December 03, 2006

The Hagerstown Business & Professional Women's Club (BPW) celebrated National Business Women's Week at its dinner meeting held recently.

Washington County Commissioner James F. Kercheval presented a proclamation from the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County. He talked about the many women holding government positions in Washington County. A proclamation was also read from the Hagerstown Mayor and City Council.

The keynote speaker was Rose Wolters, president of the Washington County Commission or Women, which was established in the 1980s. Its mission is to identify women's problems and work on women's issues. There are 15 seats on the commission, which includes one male and a junior member. The commission has just started a new project, "The Story Book Project." This project provides the opportunity for a woman who is incarcerated to read to her child via cassette. The Women's Commission has published a book, "Working Women - First in Their Field in Washington County." A copy of this book was presented to Marlene Spielman, BPW president.


Other guests were Joan Erdesky, vice president, Washington County Commission for Women, and Sharon Leatherman, who represented Church Women United, Women at the Table, and the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women.

Hagerstown BPW celebrated National Business Women's Week with informative NBC25 telecasts by Marlene Spielman and Donna Smith. The local organization also attended the church of the president, followed with a brunch at the Elks Club.

The objectives of National Business Women's Week are to promote full participation and equity for women in the workplace; to publicize the achievements of business and professional women on the local, state and national level; and to publicize the objectives and programs of BPW/USA as they relate to the millions of business and professional women across the country.

National Business Women's Week originated in 1928 through BPW/USA.

Fourteen members of the 2006-2007 Leadership Franklin County class recently boarded a bus along with the president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, Mike Ross; the president of the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation, Dave Sciamanna, and Franklin County Commissioners G. Warren Elliott and Cheryl Plummer for a tour of a variety of county industries and businesses.

The tour included The Fulton Farm at Wilson College, the new Gateway Center, and the Humvee production line at Letterkenny Army Depot.

The purpose of the tour was to gain awareness of the variety of industries located in the county, and better understand their impact on the county housing, tax base, educational systems and recreational opportunities. Following the tour, the group returned to the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce for a lively discussion (facilitated by Commissioner Elliott) of what the students perceived were the county's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Leadership Franklin County students meet for nine monthly sessions on community and leadership-related topics in preparation to take on bigger roles in their places of employment and as volunteers in the Franklin County community.

For more information about Leadership Franklin County or to obtain an application for the 2007-2008 program year, contact Melissa Knepper, executive director of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation, at 717-264-7101 or

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