The ARCS Light Award is a distinctive honor awarded to a member who has given the highest quality of service to ARCS Foundation. One ARCS Light may be chosen by her Chapter each year, though there is no requirement that the award be given every year.
The ARCS Light is honored at the ARCS Light Award Event for each chapter and at the ARCS Foundation National Annual Meeting.
A candidate for the ARCS Light Award must be an active member, have served on a variety committees as well as on the Chapter Board as an executive or in an advisory capacity, have given continuous service that has had a positive impact on the ARCS Foundation, have demonstrated a willingness to serve, have respect for ARCS Foundation leadership and membership, and be an exemplary representative of ARCS Foundation to her fellow members and to the community.
These ARCS Foundation Members are the ARCS Light Award Winners in Florida:
Linda Seefeldt ARCS Light Award 2014 Linda Seefeldtis Co-Founder and current Past President of ARCS Foundation in Florida. A key leader in forming the organization and Board, launching the first Annual Meetings, Scholar Award Luncheons and other events, to creating the premier STEM Catalyst Awards.
On the National Board from 2010-13, Linda was active on many committees, leading strategic planning sessions, hosting the 2011 NAM and 2013 Winter Board Meetings; and introducing influential people to ARCS Foundation in Florida.
As CEO & Growth Facilitator of AIM Above, Linda discovers hidden potential in people, businesses and teams to achieve more success. A proven results-driven executive working with companies in over 150 cities across America, she effectively guides strategic planning, marketing, sales, and communications initiatives.
A Certified International Lumina Learning Practitioner, Linda is a graduate of the ABA Marketing & Management Graduate Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder; and has her B.S. Degree in Business & Economics from Elmhurst College in Illinois.
Linda and her husband, Captain Ted, met racing sailboats as teenagers in Wisconsin, and now sail from their home in St. Petersburg on the Florida Gulf. They have 3 sons, all engineers and Eagle Scouts, with 4 grandchildren.
Elaine Bispo Smalling ARCS Light Award 2013
Elaine Bispo Smalling was the Founding Secretary to start the new Tampa Bay Chapter of ARCS Foundation. As an active Founding Member, she created CURE ON WHEELS ARCS SCHOLAR AWARD to benefit cancer research, and coordinated two Fashion DownTo A Science Events that attracted over 175 people each year.
Currently, Elaine is an independent contractor serving as Director of Business Development at The DW Group, Inc. She has more than 15 years’ experience in economic development, working within various industries and government agencies throughout the Tampa Bay region to foster business growth and prosperity in new markets. Elaine is a persuasive communicator, successfully juggles multiple projects, and is a valuable and proactive member of ARCS Foundation in Florida.
She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida, with a concentration in International Business. She lives in St. Petersburg, with her husband Grant Smalling and their 2 beautiful young daughters.
In addition to her work with ARCS Foundation, Elaine recently supported Cure On Wheels, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, The Pier Aquarium, The St Petersburg Ocean's Team, Social Enterprise Alliance Tampa Bay, PACE Center for Girls, Women's Business Enterprise National Council and the Women's Business Development Center of Florida. She also gives her time to the Portuguese American Suncoast Association so that her daughters will be able to experience part of their family heritage.
Laura Blackwell ARCS Light Award 2012
Laura Blackwellis a key founding member of ARCS Foundation in Florida. She is currently VP-Communications, VP-Nominations Committee and Tampa Bay Webmaster. She has been a major contributor to the national website and database implementation, and in building our chapter site; as well as on the National Branding Committee.
A dedicated and passionate marketing professional, Laura has held executive leadership roles in financial institutions across North America. She focuses on growth and profitability by working in collaboration with team members to build brand value and ensure that all projects are on time, on budget and achieve that anticipated return on investment.
As Owner and President of NoMo Cruisin' Jewels, Inc., Laura created a line of jewelry that has been developed to help prevent motion sickness. The inspiration behind NoMo Cruisin' Jewels came from her passion for scuba diving and sailing on a 5 month cruise to the Bahamas. She would get motion sickness getting to and from the dive sites from the large waves and swell. She could either give up diving, not a choice, or find a solution. Laura uses semi-precious stones to coordinate with outfits.
Laura is married to Tom Blackwell, a Pilot and a Captain who owns Tampa Sailing Charters, and they have one son Chris, who is a web developer. Laura is also an Advisory Board Member of Easter Seals Florida.
Denise Walthers ARCS Light Award 2011
Denise Walthersis a key founding member of ARCS Foundation Tampa Bay. She has inspired, chaired and directed the 2010 and 2011 Fashion & Fun Down to a Science events which helped to raise funds for our new chapter with high style and visibility. Denise is very resourceful in finding the right people and businesses to make initiatives successful. Being proactive, Denise hosted our first High Holiday Tea at her home in December, setting the stage for other people to follow her lead.
As Owner and President of the DW group, Denise leads a consulting company that specializes in relationship sourcing for skin card manufacturing and marketing to support women-owned business in bringing innovation, new products and ideas to the marketplace.
Denise is author of Ten Steps to Success, her newest book 10 Steps to Style will be released this summer. Her design creation the “Houdini” dress will be featured on the Military Shopping channel.