By Megan Ondrizek
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 20, 2017) –Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart urged nearly 1,200 Miami-Dade women gathered for the “sweet” 16th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast at the University of Miami Watsco Center last week to never stop evolving.
“When you’re done changing, you’re through,” Stewart advised.
Presented by The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, and Leslie Miller Saiontz and Family, the breakfast also celebrated the legacy of Susan “Sue” Miller, the matriarch of the Miller family whose passion for philanthropy was instrumental in shaping the United Way of Miami-Dade as well as the University. Miller died in November after a battle with cancer. She was 81.
Miller’s signature United Way event, The Women’s Leadership Breakfast, “epitomizes women’s leadership,” said UM’s first lady, Felicia Knaul, professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine and director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, who currently serves as a United Way board member.
“Her spirit forever transformed this community we all call home,” Knaul said of Miller. “Her memory will forever be a blessing, as she was a champion of causes and a leader of institution building.”
Sue Miller’s daughter, Leslie Miller Saiontz, founder and chief executive officer of Achieve Miami, applauded the “stadium filled with women” looking to do incredible things.
“It’s been an emotional morning celebrating the legacy that [my mother] created. She built something that outlived her but will continue to strengthen,” Miller Saiontz said before introducing Stewart.
The founder and chief creative director of Martha Stewart Living was joined on stage for a question-and-answer style conversation moderated by Melissa Medina, chair of the 2017 Women’s Leadership Breakfast and executive vice president of eMerge Americas.
Stewart, who said her secret to achieving balance is “good living,” admitted to the women leaders in the room that she herself found it hard to be a professional woman. But, she said, she always succeeded when she believed in herself, in her passion, and in change.
“Don’t be afraid to embrace change,” she said.