Contact us at PO Box 1037, Sanibel, FL 33957

or email Gloria at

ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter - Professional Development & Networking

Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter - Professional Development & Networking

Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter - Professional Development & NetworkingSanibel Captiva Charter Chapter - Professional Development & Networking

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 

Come have dinner with us!


We meet monthly, on the 2nd Tuesday. Networking starts at 5:30 PM, with business dinner, speaker, and discussion from 6:00 PM till 8:00 PM.  Locations can vary; visit for more information and to register. 


Jodi Suskind, President

Jodi Suskind ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

JODI SUSKIND has been a member of ABWA for two years. She has previously served as Vice President of the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter. Jodi is the Chapter's current Woman of the Year, and was recently named the 2018 Woman of the Year for ABWA's Southwest Florida Council. Jodi is a financial representative with Thrivent Financial

Erin White, Vice President

Erin White ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

ERIN WHITE has been with ABWA since 2014. She has served as the Chapter's webmaster, handling PR and social media as well. Erin served on the formation team for the new Imperial River Chapter, covering Estero and Bonita Springs. She is the current Financial Officer for ABWA's Southwest Florida Council. Erin is the owner of Paradise Coast Consulting.

Gabriela Bell, Treasurer


GABRIELA BELL, otherwise known as Gabby, joined the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter about two years ago. This is her first term as Treasurer, and it is her first ABWA Executive Board position. A resident of Sanibel Island, Gabby is currently employed at the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.  

Marletta Short, Secretary

Marletta Short, ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

MARLETTA SHORT is our current Secretary, a role she has held in previous years. She is a past ABWA Sanibel Captiva Woman of the Year, and has also served as Fundraising Chair. Marletta lives and works on Sanibel Island, currently as an insurance agent with Island Insurance Services.

ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter Vision Statement



Collectively, we inspire each other to learn, grow, and make a lifetime of new connections

Kelley Laird, Past President


KELLEY LAIRD has been a member of ABWA for four years. She has served as Vice President as well as President. Kelley's career has taken her from the hospitality industry to her current role as a loan originator for Marketplace Home Mortgage.

2017-2018 Professional Development Programs

August 8th 2017 - Valerie Tutor, Workplace Communication

 The Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association is happy 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 focus on communication in today’s workplace. 

September 2017- CANCELLED due to HURRICANE IRMA

Meeting cancelled due to Hurricane IRMA

We are all VERY grateful to have survived!

We'll see you in October...

October 10th 2017 - “Let’s Destress!” Night

 In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the Executive Board  has determined we should abandon our burdens and business attire. Debbie Sheme, owner of Sanibel Pilates and Yoga, will teach simple movements and techniques that can be performed standing or in a chair, to help relieve stress and tension.

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. 

December 12th, 2017 - Holiday Gathering

 Let's keep this one simple - bring a gift worth $20 for one of your lucky sisters, and pay your own way for dinner.  Our fearless leader, Jodi Suskind, MIGHT be hatching an evil plot to play Gift Exchange Games.  Fun WILL be had!  We'll be meeting at our old familiar stomping grounds, The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. Bring your best holiday spirit and let's celebrate the coming of a New Year!

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

 Professional women and men are invited to learn more about 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. ABWA National Ambassador Christine Wright will help guide the discussion. 

2017-2018 Programs, Continued...

February 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 trainer, mentor, and coach in both personal and corporate settings. She often focuses on women’s leadership training, with an emphasis on discovering identity and purpose in life.  

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

 Captain Reed was raised in a military household. Her family relocated several times, eventually settling on Sanibel Island.   Captain Reed is the first woman to serve as Commanding Officer on three US Navy ships: the USS KISKA, USS WILLAMETTE, and USS DETROIT. 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE for 2018-2019 Officer Elections will be finalized at this meeting.

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 will discuss the launch of Local Roots and what it means to be a woman entrepreneur.  

May 8th, 2018 - Elections, Awards, and Recognition Night

Officer elections for the 2018-2019 fiscal year will happen at our May meeting. 

We'll also recognize members for their service to our organization. 

June 12th, 2018 - Gloria Garrett & Kira Sonin-Dworkin

Gloria Garret (President-elect) will deliver networking etiquette tips, and Kira Sonin-Dworkin (Vice President-elect) will help us bling-out small accessories. Bring a badge, sunglasses, flip-flops to bling.

July 10th, 2018 - Social Evening at Grimaldi's

 With so many of our members leaving town for July, it was decided to convert our July meeting into a social gathering. Come to "happy hour" on Tuesday July 10th, 5:30 PM at Grimaldi's at the Bell Tower Shops, 13499 S Cleveland Ave #201, Fort Myers, FL 33907. PLEASE R.S.V.P. for headcount purposes to Julie DeBord - click here to email Julie 

Contact Us

Drop us a line!


Questions or comments? Contact us at

ABWA Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter

PO Box 1037, Sanibel, FL 33957, US


We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Netoworking begins at 5:30 PM, followed by dinner, speaker, and discussion. 

Take a look at some of our previous monthly programs: