Maurene Epps McNeil, Chief Zoning Hearing Examiner for PG County Council, Receives the 2017 Gladys Noon Spellman Public Service Award
By PRESS OFFICER
Upper Marlboro, MD—On Thursday, March 16, 2017, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III hosted over 900 guests attending the 32nd Annual Prince George’s County Women’s History Month Luncheon. Weekday WUSA 9 Anchor Andrea Roane served as Mistress of Ceremonies and Aja Baker, the eldest daughter of County Executive and Mrs. Baker, delivered the welcome address on behalf of the First Family of Prince George’s County. This set the tone of the program featuring trailblazing women of county government and society.
Prince George’s County Council Chief Zoning Hearing Examiner Maurene Epps McNeil won this year’s highly coveted and prestigious 2017 Gladys Noon Spellman Public Service Award. Prince George’s Middle College High School student Amber Nicole Stanford received a $2,000 scholarship as the 2017 Gladys Noon Spellman Scholarship Award Recipient. Both the award and scholarship are presented in honor of the late 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. The Honorable Alexis Herman, Former United States Secretary of Labor was presented with a special recognition for being among the roster of honorees for the 2017 National Women’s History Project. Additionally, four women received the Prince George’s County Women In Government “WInG” Award.
This year’s 2017 Spellman Award recipient Maurene Epps McNeil has dedicated her entire professional career, which spans over 30 years, to serving the residents of Prince George’s County. Her impressive resume demonstrates an amazing trajectory of experience and her service to the community is legendary. Maurene has contributed her wealth of experience, talent and skills throughout her illustrious career by serving the County Government in an impressive series of high level professional positions spanning from law enforcement to practicing law which include: Deputy Sheriff, Associate, Principal and Acting Deputy County Attorney; Deputy Counsel and Acting Clerk for the Prince George’s County Council to her current position as Chief Zoning Hearing Examiner for the County Council. For over two decades, Maurene’s legal acumen has been recognized as one of the State’s brightest legal scholars. She is also an expert in drafting legislation, a role in which she often serves the Prince George’s County Council. Based on her superior legal analysis and skills, Maurene has been appointed by the Maryland Court of Appeals to serve as a Board of Law Examiner member. Her leadership activities and passion for community are equally evident through her long standing commitment and dedication to a number of organizations including: the Board of Directors for Christmas In April, J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association (founding committee member), the Prince George’s County Bar Association and legal advisor to the Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union. In the past, she served on the Boards for Bishop McNamara High School and Dimensions Health Corporation.
“Maurene Epps McNeil believes in serving others, using her commanding intellect, people skills and energies to positively improve the quality of the lives of others in Prince George’s County. She exemplifies the qualities of public service and personal integrity demonstrated by the Honorable Gladys Noon Spellman during her career and lifetime and it is for these reasons and many more that she was selected as the 2017 Gladys Noon Spellman Public Service Award honoree,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.
Ms. McNeil stated, “I am humbled and honored to accept the Gladys Noon Spellman award on behalf of all of our wonderful County female employees who accomplish so much in their daily lives with grace and kindness—who choose not to give up, but to persist!”
“The success of the Prince George’s County government lies in the passion and compassion of our employees,” said County Executive Baker. “I am excited to share that this year’s special presentation of the WInG Award is being presented to four outstanding women who have contributed greatly to their respective agencies: Gevonia Whittington, Paramedic Lt. Pamela J. Graham, Gloria L. Brown Burnett and Theresa M. Grant. These four women are trailblazers in each of their distinct ways and were identified for one of the four qualities that represent the “IN” of the WInG award.”
Ms. Gevonia Whittington (Director, Office of Homeland Security) received the Women In Government Award for her Influential Service. After unofficially mentoring officers for many years throughout her career, Gevonia officially implemented a mentoring program called W.O.M.E.N. (Women Organizing Mentoring and Empowering the New) in the Prince George’s County Police Department. The program is designed to promote a smooth transition into law enforcement.
Paramedic Lieutenant Pamela J. Graham (Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department) received the Women In Government Award for her Inspirational Service. In November 2016, Pamela began her EMS shift like usual, but received a disturbing call regarding children in danger. She and her crew rushed to the scene, where they encountered two stabbing victims, Jordan, age 2 and Jhalil, age 3. Miraculously they saved the boys’ lives and several surgeries later both boys fully recovered. Lt. Graham’s overwhelming desire to do more motivated her to launch YouCaringFundraiser, to help the mother stay afloat after relocating to a safe place. Four thousand dollars was raised and the boys and their mother enjoyed an unforgettable Christmas.
Ms. Gloria L. Brown Burnett (Director, Department of Social Services) received the Women In Government Award for Innovative Service. Gloria brought innovative strategies such as aligning work with the judiciary system to improve outcomes for foster children, broke down silos by leveraging limited resources to expand services, and encouraged nontraditional partnerships. These strategies resulted in collaborative initiatives such as the Mission: Nutrition Program, Million Meals partnership with the National Harbor developer, TNI@School Community Resource Advocates and to address homelessness among veterans.
Ms. Theresa M. Grant (Aging and Disabilities Services Division Manager, Department of Family Services) received the Women In Government Award for providing Informative Service.
Ms. Grant is instrumental in the Prince George’s Dementia Friendly Initiative which brings together local volunteers, community-based groups, faith-based and public safety organizations to create a community that supports those living with dementia, their family and caregivers. She consistently provides information, resources and compassionate advice to families of seniors and persons with disabilities. As a result of her leadership, Prince George’s County’s Area Agency on Aging is often the local agency that the Maryland Department of Aging requests to pilot new projects and programs.
In his remarks County Executive Baker stated, “I am proud that our County did not just get on the bandwagon of celebrating women’s contributions. I am honored to work with all of the amazing women who contribute to the progression of this County Government, while serving in a multitude of positions to meet the collective and individual needs of nearly 900,000 residents and citizens. You are all trailblazers and I thank you for your public service and dedication.”
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