Morton’s The Steakhouse and MyCity4Her.com announce the three “Spirited Women of Baltimore” award winners to be celebrated at a Power Lunch to be held Aug. 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Morton’s The Steakhouse located at 300 S. Charles St., Baltimore, Md.
“The ‘Spirited Women of Baltimore’ award winners encompass all of the ideals of the American Red Cross — volunteerism, generosity, sacrifice, preparation, compassion, sensitivity and humility,” Monyka Berrocosa, CEO of MyCity4Her.com, said. “This annual event was created as a means to raise awareness and provide continued support to the Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross. As the 2007 winner of Morton’s The Steakhouse’s ‘Women of Spirit’ award, I wanted to continue this award and partnership with the American Red Cross in addition to honoring local women in our community who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to volunteerism and service.”
The 2010 winners are:
• Spirited Woman Rising – Amy Kleine
This award recognizes an up and coming, young woman who is starting to make her powerful mark on the Baltimore community and/or the business world.
Kleine of Baltimore serves as a program director at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation located in Owings Mills, Md. In this position, which she has held since June 2008, she oversees grants made by the foundation focused on homelessness, food security, economic assistance and access to primary healthcare. Dedicated to improving the quality of life of others in need, she has lived and worked in several countries, including Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, Haiti, Morocco, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco for three years as a community health volunteer.
Prior to joining the Weinberg Foundation, Kleine worked as a program manager at Jhpiego, an international health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University, managing the global Cervical Cancer Prevention Program.
She is actively involved with the Baltimore Rowing Club and has helped to organize the annual Row Day for the community. Additionally, she has volunteered at My Sister’s Place, a day shelter for homeless women and their children in Baltimore. Currently, she is involved with the initiative in Baltimore to increase access to healthy foods by working to allow food stamps to be used at farmers’ markets.
• Spirited Woman in Balance – Laura Neuman Volkman
This award honors a working mother who is successfully juggling all that life brings her: family, career, all the while engaging in spirited endeavors, such as community service, mentorship and philanthropy.
Volkman was just 18 years old and had just moved out of her parent’s home in Baltimore when she was tragically raped by an intruder who entered her apartment. Her case remained unsolved for almost 20 years, but because of her determination and continuous follow-up with police, her perpetrator was finally arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Since then, she has become an advocate for the rights of rape victims and launched her own foundation to help get others to come forward and push their local police departments to have “cold cases” reopened. She also fought for the DNA Database Legislation for Maryland, which was enacted in 2008.
Professionally, she started her career as a customer service at T. Rowe Price, then went on to lead sales teams at technology companies, such as Digex, and, ultimately, became the CEO of Matrics, one of the most successful venture-backed companies in the mid-Atlantic region (which was acquired by Symbol Technologies). She served for many years on the board of Baltimore’s NAF High School and is currently on the board of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. She continues to speak about business throughout Maryland.
Her and her husband, Paul, reside in Annapolis with their 5-year-old son, Alex, and 4-year-old daughter, Avery.
• Spirited Woman of 2010 – Sheela Murthy
This award celebrates an accomplished, spirited woman who acts as an example, leader and mentor in her community and profession and has done so for some time. This woman encompasses a variety of ideals, including volunteerism, generosity, sacrifice, preparation, compassion, sensitivity and humility.
Sheela Murthy grew up in poverty in India, and studied law against her parent’s wishes. She moved to the United States in the 1980s and graduated from Harvard Law School. After practicing with major law firms in New York and Baltimore, she founded Murthy Law Firm, one of the world’s premier U.S. immigration law firms. (A liaison office is located in Chennai, India.) She is also sought after as a motivational speaker for her passion and unique perspectives on life as an immigrant, minority woman, and business leader.
Murthy believes in giving back to the community. She has been involved with a number of organizations, including the American Immigration Council, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Jhpiego and Stevenson University. She is also active at the leadership level of the United Way of Central Maryland and United Way International. She and her husband have also started their own nonprofit organization, the MurthyNayak Foundation, to give to a range of projects in India and the United States.
She has received many awards and honors from the Baltimore Business Journal, the Daily Record, SmartCEO magazine, and other organizations, and was the recipient of the prestigious “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009” award. She was also named the “2009 Philanthropist of the Year” by United Way Central Maryland.
All of the nominees will be acknowledged and recognized at the luncheon. These include:
• Spirited Woman Rising:
Lindsay Erin Buscher
Jennifer Gajewski Pemberton
• Spirited Woman in Balance:
Susan J. Ganz
Louise Phipps Senft
Dorothy F. Sheppard
Dr. Anne Spence
• Spirited Woman of Baltimore:
Dr. Dorothy Brunson
Michelle Duffy Orr
Marcy K. Kolodny
Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis
Susan M. Levy
Senator Catherine E. Pugh
Kendra Randall Jolivet
Tickets for the luncheon, which consists of a choice of Morton’s chicken Christopher or single-cut filet mignon, mixed field green salad, mashed potatoes, sautéed garlic green beans and Morton’s double chocolate mousse cup with fresh berries for dessert, are $50 each if purchased by Aug. 10 and $60 each if purchased after Aug. 10 or at the door. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales benefits the American Red Cross of Central Maryland. Visit www.MyCity4Her.com or call 410-327-9090 to purchase tickets or for more information.
Media sponsors for the event are the Baltimore Business Journal and WomanTalk Live.