Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, headlined the 18th Annual United Way Women United Breakfast

Over 1,000 women gathered to empower each other and build a #StrongerMiami

United Way of Miami-Dade hosted 1,000 women at its 18th Annual United Way Women United Breakfast, featuring keynote speaker Indra Nooyi, on February 22. Ranked among the world’s most powerful women by Forbes and Fortune, and former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Nooyi shared anecdotes and offered personal and professional advice. The breakfast was held at the University of Miami’s Watsco Center, and was presented by Leslie Miller Saiontz and family and hosted by The Lennar Foundation Medical Center and UHealth. Miller Saiontz moderated a fireside chat with Nooyi, asking compelling questions that were answered with candor.

Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner and principal at Cervera Real Estate, and Alicia Lamadrid Paysse, director for the Development Sales Division at Cervera Real Estate, chaired the breakfast, which raised $400,000, more than ever before. The mother and daughter duo spearheaded a group of 64 Women United members who helped plan and execute the amazing event.

As former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and a wife and mother of two, Nooyi is the epitome of success. Among many words of wisdom and laughs, Nooyi shared a defining career lesson, “Dream big, but think about how you want to balance your life.” She also discussed the importance of supporting other women, “Our sisterhood needs to develop, so we can push each other up.”

The morning was full of impactful stories from several women, including Sandrell Apatira, testimonial speaker at the Women United Breakfast. “The single action of instilling my daughter in the Girl Scouts was life changing, even though I didn’t know it at the time,” she said. “It helped shape me as a parent to advocate for my daughter.” Apatira’s daughter, Rachel Mazyck, is a freshman in college, Girl Scout of Tropical Florida and former United Way Youth Institute fellow.

Collectively, the women stormed social media channels with messages to the Florida Legislature, joining all 30 United Ways of Florida, Senator Audrey Gibson and Representative Holly Raschein, in support of a $1.2M investment in state funding to expand tax preparation services and financial coaching. Guests also supported United Way’s work by sponsoring snack packs for families who need it most.

Led by Cathy Alexander and Soledad Picon, Women United represents a dynamic group of 2,700 women who are committed to fighting for a stronger Miami today and for future generations. Lifelong volunteer and philanthropist, Jayne Abess, her daughter Ashley and her daughter-in-law Taylor, made a $100,000 lead matching gift in order to secure the launch of The Women United For Our Future endowment fund. The new initiative will help transform the lives of women and girls throughout Miami-Dade and as a result, transform communities for generations to come.

The breakfast was presented by Leslie Miller Saiontz and family and hosted by The Lennar Foundation Medical Center and UHealth; Sponsors include: Greenberg Traurig, Royal Caribbean International and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises as Emerald sponsors; Cervera Real Estate, Dezer Development, Florida Blue, Florida Power & Light Company, Hersha Hospitality, Krillion Ventures, Starwood Property Trust and TD Bank as Sapphire sponsors; Akerman, Assurant, Bilzin Sumberg, Carlton Fields, Covanta, Duane Morris, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, Habitat Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Miami Heat, Perry Ellis International, Ryder, UPS and Wells Fargo as Jade sponsors; DLA Piper, Elmir Group, Fertility & IVF Center of Miami, Jones Day, Masis & Co., Fanjul family and RESF as Pearl sponsors; Jayne Abess, Yolanda Berkowitz, Kerrin Bermont, Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Cobb Family Foundation, Annelies H. Da Costa Gomez, Linda Frankel, Elizabeth Leight, Psy.D., Melissa Medina, Arlene, Lisa and Lindsey Mendelson, Betsy R. Sherman and Ana VeigaMilton (Jose Milton Foundation) as Table Hosts; Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald as Media Sponsors.

For more information on Women United, please contact or visit



2019-03-15T13:14:45-04:00 March 15th, 2019|