15th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership BreakfastWednesday, January 20, 9am – BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, 1245 Dauer Drive, Coral Gables

United Way of Miami-Dade welcomed more than 1,000 women to the 15th Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast, with special guest speaker, Aerin Lauder, creative director and founder of the lifestyle brand AERIN. Aerin spoke of the history of the Estée Lauder Companies, and the wisdom and lessons she inherited from her grandmother, drawing comparisons between business and charitable work. The breakfast was held at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, its home for the past 10 years.  UHealth, and Sue Miller and Leslie Miller Saiontz were the presenting sponsors. Darlene Boytell-Pérez, United Way board member, chaired the event and spoke about United Way’s work, particularly in the health arena, her passion and life’s work.

In her keynote, Aerin addressed the important and admirable work of strong-willed women in today’s business and philanthropic world.She also spoke about the benefits of great partnerships. “As you all know from the work you do with United Way, good partnerships are essential. They offer us new possibilities and pave the way for important, new initiatives.”

Rosary Plana Falero, United Way Women’s Leadership chair, kicked off the breakfast program. Jayne Harris Abess, former United Way board chair, welcomed University of Miami’s First Lady, Dr. Felicia Knaul to the breakfast. Dr. Knaul, the wife of UM’s new president Dr. Julio Frenk, was recognized as an advocate for women and health, cancer care, gender equity and children in poverty.

The most entertaining part of the morning came when the dynamic mother-daughter duo of Sue Miller and Leslie Miller Saiontz took the stage. For the first time, they were joined by two of Sue’s 11 grandchildren, Lauren Miller and Melissa Saiontz Luse. Since then, the program has grown to nearly 2,000 women and raised $81 million.

Top level sponsors include: Jayne Harris Abess, Sari Agatston, Carol Greenberg Brooks, Carnival Foundation and Fathom, Cisneros, Cobb Family Foundation, Allison Garfinkel, Annelies Da Costa Gomez, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Jose Milton Foundation, Elizabeth Leight Psy.D., Melissa Medina, Lisa Mendelson, Jeffrey Miller, The Paresky Family, The Related Group, Betsy Sherman; media sponsors include: South Florida Business Journal and The Miami Herald Media Company; and digital sponsor, Roar Media. For women interested in becoming Women’s Leadership members, please contact womensleadership@unitedwaymiami.org. @unitedwaymiami

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