Meet our 2020 G.I.R.L. Emerald Awardees: four incredible women who are paving the way for our girls to become leaders and advocates in South Florida and beyond. AND our 2020 Lifetime Achievement for Philanthropy Awardee!
Since 2017, GSSEF has focused on uplifting the power of G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leaders) and every day we see powerful and inspiring women in our community lifting up these titles and embracing their inner G.I.R.L. This year Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida is honoring five outstanding women in Palm Beach County at the 2020 Emerald Awards, who truly represent what it means to be a G, an I, an R, and an L…But what do these little letters really represent?
Michelle Oyola McGovern serves as Director of Government and Community Relations for Baptist Health South Florida, South Florida’s largest nonprofit healthcare system. Prior to joining Baptist Health South Florida in 2019, Michelle served as a United States Senate State Director and was an 18-year employee in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Michelle is past President of The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, past president of SunFest, and a founding member of West Palm 100. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Central Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trustees of The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and Board of Directors for The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. Michelle is a Florida native and graduate of Florida Atlantic University.
In her leadership roles, Michelle has made it a priority to help young girls succeed. As a Go-Getter, she persistently seeks new opportunities and challenges to positively impact her community, which is exemplified by the number and variety of organizations she has volunteered for and led.
Former Girl Scout, Chef Lindsay Autry is the Chef/partner of THE REGIONAL Kitchen & Public House. A native North Carolinian, Chef Autry describes her cuisine as soulful, embracing Mediterranean flavors with a blend of her southern roots. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Chef Autry made headlines as a finalist on Bravo’s ninth season of “Top Chef”. THE REGIONAL was named “#1 Best Restaurant in Palm Beach County in 2016” by the Palm Beach Post. In 2018 and 2019, Chef Autry received James Beard nominations for Best Chef: South, often considered the Oscars in the culinary world. In 2019, Chef Autry’s acclaimed fried chicken was recognized by the Today Show as one of the Best in America and Food Network named the fried chicken the best in the state of Florida!
Always the Innovator, Chef Autry says her secret to success is to focus on demographics and where they are going – a forward looking and a flexible approach which differentiates her peers. She is passionate about the culinary world and is an active mentor to those who want to follow in her footsteps, teaching classes at high schools in the area to share her joy of cooking. Chef Autry serves as a role model for today’s girls by pursing excellence in a male dominated profession and making herself available to nurture and mentor those in her path.
Sarah Alsofrom is the Director of Community Relations for GL Homes, one of the largest private home builders in the nation. Sarah oversees the company’s charitable giving and philanthropic initiatives statewide. A West Palm Beach native, Sarah has a background in corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. She earned a B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Sarah is the first documented recipient of both the ATHENA Leadership Award and the ATHENA Young Professional Award. Over 7,000 people have received the ATHENA Award nationally and globally.
As a Risk-Taker, Sarah shows that any dream you have can be accomplished with hard work and determination. The risks she has taken to change her life were not easy and did not happen without great sacrifice. She was always determined to earn an education, become independent, work hard and challenge herself. This really comes across with her impressive resume from working for Channel 5, graduating law school to the State Attorneys office of Palm Beach County, to a law firm and then the start of a community world.
Lieutenant Brown is a 27-year member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Regardless of where she chooses to get involved, she eventually makes it to a place where she can take a leadership role and make a difference in the lives of others – whether it be mentoring young girls until they graduate from college and thrive in life, or making sure she finds a business willing to hire and rehabilitate a new parolee. Lt. Brown believes that strong women are role models for, and can create other, strong women. As a mentor, advocate and volunteer, her mission is to teach those young ladies that they can be anything they choose to be in this world, with education and leadership being key factors in opening those doors.
As a Leader, Lt. Brown believes that when we encounter exceptional young men and women we owe them our service to enhance their leadership abilities and empower them to become the best they can be. Lt. Brown says faith, character, integrity, ethical decision making, and education are the keys that will open many doors.
Meredith Trim created Ventus Charitable Foundation in January 2015 with an initial mission of supporting public education in Palm Beach County. She joined the board of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County in 2015 and created Red Apple Supplies, the free resource store for teachers from public schools in Palm Beach County. In early March 2016, Red Apple Supplies opened and has grown from serving teachers in 8 schools to 50 of the highest needs public schools. Red Apple Supplies put over $600,000 of supplies into the hands of teachers in the 2018-19 school year. Most recently Meredith has donated $50,000 to Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida to support STEM programs in Palm Beach County.
A true philanthropist, Meredith does not devote her time to causes where she receives recognition or accolades, and in fact, most of her philanthropic efforts have been mostly anonymous. In creating the Red Apple Supply Store, Meredith was relentless in overcoming every obstacle that stood in her way in order to achieve her vision to assist teachers in Palm Beach County. She also showed that same relentless pursuit of her vision in establishing the “Charging Forward” program and all of her efforts in the Glades. That relentless commitment and dedication is something that all girls can look up to.
It goes without saying that our honorees embody more than one of the G.I.R.L. traits. I would even say that throughout their lives, these four strong women have all been Go-Getters, Innovators, Risk-Takers, and Leaders at one point or another. It takes strength, perseverance, passion, and courage to follow your dreams and much like our honorees, it takes a true G.I.R.L. to change the world!
Find out which G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader) attribute best describes you! These four traits sum up the very essence of what it means to be a Girl Scout. Take our G.I.R.L. Quiz to learn about your own strengths!
Learn More About The Emerald Awards
The annual Emerald Awards honor women in Palm Beach County who exemplify leadership and serve as role models for young women in our community. This year the awards are going VIRTUAL! Continue reading about the awards…
Thank you to the 2020 Emerald Awards Major Sponsor Publix Super Markets Charities.