City of Tampa to Celebrate Women’s History Month - Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award to be presented at celebration

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The City of Tampa will hold its 20th Annual Women’s History Month Celebration on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. The event will be held in the Tampa Convention Center, located at 333 S Franklin Street, Tampa FL.  The celebration is free and open to the public.  The event will also feature a display focusing on the national Women’s History Month theme, “Working to Form a More Perfect Union.”

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will present Jeanette LaRussa Fenton with the 2016 Josephine Howard Stafford Memorial Award. As a fourth generation Tampa native, she has over 40 years of public service to our community working with residents, businesses, public and private sector organizations, and potential investors to maximize the quality, pace and positive economic impact of community revitalization initiatives.  The award was created to honor a current or former City of Tampa female employee who demonstrates outstanding commitment to her position and the community. The award is presented in memory of Josephine Howard Stafford who served as an Assistant City Attorney for 24 years. Ms. Stafford was the first female judge in Hillsborough County and a pioneer for women’s issues, both professionally and in the community.

As part of the event, Colonel William M. Stowe, 6th Air Mobility Operations Group Commander, MacDill Air Force Base, will present the 2016 MacDill Air Force Base Women's Appreciation Award, honoring an outstanding female member of the military at MacDill AFB.

The keynote speaker will be the Founder and President of the non-profit Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., retired Lt. Col. Karen Mertes.

Sonya Little, City of Tampa Chief Financial Officer, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. The celebration will be cablecast live on City of Tampa Television, Verizon Fios Channel 15 and Bright House Networks Channel 640.  The program will be replayed during the month of March.

For more information on Tampa’s Women’s History Month Celebration, including past JHS Memorial Award winners, please visit

For additional information, please contact: 
Ashley Bauman, Public Affairs Director
(813) 274-8262