By Michelle Caceres

Each year, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida honors women from all walks of life who have achieved, overcome and blazed a trail for other women through their professional leadership, volunteer efforts and civic involvement.

This year, Lithia resident Melissa Snively is one of its honorees.

“I’m very flattered and honored to be awarded this recognition,” said Snively, who is humbled to join the ranks of past award winners, all remarkable women who have dedicated their lives to servant leadership.

A graduate of the University of Florida, she owns and operates a successful State Farm Agency in Lithia. She has served as past president and/or board member of many local organizations, including the UF Tampa Gator Club, Estates at River Crossing HOA, Community Roundtable of Brandon, Brandon Outreach Clinic, Tampa Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the Florida Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. A long time youth scouting volunteer, Snively is an active board member for Boy Scouts of America Gulf Ridge Council. In addition, she was also the 2011-2012 Chairwoman of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Small Business of the Year Award recipient, and a finalist for the Outstanding Leader Award presented by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Snively was elected to the Hillsborough County School Board District 4 in 2014.

She lives by a quote from Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

In addition to Snively, the 2016 Women of Distinction include Plant City resident Yvonne Fry, Bellair resident Pam Muma and Clearwater resident Anna Rodriguez.

Snively and other women will be honored at the 25th Annual Women of Distinction luncheon on Tuesday, March 29 at the Hilton in Downtown Tampa. The luncheon benefits the more than 19,000 girls served by Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Emmy Award-winning talk show host and New York Times bestselling author Leeza Gibbons will serve as the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased by visiting www.gswcf.org/wod. General seating tickets are $75 per person; patron preferred seating tickets (which includes program recognition) are $150 per person.