For the first time, members and guests of Montgomery Women filled the Mansion at Strathmore to capacity for the 8th Annual Awards Ceremony and Power Tea and one of Silver Spring's own was recognized with a top honor.
After celebrating a 10-year milestone last year, the membership has grown to record levels as many join the organization to empower women to pursue elected and appointed leadership positions in Montgomery County.
The welcoming remarks were made by Montgomery Women President, Meredith Wellington, who emphasized, “Women, and not just one woman, a lot of women, need to be at the table!”
She introduced founding member, Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D-At large) who served as Honorary Chair for the Power Tea. Floreen has been president of the organization at two different times and has made each year’s Power Tea at the Strathmore Mansion possible by donating the space. She was applauded for her contribution and steadfast commitment to Montgomery Women after explaining it’s all about putting women into leadership positions throughout society in such places as corporate boardrooms and the political forums.
The highlight of the event on March 11 was to honor two very special members of the community with the annual Awards.
Hannah McCann, this year’s Rising Star, is a freelance writer and the driving force behind the Fenton Street Market. The market has served the Silver Spring community since 2009 as an outlet for artists and craftsmen, a stage for musicians and performers, a launch-pad for local entrepreneurs, a venue for civic engagement and a boost to the downtown Silver Spring economy.
The market started in an empty lot on Fenton Street when McCann decided that she wanted something more for her community. She devised a scheme for what she termed “guerilla development,” transforming the neglected site into a destination.
Fenton Street Market was well received by vendors, the community, the media, local developers and business owners, and local politicians. To date, over 800 artists have exhibited at Fenton Street Market and an average of 2,500 customers visit each Saturday.
In 2011, the market incorporated as one of the country’s first Benefit Corporations. Prior to starting Fenton Street Market, Hannah was the communications manager at the D.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the managing editor at Architect Magazine.
Montgomery Women also honored Sharon E. Friedman with the Shining Star Award for more than 18 years of dedicated and successful leadership in mental health. For over 17 years, Sharon has led the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County (MHA), promoting mental wellness and supporting those with mental illness through advocacy, education and community programs.