This year’s award recipient was announced at the Advocacy Reception and Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 5, 2021.
Congratulations to this year’s winner, Lo Berry!

Lo Berry
REACHUP, Inc. (Federal Healthy Start Program)

At REACHUP, Inc., Lo Berry, has been deeply involved and lead many efforts to reduce black infant mortality in Florida by advocating for programs that increase involvement of black churches, and black fathers. She is also past President of the National Healthy Start Association and serves on numerous local, state, and national boards, including the Florida Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative.

Dr. Mimi Graham
Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy

 For many years, Dr. Mimi Graham has dedicated her work to decreasing infant mortality. She brought one of the first national Healthy Start programs to Florida, and her pioneering efforts created Florida’s Infant Mental Health Initiative, building a professional development network and setting up the Harris Infant Mental Health Training Institute at FSU.

Sheriff Walt McNeil
Leon County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Walt McNeil has been the Leon County Sheriff since 2017, but he has spent the past 40 years as a public servant in law enforcement. Over the years, Sheriff McNeil has shared his philosophy that prevention is more important than punishment, and advocated a rebalancing of resources to early intervention services statewide with direct community-based involvement.

Sandra Murman
Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County

 As the first Speaker Pro Tempore of the Florida Legislature, Sandra Murman has worked to positively impact the lives of Florida’s children and families. During her service to Hillsborough County, Sandy has championed initiatives around anti-bullying efforts, workforce development and improved services to low income families.

Alva Striplin
Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Big Bend / Leon County School Board

Alva Striplin, a former teacher, commits her energy and resources to the well-being of youth in her community on a daily basis. Her advocacy and insistence that early developmental initiatives will have lifelong positive impacts have aided in her efforts on working behalf of Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Big Bend, Leon County School Board, and the recently instituted Leon County Children’s Services Council.

Linda Sutherland
Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County

For more than 30 years, Linda Sutherland has served Orange County with her passion for early childhood issues. She has also worked with and advocated on behalf of many other community agencies including the local and state Parent-Teachers Association, the Orange County Early Leaning Coalition, the Primary Care Access Network, and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

Tori Woods
Sunshine Health – Centene Corp

Tori Woods is willing to go the extra mile in helping children and families not only in her own community but across the entire state. She has worked and supported various community organizations including the Florida PTA, the Escambia Children’s Trust, and the Junior League of Pensacola, in which she was elected as the first female, African-American President.

Dr. Elizabeth Wynter
Selfless Love Foundation

 Dr. Elizabeth Wynter has been a relentless advocate for youth in foster care in the past 20 years and has worked on behalf of these young individuals with organizations including Children’s Home Society, United Way of Broward County, ChildNet, and Children’s Harbor. Her tireless advocacy efforts in child welfare have led to the implementation of innovative statewide initiatives and forward-thinking policy changes in independent living and adoptions arenas.