The 8th Annual Women Who Roar Luncheon and Leadership Awards was held Friday, October 27th at Michael’s On East. The Event was hosted by SRQ Media, publishers of SRQ Magazine and others. The luncheon is an annual opportunity to celebrate female leaders and recognizes a select group of successful women who are chosen to join the Leadership Circle from a large pool of nominees. Samantha Bond Richman was recognized for her work as a judge of the many nominee submissions every year since the award began. According to Richman, it is truly an honor to be recognized as a VIP.
As part of its Women in Business programs, SRQ MEDIA honored Paulina Porizkova with their 2023 Trailblazer Award. The Trailblazer Award honors a woman who goes first, and helps make the way easier for those who come behind. Porizkova is one of Richman’s own heroes as Paulina’s rise to international success was contemporary to Richman’s own growth into adulthood.
“As a young woman, I idolized Paulina. Her beauty, international lifestyle and marriage to rock star Ric Ocasek were other worldly. I wanted to be just like her,” said Richman. “Now, listening to her story of reaching a more mature age, being betrayed by a spouse, and having your kids not need you the way they once did, I realize we have more in common than I would have imagined. We’re the same age, so that part of her story really resonates with me.”
Born in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War era, Paulina was truly a pioneer as the first central European woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in 1984 at the age of 19. Her fame and fortune grew when in 1989 she was signed to the richest modeling contract ever at the time as the face of Estee Lauder, earning $6 million dollars.
The following decades brought Paulina both joy and heartache. She found marriage, became a mother, and has now started a blossoming writing career. In 2019, Ric passed away in the home they amicably shared even after their marital separation in 2017. After his death, Paulina found out that only weeks earlier Ric had secretly excluded Paulina from his will. A lawsuit settled things with the estate, but not before Paulina felt forced to sell the New York townhome she loved.
Over the past several years, Paulina has courageously shared her raw emotions with new audiences, and has found meaning in being heard and not just being seen. These days, her voice has become insightful, wise yet vulnerable.
For those interested in getting their hands on an early copy of Paulina’s memoir “No Filter: The Good, The Bad and Beautiful,” it can be purchased from Bookstore1 Sarasota and many other outlets.
Samantha Bond Richman is the founder and president of Sam Bond Benefit Group. She provides independent PEO and insurance benefits advice to business owners. To learn more about her involvement with the Women Who Roar Initiative, contact Sam Bond Benefit Group at (877) 426-6320 or contact her on the website here.