The PBA Difference

Women of Distinction

During its annual Women of Distinction luncheon, Palm Beach Atlantic University honors women who cherish community and family and want to preserve these ideals for others. The event is a PBA traditionPalm Beach Altantic Women of Distinction 2017 for more than 20 years, and proceeds from the luncheon benefit a scholarship fund for deserving female students. We are pleased to announce that Women of Distinction 2018 will be held on February 22, 2018 at The Breakers. 

2017 Co-Chairs

This year we are honored to have two former Women of Distinction as co-chairs for the 2018 event. 

Eileen Burns

Eileen Burns (2011): New York native Eileen Corroon Burns has lived in Palm Beach for more than 30 years. An ardent preservationist, Burns was the first woman and third recipient of the prestigious Ballinger Award in 1990 for her restoration of The Vicarage, the second oldest house in Palm Beach. She is also a longtime member of the special events committee at the Norton Museum of Art. An enduring supporter of Ambassador Nancy Brinker’s “Race for the Cure,” Burns co-founded “Wake Up For the Cure,” the annual breakfast event at Club Colette with Palm Beach residents Susan Keenan and daughter Samantha Fairchild Storkerson. Burns also supports a host of Ireland-based causes and organizations including the National Gallery and its advisory board, where she has served as a patron member for 20 years. She is also a longtime supporter of The American Ireland Fund. She is a special advisor to the “Brian P. Burns Collection” of Irish art, the largest collection of Irish art outside its home country. The collection spans works dating from 1840-1940, and aims to bring the work of contemporary Irish artists into the collection. Additionally, Burns is a special advisor to the Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College.

Frances Fisher

Frances Fisher (2006): Frances Fisher has enjoyed a distinguished volunteer career, serving in numerous leadership positions for charitable organizations throughout Palm Beach County for more than 18 years. She is currently president of the board of trustees of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens; vice president of the board of trustees for Palm Beach Day Academy and H.O.W. (Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper); member of the board of advisors for The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University; and a trustee of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. Fisher also serves as a member of the Vestry at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. She is active in the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches as an organizer of the annual Women in Leadership Awards and scholarship programs.


Read more about the co-chairs

2017 Honorees

2017 Women of Distinction Honoree Emilia Fanjul at Palm Beach Atlantic University

Emilia May Fanjul is a founding and board member of Fundacion MIR and is active in the Central Romana Hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic. She is the board chair and founder of Everglades Preparatory Academy charter high school and Glades Academy elementary and middle charter schools in Pahokee, Florida. She serves on the board of trustees of the Animal Medical Center in New York City; is an associate trustee of Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts; and is a former member of the board of trustees of the Palm Beach Day School in Palm Beach, Florida. She is also a board member of the Florida Charter School Alliance and a Dame of Malta – American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

2017 Women of Distinction Palm Beach Atlantic Honoree Darlene Jordan

Darlene Luccio Jordan is the executive director of the Gerald R. Jordan Foundation, a nonprofit organization named for her husband that supports education, health and youth services, as well as the arts. In 2012, she was awarded the Fordham Founder’s Award, honoring her outstanding philanthropic commitment to her alma mater, Fordham University. She is a member of Fordham’s Board of Directors and co-chair of Fordham’s successful $500 million campaign. She currently serves on Fordham’s executive committee and is chair of the Development and University Relations Committee and co-chair of the Financial Aid Campaign.

2017 Women of Distinction Recap

Learn About Past Honorees