Washington Area Women’s Foundation Annual Leadership Luncheon & 15th Anniversary Celebration Awards Four Distinguished Honorees with First Ever Visionary Awards

By Punch Correspondent Kia Scipio 

Founded in 1998, Washington Area Women’s Foundation mobilizes the community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls have the resources they need to thrive. It is the only donor-supported, public foundation solely focused on improving the lives of women and girls in the Washington metropolitan region.

2013 Washington Area Women's Foundation Luncheon Visionary Award Winners: Anne Mosle, Marion Ballard, Sharon Williams, Rick Ballard
Visionary Award Winners: Anne Mosle, Marion Ballard, Sharon Williams, Rick Ballard

On Wednesday, October 23rd, four Washington-area residents received the first ever Visionary Awards at the Foundation’s annual Leadership Luncheon and 15th anniversary celebration. The recipients were recognized for their exceptional work and dedication to help put women and girls on paths to prosperity. The recipients were: Marion and Rick Ballard, Anne Mosle, and Sharon Williams.

Marion and Rick Ballard of Bethesda, MD were presented with the first Visionary Award by Carolyn Berkowitz, managing vice president of community affairs at Capital One, president of the Capital One Foundation and chair of The Women’s Foundation’s board of directors. Marion Scattergood Ballard is one of the founders of The Women’s Foundation, a former chair of the Foundation’s board, and is the longest consecutive donor to the Foundation, having given each year for the past 17 years. She is the founder of Dataplus, Inc. and currently serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, Montgomery Women, Nurturing Minds, Inc., and the Levine School of Music.

Rick Ballard is a partner at Ballard Spahr, where he practices primarily in federal income tax matters relating to municipal bond issues. He came to the Washington area in 1978 to open the firm’s first office outside Philadelphia. He represents numerous nonprofit organizations on tax-exemption proceedings on a pro bono basis.

Together and individually, the Ballards have served as volunteers at the Foundation and fundraisers. They say that their belief that an investment in women is the best investment one can make is what has kept them committed to the Foundation.

“Rick and Marion have demonstrated that with passion, a strong partnership, generosity, a willingness to take on tasks both great and small, and a kindness and humility unlike any other, it is possible to change lives and change the world,” said Berkowitz.

2013 Washington Area Women's Foundation Luncheon Mayor presents proclamation naming Oct. 23 Washington Area Women's Foundation Day in the District: Foundation President Nicky Goren, Mayor Vincent Gray, Foundation VP Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat
Mayor presents proclamation naming Oct. 23 Washington Area Women’s Foundation Day in the District: Foundation President Nicky Goren, Mayor Vincent Gray, Foundation VP Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat

Anne Mosle is currently a vice president at the Aspen Institute and is the executive director of Ascend, a policy program at the Aspen Institute. She was the longest-serving president of Washington Area Women’s Foundation, leading the organization from 2000 to 2007. Under her leadership, the Foundation launched the Stepping Stones initiative, which became a model for grantmakers across the country. The Foundation also received its first million dollar gift while Mosle was president. The grant was initiated by Stacey D. Stewart, who was president and CEO of the Fannie Mae Foundation at the time. Stewart presented Mosle with her Visionary Award.

“As funders, we focus on evaluations and metrics – but we also know when to invest in leadership,” said Stewart, who is currently U.S. president of United Way Worldwide. “In Anne, I saw investment-worthy leadership. I saw passion, energy and excitement.”

Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Mosle was a vice president and officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She currently serves on the board of the Tides Network and is on the advisory committee of the Oxford University Said School of Business.

2013 Washington Area Women's Foundation Luncheon Julie Rogers, President & CEO, The Meyer Foundation (also a Women's Foundation board member); Nicky Goren, President, Washington Area Women's Foundation
Julie Rogers, President & CEO, The Meyer Foundation (also a Women’s Foundation board member); Nicky Goren, President, Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Sharon Williams is a nurse at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. She received her nursing certification at Prince George’s Community College, a Women’s Foundation Grantee Partner. After struggling with divorce and being a single parent, Williams went to Prince George’s Community College to get the credentials she needed for a job with good wages that would enable her to care for her children. After receiving her certification, she became a nurse and received a scholarship to earn her bachelor’s degree. Next year, she will pursue a master’s.

Williams, a native Washingtonian, continues to return to the neighborhood in which she grew up to encourage her friends and neighbors to pursue higher education, as well. Cecelia Knox, director of the Next Step program at Prince George’s Community College, presented Williams with her Visionary Award.

“Sharon models the strength and generosity that make real change in our community possible,” said Knox. “And she does it simply because she believes that women and their families should have a chance to succeed.”

Over the past 15 years, the Foundation has:

• Invested approximately $9 million in nonprofits in Montgomery and Prince George’s County, Md., Northern Virginia and Washington, DC.
• Made grants to over 160 community organizations.
• Touched the lives of more than 300,000 women and girls.
• Helped women increase their assets by $35 million.
• Helped over 1,000 women attain new or better-paying jobs.

For more information about Washington Area Women’s Foundation please click HERE.

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