Women of Distinction

Les Feldman

Our similarities are very different. Which may seem peculiar, but I find myself saying that a lot over the last number of years because when you endeavor to constantly improve on good things, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, as it were.


I was never a fan of Frank Zappa. In fact, I didn’t like him or his music, but he was impactful in the music scene when I was young, and that was a major social avenue to what I hoped to pursue in some form. Zappa was credited with forming a band “Mothers.” As legend has it, the record company suits said you can’t be called that, so as a new band in need of a record company contract, Frank Zappa relented and became “Mothers of Invention.” So, what does that have to do with anything you ask?

Last year the GOOD NEWS embarked on a new thematic feature; you may notice we do that with regularity. The month of May features “Mother’s Day,” and we wanted to honor significant women, many of whom were more recognized for their behind the scenes role, and offer them the spotlight they richly deserve to be recognized as leaders in their own right.

This year, our similarities to Mother’s Day would become differently presented and become an annual feature “Women of Distinction,” realizing just how blessed we are and how many significant women we have in our village.


L to R: Yvokia Davidson, Gita Santangelo, Shelly Pond, Elizabeth Mitchell, Leketia Barner Dozier, and Sandra James (facing away).

Close to home, I asked our Editor Shelly Pond (my vote usually carries a lot of weight in these parts) to take a position as one such woman on our front cover feature along with her peers. She declined, using some such nonsense as “conflict of interest,” saying she wouldn’t feel right about it. Ms. Pond, if I may take a moment of our readers’ time, is knee deep as confidant, confessor, interviewer, activist, pacifist, schlepper, editor and doer of all things life, including successfully battling cancer, overcoming a broken knee cap at a cover photo shoot and serving as a heavy family prayer warrior to her immediate family, siblings and parents without missing a beat. Qualifications of a Woman of Distinction? She’s got the goods on any team and that’s Good News for our community!

The Chosen Women

The four distinguished women: Elizabeth MitchellYvokia DavidsonGita Santangelo and Leketia Barner Dozier, grace this month’s cover taken by expert photojournalist Justus Martin. Our fifth Woman of Distinction, Dede Lomenick was unfortunately unable to attend the photo shoot due to a sudden death in the family but is featured inside. Please read the cover article on pages 28-29 about these remarkable women. Well done good and faithful servants! 


Special shout out to Jayne Stewart at the Tower Club, Fort Lauderdale, for their excellent accommodations and her delightful attitude.

To our readers: Suggestions and nominations are now open for next year’s candidates, please submit to: [email protected] 


Blessings and Happy Mother’s Day 

– Les


Read the entire May 2022 Issue at digital.goodnewsfl.org/2022/may/#1

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