Longtime area resident and former State Representative Sandra Murman was presented with the 6th annual Pioneering Woman Award at the recent ceremony presented by the Brandon Sunburst Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.
The award, recognizing women providing impact to the community and who have been pioneers, living in the area for 20 years or more, would qualify.
This year’s candidates included Tampa Bay Vending owner Marie Bartholomew, Magruder Insurance Agency owner Patricia Magruder, Community Advocate Sandra Murman and Brandon Foundation coordinator Diana Niles.
Past recipients of the award have included Carol Todd, Cookie Gray, Kay Sullivan, Trudy Carey and Anne Nymark.
The awards ceremony included a dinner at Brandon Elks Lodge and a business symposium with 20 local business booths.
St. Pete Times columnist Ernest Hooper was the Emcee and local attorney Mary Ann Stiles was the guest speaker. Music was provided by Middleton High School orchestra and chorus teacher James Crumbly. Stiles spoke about all the women in the room being pioneers and that overcoming obstacles made her appreciate having food in the cupboard today.
“The four women being recognized tonight are all pioneers,” said Stiles. “We don’t take no for an answer.”
“The four women being recognized here tonight are all successes, and pioneers,” she continued. “Each of us is. We’re women who won’t settle for ‘enough.’ We won’t take no for an answer. We’ve come a long way, baby, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Thank you for what each of you do to help us get there.”
The ABWA, American Business Women’s Association, is an organization with the goal to bring business women of diverse occupations together to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow. The group meets the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at Giordano’s.
Sponsors of the Pioneering Dinner include Mary Boor, Whidden’s Florist, Trudy Cary, and Carol Todd, Valrico State Bank.
For more information, contact Jeannie Costantino at 600-5683 or Jeanette Konkowski at 655-1125.
For more information about the organization, visit www.abwa.org.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!