Listee Features — May 25, 2021


Rita M. McDonald is a certified child development associate, early childhood educator, and the director of Smart from the Start Child Care. Ms. McDonald celebrates more than three decades in the field of childcare, both as an administrator and as a provider. She joined Smart from the Start in 2008 as a teacher, quickly rising to her current role as director of the facility. As director, she is responsible for ensuring that the center continues to provide the highest-quality child care and oversees administrative duties from hiring to payroll. Ms. McDonald credits her success to her ability to connect with both parents and children, and foster strong school communities that help foster student development. She is passionate about providing a

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Carolyn Northcutt


Carolyn Northcutt celebrates 25 years as a realtor and luxury home specialist with Century 21 serving clients in the Kerrville, Texas, area. Ms. Northcutt graduated from Massey Business College in 1976 with an Associate of Arts and an executive secretary designation, and began her career as a paralegal. She spent the next 22 years in the legal field providing administrative and paralegal services to area firms including Rolston Hauslet and Krist Gunn Weller & Neumann. After more than two decades in the field, Ms. Northcutt was beginning to approach what she described as “the burnout stage” of her paralegal career. Feeling that she had learned all that the job had to offer and seeking a career that would empower her

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Jessica Elliott


Jessica Elliott is an experienced nonprofit administrator bringing her natural leadership skills and financial expertise to the role of executive director of Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley since 2018. Ms. Elliott has been with Habitat for Humanity in various capacities for nearly a decade, beginning in 2013 as director of community relations before moving up into her current role. As executive director, Ms. Elliott is responsible for carrying out Habitat for Humanity’s mission to help provide housing and resources to all in the area while supervising the board of directors, an administrative staff of 25, and an annual operating budget of more than 1.7 million dollars. Ms. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Arts in human rights from Lafayette

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Samone Stroman


Samone Lynn Stroman is an educator and school administrator celebrating nearly 15 years in her current role as the parent and labor relations coordinator for Brooklyn Public Schools PS328, the Phyllis Wheatley School. A graduate of Kingsborough Community College, Ms. Stroman holds an associate’s degree and later continued her education at Cornell University, where she completed a certificate in labor relations. Passionate about engaging families in schools, she is dedicated to helping create space for parents, guardians, and the community to have a stake in the educational process. She first joined the New York City Department of Education in 1996 as a paraprofessional, providing instructional support and student services at the school level before transitioning into teaching. Ms. Stroman spent

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Sherry Joy Barone is a registered professional engineer with more than three decades of expertise designing and testing projects for Raytheon, Hughes Aircraft, and the United States government. Since 2017, she has been the chief executive officer and co-founder of At the Table Productions, Inc., a woman-owned engineering collaborative focusing on developing novel energy and battery technologies for transportation systems. Ms. Barone’s current work with At the Table Productions focuses on creating new rechargeable battery cell technologies capable of storing energy from wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Pointing out that power sources for most transportation systems are critically outdated, Ms. Barone hopes to develop marketable cathode-powder and nanocell technologies capable of powering unmanned vehicles for both commercial and military

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Deborah Shepherd


Deborah Gulick Shepherd is a retired elementary educator celebrating more than 30 years of excellence in teaching. Ms. Shepherd’s interest in teaching was sparked by her own positive experiences as a student. She recalls being an engaged student who enjoyed every subject and liked the school environment, and by her high school years, she was excited about the potential that elementary education had to make a positive impact on children at a key stage of growth. She earned an Associate of Arts at Centenary College in 1974 before continuing her education at Oral Roberts University, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1976. Though she began teaching at Sandshore Elementary the same year, Ms. Shepherd pursued additional coursework at

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Luz Angela Lopez, MD, is a board-certified family medicine practitioner seeing patients at Ohana Kids and Family Kare since 2019. Becoming a doctor was Dr. Lopez’ lifelong goal: she remembers playing doctor and trying to “fix” small injuries as a child, and by the age of ten, she knew she wanted to study medicine. She earned her Doctor of Medicine in 1992 at Montemorelos University and began her career the following year in a small family medicine clinic in Mexico. Dr. Lopez continued to practice in Mexico until 2001, when she relocated to Arizona and opened Kids Kare Pediatrics and Family Kare, PC, an independent practice where she continued to focus on family medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Lopez pursued continuing

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Barbara Pickthorn


Barbara Pickthorn is a university librarian and educator celebrating more than 50 years of dedication to library and information science and over three decades with Cameron University. As a child, Ms. Pickthorn enjoyed organizing photographs and small items for her mother, and recalls being fascinated by her middle and high school libraries. She describes library science as “something she always felt led to do,” and as a teen, she was an enthusiastic volunteer in the children’s department of the Fort Worth Library. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Ms. Pickthorn earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 and her Master of Library Science in 1974. Ms. Pickthorn began her career working in university libraries in 1968, and settled

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Laura Maioglio is the owner of famed family-owned Italian restaurant Barbetta, a fixture in New York’s Theater District for more than 100 years. Established in 1906 by her father, Sebastiano Maioglio, Barbetta was among the first fine-dining Italian restaurants in the city and helped put the cuisine of the family’s native Piemonte region in the international spotlight. Ms. Maioglio took over Barbetta in the early 1960s after graduating magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a Bachelor of Arts in art history. Initially, her father had expressed his disapproval toward Ms. Maioglio’s desire to run the restaurant, going so far as to arrange its sale to an outside party before she returned with an attorney. Eventually, Ms. Maioglio was

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LaKisha James


LaKisha D. James is a talented interior designer, event planner and entrepreneur dedicated to her work as the founder and chief executive officer of Designer Events by LaKisha. Since 2017, Ms. James has brought the highest level of planning and diligence to her clients’ unique events, from corporate gatherings and conferences to birthday parties and weddings. A natural creative, she always had a sense that she was destined for more than an administrative job. She graduated from Bauder College in 2008 with an Associate of Arts in interior design and earned a Bachelor of Science in management from DeVry University in 2012. Ms. James dreamed of becoming a business owner to give back to others and create more opportunities for

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