Boca Raton Airport executive director Clara Bennett got a standing O at Boca Chamber’s 2020 Diamond Award luncheon.
The 14th annual honor recognizes a professional woman in south Palm Beach County who contributes significantly to the community.
“She’s a leader’s leader. Kind. You don’t have to watch your back,” 2019 honoree Ethel Isaacs Williams said to introduce her. “In the words of Maya Angelou, she’s a ‘phenomenal woman.’”
Bennett was “instrumental” in the new U.S. Customs facility, among her achievements Chamber CEO president Troy McClellan said.
He called her a “soaring example” of excellence, a nod to the airport’s slogan “helping our community soar.”
The Pearl Award for future leaders went to Rhea Jain, a graduating senior at Pine Crest School. Part of the Chamber’s YEA! Program for young entrepreneurs, she launched Renoosh, a line of fashions for petites. “We’re ready to open our online store,” she announced at Friday’s luncheon attended by 230 people at the Greater Boca Raton Resort & Club.
Also taking a bow were the Chamber’s former Diamond honorees. They included Chamber chair-elect Jackie Reeves, former chamber chairs Cheryl Budd and Susan Saturday and Mary Sol Gonzalez. Also Yvonne Boice, Barbara Cambia, Mary Wong, Victoria Rixon and Rocki Rockingham.
Eight women have chaired the chamber since 1977 and 10 of 13 key members are women, McClellan noted.
By Marci Shatzman