The Commission is comprised of eighteen women appointed by the County Executive to serve a two-year term. These Commissioners are a diverse group of women living in various parts of the county. Together they bring a wealth of expertise and dedication to helping enrich the lives of the women and families of Anne Arundel County.
Jessica O'Kane - Chair
Jessica O’Kane is an attorney whose law practice focuses on Immigration. She is first generation American as her father emigrated from Northern Ireland. Originally from Nanuet, New York, she re-located to Maryland in 2005. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, Anne Arundel County Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is on the Board of Directors for the Piney Orchard Community Association. She is also on the Pro-Bono Committee for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has several pro-bono cases of her own involving domestic violence and Immigration. Jessica earned her Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York, College at Buffalo and her law degree from New York Law School. Jessica and her husband love to travel. They took advantage of an opportunity to live in the United Arab Emirates for two years with their two children and had an amazing experience. She has backpacked around South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Scotland. Jessica and her husband, James Fraser, reside in Odenton, MD with their 2 children and are active in their community.
Barbara Tymkiw, a resident of Crownsville, Maryland, currently works for Executive Health Resources as a physician advisor. She is a licensed physician in Maryland and a fellow of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For 23 years, she practiced primarily at Anne Arundel Medical Center providing medical and surgical care to women. After starting with a local HMO, she went on to open a solo practice in 1992, providing individualized care with her love of obstetrics, and taking care of women from adolescence through the postmenopausal years. She also worked as a consultant for Planned Parenthood. She is passionate for women’s issues involving political freedom, social issues, health care, and education. Her new career has fostered interest in how to best address the needs of the aging population. She has done volunteer work for the March of Dimes and is a strong supporter of Hospice of the Chesapeake, Friend’s Foundation, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, and SARC.
Barbara received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Columbia University. She graduated from medical school at the University of Louisville and completed her residency at the University of Maryland. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Art Little and has an adult daughter who majored in business entrepreneurship. Barbara’s interests include music, travel, photography, and a love of books, dance, yoga, and horses.
Suzanne Boisseau is a project manager for The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, where she has managed new construction and renovation projects in the Baltimore metropolitan area. She is active as a board member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Baltimore Chapter, mentor to high school girls, and on the advisory council of Owings Mills High School’s Career Technology Education program. Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland.
She grew up in Glen Burnie and now lives in Piney Orchard with her family.
Rita Ann Reimer - Associate
Rita is a retired government lawyer with a substantial background in women’s rights. During her 35 year Federal career, she worked for a U.S. Senator, the Congressional Research Service, the Federal Judicial Center and the Federal Election Commission. She then worked for Maryland Department of Legislative Services for two sessions. She served on the Library of Congress’ Women’s Committee and was a domestic relations counselor for the Women’s Legal Defense Fund for many years. She also served on the Board of Directors of a transitional women’s shelter in Washington, DC. With a CRS economist colleague, she worked (volunteer) to help women learn and assert their financial rights.
Rita holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Delaware, a JD from George Washington University, and an MALS (Liberal Studies) and Advanced Certificate (2nd MA) from Georgetown University. Her two theses addressed women's economic rights in the United States and in Sweden. A disabled person, she also works to support disability rights.
Rhonda Toney – Financial Officer
Rhonda Wilder Toney has lived in Anne Arundel County for over 40 years and graduated from Andover High School in 1985. After graduating from high school, she was a foreign exchange student in the Netherlands. She earned her degree in pharmacy at Duquesne University and developed the first fitness health and wellness classes and programs for women at Duquesne’s AJ Palumbo Center.
Rhonda is employed as a Clinical Consultant Pharmacist. Her strengths include advertising, marketing and promotions. She has devoted her professional career to public health initiatives, obesity prevention, fitness programming, and medication education.
Rhonda has served in a number of leadership positions, as the Secretary of the Women of Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tennis Director of St. Andrews Swim and Tennis Club, on the Board of Directors for the Anne Arundel County Tennis Association and the Annapolis Area Tennis School. She was commended with the ASPIRE Leadership award and was presented with official citations for her efforts. She was awarded the Marguerite Mills Volunteer of the Month Award. Rhonda is a Girl Scout Leader and a United States Tennis Association Captain. In her spare time she loves playing tennis and spending time with her family.
Gale R Stephens-Wheeler received her B.A. in Business Administration and a Masters in Adult Education and Distance Learning both from University of Phoenix. Her career extends from Michigan where she worked as a high school teacher of Computer Applications, Marketing, Career Exploration, and Web design. Here in Maryland she continues her work in education at Anne Arundel County Public Schools, as well as an Adjunct Instructor with Prince George Community College.
Her professional interest and focus is teaching both adults and young adults in the concepts of Language Arts and Special Education. Her time is also shared by working in the community providing resources to homelessness, employment, and resume writing. This passion is one of the main reasons for joining Commission for Women, so that she could become more of an impact to social change with women’s issues. That commitment has followed her since working in Michigan’s State department in a teen family life unit. Mrs. Stephens also volunteers with Anne Arundel County’s Chapter-Continental Societies, working as this years’ treasurer. Other professional affiliates are Area on Aging (Michigan & Maryland) and Parent Network (Michigan). During her down time, she spends time working up a new business concept of writing obituaries, as well as enjoying being a “Glam Mother” to her many grandchildren.
Sherrie Burton Smith - Vice Chair
Sherrie Burton Smith is a Due Diligence Associate with TRACE International, an anti-bribery due-diligence company located in Annapolis. She was the Director of Guide Operations with Watermark, the Assistant Director with the Office of Training and Performance Improvement at Anne Arundel Community College and the Tour Guide Trainer for the guides at the United States Naval Academy.
Sherrie is a past president of the Junior League of Annapolis and a past Governance Director with the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). She has served on the Board of Directors with the Annapolis Opera, Scholarships for Scholars and the Annapolis Fine Arts Foundation. She is an Elder with First Presbyterian Church and served as Moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Church at First Presbyterian. In addition, she served as president of the Germantown Elementary PTA and was a member of the Annapolis High School Booster Club. She has a BA in English and an M.Ed. in Special Education. She has been adjunct faculty at Anne Arundel Community College, a tutor with Children’s Potential and a special education teacher.
Sherrie lives in Annapolis with her husband, Robert R. Smith, a lawyer in Annapolis. Her daughter, Lindsay, lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE and her son, Andrew, lives in Baltimore.
Laurie Mason is a resident of Anne Arundel County. Originally from the State of Connecticut she moved to the Washington DC/Maryland area in 1987. Laurie is currently a Certified Human Resources Professional (PHR) with over 20+ years of human resource experience. Her concentration for the past few years have been primarily in the employee benefits area but she has extensive experience in many other areas of human resource management as well.
Laurie currently holds her (PHR) Professional in Human Resources Management and SHRM-CP Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional, certification designations and is currently attending Anne Arundel Community College to complete her studies for her Associate of Applied Science in Business Management degree.
Laurie works full-time as a Benefits Project Manager/ Implementation Consultant for ADP and also works part-time as an Aqua Aerobics Instructor at LA Fitness where she teaches fitness classes for the community. In her spare time, Laurie works as a Consultant assisting clients with finding employment, to include resume preparation, job search and interview coaching.
Laurie enjoys spending time with her family and working on various community projects. She has one adult nephew who she helped to raise as her own son and has just received her first grandchild. Her interest includes cooking, computers, gadgets, and working with clients and youth.
Laurie’s community service background also includes other volunteer interest: Baltimore Sexual Abuse/Domestic Violence Hotline Counselor – DSS, CPR Instructor - Ordinance Road Detention Center Glen Burnie, MD and President of (ASHRM) Arundel County Society for Human Resource Management. She also cooks and prepares meals for the church during the holiday time for the homeless.
Sharon Elliott is a resident of Annapolis. She is a Program Manager for the Department of Justice in the Office on Violence Against Women. Her work includes oversight of funding and services provided to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Sharon has devoted her career to housing equality, economic justice, and self-sufficiency initiatives.
She is an active volunteer with the Banneker-Douglass Museum, also serving on the Exhibits and Collections Committee.
Sharon is the owner of Elliott Executives, a Business Support and Consulting Firm.
Jeannie Haugh is a retired educator who worked with children and families as an elementary school principal, counselor, and teacher. She was employed in public schools in the US and independent international schools in Beijing, China, and Bangkok, Thailand. Her childhood was spent in many postings in America and overseas as my father was in the military.
College years were spent at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where Jeannie received a BA in Education and an MEd in Counseling. Post graduate education occurred in local colleges in the Seattle area and the University of Bath, United Kingdom.
Volunteer service and community involvement have always been a value in her life. While living in Tacoma, WA, Jeannie served as board president of Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare and was a member of the Junior League of Tacoma, along with several education associations. Since moving to Annapolis she has volunteered with the Community Outreach group of New Annapolitans, the Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County, and Team Racing for Veterans, a non profit that focuses on utilizing sports to help injured veterans recover and heal from combat wounds.
Jennie lives in Annapolis and loves how fortunate she is to be so close to her three grandchildren who reside in Davidsonville.
Cassandra Young-McClenny is an entrepreneur, policy expert, and a Mom. She earned a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and soon after put it to use serving as Legislative Director for an esteemed member of Congress on Capitol Hill. After nearly ten years of service she and her husband Shaun decided it was time to start a family and Cassandra took her skills to the private sector as a consultant. Cassandra has earned many accolades and awards over the years for her superior public service. Most recently she was appointed Commissioner to the Commission on Women and Families, by the Governor of Maryland. Cassandra lives in Annapolis with her family where she serves as a civic leader in her community.
Sara Chaudhry is a Pakistani-American resident of Annapolis, Maryland. She attended the Catholic University of America and Georgetown University. She currently works at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and has previously supported US Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Senate for Ben Cardin and Max Baucus.
She has served as the Master of Ceremony for the Anne Arundel Muslim Council alongside local county executives and has been involved with Days for Girls International to provide education, safety, and dignity to young women. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Parveen Nadeem Welfare Organization to help provide relief to women in Pakistan by way of health education, population welfare, and prevention of early marriage. She is involved with members of Save the Children International for donor implementation and resource allocation with the Child Labor Program in Bangladesh and has served as a Regional Director for the Borgen Project.
Pamela Luby - Secretary
Pamela Luby is a longtime resident of Annapolis. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she moved to here in 1989. Ms. Luby received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from the University Of Baltimore School Of Law. She was a successful account representative for Westlaw in Washington, DC and opened their first European office in London England. During the technology boom in the late nineties Ms. Luby was a sales representative for Oracle Corporation.
She left sales to assist in the development of Anne Arundel County’s first not for profit, professional theater which became a regionally recognized Helen Hayes award winning venue.
From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Luby held a variety of positions with the Maryland Judiciary, primarily working in the area of family law. She is passionate about elder law issues and was instrumental in implementing the first guardianship visitor program in the Montgomery County Circuit Court. She currently volunteers as a SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program) counselor with the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging. Pam lives in Annapolis with her husband Drew Smith and their two children Billy and Katie Mae
Betty F. Lorenz
Betty Lorenz, a twenty year resident of Annapolis, is a former educator, management consultant, and corporate executive. Her professional and community service work primarily focused on the healthcare industry with specific interest in women, children, and families. Betty’s areas of expertise include training, substance abuse prevention, health promotion, disease prevention, information dissemination, and service delivery management. A sampling of her clients include the National Institutes of Health, the Administration for Children and Families, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Alliance to end Childhood Lead Poisoning, the National Library of Medicine, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the US Office of the Surgeon General, and the Department of Labor (JOB CORPS). Prior to her retirement, Betty directed the Management Services Division of a large research and development corporation in Silver Spring, Maryland.
As a volunteer, she assisted the Montgomery County Arts Council; the Lakewood PTA Board, Rockville, Maryland; the Montgomery County Public School Parent Involvement in Basic Skills Project; the Junior Suburban Women’s Club; and the Metropolitan Community Club of Montgomery County, Inc. She currently is an active member of the Community Outreach group of the New Annapolitans and the Anne Arundel County Commission for Women.
Betty graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maryland with a dual degree in English Education and Human Development. She and her husband have one adult son, who lives in Ohio with his wife and two children. Betty is an artist who enjoys travel, time with family and friends, and community service.
Paige has been in the finance and real estate industry for over 25 years working at various companies throughout the Maryland/Virginia area. Currently, Paige works for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty as a Recruiting & Outreach Manager.
In the past, Paige has served on the board for St Andrews Swim and Tennis Club, Greater Baltimore Board of REALTORS and Severna Park Y. She has also been an active volunteer with the Howard County Board of REALTORS, Women’s Council of REALTORS, and Success in Style/Charity’s Closet. Paige is a volunteer and consultant with Success in Style/Charity’s Closet and is serving as the Anne Arundel County Outreach Coordinator for the organization. Success in Style is a non-profit organization that provides suits, clothing and accessories for men and women getting back into the workforce.
Paige is currently pursuing her MBA at Stevenson University. She is the proud parent of three young, adult children. Her interests include travel, theatre, sporting events and health and fitness.
Susannah Warner Kipke
Susannah Warner Kipke lives in Pasadena with her husband, Minority Leader Nic Kipke, and their new baby. Before leaving work to stay home with the baby, Susannah worked first in state politics, then at the National Rifle Association first as an event planner and then as a grassroots coordinator. While with the NRA, Susannah also served as the Secretary to the Grassroots Development Committee in conjunction with the Board of Directors.
Susannah earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan and is currently studying to become a Bradley Birth instructor.
Ms. Rodriguez, a resident of Brooklyn Park, has worked for Bon Secours Health System Inc. for 13 years (BSHSI) where she is the Manager of User Standards and Competency. She was named their 2011 Dedicated Service Award Honoree, at their Corporate office.
Ms. Rodriguez was appointed by the Sisters of Bon Secours to the Board of Directors of their school which is called “Sisters Academy of Baltimore” which is a Catholic middle school primarily serving the children of West Baltimore and other economically repressed areas of the City. In addition to sitting on Board of Directors for Sisters Academy, she has been the Executive Director of the College Park Scholarship program for 25 years having awarded over $100,000 in cash scholarships to hundreds of women throughout the state of Maryland. To serve her community, Miss Rodriguez was the Community Liaison for County Executive Steven Schuh while he was the Delegate of District 31. She was elected President of the Brooklyn Park Improvement Association and helped revive this association. She served as President for two years and now serves as the Secretary. For her efforts, she was presented the 2013 “Service Above Self” Award from the Rotary Club. She was also the appointed community member of Board for the Damascus House, a Halfway House program to help those battling addictions.
Miss Rodriguez is an 18 year member of the American Legion Auxiliary and has served in every capacity including President.
As busy as Ms. Rodriguez is, she regularly mentored a child at Brooklyn Park Middle School for 5 years, and has presently helped establish a mentoring program called “The Lunch Bunch” at the Sisters Academy of Baltimore.