Events near the end of October have a way of forcing me to choose among equally enticing prospects. Rather than attend this year's Executive Women's Forum in Scottsdale, I flew to Reno to help present the 2013 Hall of Fame Awards & Gala for the International Network of Women in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The event is only three years old. I was honored and amazed to be inducted in 2011, along with Eleanor Roosevelt and Clara Barton. Last year's inductees were splendid. And this year, we kept the bar high.
Two distinguished Washingtonians were honored: Mary Schoenfeld, a pioneer in the field of emergency management and school crisis management. She's been in the field over 30 years and has written 5 books and countless articles. She is an inspiration to each of us. Here, she is pictured in the president of inWEM, Dr. Jacqueline McBride, who also hosted the evening's festivities.
Also honored in memoriam was Ben Dew from FEMA Region Xand prior to that, Washington State emergency management. He is the author of the strategy we now call "Neighbor Helping Neighbor." More than one person remembered him and his "Never give up" mantra during the evening.
And there were others who received awards that evening as well, including four of the women pictured below. Left to right: Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes (Red Cross), Cheryl (on behalf of Delta Sigma Theta), Fire Chief Toni B. Washington, Dr. Meloyde Batten-Mikens (2012 awardee), and Fire Chief Debra Prior.
Here's Mary Anne McKown, author/synthesizer extraordinaire for some of our finest national documents, including the National Response Plan, the National Response Framework, and the National Emergency Communications Plan. That's just a small taste of the work she began when she left Booz Allen become a government employee after 9/11.
Different stories for each of the awardees, but overall you could say that each of these women understands public service, the notion of giving back on behalf of something larger than yourself, and a keen desire to leave the world a better place.