Letter from the publisher: Women Who Win coming in 2024

The month of October is full of particular importance to yours truly. October 7 is “You Matter to Me Day,” a day dedicated to telling those you love just how much you love them. As we all know, people will leave our lives at some point and we might miss the chance to tell them that simple, yet very important, sentiment. 

So, to all of you reading this, you matter to me. 

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, both causes that have touched me personally. They are also both topics I speak openly about because I have survived both. Awareness is key, in both instances. 

Early detection of cancer through screenings saves lives and yet, we find reasons not to get screened. As a member of CEOs Against Cancer Florida chapter, I am supporting the “I Love You, Get Screened” campaign and hope that you will too.  Read about some of the shocking statistics of a recent event held by Tampa Bay Business & Wealth, where we hosted cancer screenings, on page 72. You too can host screenings for your employees and help us save lives through early detection.

And breaking the silence about domestic violence is the only way to end the dirty little secret that takes place in homes around the world. For every four women in your life, at least one has been a victim of domestic violence. We must stop the cycle! 

On a lighter note, October 13 is “National No Bra Day.” That’s a Friday so, unless you’re working from home, I’d suggest you celebrate the following Saturday. 

Back to serious business now…

When brainstorming how to best use this page this month, a singular theme came to my mind: Women winning. 

Winning their battles with health scares. Winning their battles with abusers and bullies. Winning at life, despite those that seek to shut them up, bring them down or otherwise make them feel “less than.” 

And I thought it fitting to share a little bit about our newly rebranded women’s awards: Women Who Win. 

Unfortunately, when we are winning, there are others who are not happy to see it. And you know what? That’s OK. We don’t believe in a world of participation trophies for everyone. We believe in working hard and winning. And, as evidenced by our hugely successful first-year women’s awards, so does our region. Celebrating and uplifting women is a part of the fabric of who I am, who I always have been, and who TBBW is. If you know me, you’ve heard me say on countless occasions that there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. 

 When the pay gap is finally closed, when corporate boards have parity in male and female numbers, when a deserving woman has held the highest office, then maybe, possibly, there won’t be a need for multiple opportunities to highlight women who are winning through their work in the office and in their community. 

But we aren’t there yet and I believe that any opportunity to recognize these winning women should be lauded, regardless of timing. Regardless of the name of the awards program. Regardless of the person who leads it. And regardless of any other random reason to complain. 

So, in 2024 we will celebrate Tampa Bay Business & Wealth’s Women Who Win, on April 19, once again at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. 

May your success offend the shit out of anyone who didn’t want to see more Women Who Win! 

In the words of Denzel Washington, “At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” 

We’ll keep giving back even when it hurts. 

I love you, get screened,

Bridgette Bello 

CEO & Publisher

Tampa Bay Business & Wealth 

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