Shore’s Leading Women Recognized At Awards Reception

OCEAN CITY — Approximately 200 people came to Lighthouse Sound Wednesday evening to celebrate the careers and accomplishments of 45 “Women Leaders” on the shore.

The celebration, hosted by Lighthouse Sound, was a culmination of a three-month campaign, presented by The Dispatch newspaper and sponsored by Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Park Place Jewelers, Card’s Computers, Bank of Delmarva and Bartash Printing.

In March, the campaign began seeking nominations from Worcester, Wicomico and Sussex counties. The advertisement seeking nominees read, “Do you know of a leading woman in Wicomico, Worcester or Sussex counties who distinguishes herself in business, philanthropy, church, medicine, activities or any other way?”

Four weeks of ads resulted in more than 100 nominations being received. Those nominated were notified by mail and asked to respond to a biographical questionnaire. A committee then narrowed the field to the 45 honorees, who were recognized in a special magazine published last month and at Wednesday’s cocktail reception.

“Each of you are distinguishable in your own unique way and each of you are deserving of a little recognition for all you do, whether it be in the fields of business, education, health care and community activism or law enforcement, philanthropy and government,” The Dispatch Publisher Steve Green said in his opening remarks. “Tonight, we celebrate you. Not just for your accomplishments, of which there are many, but also for your willingness to guide and lead and share.”

Park Place Jewelers owner Todd Ferrante joined Green in congratulating the honorees, reading some biographical information about each one as they were presented with the awards.

“This is a great evening and it gives me tremendous pleasure to be here and take part in the awards presentation. I know many of the honorees tonight personally and professionally and have had the good fortune of working with many of them on community matters,” Ferrante said. “Congratulations to you all for all you do and I thank you.”

The 45 honorees were Debbie Abbott, Laura Deeley Bren, Alane Capen, Charlotte K. Cathell, Ann Coates, Kenille Davies, Jennifer Dawicki David, Annemarie Dickerson, Nancy Dofflemyer, Barbara Duncan, Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Mary Tawney Eastman, Teresa Fields, Erin Fitzsimmons, Beth Gismondi, Melanie Devine Gladden, Liz Gregory, Amanda L. Jenkins, Susan L. Jones, Toni Keiser, Peggy Kent, Irene Kordick, Gwen Lehman, Merle Marsh, Vera McCullough, Kathleen Momme, Claudia Nagle, Peggy Naleppa, Mitzi Perdue, Kathy Phillips, Kelley Rakow, Terri Sexton, Pam Stansell, Carrie Subity, Lauren Taylor, Michele Thomas, Thelma B. Thompson, Heather Towers, June Walker, Lisa Warford, Ruth Waters, Jayme Weeg, Stephanie T. Willey, Andrea H. Williams and Carol C. Withers.

Although he was unable to attend the festivities, Maryland Senator Jim Mathias sent a letter to this newspaper on Wednesday applauding the accomplishments of all the honorees.

“… Our rich history, current successes and bright future are directly attributable to those many women, including yourselves, that have served and continue to serve in leadership roles in education, business, public service and other esteemed vocations,” Mathias wrote. “Your complete dedication to success and leadership enable our fellow citizens to be the true beneficiaries. Please know your contributions are greatly appreciated and most importantly serve as true inspiration to the next generation of women leaders in our community, throughout the Eastern Shore and our great State of Maryland.”