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Welcome to Path to Excellence

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner

For the first time, there are four unique generations of women all in the workplace together —all bringing very different beliefs, experience and skills to their organizations.  In my role as publisher of The Daily Record, I have the opportunity to meet many of these women and they are leading businesses across Maryland, creating change, mentoring the next generation of leaders and setting the standard for excellence professionally, at home and in the community.  I learn from these women every day and hope to carry on their legacy.

The Daily Record wants to give all of our readers the opportunity to learn from them as well through the Path to Excellence magazine that you can read in print or online nine times a year.  Welcome to the first issue.

The mission of the Path to Excellence magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success.  To share lessons learned, goals, networking and leadership opportunities and to have personal conversations with women who are making a difference.

I was fortunate to start at The Daily Record as a salesperson in 1996 and two days later I attended the very first Top 100 Women celebration at the Camden Club.  Over the past two decades, I have had the opportunity to meet many of the women who paved the way for me to excel in my career and have doors open that were not open to the women in generations before me.  Many of the women The Daily Record has honored were the ones who broke down barriers and demanded to be accepted as an equal player in the business world.  They had to fight to be respected and create change while still balancing all of the other things that women have always balanced in their lives – family, friends, personal responsibilities and pushing past stereotypes.

This year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Top 100 Women program. To date, The Daily Record has honored 1,252 Top 100 Women and 271 have been inducted into the Circle of Excellence after winning the award for a third and final time.  There is no shortage of incredible women leaders in this state since annually we receive more than 400 nominations.

In 2010 for the 15th anniversary of Top 100 Women we launched the Leading Women program honoring women 40 years old or younger for their incredible accomplishments at a young age.  We know these women will be the next generation of Top 100, but competition is tough so why not identify their outstanding leadership at a younger age so they can start to connect with the Top 100 Women and build mentoring relationships to help them excel in their careers.  What some of these women are accomplishing in their 30s the rest of us can only hope to accomplish in a lifetime.  They are truly incredible.

In 2011, The Daily Record launched the Path to Excellence series of networking events where Top 100 Women and Leading Women come together to discuss a topic that is important in their lives and to meet in a personal setting and talk openly.  The publication you are holding right now is an extension of that event.

The Daily Record is committed to identifying outstanding women in Maryland, helping them make connections to advance their goals and recognize their accomplishments.  For the 20th anniversary, we surveyed our winners and asked what they would like to see as a next step for this event.  The answer was clear — more face-to-face time with winners in different parts of the state and more content directed to professional women.  The Daily Record heard you loud and clear and we agree.

Over the next year, our team will be traveling to nine Maryland counties to host networking events partnering with Top 100 Women in various counties. The first event is scheduled for Aug. 26 at the Ground Floor in Harford County, hosted by Top 100 Women Karen Holt, Content McLaughlin, Mary Hastler, Mary Teddy Wray, Denise Carnaggio and Tamara Rush.

Each event will have a nonprofit component since we know giving back is core to your mission and some events will have a learning component as well.  Most importantly women will have the opportunity to come together with other influential women and build business partnerships, mentoring relationships, ask questions and gain advice.  Isn’t this what we thrive on as women — innovation, creativity and making an impact?

In addition to the exclusive content in the magazine and the face-to-face networking and awards events all dedicated to honoring influential women, The Daily Record is committed to increasing its content in our daily print and digital products to provide more news for women in business and law and highlight excellence.

I have seen a great deal of change over the past 20 years of honoring Maryland’s Top 100 Women, but there is still a great deal of change yet to happen.  We still live in a world where pay between men and women is not equal.  Only 14.2 percent of corporate board seats in Maryland are held by women and the stereotype still exists that women have to be everything — the caregiver, homemaker and business leader.  Progress has been made, but there is still so much more growth to happen.  Please attend the Path to Excellence events, read the magazine and nominate outstanding women leaders for Top 100 Women and Leading Women.  Only through working together and supporting women leaders can we truly build a world that is equal for future generations of women.

This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Path To Excellence: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Path to Excellence magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Path to Excellence.
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