top of page

Jo-Ann Golden Humanitarian Award

Who was Jo-Ann Golden?

JOann Golden Pic.png

Born on September 11th, 1948, Jo-Ann Golden was a skilled carpenter in Lake Worth, FL who spent her life fighting for her community. She created an underground network of safe houses that grew into a domestic violence center, as well as non-profit organizations for women, including

“Project Women Can,” a federal program seeking to turn welfare mothers and other women with few prospects into skilled woodworkers. She was a Lake Worth city commissioner from 2007 to 2011.

A passionate environmentalist, she used her tenure on the city commission to designate

Snook Islands as a natural preserve, and was part of a team that worked to refurbish the beach complex and bring a reverse-osmosis water plant back into city’s possession. She spent decades fighting for human rights, civil rights for the LGBTQ community, environmental and economic justice. Among other accomplishments, Golden produced the documentary, "Que Pasa", to promote a greater understanding of the U.S. role in Latin America. She was the program coordinator at Jeff Industries for a job-skills program for individuals with severe mental illness. She was a founding member of the Women's Crisis Center in Brattleboro, VT. She was a volunteer firefighter in Westminster, VT in the 1970's. She and her family worked with their employees to purchase the family business

Golden Paints, and started a foundation to encourage young artists. She was the Secretary of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Palm Beach Chapter, and the Secretary/Treasurer of the

Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts. She joined NAWIC in 1997 and was our first openly gay member, opening the door for other gay women to join the organization. During her 22-year tenure, she was president of the Greater Palm Beach Chapter for two 2-year terms, and was a recipient of the Crystal Vision award. She was an advocate for policies supporting immigrants, was a social activist, and was a shining example of how to be fair and how to live your life in a conscious, compassionate way. Jo-Ann sadly passed away on October 28th, 2019 after a long battle with cancer.

What is the Jo-Ann Golden Humanitarian Award?

The Jo-Ann Golden Humanitarian Award, which started in 2020, looks to honor women who, like Jo-Ann, have had a positive and powerful impact on their community, their industry and the environment.

Nominee Guidelines:

  • Southeast Region NAWIC member in good standing (any membership level)

  • Significant contributor to their local community in education, social well-being, women’s issues, LGBTQ rights, human rights, environment, homelessness, fight for hunger, domestic violence, or any other important human causes.

  • Significant volunteer and/or philanthropy work with any charitable or non-profit organization (i.e.: Habitat For Humanity, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Feeding America, UNICEF, local homeless shelter, local church, local soup kitchen, etc.)

  • Advocate for the environment.

  • Someone who has had a strong positive impact in their industry/line of work.

Individuals may not nominate themselves. Past nominees may be nominated again. Past winners may not be nominated again.

Selection committee members may not be nominated. Selection committee is made up by four members of the NAWIC Palm Beach Chapter. (Andrea Serraes, Amanda McGinley, Rebecca Travis and Adriana Perez)

The NAWIC Greater Palm Beach Chapter will provide a cash donation of $1,000 to the winner’s charity organization of their choice. Winner will be presented at the Southeast Spring Forum.

2022 Recipient:
Heather DeGrave
Tampa Chapter
bottom of page