost to attend is $40 per person, which includes lunch. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Local leaders were nominated by their peers and the general public in one of five categories: Entrepreneur of the Year, Excellence in Leadership, Emerging Leader, the Joan Bixby Awards and the Zonta Yellow Rose for Excellence in Community Service Award.

This year’s winners are:

email-award-winnersEntrepreneur of the Year: Misty Marot, CEO and chairwoman at Novel Engineering. This award recognizes a local woman who creates products, services and jobs that fuel the Space Coast economy and help the community grow.

Excellence in Leadership: Marcia Gaedcke, president, Titusville Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes a female community leader who advocates for positive social change to create a more equitable society.

Emerging Leader: Alecia Blattler, director of workplace giving, United Way of Brevard. This award recognizes a woman under age 35 who demonstrates high ethical standards, commitment and confidence, who has the ability to serve as an inspirational leader, and who is a role model for members of her community.


Florida Tech Joan Bixby Awards: Robyn Tapley (faculty award), Sarah Oram (staff award), and Shaheida Ramajan (student award). These awards recognize a Florida Tech faculty, staff member and a student (male or female) who enhance the climate for women’s participation and development on campus.
email-award-winners3Zonta Yellow Rose for Excellence in Community Service: Sue Kiley, director of programs, The Women’s Center in Brevard. This award recognizes a local woman who has demonstrated great commitment to women and their community.

“It is important to elevate the profile of female leaders in our community, and we are honored to recognize such hard-working, deserving women,” said weVENTURE Program Director of Business Services Wanda Lipscomb-Vásquez. “We hope that this event provides inspiration for the next generation of local leaders.”

weVENTURE Executive Director Erica Lemp added, “This year’s event will provide an opportunity to celebrate our award recipients as well as the countless women in Brevard who make our local community thrive. As we mark weVENTURE’s 10th anniversary in 2017, we are as focused as ever on creating pathways and opportunities for sustainable growth and the success of local women.”

To register or to learn more about becoming a sponsor for the Women Who Rock event, visit

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weVENTURE, launched in 2007 at Florida Institute of Technology, accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship and networking programs. weVENTURE, with Central Florida locations in Melbourne and Rockledge, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information or to register for weVENTURE courses and mentorship programs, please visit or call 321-674-7007.
About Florida Institute of Technology
Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. ranks graduates’ mid-career median salaries in first place among Florida’s universities, and lists Florida Tech among the top 20 universities in the South—both public and private. The university has been named a Barron’s Guide “Best Buy” in College Education, designated a Tier 1 Best National University in U.S. News & World Report, and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. In 2016, Times Higher Education ranked Florida Tech one of the top 20 small universities in the world and named it one of the top universities in the United States. Florida Tech offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, cybersecurity, psychology, communication and education. Find additional information at