Originally published 2011. Updated July 6, 2018
Along with her husband, Steve, English-born Julie Weintraub is not just the beautiful face of Clearwater-based Gold & Diamond Source – but the President as well. Her beauty, however, is definitely not just skin deep, Julie dedicates much of her time to various charitable organizations around the Bay area (she’s the founder of “Hands Across the Bay”) as well as to raising a family, which includes five children. Her kind nature and giving spirit truly makes her inner beauty exceptional.
How did you begin working with charities?
I think watching my parents influenced me. I grew up as charitable as they were. My first formal charity work was at the Humane Society of North Pinellas with Rick Chaboudy. By age 20, I was volunteering in the shelter, doing a small amount of PR, serving as a foster family for many animals and hosting charity events at the Dogwater Café to raise money. I have always found the work rewarding and the people you meet are extraordinary.
What is one of your favorite charity events in Tampa and why?
Of course I have to say Tampa Bay’s “Dancing With The Stars.” Seeing all those otherwise civilized people, celebrities, business owners, philanthropists and community leaders having a great time, dancing in the most glamorous clothes in front of all their friends, family and community while raising money for deserving charities…can’t get better then that! I will say Tampa Bay has quite a few great charity events, I like to support as many as I can. I appreciate their efforts!
As a leading lady, what is one of your proudest accomplishments?
Working very hard with my husband to increase our business to the point where we no longer have to worry about how we’re going to pull it all together and keep our entire staff. We’ve kept them, given them raises and provided at least 20 more families with jobs in our community. Allowing us to share our blessings with others through “Hands Across The Bay” is another proud accomplishment. I’m proud of surviving and succeeding.
Now that we’re entering the holiday season, what is one of your favorite memories with your family?
My childhood was a little rocky, but I would have to say the day that my family all took a bike ride together. My Mum, Dad and 2 brothers, it was one of the happiest moments of my life.
What are a couple of your cherished holiday traditions?
In England, we would hold each end of a pretty “cracker,” a wrapped round cylinder in which you pull each end until it pops and a silly crown and a useless toy comes out!
What are your favorite kinds of gifts to give and receive?
Jewelry…ummm and jewelry.
What advice would you pass on to younger generations?
Independence is a great way to be assured you are only where you are because you want to be, not because you have to be….much pain and suffering is caused by not having this one thing.
What is your favorite hero of fiction?
Sadly, Wonder Woman. She kicked butt! Believe it or not, I was a major tomboy growing up.
If you had one wish this holiday season, what would it be?
That all people could find it in themselves to accept others who don’t look, act, believe and behave like they do. This, I sincerely believe, would lead to world peace. Empathy, not sympathy…empathy.
Check out another Leading Lady of Tampa from 2016, Lorraine Lutton, here.