Men & Women of the Year
Meet nine dynamic people we honor for their major contributions to our community.
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It’s easy to spot Sonya Sawyer in a crowded ballroom—she’ll be the one all eyes are focused on. While those eyes might be looking at the 39-yearold’s spectacular fashion sense, she’s there with a mission in mind: to build the philanthropic presence of Home-Tech, the business her father founded in 1981. She has grown the company’s philanthropic footprint immensely in her 14 years as CFO. Last season, she co-chaired the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball with her husband, who lost his mother to heart disease in her early 50s.
“Chairing the Heart Ball this year with my husband was the most gratifying thing because we broke all goals,” Sawyer says. “That was huge for me.”
If you can do good, great. If you can give back and look and feel great doing it, even better.
Different career path: A stylist to the stars! I love fashion and wanted to be a fashion designer. Quality admired most in others: Loyalty, absolutely. Authenticity. Sincerity. I don’t like fake people or duplicity. How to improve Southwest Florida: Probably the school system. Having young children, it seems that the focus is standardized testing, and I hate that. Subject she won’t discuss at cocktail parties: Work. I hate to talk shop. Hate it! People might not know: I am a huge introvert. It takes a lot for me to be in public. I have to gear up for it. Guilty pleasure: I have many. But I’d say red wine and designer handbags. I couldn’t do without either of them. Still on her bucket list: I would love to attend Fashion Week in New York. And the Kentucky Derby. And go on a Mediterranean cruise and visit Greece and Italy. Maybe when the kids get older. Whose style she admires: Victoria Beckham, Carrie Underwood, Halle Berry.