UNA’s Spring Commencement to Feature Florida State Senator and Alumna Annette Taddeo ‘92

Senator Annette Taddeo

FLORENCE, Ala. –University of North Alabama alumna and Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo ’92 will be the featured commencement speaker at the UNA spring graduation ceremonies. UNA will host two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m., and 2 p.m., in Flowers Hall. Taddeo will speak at both events.

Born to an American World War II and Korean War fighter pilot and a Colombian mother, Annette Taddeo’s family fled an unstable Colombia when she was 17 and relocated to Miami to build a better life. That decision would prove to be a life changer in many ways for Taddeo, culminating in her most recent election.

On Sept. 26, 2017, Taddeo was elected Florida State Senator for District 40. This was the first time in Florida’s history that a Democrat had flipped a seat from red to blue in a special election. She also made history by becoming the first Latina Democrat to serve in the Florida Senate.

However, her Florida beginnings were much more humble. Taddeo worked hard to learn English and earn admission to college. She was able to pay for school through Pell grants and waiting tables, and ultimately turned her experience into a business.

After helping her parents rebuild their home in Perrine in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, Taddeo set out to build her own business, providing translation services. Today, Language Speak provides translations in more than 240 languages and has been named one of the top 100 small businesses in Florida, and one of the top 500 small businesses in the United States.

Taddeo is the wife of Dr. Eric Goldstein and mom to their 11-year-old daughter, Sofia.

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