Corrections Director Mary Lou McDonough as 2014 Gladys Noon Spellman Award
Winner and Sends Strong Message of Strength and Inspiration to Women
Marlboro, MD – Prince
George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III stood proudly before an
audience of over 900 people that was largely made up of County employees and
kicked off the 29th Annual Women’s History Month Luncheon by honoring his wife
Christa Beverly Baker for her love and support. The event, which took
place at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, Maryland on March 20, was the
County’s culminating activity for Women’s History Month to honor women in
County government. See photos from the Women's History Month Luncheon.
Watch the 29th Annual Women’s History Month Luncheon
County Executive Rushern Baker
Corrections Director Mary Lou McDonough
NBC 4 News Reporter and Anchor Erika Gonzalez
Women’s Commission Chair Jennifer Jones
I look into the audience and see all the women who are stakeholders in our
county, I am overwhelmed with pride and admiration. This year’s theme, Celebrating
Women of: Character, Courage and Commitment could not be timelier in the
context of my Administration and our government,” said
Baker. Every day, and in different ways, each of you contributes your
intellectual talents and time to improve the quality of life for others.”
Baker, the County Executive’s oldest daughter, moved the crowd with a very
touching tribute to her mother Christa Beverly Baker, using the theme for the
event in her remarks.
see, Christa, or mommy, has always personified all three of the words in
today’s theme. And she passed on her character, courage and commitment on
to me, my brother and my sister. I’m sure many of you can say the same
thing about your mother or some woman in your life. But I will say this,
the woman that is sitting over there is my role model. And today, I would
like to salute her for all she and my father have done for me,” said Aja Baker.
presentation of the highly coveted and prestigious 2014 Gladys Noon Spellman
Public Service Award was awarded to Mary Lou McDonough, Director of the
Department of Corrections.
McDonough’s career in Prince George’s County Government spans over three
decades as a public servant. Her leadership, exemplary professionalism
and administrative expertise have resulted in steady career growth since her
tenure with the Department of Housing, where she first worked and organized
programs assisting countless citizens in achieving the American dream through
courage is clearly visible in a male dominated profession in which she is the
first female to lead this department. In 2005, she decided to pursue the
challenge of a career change. When the Director’s position became
available, she was offered this important leadership role during very challenging
times. In her first month as Director, she was faced with a media crisis
and had to quickly restore the professional integrity of the Department through
transparency. This was no easy feat but she embraced the challenge in a
field that traditionally requires a public safety background.
only did she restore the Department’s image, she quickly gained the respect and
admiration of her staff. She did not climb the ladder without reaching
back to help others. She has promoted, encouraged and provided other
women the opportunity to excel in the field of Corrections.
addition, she is active in her profession and served as Immediate Past
President of the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association. She
has a “heart” for the incarcerated and their families, serving on the Judiciary
Task Force to reform the bail review process statewide.
community service is equally impressive and she has served as a board member of
the American Red Cross and the Prince George’s Community College. In
2002, the American Red Cross recognized her as Volunteer of the Year.
McDonough’s long standing career in County Government and dedication to the
highest professional standards closely parallel that of Gladys Noon Spellman, former
United States Congressional Representative for Prince George’s County.
She is always willing to take risk and assume the challenges to promote the
positive image of County Government through excellence and service.
was pleased and honored to be recognized as the 2014 Gladys Noon Spellman Award
recipient. I join a long list of exceptional women leaders who are
recipients of this award. Prince George’s County is a wonderful place to live,
work and raise children,” said Mary Lou McDonough, Director Prince
George’s County Department of Corrections.
In addition, two Prince
George’s County high school students each received $2,000 scholarships as
recipients of the 2014 Gladys Noon Spellman Scholarships.
Giovanna Ama Baisie-Arthur, a student at Parkdale High School High School with
a Grade Point Average of 3.5 and Miss Ashley De’Sean Jones-Quaidoo, a student
at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School with a Grade Point Average of: 3.96 were
both honored to be awarded the scholarship.
Jewel Diamond Taylor
the award and scholarships are presented in honor of Gladys Noon Spellman, who
was a Prince George’s County educator, county council member and served in the
United States Congress for three terms beginning in 1974. She was a
leader with a strong interest in the fields of political and social sciences as
well as a tireless fighter for people.
Mary Lou McDonough, Miss Giovanna Baisie-Arthur and Miss Ashley De’Sean
Jones-Quaidoo are shining examples of Gladys Noon Spellman’s legacy,” said
Baker. “These awards have been exciting ending to a great luncheon and an
4 News Reporter and Anchor Erika Gonzalez served as the mistress of ceremony
and international Motivational Speaker Jewel Diamond Taylor was the keynote
speaker. Using the popular song, “I’m Every Woman,” as her introductory
theme music, the crowd was nearly dancing in their seats and singing
along. “I’m every woman!” said Taylor as she rattled off a litany of
reasons why women are so powerful and the importance of honoring women from all
walks of life.” Her riveting remarks led to a rousing standing ovation
from the audience.