Learn about the inaugural class of inductees for 2011

Mary T. Cash

Mary Cash headshotMary T. Brown Cash was born in Madison, Florida and came to Tampa from Ocala, in 1906, as an only child with her mother. Mary became an office person and maid for Dr. M.R. Winton, a white physician, who along with Clara C. Frye became her mentors. She graduated on November 16, 1916 from St. Agnes College of Nursing (Raleigh, North Carolina) and returned to work for Dr. M. R. Winton.

Elizabeth 'Betty' Castor

Betty Castor headshotBetty Castor was the first woman elected to the Florida Cabinet and the first female President Pro Tempore of the Florida Senate. Her public service included three terms in the Florida State Senate and one term as a Hillsborough County Commissioner. She also served as Florida Education Commissioner, and President of the University of South Florida.

Helen Gordon Davis

Helen Gordon Davis headshotA legislator for almost two decades, Helen Gordon Davis championed the civil rights of the disenfranchised, particularly women and minorities. Born in New York City, she moved to Tampa in 1946. In 1948, she was the first white woman in Florida to join the NAACP. That year she was one of two white women to join the Woolworth Lunchroom "sit ins."

Cecile Waterman Essrig

Cecile Essrig headshotCecile W. Essrig was born in Tampa, Florida. In 1967, she was elected to the Hillsborough County School Board – the first woman to be elected to any major political office in the county. She served on the School Board for twenty-one years, including two terms as chair, until her retirement in 1988.

Pat Collier Frank

Pat Frank headshotPat Collier Frank graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Georgetown University School of Law, Washington, D.C. She has had a distinguished career in public service to include serving as a Florida State Senator for ten years; a County Commissioner for six years; and Clerk of the Circuit Court/Comptroller from 2005-2020.

Sandra W. Freedman

Sandy Freedman headshotSandra Warshaw Freedman was born in Newark, New Jersey and moved with her family to Tampa when she was two years old. She graduated from Plant High School and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami (Florida). She was the first female Mayor of Tampa and served from 1986-1995.

Clara C. Frye

Clara Frye paintingClara C. Frye was born in 1872 in Montgomery, Alabama, and trained in nursing care there arriving in Tampa around the turn of the century. She committed her life to providing medical care to Tampa's Black citizens.

Adela Hernandez Gonzmart

Adela Gonzmart headshotAdela Hernandez Gonzmart was born in Tampa, Florida. She graduated from Hillsborough High School with honors. After graduation from the Juilliard School of Music with a Bachelor's of Music and Science degree, she went on tour appearing in concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington, D.C., Havana, Cuba and throughout Florida.

Sylvia Rodriguez Kimbell

Sylvia Kimbell headshotIn 1990, Sylvia Rodriguez Kimbell became the first African- American woman to win a major political office when she was elected to Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners from District 3. She later served as Chair and was re-elected in 1992.

Sayde Gibbs Martin

Sadye Martin headshotSadye Gibbs Martin was the first woman Mayor of Plant City and the first female African American elected mayor of a major city in Florida. She was a graduate of Midway Academy, Plant City's high school that served the Black community and received her B.S. degree at Bethune Cookman College (Daytona, Florida) and earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida.

Last Modified: 2/21/2024, 6:50:15 PM

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