About Us

ABWA is the place to connect, learn, and grow!


The Mission of the American Business Women's Association is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition. Visit https://www.abwa.org 


To celebrate 40 years as a chapter, on August 28th we launched the  Women in Leadership Speaker Series.  The business commuunity, women and men alike, are welcome to join in and talk with women making a difference on the islands.  Date: The 4th Tuesday of each month.  Time: Networking starts at 11:30 AM, with lunch, speaker, and discussion noon - 1:00 PM.  Location: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, 1451 Middle Gulf Dr, Sanibel, 33957. 

Register: https://ABWASanibelCaptiva.Eventbrite 


40TH Anniversary Celebration May 3, 2019

Join with ABWA Sanibel Captiva to Celebrate 40 Years as "Little Black Dress" Goes Back to the 70's! 

Expect 70’s Celebrity Guest Appearances, Music, Dancing, The Definitive 70’s Foody Buffet, Prizes, Drawings, Auctions, Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll!

If you are interested in building your company's reputation as a supporter of women's professional development on Sanibel, consider donating to the auction, and contact us at info@ABWASanibelCaptiva.org.

November 27th - Sandra Stilwell Youngquist

On Novenber 27th,  Sandra Stilwell Youngquist, CEO and owner of Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group, will speak at the ABWA November luncheon as the fourth speaker in the Women in Leadership Speaker Series.

RSVP for  all our events at info@ABWASanibelCaptiva.org or register on Eventbrite at ABWASanibelCaptiva.Eventbrite.com

NEXT MEETING: October 23rd join Dorrie Hipschman of the Bailey-Matthew's National Shell Museum

On Ocbober 23rd Dorrie Hipschman, Executive Director of the National Shell Museum will challenge us with a massive topic: Life on Earth - The Museums, Our Responsibility, My Journey. Don't miss this lively presentation and what promises to be a great discussion. Join in at Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. Networking starts at 11:30 with lunch, the speaker and discussion from noon until 1pm. 

October 19 Executive Board Meeting

Would you like to participate in chapter administration? Join in the monthly Executive Board Meetings at the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank conference room at  2475 Library Way in Sanibel.

All primary members in good standing can vote and we'd be delighted to have all members join in the discussion,

On October 19th, the meeting is 11:30-12:30, with discussion continuing until 1:30 for those who can stay. We will be reviewing  this year's business plan. 

Bring your own lunch.

October 18 "Appy Hour" at Traditions on the Beach

The First Connections After Hours Event!

Join in with the ABWA bunch for a fun and informal  "Appy Hour" at Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel.

Enjoy socializing about networking apps with appetizers for $5. Bring friends, spouses and significant others, all welcome. Cash bar. 

Sign up at ABWASanibelCaptiva.Eventbrite.com.

New Program! ABWA Connections After Hours

Connections After Hours is an exciting new program! Watch for upcoming event announcements. ranging from group tours to a sunset cruise. It's all about enjoying good times with good people. 

ABWA offers professional development, networking, education, and recognition opportunities women who live, work or play on the islands near Ft Myers, Florida. Learn more about us at https://ABWASanibelCaptiva.org and find more activities on Eventbrite.


Gloria Garrett, President

GLORIA GARRETT is a new-comer to ABWA and is delighted to bring her corporate and consulting experience to the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Gloria believes the exceptional concentration of women in leadership on the islands makes it an ideal location for ABWA to thrive. Gloria runs HMG, a company that specializes in helping small businesses innovate and grow. 

Kira Dworkin, Vice President

KIRA DWORKIN brings four years ABWA experience to the Executive Board. Kira is the creative and entrepreneurial engine of the leadership team. She owns KMGems, is a professional jewelry designer by trade and performance artist by training. Kira will drive the efforts of the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter towards, growth, best practices, and new ideas to keep the chapter energized as it enters the next phase.

Gabriela Bell, Treasurer

GABRIELA (GABY) BELL, is the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter Woman of the Year.  Gaby agreed to serve a second term as Treasurer this year, making it her second year in an ABWA Executive Board position. Gaby is a three year member of ABWA and is quickly making a mark on the chapter’s future. A resident of Sanibel Island, Gaby is Assistant Manager at the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.  

Mary Bondurant, Secretary

MARY BONDURANT celebrates her 10th year with ABWA and fourth year serving on the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter Executive Board. Mary is a multiple year Past President, a Past Woman of the Year and a Top Ten Candidate. Mary is well known and highly regarded in our region, and has been a candidate for regional office. Mary is a 22 year resident of Sanibel Island and leads the Bondurant Realty Group at Kingfisher Real Estate.

Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter Mission and Goals

In concert with the National ABWA Mission, our Chapter Mission is to inspire each other to learn, grow, and make a lifetime of new  connections. 

In support of our Mission, the 2018-2019 Chapter Goals are to present a premier year long Women in Leadership Speaker Series and offer the highest quality professional women's networking on the islands.   




NANCY BARNES  was an early advocate for business women on Sanibel, first joining ABWA in 1984. Nancy served as President of our chapter twice and has played countless leadership roles during her 30-year association with ABWA, including Woman of the Year. Nancy and  husband Ed ran Sanibel Island Graphics for decades, and Nancy continues today managing the Sanibel office. 

2018-2019 Professional Development Programs

September 27th - Laurie Verme, Owner of Pinocchio's and Geppeto's

 Laurie Verme, Owner of Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream and Geppetto's Beach Foodies, discussed "The Road to Success is ALWAYS  Under Construction."  Verme's inspiring story starts from being told she couldn't run a business as a woman and winds through exhilerating successes as a McDonald's franchisee in New York followed by devastating blows to her boutique hotel on the East Coast of Florida at the hands of Huricane Wilma.  Her journey through the business world to Sanibel, Florida is a  loaded with lessons for us all. 

August 28th - Calli Johnson , Bailey's General Store

Calli Johnson, Wine Manager of Bailey's General Store, led a group discussion that had everyone in the room thinking and participating.  Her talk on Family, Philosophy and Wisdom from a Multi-Generational Workforce was punctuated by color commentary from her dad, Richard Johnson, GM of Bailey's, which got the group smiling and eventually rolling with laughter. For generations, Bailey's has delivered outstanding customer experience, quality products, personalized service and value every day.  It was an honor to have Calli  as our first speaker in the  Women in Leadership Speaker Series.

This meeting launched our 40th year celebration in the most appropriate way -- showcasing a legacy business on Sanibel supporting the development of women in leadership.

June 12th - Gloria Garrett & Kira Sonin-Dworkin

Gloria Garret, President, HMG Consulting discussed networking wisdom and tips for building relationships that can drive business growth. Kira Sonin-Dworkin, owner of KM Gems, led a fun and friendly  bling-out session for ABWA badges. Gloria and Kira, the 2018-2019 incming Chapter President and Vice President, enjoyed discussing the chapter's interesests for the coming year with both members and guests.

Selected 2017-2018 Professional Development Programs

April 10th, 2018 - Jean Baer, Local Roots Farmers Markets

 Jean Baer is the co-owner of Local Roots Farmers Markets.  Local Roots, LLC. operates farmers markets throughout Lee County Florida. Each market offers a unique opportunity for local vendors to sell seasonal local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, nursery stock and other commodities.   Jean discussed  the launch of Local Roots and lessons learned as a woman entrepreneur.  

March 13th, 2018 - Captain Nori Ann Reed, US Navy

 Captain Nori Ann Reed, US Navy spoke on leadership and country. As a woman leader who rose to the top in a traditional man's world, she has many insights to share. Captain Reed is the first woman to serve as Commanding Officer on three US Navy ships: the USS KISKA, USS WILLAMETTE, and USS DETROIT. 

Febrary 13th, 2018 - Dr. Andrea Hazim

Dr. Hazim is the president and founder of Elev8Life, an educational foundation devoted to enriching the lives of young leaders of middle, high school and college age. She is a leadership trainer, mentor, and coach in both personal and corporate settings. She led a disccuion on discovering identity and purpose in life.  

January 9th 2018 - Christine Wright, "ABWA 101"

National ABWA Ambassarod Christine Wright shared her experience and knowledge on the techniques, tips, and tools that the American Business Women's Association provides to help ensure chapters remain healthy and thriving.   These same tools can be used to organize and focus any business organization or project. Christine is Lawyer/Owner of Wright Law Firm. She was Awarded 2006 Business Associate - Cape Coral Caloosa Chapter of ABWA; 2008 Top Ten Business Woman, ABWA; and 2011 Woman of the Year - Cape Coral Caloosa Chapter of ABWA.

November 14th, 2017 - Michele Spitzer, Entrepreneur

The business plan for MaidPro of SW Florida was originally developed by Spitzer as a homework assignment for a business management class. Spitzer used that plan to create her business from scratch, eventually converting it to a MaidPro franchise. In addition to founding her own company, Spitzer is also one of the founders of  MaidPro Cares, a charitable organization that focuses on serving orphanages and underprivileged children. 

August 8th, 2017 - Valerie Tutor, Workplace Commnication

 The Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association was excited to present one of its own members, Valerie Tutor, Realtor with John R. Wood Island Real Estate, as the featured speaker for August 2017. Tutor's presentation will focused on communication in today’s workplace. 

Contact Us

Drop us a line!


Questions or comments? Contact us at INFO@ABWASanibelCaptiva.org

ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

PO Box 1037, Sanibel, FL 33957, US


Meetings are the 4th Tuesdays. Exceptions will be publisized.

Networking begins at 11:30 AM, followed by lunch, speaker, and discussion from  noon until 1:00 PM.

Location:  Sundial Beach Resort and Spa, 1451 Middle Gulf Dr, Sanibel FL 33957

Dates 2018: September 27, October 23, November 27, December 18.

Dates 2019: January 22, Febraury 26, March 26, April 23, May 28, June 25, July 23.

Lunches are $20. RSVP at info@ABWASanibelCaptiva.org or register at