© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2002
The Women's Council of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce honored three women recently at its Women of Distinction luncheon at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort.
Linda Osmundson, executive director of the Center Against Spouse Abuse, and Thelma Rothman, a founder of Kane's Furniture, were named Community Service Women of the Year. Dr. Akiko Tanaka, co-founder and president of the Tampa Bay Research Institute, is Business Woman of the Year.
Dr. Tanaka followed her drive to become a scientist upon discovering that her best friend, an 11-year-old schoolmate, had become ill and would lose her life within a matter of days because of an outbreak of influenza. She actively collaborates with some of the most prestigious research, educational, and biomedical laboratory organizations throughout the world and is associated with numerous scientific consortiums and societies.
Osmundson developed a multifaceted domestic violence center from what began as a shelter. She has gained clemency for Florida battered women who killed their abusers in self-defense and has made her mission that of educating the public and ending domestic violence.
Rothman has given more than 40 years of volunteer work to the community. She is on the boards of All Children's Hospital and the Pinellas County Education Foundation and has been a major supporter of the Tampa Bay Research Institute and CASA.