2018: The Year of the Woman

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2018: The Year of the Woman

By Doug Scibeck.

2018 is shaping up to be the Year of the Woman. I don’t think I am the first to recognize this, and am probably stating the obvious. This isn’t a guy bestowing an honor either, rather a person acknowledging something many might prefer to ignore.

Look around town and you’ll see dozens if not hundreds of women working in leadership roles in the community. These are not only the ones in elected or appointed office. These are the community organizers, the volunteers, and the business creators. The evolution did not start with her, it has been in the making for years, but Nora Harrington and her bold campaign for the state Senate in 2016 certainly helped bring the topic of women in public life locally to the forefront.

In the private sector, Melissa Fassel Dunn certainly comes to mind. This is a thanks and a nod to someone providing me an opportunity. It also is an acknowledgement of a person who worked hard and risen to provide an information outlet, the Milton Scene, that has become integral to the town. She is also branching out to television thanks to Milton Access TV. Melissa hosts Broad Appeal, a new series all about female leaders.

As I said there are many women in town, and I’ld like to mention a few more now. This is certainly by no means an exhaustive list. And there is no slight or offense intended by any omission. There just would not be enough space to celebrate everyone individually. But to mention a few so that you can go out and find more, I shall start with Mary Keohane and her new venture, Soulstice Health. This, like the offerings from the other business leaders, are positive, beneficial services. Beth Greenawalt’s Parent Solutions coaching and Bridget Dujardin’s Boston Sensory Solutions work to make significant impacts to the lives of families. Another great example of a service helping people and families is Comfy Cozy Pet Sitting, owned by Kathy Henderson. Patricia Gervasi’s salon, Gervasi & Co. is frequently recommended on Milton Neighbors. And we have to mention The Plate, owned by Suzanne Lombardi, which is a perennial favorite.

They do not listen to voices saying, ‘It can’t be done.’  Or, ‘That’s just not the way we do things here.’

These are examples of entrepreneurial women who perhaps intuitively applied common sense notions that are not commonly found. They do not listen to voices saying, ‘It can’t be done.’  Or, ‘That’s just not the way we do things here.’ These leaders know that providing a quality product is key to success. There’s no need to pander to customers, no cajoling for patronage. They stay true to their dreams in creating something of value. The success comes after that. These ladies are good business case examples for our children to study when it comes to encouraging people to follow their passions to find success.

Fueled with these successes and spurred by the momentum of Nora Harrington’s campaign, Milton Persists! was started to engage the women in Milton. The group was founded to identify potential political candidates, organize, and advance issues relevant not only to the women of Milton but for the betterment of the community.

f women in town would like to learn more about participating or running for a position such as Town Meeting Member or other elected office, I hope they take the steps to find out more.

I know the Town Moderator made a point of being more inclusive with appointments to volunteer boards and committees. Not many people can devote the time and energy to also serve on top of busy work and family lives. Gratefully, it seems that more people, women especially, are finding ways to make it happen. It would be encouraging for that trend to continue in the new year. If women in town would like to learn more about participating or running for a position such as Town Meeting Member or other elected office, I hope they take the steps to find out more.

With more and more women running for elected offices, volunteering in the community, and building businesses, 2018 looks to be the Year of the Woman.

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