BY BUDDY NEVINS
Seven women. Seven examples of women who have helped shape Broward. Seven ladies who made difference.
Below are the latest inductees into the Broward Women’s Hall of Fame.
Previous honorees include former Herald columnist Claire Mitchel, Broward pioneer Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, and former Supervisor of Elections Easter Lily Gates among others. They were all part of Broward’s history and the new list is no different.
Of those picked this year, I was most pleased to see Lottie Albert on the list. Albert has been a fixture in politics here for decades. An activist well into her 90s, she is a role model for all of us. She remained relevant rather than waste away in a rocking chair.
Gretchen Gettemy Thompson is another long-time political figure I’ve known for years. She was a county commission aide who I saw frequently when we both were a lot younger. Later, she was the wife of Commissioner Jerry Thompson. I’m very happy to see her honored.
Ann Zucker is a public school teacher, a woefully overlooked group. But she is also a well-known force in the local Democratic Party.
Here is the list and short bios from the news release:
- Lottie Albert, Sunrise. A 38 year Broward County resident, At 96 years young, Lottie continues to be an inspiration to women in Broward County. She has received numerous accolades for her volunteer work, including from the Ann Stork Center, and was inducted in the Dr. Nan S. Hutchinson Broward Senior Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2005, Broward County named November 12 “Lottie Albert Appreciation Day.”
- Commissioner Margaret Bates, Lauderhill. A current Lauderhill City Commissioner, Margaret has lived in Broward County for more than 40 years, has served on the Lauderhill City Commission for 14 years and was the city’s first African American woman to be elected to the Commission. She has served as President of the Lauderhill Women’s Club, President of the Broward League of Cities, President of the Women in Municipal Government, and was recently honored by the Northwest Federated Women’s Club of Broward County.
- Susan Forman, a resident of Broward County until her passing last year. Wife of the Honorable Howard Forman, Susan served on the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women in the 1970’s working towards the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, ran political campaigns of many women, and served as the Democratic National Committeewoman from Broward County from 1988 until 1992.
- Annette R. Gardiner, Plantation. A Broward County resident for more than 16 years, Annette is always working to advance women’s empowerment and rights across all racial, cultural, and economic sectors. She currently serves on the Broward Human Trafficking Coalition and as First Vice Chair of the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women. She works at Broward Healthy Start and has been involved with the Family Connections Mentoring Project for pregnant and parenting women and the Teen Empowerment Program and was also involved in the PTA/PTSO throughout her children’s schooling.
- Commissioner Dorothy “Dotty” Ross, Hallandale Beach. A current Hallandale Beach Commissioner, she has lived in Broward County for more than 40 years, and has served as Hallandale’s Mayor and Vice Mayor as well. She was the first female President of the Broward County Crime Commission, one of the first women to graduate from the Broward County Police Auxiliary Academy and the first female Trustee and Administrative Secretary of the Hallandale Beach Police and Fire Pension Fund.
- Gretchen Gettemy Thompson, Fort Lauderdale. A PR professional, Gretchen managed many political campaigns, including that of Virginia Young, still the only woman Mayor of Fort Lauderdale. She was an early Board Member and a life-long supporter of Women in Distress, and was Co-Founder of the Giraffe Awards – awarded to women who “stick their necks out.” Gretchen is still very active in women’s campaigns, and is currently working to set up a memorial for Virginia Young at the Fort Lauderdale Women’s Club.
- Ann Zucker, Weston. A 21 year resident of Broward County, Ann is a teacher at Walter C. Young Middle School and a former advisor to the B’nai B’rith Girls Organization. Ann has helped to elect and continues to support women in political office: among those that consider her a mentor are Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and State Senator Nan Rich.