Ladies of the 12 months 2023 Honorees Half 6

Jana “Jana Banana” Shelfer, Gizela Maldonado Hernandez and Adrienne Evans

Photograph By: Roberto Gonzalez


Jana “Jana Banana” Shelfer

Worldwide Speaker, Ambassador and Mindset Chief | Dwelling Fortunate

n accident left Jana Shelfer paralyzed on the finish of her freshman yr of highschool. However for Shelfer, it was only a change of course, one which led her to develop into a three-time Paralympic basketball champion, a radio character, an advocate for the disabled, and a conveyor of hope and objective.

“Jana has the spirit of encouraging others to reside their greatest lives,” her nomination raves. “Jana helped me reside once more.”

Via her Fortunate Dwelling platform, Shelfer works together with her husband, Jason, to “coach a neighborhood on flip unfavorable doom loops into upward success cycles,” she says. The previous 104.1 radio character, recognized to many locals as “Jana Banana”, launched a TedX discuss in April and is writing her first ebook.

Shelfer additionally serves as an envoy and chairperson for the nonprofit Chair the Love, which offers wheelchairs to folks in want. Her personal experiences, ones that may discourage others, serve to encourage her.

“We will’t at all times management our circumstances, however we are able to management the best way we understand them,” she says. 

Gizela Maldonado Hernandez

Veterinarian, Florida Division of Agriculture and Client Companies | Founder and Director, Mexico Lindo Folkloric Ballet

In her skilled and civic roles, Gizela Maldonado Hernandez works to advertise understanding, whether or not of animal care and well being points animals face or her personal Mexican tradition.

To Maldonado, it’s all an extension of her lifetime of public service. By providing veterinary perception to at least one proprietor, she could also be serving to lots of of animals. Her dance troupe additionally serves as a bridge. “By showcasing Mexican dance by taking part in neighborhood occasions, the group helps enrich the tradition in Central Florida,” she says. 

Mexico Lindo Folkloric Ballet, based in 2014, has carried out for Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and the Mexican consulate in Orlando. She says she considers it her “responsibility to share the Mexican folkloric dance ability with others and cross it on to the following technology.”

Maldonado says she hopes to encourage others “to really feel empowered to achieve their targets irrespective of how loopy or unattainable they appear to be.” She encourages folks to not “pull again due to concern of failure, however [to] give themselves the possibility.”


Adrienne Evans

Vice President of Shared Companies | Elevate Orlando

Justice and dignity are key values for Adrienne Evans, whose group serves to strengthen the neighborhoods round downtown Orlando’s Tenting World Stadium.

Evans, who acquired her bachelor’s and grasp’s in accounting from the College of Central Florida, says her function “permits me to make use of my expertise and expertise towards revitalizing a neighborhood that has been negatively impacted by generations of systemic racism.”

When donations dried up in her nonprofit’s fund-raising effort to construct the Coronary heart of West Lakes Wellness Middle, Evans “helped shut an actual property deal that resulted in a $12.5 million tax credit score allocation that enabled Elevate Orlando to obtain the $2 million to begin the development on the middle,” in keeping with her nomination. The middle opened in February.

Evans calls the opening “the best second of my profession so far.” On a private degree, she hopes her life might be proof that “justice isn’t at all times simple and can typically include a worth—time, cash and repute—and that I attempted to remain dedicated to it anyway.”


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