PANAMA CITY – The Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle honored local “Women of Distinction” on August 26 during the Awards Gala at the Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort.

“We are honored to recognize the honorees as women who exemplify the mission of Girl Scouts,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc. Chief Executive Officer. “The recipients are women who have distinguished themselves through leadership and community service demonstrating courage, confidence, and character, while making the world a better place,” she continued.

The Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Margaret McLane, retired Marketing Specialist, 325th Services Squadron, Tyndall AFB and past board president of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle. The Pearl Award is bestowed upon an adult Girl Scout for her significant contributions to the Girl Scout movement in support of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Given in memory of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, the significance of the pearls symbolize the devotion by Low to the success of the start of Girl Scouting which included selling a strand of pearls to fund the early operations. Rita Acoba, retired VP of Bay Bank and Trust, received the Diamond Award, presented to a woman whose contributions to the community embody the vision of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts. The woman honored displays courage, confidence and character while truly making the world a better place.

Joining Margaret McLane and Rita Acoba as Women of Distinction Honorees are: • SSgt. Ashley Adkins, United States Air Force: Leadership Honoree; Mary Bruce, Retired, ACURE: Social Service Honoree ; Marilyn Garrett-Fenimore, Owner, Managing Concepts: Youth Services Award Honoree; Marcia Pell, Certified Diabetes Educator and Dietician: Health and Fitness Honoree; Hiba Rahim, Council on American Islamic Relations: Community Impact Honoree; Jennifer Vigil, CEO, Panama City Community Development Council: Visionary Award Recipient.

A program inspired by Girl Scouts nationally, and hosted locally by the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, the Women of Distinction awards honor women who truly demonstrate their commitment to the community.


The women selected join the over 140 women in the Florida Panhandle who have been honored as Women of Distinction since the program’s inception in 1998.

The Awards Gala began at 6 p.m. with a social hour, silent auction and entertainment by local young artists Sarah Nicole and Andrew Tinch. A variety of silent auction items ranged from themed baskets to a weekend stay donated by the Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort. Additionally, the festivities included a live auction of fine jewelry from local jewelers raising funds to support programs and activities for girls in the community with pieces donated by Creative Gems, Star Gallery, Coin & Bullion Reserves, and Maharaja’s.

The dinner and awards program was hosted by Bryan Taylor, President and CEO of United Way of Northwest Florida and Janice Lucas, director of the LEAD Coalition at Gulf Coast State College. Included on the agenda was a presentation by Monica Espanola, Girl Scout Ambassador from Troop 939.

Also recognized were the women nominated as Women of Distinction nominees, they include: Rita Acoba – Retired, VP Bay Bank & Trust; SSgt Ashley Adkins – United States Air Force; Erin Baur – Erin E. Baur, Attorney at Law; Mary Bruce – Retired, ACURE; Wilanne Daniels – Jackson County Board of Commissioners; Marilyn Fenimore – Owner, Managing Concepts; Irene Field – Marketing Manager, VBA Design; Pam Johnson – Owner, Allstate Insurance Agency; Teresa King – Administrative Site Coordinator, Gryphon Technologies; Philomena Martrain – Bay County Chamber of Commerce; Bobbie Massey – Owner, Bobbie Massey School of Dance; Sharon McGhee – Owner, McGhee CPA Consultants • Elizabeth Moore – President, Anchor Consulting Engineering & Inspection; Katrin Patterson – Director, Gulf Coast School for Autism; Marcia Pell – Certified Diabetes Educator and Dietician; Hiba Rahim – Council on American Islamic Relations; Paige Schnell – Owner, Tracery Interiors; Mary “Roonie” Scovel – A.D./Head Women’s Basketball Coach GCSC • Allison Smith – VP, Business Development for Herbafex; Kristina Taunton – Owner, Love Your Gown; Brittany Trumbull – VP, Anchor Consulting Engineering & Inspection; Jennifer Vigil – CEO, Panama City Community Development Council.