About Us

Our mission is to empower low-income women to realize their full potential to become all they can be and to gain financial stability by providing assistance with education and career development.

Our Values are:

    • Respect for human dignity of persons.
    • Justice for all.
    • Appreciation for different cultures.
    • Awareness of special importance of women in the family and in the community.
    • Active development of each woman’s potential for employment and for leadership in the community.
    • Belief in democracy and participation of persons in all areas that impact their lives.
    • Basic appreciation for the spirituality of each person which nourishes their aspirations.

In 1999, Sister Lorraine Ryan did a survey of the greatest needs of low-income women in Boynton Beach. Many could not speak English and were unemployed. The survey indicated a need for skills that would improve the women’s employability. Sister Lorraine and Sister Joan Carusillo founded the Women’s Circle to give these women the skills they lacked.

In 2000 the Women’s Circle moved into a 650 square foot rented space. Programs were developed in English, Creole literacy, computer skills, job preparation and sewing.

The Women’s Circle soon outgrew the space. In 2010 the Women’s Circle received an interest free loan from the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and was able to purchase and move to a new 1250 square foot space. Demand for classes has continued to grow and a project is now underway to extend this space with a 4581 square foot addition.

Women’s Circle is supported by grants and private donations. 

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Sr. Lorraine Ryan, MMS, Executive Director

Sister Lorraine is the Founder of Women’s Circle. She is a community health nurse who was a missionary in India for 15 years before coming to Boynton Beach to care for her aging parents. She wanted to help this community, and discovered through conducting a survey that the population of underserved women needed help to get jobs. She has a B.S. in medical research science, a B.S. in nursing, and a Masters in Public Health.


Laurette Valcena, Job Development Coordinator

Laurette is bi-lingual in Creole and English and is the Job Development Coordinator for Creole speaking women. Her previous position was as a teacher assistant at a neighborhood elementary school. Her primary role at Women’s Circle is to help Haitian women find jobs. She also teaches crochet, helps in the sewing class, and manages “Mary’s Closet” which provides interview appropriate attire to clients.


Tee Jackson, Job Development Coordinator

Tee came to Women’s Circle seeking a career change that would allow her to educate and empower women. She had previously worked in a law office as a legal assistant for 25 years. She interviews women who are seeking employment or looking to enhance their skills for a better job. She prepares resumes, provides mock interviews and runs job development classes throughout the year. Tee also represents Women’s Circle in the community, serving on a number of Advisory boards and acting as Liaison with the City of Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Gilda Galdo, Education Coordinator

Gilda plans, manages, and evaluates the education program, and works closely with the Volunteer Coordinator to arrange the class schedule. She is a Filipina immigrant who also spent time in Japan before coming to the USA. She has a degree in Business Management and an Educational background.



Pernille OstbergPernille Ostberg, Treasurer

Pernille is a staunch advocate for personalized patient care, a fervent supporter of professional education and a highly successful business owner, and one of Florida's most experienced home health care executives. As President/CEO of Matrix Home Care, LLC, Pernille leads a growing team of caregivers who focus on the needs of the patient in the home setting. She founded her West Palm Beach-based company in 1999. Pernille has served with the Women’s Circle since 200_ and is a resident of Palm Beach County.

EileenEileen Augustyn

Eileen began wintering in Florida in 1976 after retiring from a successful career in banking and mortgage lending in St. Louis, Missouri and has since pursued her passion to make life better for the underserved. She has been a volunteer with Women's Circle since 2007. She has served as honorary chair for the International Fiesta event and each year thereafter as co-chair of the annual Circle of Hope Gala. In addition to Vice President, she served on the Nominating Committee, Finance Committee and the Capital Campaign Expansion Committee. She is involved with other non-profit organizations supporting health issues for underserved individuals and families. Eileen resides with her husband, Col. Frank J Augustyn in Gulf Stream.

Joan CarusilloSister Joan Carusillo, CSC, Secretary

Sister Joan, a Sister of the Holy Cross, graduated from Dunbarton College in Washington DC. She has had assignments at various Holy Cross schools in the East including St. Mary’s in Notre Dame, Indiana; mission coordinator at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and principal at one of the Holy Cross high schools. She relocated to South Florida to care for aging parents while ministering at the Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. During this time, she met Sister Lorraine Ryan, MMS; and together, they founded the Women’s Circle with the mission to provide education and literacy programs for underserved women. She is dedicated to Women’s Circle success as a board member, capital campaign committee member, and consultant for the organization.

Jane AdamsJane Adams, Vice President

Jane Adams, originally from N.J. relocated to Florida after a Healthcare Administration career which spanned a period of more than 35 years in both hospitals and Assisted Living Communities. The Women’s Circle will benefit from her former leadership experience on boards such as Chairman of the Visiting Nurses Association; President of the New Jersey Nurses Association and Chairman of the NJ Governor’s Nursing Merit Awards. For 42 years, Jane has been a member of Zonta International, a service organization that supports Women’s Circle and its mission to empower women through service and advocacy. Jane currently volunteers teaching English for Speakers of other languages (ESOL) at Women’s Circle and looks forward to increasing community awareness of Women’s Circle.

Bruce AllenBruce Allen

Bruce Allen is Senior Vice President of U.S. Trust in Delray Beach. A native of Delray Beach, Bruce’s background includes over 30 years of investment and finance experience servicing professional athletes, family businesses and clients holding significant wealth. Bruce and his wife Carolyn are active members of Hammock Street Church in western Boca Raton. Bruce serves as a Church Elder and is the Clerk of the Session. For over a decade, Bruce and Carolyn have hosted a weekly small group bible study in their home. Bruce serves on the finance committee and working on the capital campaign fund for the Women’s Circle.

John BarilettiJohn B. Bariletti

John Bariletti, currently employed at St. Thomas More Church and active choir member, has been involved in the banking industry for more than twenty-five years, as Assistant Vice President of the Mortgage Originations Department at The Richmond County Savings Bank, President of the Richmond County Bankers Association, along with being an active member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors. John received the Who’s Who Award for 2003 from the Italian Tribune for his work ethics and honesty in the work place.

The Women’s Circle will benefit from his experience as a dedicated volunteer organizing successful special events for non-profit organizations in New York.

Marge BlanzMarge Blanz

Marge Blanz was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where she married Dennis Blanz and raised three children, Barbara, Jennifer and Michelle. Marge returned to school, studied Nursing and graduated from Harper College, as a Registered Nurse. In 1982, her husband’s company transferred the family to Boca Raton, Florida where she continued working part-time, allowing her time to travel to see new places and visit family. She stays involved with the Women’s Circle even as she spends summers in Indiana with their daughters’ families and their nine grandchildren. Marge is a dedicated volunteer with the Women’s Circle.


Peggy MartinPeggy Martin

Peggy is a former teacher at Gulf Stream School who resides in Boynton Beach. She is a long time Community volunteer who has been very involved with fundraising for the Bethesda Hospital Foundation, and is a former Women of Grace honoree. She has been instrumental in the success of the Women’s Circle Annual “Circle of Hope” Gala, acting as chair/co-chair for five years.

Jim SackettJim Sackett, President

Jim Sackett retired in 2011 after nearly 34 years’ anchoring and reporting for WPTV, NewsChannel 5. During his time at WPTV, he won an "Emmy" and a "Telly" for his series focusing on the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union. For 30-plus years Mr. Sackett was host for the award-winning Thursday’s Child segment, finding forever homes for children that are up for adoption. Mr. Sackett started his career at Southern Illinois University. After graduating, he worked for WDCA-TV in Washington, D.C. In the late 60s and early 70s he served in the US Army as an infantry officer, leaving in 1977. He then moved to Bangor, Maine, to work for WABI-TV, where he stayed for two years. In 1978 he moved his wife, Paula, and children, Mick and Elizabeth, to West Palm Beach and WPTV.

Paula WinkerPaula Winker

Paula Winker has served with the Board of Directors of The Women’s Circle since 2015. Her experience as a Consultant for Development and Construction Projects has been an asset as The Women’s Circle completed the Phase 1 Parking Lot and moves forward with the building expansion.

Paula is also the Co-Founder of The Hearth – a gathering place for interfaith living, loving, laughing, learning and listening. The Hearth sponsors Interfaith Dialogue, Mindfulness Sessions and Spiritual Retreats for persons of all faiths.

As a Mother and Grandmother, Paula enjoys being with her family and playing with her three young grandchildren. Tennis, gardening and travel are among her other favorite activities. As a Member of the Board of Directors of The Women’s Circle, Paula strives to provide opportunities for women to maximize their potential and dreams.

Lorraine RyanSr. Lorraine Ryan, MMS, Executive Director

Sister Lorraine Ryan, MMS founded Women’s Circle, 501©3 non-profit organization in 2000. She is a former community health nurse with a B.S. in medical research science, a B.S. in nursing, and a Master’s in Public Health. She was a missionary in India for 15 years before coming to Boynton Beach, FL to care for her aging parents. She wanted to help this community and through collaboration was instrumental in the creation of PATCH (Planned Approach To Community Health) ensuring basic health services were available to low-income women. Conducting a survey, she discovered this population of underserved women needed help in getting jobs and therefore created Women’s Circle, Inc.


Amy Robbins

JoAnn Veccia

 2017 Department of Agriculture Statement can be downloaded pdfhere.

 2016 Form 990 can be downloaded pdfhere.