Business, Education, Politics

Four Baltimore County women recognized at 42nd Annual Women of the Year Awards ceremony

TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski and the Baltimore County Commission for Women on Thursday recognized four outstanding women during its 42nd Annual Women of the Year Awards ceremony.

The Women of the Year Awards honor women residents of Baltimore County who have made significant, unique and lasting contributions within their community to champion the interests and needs of women and families; serve as role models of inspiration and achievement for other women; or enhance the lives of the citizens of Baltimore County.

Each year, the Baltimore County Commission for Women accepts nominations for “Woman of the Year,” “Young Woman of the Year,” and “Woman Making a Difference” awards. New this year is the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

Baltimore County’s 2024 awardees are:

Woman of the Year: Kim Ross

Kim Ross – recognized as one of The Daily Record’s Maryland’s “Top 100 Women” in 2024 – serves as president of the Franklin Point at Deerborne Homeowners Association (HOA); a member of the Board of Trustees for the Community College of Baltimore County and as chair of communications for the Baltimore County Democratic State Central Committee. She is a recent graduate of the Baltimore County Community Planning Institute and recipient of board leader certification training for HOA leaders.

As a parent to a BCPS student, Ross volunteers as a mentor, volunteer and PTSO member at Rossville Elementary School.

Woman Making a Difference: Deborah Staigerwald

Debbie Staigerwald founded the Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Office of Therapeutic Recreation Services’ “The Sky is the Limit” creative arts program, which provides barrier-free performing arts opportunities for people with all abilities. Formerly a volunteer manager for The Arc Baltimore, Staigerwald also worked for the Governor’s Office for Service and Volunteerism under Governors Ehrlich and O’Malley; the Maryland Department of Emergency Management and the Baltimore County Department of Aging and the Howard County Arts Council.

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year: Dr. La Keita Carter

Dr. La Keita D. Carter is the owner and CEO of HEALing, LLC (iHEAL), an award-winning, nationally-accredited wellness agency based in Owings Mills, MD. In addition to her practice, she teaches psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, has authored three psychology textbooks and regularly writes articles related to sexual health, wellness, and relationships in her Psychology Today column, “Inside Intimacy.”

Dr. Carter volunteers her time as a member of the Board of Directors for Pro Bono Counseling; vice-president of the Board of Directors for the Black Mental Health Alliance, Inc. and is secretary on the Board of Deacons at Providence Baptist Church. She has been honored as an American Psychological Association Fellow, one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs, Maryland’s Top 100, and Top 40 under 40 by The Daily Record and a Leader in Diversity by The Baltimore Business Journal.

Young Woman of the Year: Haylee Beard

Lansdowne High School (LHS) senior Haylee Beard is a leader in her school and community, serving as executive officer and drill commander at LHS’ JROTC, and senior patrol for the Boy Scouts of America where she has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and brotherhood in the organization’s Order of the Arrow.
During her high school career, Beard has been included in the National Honor Society and participated in the All-County Jazz Choir, chamber orchestra, drill team, volleyball, track and field, softball, dance, and jiu-jitsu.

Photo via Baltimore County Government on Flickr

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