What is your most significant professional accomplishment?
I have been asked to speak at statewide, regional and national conferences regarding our County’s broadband expansion efforts, which I’ve been directly involved with since 2015. It was particularly satisfying to be asked to speak at the national Broadband Communities Summit in Houston, where representatives from industry, states, funders and other municipalities heard my presentation about public-private partnerships for broadband success in rural areas. I’ve been a major part in bringing millions in funding to Garrett County, using innovative models to tackle the digital divide challenges head-on. Being recognized by so many in the broadband sector in order to speak at the conference was exhilarating.
What is your most significant personal accomplishment?
I am proudest that I have overcome the (perceived) prevailing sentiment in the Appalachian region and have chosen to show support and kindness to all people. It’s so easy to only think about and care about the people and things most familiar/closest to you, especially when you live in an area that has a predominantly white population with conservative values and strong traditions (such as here in the Appalachian Mountains). I have begun to stand up for marginalized populations. I have begun to find my voice to express care and consideration to those who look and act differently. And I’ve been not-so-quietly trying to challenge the status quo when it doesn’t serve the greater good.
This is an honoree profile from The Daily Record's Top 100 Women awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.