Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 271

Women of Howard County

I promised that the chicks of HoCo would get a look in on the blog, and what a lot of chicks doing good things and being generally gorgeous there are here!

Anyhow, these are my top lovely ladies of Howard County….drum roll please!

Mickey Gomez

Mickey is a blogger, and she writes beautiful and witty things on her blog. She’s always supporting stuff in the county, and that’s because she grew up in here and still has family here.

And what I love about the work she does is that it is pretty darn selfless. She started up the Volunteer Center and spends her days inspiring others to volunteer and learn about all of the incredible local nonprofits active in our community.

There’s more?! Yes, there’s more! She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Giving Circle and on the HandsOn Network Affiliate Assembly, was the chair of National VOAD’s Volunteer Management Committee, and sat on the Board of the Association of Community Services. She also worked it as the Celebrity Bartender at Evening in the Stacks Library event for the past two years. Yeah!

She wins celebrity bartender!

She wins celebrity bartender!

Why Mickey? All of the above, plus she is an advocate for issues related to equality and is passionate about civility in public debate (online and offline).

And she loves her doggies, Sophie and Shiloh. Cute as buttons!

Sophie and Shiloh

Sophie and Shiloh

Jaki Ulman

Jaki Ulman / Jackie Kennedy. What have they got in common? Lots!

For one, they are both style icons. Mrs Ulman is what we Brits would call a ‘glamour puss’, but in a good way 😉 . She oozes style and sophistication, plus she’s really friendly and down-to-earth and likes a good joke, (even at her husband’s expense – Channing Tatum, anyone…?)

See? Glamour! Class!

See? Glamour! Class!

So, she is the wife of Ken Ulman, Howard County Executive and front-runner for Lt. Governor of Maryland. But she has her own thing going on too, and that’s another reason she’s in this list! She’s been described as a ‘behind-the-scenes powerhouse’ (point #2!)

She works you know – as a subcontracts manager for IBM, and she’s a mother of two girls. Of them, she says ‘My goal is to do whatever I can to teach them to be great human beings.’ 🙂

We hang with Jaki at Wine in the Woods :)

We hang with Jaki and Ken at Wine in the Woods 🙂

And she speaks my language, as a working mother: the struggle to balance work and family life, particularly for women. She’s always popping up, looking all stylish and wotnot, at events, supporting the voluntary services and women’s issues, and school stuff. Liking your work, Jaki!

Bita Dayhoff

Bita is one those people who makes Howard County an all-round better place. She is president of the Community Action Council (CAC) of Howard County September and works tirelessly to fight hunger in the community.

She recently ran Hunger Action Month, which is in place to make a real and lasting impact on the effort to feed more Howard Countians than ever before. Before I got involved in the Food Bank, I had no idea that it was such a problem in the county. Well, it is, and I’m going to be working with Bita to play my part in helping out.

Bita tells it how it is

Bita tells it how it is

Since 2008, the number of individuals who visit the Howard County Food Bank has increased from 3,800 to over 22,000. In FY 2012, CAC distributed more than 470,000 pounds of food to over 22,000 individuals who visited the Food Bank.

The Howard County Food Bank, which is open for distribution three days a week and staffed by four individuals, collects donations, holds food drives, distributes and delivers food to those in need, and supports 12 pantries in Howard County. Additionally, CAC manages a community garden that gives low-income families access to fruits and vegetables they otherwise cannot afford to purchase. More than 500 individuals support the garden by spending an hour or two each Saturday from April through November to help plant, water, weed, and harvest fruits and vegetables. Last year, more than 2,000 pounds of produce was harvested from the garden. How great is that?!

Bita at the garden

Bita at the garden

About 50 percent of individuals who visit the CAC Food Bank are senior citizens on fixed income. Eighty percent are female and 40 percent make less than $20,000 per year. Some of the families are receiving SNAP funds, formerly known as Food Stamps. Did you know that the daily food budget while on SNAP is $4.50 per day or $31.50 a week?

I didn’t. It really makes you think….

Mary Kay Sigaty

I so liked Mary when I first met her, cos she’s smart and sweet and feisty and kind and warm and genuine. I wanted to be in her gang.

Mary Kay walking with Food for Tomorrow on 4th July

Mary Kay walking with Food for Tomorrow on 4th July

Mary Kay is the Council member for District 4 in Columbia and she knows all about government (‘I know that local government is about the myriad of small, everyday things that make up our “quality of life”’).

I went to her recent announcement that she’s running again for the district, and it was like a great, fun, buzzy event for friends and even if you didn’t know her that well (I don’t), she made you feel welcome and part of the gang and all warm inside.

Mary has lived and worked in Columbia since she was a young woman and always talks of her love its past, as well as its future prospects even more. When she made a pledge to make the future of Columbia and Howard County brighter, I believed in her because she has one thing I admire greatly – integrity.

Mary Kay and the very handsome Anthony Brown (lucky gal!)

Mary Kay and the very handsome Anthony Brown (lucky gal!)

Courtney Watson

Courtney and I were ‘friends’ on Facebook and followed each others’ tweets before we met in person. It was a sad event at which we met – the memorial service of the late, great Dennis J. Lane, fellow blogger, Howard County personality and all round top chap.

Courtney came up to me and gave me a hug. She didn’t need to, but it was one of those moments that it felt right, and straight away I warmed to her. She gave a moving speech at the memorial about Dennis, and I found myself nodding, agreeing and at that moment I realised why she is where she is in the world.

Courtney is in her second term of office as a Howard County Council member representing the First Council District, which includes portions of Ellicott City, Elkridge and Hanover.

She runs! Hoorah for her (and chum Tom Coale!)

She runs! Hoorah for her (and chum Tom Coale!)

She’s running for County Executive for Howard County, and is supported by Ken Ulman. I’d love to see her win. She is mesmerizing to listen to when she talks, and is everything a strong and confident female leader should be. I see shades of Hillary Clinton in her 🙂

When I ask about Courtney, I hear that she relentlessly pursued funding to maintain a top quality public school system, agricultural preservation, and the revitalization of Howard County’s downtown. I’m up for that!

Running for County Exec

Running for County Exec

Three words about Courtney? Smart, strong, sassy. And she has one of THOSE smiles – you know the one, the one that lights up her face, and yours.

Smart, sassy!

Smart, sassy!

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1 Response to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 271

  1. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 366 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

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