Here are the members of the 2015 Class of Delmarvalous Women
Nominated by Susan Monday
Sometimes you just don’t know why people come into your life, and then it finally hits you.
I met Rae when she attended a station event in December 2012. She was a regular caller to “The Susan Monday Show,” and she often called about matters relating to race. She brought an eye-opening perspective to the show. I remember a story Rae told about the time her son, on a road trip back home, got pulled over simply because he was a black man driving a Mercedes. She called the show about Ferguson and Freddie Gray and the Confederate flag, and when she spoke, you got the impression she knew a thing or two about racial injustice.
Rae, born to a white mother and black father, grew up in Harlem in the 50s and 60s. She fell into alcohol and drugs and found AA, now 38 years sober. I attended my first AA meeting when Rae was recognized for her years of sobriety, and I saw first-hand how the other attendees respected and looked up to her. I heard countless stories about how Rae had helped them “stay the course.” To this day, she religiously attends AA meetings and “sponsors” newcomers.
Along the way, Rae decided she wanted to have children and made an “arrangement” with a neighborhood man who gladly obliged. He didn’t want the commitment, and Rae didn’t want the man, and she raised those kids on her own, both of whom are lawyers today.
Later, she met her partner, and they decided to adopt. They were open to a special needs kid, and that’s what they got when they welcomed a 6-week old baby into their home. Raphael, now 14, was born addicted to crack cocaine, and he suffers from severe psychiatric and behavioral issues. Did that experience deter Rae and her partner from taking in Raphael’s brother when the agency asked 4 years later? Angelo, also born addicted to crack cocaine, is now a thriving, straight A student.
Rae’s life’s work has been focused on those in need. She holds a graduate degree in Human Services and has worked with AIDS patients, distressed families, and homeless women. She now works at Horizon House, a community resource for adults who suffer from mental illness and drug addiction.
It couldn’t have been easy being a woman determined to raise two kids on her own, it couldn’t have been easy overcoming alcoholism and addiction, and it can’t be easy raising a special needs kid, but Rae makes it look easy.
She is a woman of strong convictions, one whom I admire and respect and from whom I have learned the meaning of “forging your own path.”
Nominated by Mary Lou Allen
A decade ago, Joyce Paugh’s life was turned upside down when her husband of many years, Racey Paugh, received the devastating diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Joyce lovingly cared for her husband before he passed, learning everything she could to assist him during his brave fight, and advocated for her husband and other patients suffering from this horrible disease. Joyce and her family began participating in the yearly Walk to Defeat ALS in surrounding states because Delaware did not have a Walk of its own. Joyce joined forces with fellow ALS advocate and Widow MaryAnn Wollter to bring a Walk to Delaware. For the past 9 years, Joyce has been an instrumental member of the committee promoting the Rehoboth Beach Walk to Defeat ALS; she has been a stanch advocate at the state and federal levels pushing for better access to promising treatments and vital equipment needed to care for ALS patients. Joyce has also let her voice be heard as an ALS advocate by visiting Washington D.C for Advocacy Day and connecting with Delaware's elected officials to support funding for ALS research. Her tireless efforts advocating to state legislators on behalf of Delaware patients directly led to the State of Delaware awarding, for the first time ever, a $25,000 dollar grant for ALS research, assistive technology and home modifications. Joyce has contributed countless hours organizing and promoting fundraising events for the Rehoboth Beach Walk to Defeat ALS; thanks to all of Joyce’s efforts, the Rehoboth Beach Walk to Defeat ALS has raised almost $600,000 over the past 8 years. Without a doubt Joyce Paugh has made Delaware a better place and she is a gift to her family and friends. Her light shines bright as she continues the fight to help find a cure for ALS!!
Nominated by Joan Cote
Vera has made a major impact in our community from her volunteer work at USO Delaware, Schwartz Center, Agriculture Museum, MS Walk, Downtown Dover Clean Up, Dept of Elections, Crocheting for Cancer Patients & waiting for a slot with local Animal Shelter! Vera consistently steps up to help even during the toughest of times. Her commitment to excellence shines in all projects she undertakes from supporting our Fallen Military Heroes and their Honor Guard Teams during Dignified Transfer on Dover AFB's Flight Line to organizing & cleaning the USO Delaware Lounge in the Charles C Carson Mortuary. She has put in countless hours at the Schwartz Center working Wardrobe, Backstage, Concessions and with Admin Depts. Vera was just selected at the USO Volunteer of the Quarter 2015 for the entire US! Whether comforting our Military Heroes and their Families or serving her community through various charitable organizations, Vera's compassion, tenacity and sheer determination to get the job done regardless of time or day or night is an example of what all of us should emulate! We are blessed to have her as a member of our community!
Nominated by Kenneth Cannon
Pamela Cannon, is a wife, sister, friend, mentor, advocate, health enthusiast, animal lover...the list goes on and on! Pamela, who everyone calls Pam, IS a Delmarvalous Woman! A resident of Delaware for 35 years she is enthusiastically involved in her community. Pam is a member of the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC), a former board member, and currently a member of ARC's recreation committee. Pam is also an energetic member of Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, a coach for Special Olympics Delaware in bowling and bicycling, volunteers at the annual Milford Memorial Hospital Fair...the list goes on and on!
Pam has worked for KenCrest Residential Services for 30 years, this is not just her job, but her life's passion. Pam began as a direct service worker in group homes which support individuals with developmental disabilities. She is now the agency's Assistant Director for Kent and Sussex Counties. Her career has been one of excellence in the field of developmental disability services.
Pam thinks of her "clients" as peers, and no less. She regularly includes them in her own activities, such as shopping, attending church, picnics and one unique event, the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge. For the past five years, Pam and several group home residents have braved the icy cold waters in February!
Every month Pam takes an active role in ARC's dance for members and clients. Each dance has a distinctive theme, and she of course, participates in costume. She voluntarily provides transportation for community participants who may have elderly parents or no other way of attending the dance.
Recently, one young man wanted to take his buddy and go for Chinese food before the dance, a normal activity for any 21 year old guy, but because of limited resources there was no way for this to happen for him, except for Pam on her own time, picking up both guys and dropping them at the restaurant, then returned and drove them to the dance. Over the past 30 years, there are too many examples to list of her countless unselfish giving to those with developmental disabilities. She does so, to make their live more normal, like the life we enjoy and take for granted.
Let's not forget, Pam participates in numerous fundraising bike rides and run/walks, but always annually for the MS Bike to the Bay ride. In the past decade she has ridden, run or walked to support over 60 fundraising events.
For Pam, these acts come naturally--excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty and SELFLESS service. Pam Cannon is a silent hero, who does good EVERY day for someone.
Nominated by Lisa Wright
Brooke Lyons is one of the most amazing and strongest women I have ever met. She is completely selfless and uplifting to others. Her love for not only her children, but for others is truly inspiring. Brooke works as a Para educator at a middle school and goes to work with a smile on her face everyday because she absolutely loves what she does. The fact that she can touch other children's lives by giving them the extra one on one time that some children need in school is so important to her. She previously volunteered her time to be a cheerleading coach for the Seaford parks and rec and was heartbroken when the program was no longer available. Brooke is so invested in the youth in her community that she serves on her children's school PTO and also stays educated on all of the proposals in the school district to inform others. Brooke is always willing to lend a hand to her friends and family. What makes that so incredible, is that while she is busy helping others, she also has 3 children of her own and her son has been diagnosed with Duchene's Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). On top of everything she does for others, she is also very active raising awareness for DMD to try to find a cure for the millions of boys around the world who are dying. She runs a facebook group named Rykers Fight where she keeps everyone posted about her son, as well as other children living with this monster. She shares statistics, research news, clinical trial information, positive encouragement, and personal stories as well. She is so positive despite what she is personally going through. She still finds ways to inspire people everyday. She makes sure everyone in her life gets equal attention. She encourages her daughters to follow their dreams and to be strong women and is giving her son a full life of memories and experiences. She a wonderful wife, a phenomenal mother (who somehow even finds time to hand make her children's Halloween costumes), a true asset to her community, a voice for the DMD community, an amazing daughter and sister, and one of the best friends anyone could ask for. She goes above and beyond in every aspect of her life and I am truly honored to have her not only in my life, but also as such a wonderful role model for my children. She is the epitome of a delmarvalous woman.
Nominated by Sara Russo
Linda Collins is the program director for the Medical Laboratory Technology program at Delaware Tech Owens campus. She is a pillar of strength for every one of her students. A great example of how much she cares is how she took time out of her summer to help a student complete the course work for classes the student missed due to health issues. Without Mrs. Collins dedication, this student would have had to wait a whole year before completing the program. She frequently finds scholarship and volunteer opportunities for her students as well. She helped our MLT student organization to adopt the highway in front of our college campus. Not only is she a dedicated educator in our community, but she also takes on many community responsibilities as well. Linda helped to establish a bi-annual blood drive at our college, helping to collect thousands of blood products for our community, even donating herself every 50 days. She mentors her sons boy scout troop, shows up for every Del Tech college information day, and continues to be a shining example for Delmarva women. Linda works harder than anyone I know, she goes above and beyond for her students and for all her many friends, acquaintances and even total strangers from the community. She inspires her pupils to volunteer their time to others simply by giving so much of herself to the service of others with no expectations of a return. I truly believe Linda deserves this recognition, as she exemplifies everything this honor represents.
Nominated by Mark Johnson
For over 25 years - Cindy Williamson has driven and contributed to the success of numerous local business on Delmarva, while being dedicated to family, faith, and community involvement. She provided accounting and financial management activities for startup and existing businesses in Bridgeville and Seaford. With Cindy's incredible eye for detail, she has provided a level accounting and accountability that is admired, not only at the local level, but by national companies. Cindy balances her career by being a wonderful wife and mother of 2 to her family in Seaford. Cindy also is very centered by her faith, and along with setting good moral and professional standards, she has used her talents to help with church financial administration here on Delmarva. I personally have worked with Cindy for over 10 years and am extremely fortunate to have her as a colleague and, more importantly, a friend. Cindy exemplifies the Delmarvalous Women's program by contributing so much to family, business, and community. I am blessed to have her on our team.
Nominated by Teresa Fazzalaro
Kathy is in one word Delmarvelous! In spite of a serious health issue, which has left her with residual challenging side effects, she never stops working to make the annual KINfolk Wine Tasting and Art Auction a huge successful event. This one night is the culmination of ten months of intense planning, gathering of approximately 200 donations of gift certificates, artwork, and miscellaneous gifts from Sussex County’s generous businesses. Not only does Kathy contact all the artists, businesses, restaurants and local organizations, she personally runs around town picking up all the donated items, stores them in her home and then gets them ready for the July event. She coordinates all the restaurants, volunteers and constantly thinks of better ways to improve each event. Her dedication has raised approximately $16,000+ each year, which allows KINfolk to help seriously ill children stay in contact with their family and friends while being far away from home in a hospital. “Can’t Do and No” is not in her vocabulary. She is the definition of Delmarvelous...compassionate, generous and without a doubt unselfish. She definitely “Walks the Walk!” I am grateful our paths crossed five years ago. She is truly an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to know her.
Nominated by Jim Speegle
Character defines the person. Sue’s character traits define a “delmarvalous woman”. For 33 years she was devoted to serving adults with disabilities and loyal to an organization called KSI. She was determined to help each individual grow and realize their potential. She taught, trained, solved problems and was a partner to hundreds of people who wanted to become full participants as employees and citizens. Her jobs grew from sorting garbage to managing a division. But she always focused on each individual’s growth, achievement, and success not her own progress. Sue is a “farmer of people”! She plants seeds of encouragement. She nurtures each plant. She fertilizes with creative ideas. She watches carefully after their growth. And when they are harvested she gives them the credit for successful achievement. She is quietly proud of what each individual is able to accomplish. She is passionate about her work and the people she serves. She has gone out in the middle of the night to solve problems. She has gone to court to advise and assist. She has supported families in their quest to have the best for their sons and daughters. She has written poetry about their struggles and successes. In short, there is nothing that Sue would not do to make a better world for the people she serves. She is a model for a “delmarvalous woman”
Nominated by Brenda Feathers
In 2014 Nikki was approached by a local pastor to take on the task of volunteer director of Code Purple for Sussex County and she graciously agreed. Code Purple provides shelter for the homeless at local churches during the winter months when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. Along with a warm place to stay, they also provide meals and any essential items like toiletries, socks, hats, etc. With the winter months fast approaching, Nikki has been working feverishly to find more local churches to house a shelter for the homeless in the surrounding areas. With the additional shelters it requires a lot more of Nikki's time, but because of her desire to help those in need, she continues to move forward with this task and knows God will provide the supplies and volunteers needed. As well as searching for the additional shelter locations, Nikki has hosted training sessions to educate volunteers interested in helping Code Purple. Working with the homeless is not an easy task, it takes a genuine person to gain the trust of the homeless to show them you are there to help and not harm them. Nikki has a true compassion and devotion to the homeless and gives countless hours of her time to help them have a meal and a warm place to sleep on those frigid winter nights. Along with Nikki's devotion to Code Purple, she is a mother of 6 children, which she home schools and still finds time in her crazy schedule to help her husband with his local contracting business.
Nominated by Jim Sustine
My wife Lisa is most definitely a Delmarvalous woman. Generous and caring to a fault, she truly inspires everyone she meets. A wife and mother, she wears many hats around the house and as Executive Director of the Milton Chamber of Commerce, she works long hours planning events that take weeks, even months to prepare. When she broke her elbow in early September, our house knew we had to rally around her and pick up the slack. I strongly urged her to scale back her events and rest and recover from her injury. But, she rolled up her one sleeve on her one good arm and worked on to keep these Milton events going and on schedule. Born and raised in Milton, this is her home and wants Milton to both succeed and flourish. She truly has a sense of pride seeing Milton going through a period of rebuilding and revitalization. She doesn’t do her job for any accolades or awards, she just wants to see her town thrive and she wants to help Milton businesses be successful. She volunteers for various organizations locally, spending time away from her home and family, but she does so willingly and with a joy in her heart. She takes it upon herself to help others when in need. If you’ve had a injury or if your family has had a baby, she takes it upon herself to take you a meal once a week, being one less thing that household has to worry about. Yes, with a busy schedule and many things on her own plate, she puts others first. While not a secret, she kept her injury low key and still assisted others in their needs and still participated in her local prayer circles. Her one flaw would be that she simply can’t say “no” to another person in need. Raising children is a difficult full-time job. On a daily basis she's able to provide the perfect combination of both love and discipline. She routinely will go without so that her two girls can get what they need. Having others tell her that our children are kind and most well behaved is the ultimate compliment someone can give her. Though we drive her crazy at times (all 3 of us), we’re her family and we know we can count on her for anything, just as she can count on us. It’s been almost 7 weeks now, and her elbow is still broken. Two surgeries didn’t work and a third surgery is being scheduled. Though in pain and hurting constantly, she refuses to let it define her and continues on as best she can working, volunteering, helping others and raising her family. Five hundred words just isn’t enough to speak of this remarkable woman. She means the world to our two girls (5 and 10) and to me.
Mary Ann Warrington
Nominated by Susanne Messick
All the members of the Ladies Auxiliary of Milton Fire Station 85 are nominating our president, Mary Ann Warrington. She leads our auxiliary in the way that inspires us to work together as a unit in fellowship. She is a very active worker not only in our auxiliary but works with the entire fire station membership, community organizations and is the secretary of the state auxiliary. Seeing her dedication and the time she gives, while also a wife, mother and a full time worke, is a great example to our membership. She treats each of us in the same manner. Her goal in the Auxiliary is not to achieve status for herself but to make our auxiliary function well and also to have Milton be a good place to live. All of us are proud and happy she is our president and pleased to submit her name.
Nominated by Deb Jewell
When a journey begins, many people don’t realize the path that lies ahead. Sometimes the bumps in the road allow you to see things you would have missed on a smooth road. For Heather Williams, she’s a reflection of seeing the best in everyone and everything no matter what lies ahead. 13 years ago our paths crossed, in the Assisted Living where Heather was providing fulfilment for seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Giving 110% to others every day is second nature to her; while helping others, she silently dealt with having surgery to have her spleen removed. Without missing a beat, she continued to keep a smile on her face and treat the residents as her own family. As her career progressed and she attained new positions and certifications to help others deal with Alzheimer’s, her late 20’s were testing her strength, as she was faced with a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Taking on the philosophy of “I can overcome this”, Heather found superhero strength to work full time, sustain treatments and manage her home life. 5 years later this real-life superwoman received notice she was in remission. As she continued her work with seniors, Heather and her husband realized they were ready to expand their family and began the adoption process. After 2 grueling years and numerous ups/downs in the adoption process, they finally received a call their daughter was soon to be delivered in the hospital. Today, they are blessed with a beautiful, 4 year old daughter who makes them appreciate the bumps they’ve experienced. Most of us would have a hard time overcoming all of these obstacles, however, God sometimes uses his every day angels to show us how to be more grateful. No matter when you meet this marvelous woman, she would never mention her situation, look for sympathy or imply that she’s even been dealing with anything. About 1 year ago, this dynamic 30 something, had a Pulmonary Embolism which resulted in a minor heart attack, while her daughter lay sleeping in the other room. Her husband Tom had just come home from work to find her and was able to call 911 for her. One day later, this exceptionally loving wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend was sitting up in her hospital bed, trying to make all of her visitors feel better about what had happened. As Heather recovered and went back to her daily routine of working full time, and taking care of her family, a devastating diagnosis of leukemia was yet revealed as another bump in this road of life. Taking her journey with graceful steps, she continues to live her life to the fullest daily and never puts the attention on her, but towards the lives of those she loves and takes care of. Not one person deserves just one of the challenges she’s been faced with, much less all of them. However, thru Heather’s resilience, outlook, love and super woman superpowers, there’s no lady more deserving than Heather Williams!
Nominated by Mike Hargreaves
Mrs. Lockwood has been an educator in the Milton area going back to the mid-1960's, serving in the Cape Henlopen school district in the Milton elementary schools until retirement and then joining the faculty at Eagle's Nest Christian Academy during the early days of the school, teaching in the 4th and 5th grades. While she was still in the public school system, she had done graduate work in curriculum development and her expertise in this area gradually began to manifest itself until her hand was literally shaping the K-5 program at Eagle's Nest. Three years ago, she was asked to lead the school in its entirety and she carefully steered it through a season that presented numerous structural and financial challenges, bringing it to the place where it was subsumed into the Delmarva Christian Schools program. Throughout a 2-year period, Diane worked tirelessly to keep the school vibrant and healthy, mentoring and encouraging teachers, interacting with school families and always loving the students. She has been a model of servant leadership, making a major difference long after many of her former colleagues retired. The school as it exists today is a testament to her selfless labors.
Nominated by Ben Jones
If you have ever met Jenn Rowan, chances are, you remember her. Maybe she was a client, the lead actress at the local theatre, your nurse, the mother of a student, a fellow student herself, or someone met in passing. Maybe it was her magnetism, her smile, her light, her motivation, her beauty, or a combination of these and many other things that made her unforgettable. As a member of many circles she stands alone as an outlier, both here on Delmarva and everywhere else. Growing up Mennonite meant she would likely never be an actress or an explorer and the chances were slim that she would do most of the things she dreamed of. However, she did love people and she loved to help them. One thing she could do was be a humanitarian, and that she was. Since the age of 16, she has taken care of others in any way that she could. She started off as a home care provider, and soon after became a registered labor and delivery nurse after graduating from the Beebe School of Nursing. She was even pregnant during some of her time spent as a missionary traveling to China and Thailand. Never one to idealize mediocrity, she does everything to the best of her ability and inserts fun into every possible situation. Even as a student at the conservative Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute, she was always pushing the boundaries for adventure and was known to lead after-dark hikes in the mountains of Pennsylvania. A biological and adoptive mother to 3 boys, she spent their younger years at home, raising them to be loving, adventurous, and broad-minded. The whole time working on herself as well, losing 120 lbs without ever stepping foot into a gym, following a diet, or buying a pair of shoes. When she first started, she couldn’t even run. Last November she raced the 10k Across the Bay, running the entire time. The local theatre scene is another area Jenn has left her mark. Acting, producing, and directing numerous shows at many of the local theatres. As of lately, Jenn is finishing up her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree at Delaware Technical Community College where she is the president of the Occupational Therapy Assistant club, slated to graduate with honors, and has plans to continue education and earn her master’s degree in OT. She is also the co-founder of Lifecycle Delaware, a community-based bicycle advocacy organization that focuses on affordable access to quality bicycles and promoting a safe riding environment. Jenn is a mother, student, friend, mentor, leader, follower, and supporter of many and she is an inspiration to all. She has lived a lot of life, most of it as a single mother in her 30’s, but she has continuously refused to let her circumstances define her experience and continues to write her own history, helping others and bettering herself at every opportunity and of course, always saying yes to an opportunity. She is a Delmarvalous woman.
Nominated by Jack Mitchell
Dawn has devoted her time working 2 home health jobs where she cares for cancer patience doing chemo and infusions, Dawn also cares for infants by taking care of their synergen shots to help prevent rsv. Dawn is also has an animal rescue business rescuing dogs from all over the country and finding them very nice forever homes, to date she has rescued around 90 some dogs. she works hand in hand with vets and adopters to get the best care for each and every dog.Her dogs have been on WBOC and the state news has done an article on her rescue. She doesn't do it for the money she does it for the love of the animals ask anyone of her adopters and they will tell you how devoted she is. So for her selflessness for caring for both humans and animals all from the kindness of her heart I nominate my wife Dawn Mitchell. Also 2 years ago she had Gillian barre which is a disease that attacks the outside lining of the nerves system which renders you paralyzed she fought back and regained all her mobility. Again a very caring and driven lady that deserves to be recognized. thank you
Nominated by Elizabeth Byers-Jiron
Carla VanCuren is nominated as a DELMARVLOUS Woman by the members of the Delaware Veterans Awareness Center (VAC), located in Greenwood, Delaware. The VAC is the central location for the Delaware Veterans’ Stand Down event, where resource awareness is provided for Veterans. Carla, a retired twenty year Army veteran has assisted hundreds of veterans, by volunteering at the Delaware Veterans’ Stand Down and continues throughout the week assisting veterans, in her position at the Veterans Counseling Center located in Georgetown. Carla provides a happy welcome to hundreds of veterans and family members as they enter into the Counseling Center. Many veterans remain war torn and it is not easy, to enter into the Center. Carla puts everyone that enters the door and veterans living on the street ease, allowing the veteran to want to visit the Counseling Center and most do not hesitate to return, because of the friendly and inviting atmosphere that Carla creates at the Counseling Center. Carla is loved by so many veterans! Carla is the mother of two very successful children, both in College and lives with her husband in Millsboro assisting to raise a countless number of animals. Carla does all of this because of her love, respect and appreciation that she feels for those around her. She continues to help others because of her true and selfless dedication to veterans, who become her family and friend. For all these reasons, Carla is deserving of recognition as a 2015 Delmarvalous Woman.
Nominated by Lauren Wright
Karen Mumford is deserving of the Delmarvalous Women Award because she goes above and beyond in everything and anything that she does. Karen is an assistant vice president and bankway lesion at County Bank in Rehoboth Beach Delaware, she is married with one child and is so much more then a bank employee, wife and mother. Karen is actively involved in many local organizations and spends much time working on projects for the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk Buddy Walk and Meals on Wheels Lewes/Rehoboth. Karen has been involved with many different organizations over the years and I have never seen someone who works so hard for something on a volunteer basis, that’s right, she doesn’t get paid to work with such organizations and she doesn’t expect to, she loves working with people and making others happy. She isn’t one to accept recognition or be in the light, I think she is deserving of this award because she does so much and doesn’t expect anything out of it. Karen Mumford is my mom and is the most encouraging and uplifting person that I know. Not only is she my mother she is my best friend, the one who I can go to with any problem and the one who is always there for me, no matter what. She is always there to help anyone in any time of need. One time in particular that I recall is when a lady from the neighborhood went missing. Thanksgiving morning we got a reverse 911 call telling us of a lady that was missing. My mom immediately put her shoes on and was walking out the door to help find this lady that we had never even met. My mom is the most selfless woman that I have ever seen in my life. She is the most caring, hardworking, compassionate and loving person and is well deserving of the Delmarvalous Women Award.