Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Maria and Andrea Ruiz-Hays

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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The universe brought together these two women who share a passion for social justice, travel and their dogs.

When Maria saw Andrea, a tall, striking blonde, from across the ballroom at the MBA Gala, she says, “it felt like I had been hit by lightning.” The two women ended up sitting together at the gala dinner and chatted throughout the night. After the gala, they exchanged business cards.

A few weeks later, Andrea asked Maria if she would be interested in participating in an executive panel hosted by Out and Equal. Maria agreed and the pair met for dinner at the Greek Corner to discuss the details. “It was as if the universe was conspiring to bring us into each other’s orbit,” says Maria. After dinner, they walked across the street to the Lucky Lure and continued connecting. “I was mesmerized by her and found myself wanting to know everything about her,” says Andrea. “We talked all night long and shared stories, just laughing and flirting.”

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Lee James Floral Design

By : Billy Manes
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Lee James, he of Lee James Floral Designs Inc. on North Orange Avenue, loves the smell of roses in the morning.

“You know, my mom had a beautiful garden, and I grew up in English gardens, so the passion for me has to do with more than just the bride,” he says.

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