Area women celebrate achievements at 'Circle of Sisters' event

March 19, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE |

In honor of national Women’s History Month, a group of women of all ages came together Monday night to share stories of celebration and to remind younger generations that gender is never a limitation for achievement.

Three successful women from the community spoke before a crowd of about 100 people during the second annual Circle of Sisters Celebration in the banquet room at Next Dimensions Dining and Catering near Funkstown.

“The event is a way to bring the women of the community together to celebrate some of our achievements, some of the women who have inspired us to become leaders and also to model leadership behavior for a second generation,” said Shalom Black Lane, an organizer from the Washington County Commission for Women.

The Commission for Women teamed up with Soroptimist International-Hagerstown and Women at the Table to hold the event, which drew about 80 people last year, Black Lane said.

Black Lane said the commission sponsored numerous young women from area youth organizations to attend. Groups represented included Girls Inc., Lead4Life Mentoring Initiative, Stone Bridge and Memorial Recreation, she said.

“I would like the girls and young women who are here to see that there are a whole variety of options open to them as they grow older,” Black Lane said.

Speakers for the night were Dori Nipps, who was named among Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2010; Mary Lou Mace, an owner of family-run Mace Auto Body in Smithsburg; and Anastasia Broadus, the junior class president at Trinity University.

Working in the male-dominated auto industry, Mace stressed the importance of setting goals, taking things slowly and always being persistent.

“There is always a way if you really want to be successful and achieve in business,” she said. “Don’t take no for an answer, absolutely.”

Broadus, who is the youngest member of the county’s Commission for Women, attended the first event in 2011 as a guest and felt like she was “definitely a part of something,” which made it an easy decision to return as a speaker this year.

“Success ... is possible,” Broadus said. “I have made it to college and (am) successfully in my second year at an all-girls college. Basically, college is possible and college is there. It should always be a possibility in their mind. And just keep striving for greatness.”

Nipps also serves as executive director of Pen Mar Development Corp. in Cascade.

Several local politicians also were expected to attend, including state Del. Kathy Afzali, County Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham and Julianna Albowicz on behalf of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving female senator and longest-serving woman in the history of Congress. She was first elected in 1977.

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