Woman of the Year
Learn About Our Honorees
2016 Woman of the Year – Dr. Tammy Mann
CEO of the Campagna Center in Alexandria, Virginia
2015 Woman of the Year – Wanda Pierce
Executive Director of the Arlington Community Foundation
Wanda Pierce has over 20 years of management experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. As Executive Director of the Arlington Community Foundation, she is responsible for the overall management of the Foundation which has over $11million in charitable funds. The Foundation impacts the community through grants to nonprofits, college scholarships for students and advancing philanthropy. The Foundation also assists individuals, families and companies establish charitable funds.
Ms. Pierce was previously principal of a management consulting company that worked with nonprofit organizations and small business in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development and new business start ups.
Ms. Pierce has served as Executive Director of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation. During her tenure, the organization was named a finalist for the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management. The organization was also named the United States Tennis Association’s Organization of the Year for its innovative tennis and learning programs for under-served children.
Ms. Pierce previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for United Way of America, the national organization serving 1,300 local United Ways. She also was the general manager of United Way Productions where she oversaw the NFL-United Way public-service announcement partnership and was executive producer of several award winning videos.
Prior to her nonprofit and entrepreneurial work, Ms. Pierce was a manager for two Fortune 500 companies. She was a marketing manager with Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Company and a financial analyst with Mobil Oil Corporation in its U.S. Marketing Division.
Ms. Pierce and her father pursued a long-term interest in the field of solar energy technology. Together they applied for and were awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a solar-related invention.
Ms. Pierce earned a BA in economics with honors from Harvard University and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Pierce resides with her family in Arlington, Virginia.
2014 Woman of the Year – Jaspen Boothe
Jas Boothe is a disabled Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor and Veteran Advocate who gave 13 years of service to this great nation and founded Final Salute Inc. in November 2010.
She deployed during the Operation Iraq Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom campaigns and her military career was dedicated to working with and advocating for Soldiers and their family members.
In 2005, she was a single parent in the Army Reserves living in New Orleans. That spring, she learned she would soon be deploying to Iraq. During her mobilization, Boothe’s life was torn apart by two significant events. In August she lost everything she owned due to Hurricane Katrina. She tried to shift her focus to her platoon that was counting on her for leadership in a combat zone. The very next month in September, she received a devastating diagnosis of an aggressive head, neck, and throat cancer, and was now unable to deploy.
Boothe’s options were limited and posed some very hard choices for her. Because of her illness, she had to discharge from the military. But she needed complex full-time medical care, employment, and a place to live with her young son. When searching for what assistance might be available, she was told there were no existing programs for women Veterans with children and that she should explore welfare and social services as an option, just like every other single mother with an illegitimate child. Jas then realized that America had forgotten about the women who have served, fought, bled and died along side their brothers. She found these options unacceptable for a woman who had honorably served her country. After extensive cancer treatment, including radiation therapy that left life-long side effects, at Brooke Army Medical Center, she was allowed to stay in the Reserves and immediately began looking for full-time employment and a place for her and her son to live.
In 2006, she relocated to Missouri with her aunt, where she subsequently accepted a job offer from the Army National Guard. Later in the year, she received an opportunity to return to full-time duty in Washington, DC. Boothe never forgot what she and her son had been through and was determined to ensure her fellow sister Veterans had a resource in their time of need. She also wanted to ensure they were treated with the dignity and respect earned they had earned under extremely severe circumstances.
Final Salute has assisted over 150 women Veterans and children in over 15 States and Territories. They now operate 3 transitional homes in Alexandria, VA, Martinsburg, WV and Columbus, OH.
Final Salute is currently the only non-profit in the DC Metro Area that uniquely houses and supports homeless women Veterans and their children.
Boothe holds dual MAs in Human Resource Management and Management and Leadership from Webster University.
Jas is the mother of two wonderful boys, Brandon (currently serving in the United States Air Force) and Jammel Jr. She is also the wife of former Marine Combat Veteran, Jammel R. Boothe Sr.
Here a few of the awards she has received for her leadership and community impact: CNN Hero, 2014 First Lady of Virginia’s FLITE Award – Opportunity Hall of Fame Inductee, 2013 Woman of the Year (non-profit/government) – Stevie Awards for Women in Business, 2013 Event of the Year (Ms Veteran America) – Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Distinguished Service Award – University of the District of Columbia, 2013 Toyota Tribute to Working Women Honoree 2013 Woman of Distinction – National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL-Women), 2013 Who’s Who in Black DC Honoree, 2013 Newman’s Own Top Awardee, 2013 Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women, 2013 National Coalition of Homeless Veterans Unsung Hero and 2013 Dulles Regional Chamber Small Non- Profit of the Year.
2013 Woman of the Year – Karen Arrington
Founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation, a Life Coach, a Mentor and an advocate for the Heart Truth Foundation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Founded in 1986, the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit corporation that strives to provide educational opportunities to outstanding young women of color and to develop the “whole woman in mind, body, and spirit.” The organization is community driven and is committed to addressing health and education; two leading issues in the African American community. As the Founder of the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation, Ms. Arrington empowers new young women each year to spread awareness for the Heart Truth Campaign and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Ms. Arrington has provided over $300,000 in scholarships to young African American aspiring scholars.
Ms. Arrington’s strong desire and commitment to close the gap in health disparities is what led her to create the partnership in 2008 with the Heart Truth campaign. Each year, the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation hosts a “Red Dress Photoshoot” with the newest contestants during the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend. As the images spread world-wide they raise a greater awareness for the Heart Truth Campaign and encourage women to maintain or adopt a healthy lifestyle. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women. Ms. Arrington’s goal is to begin to educate young women as early as possible because heart disease is preventable. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, located in Alexandria, Virginia has also been a focus for Ms. Arrington through the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation. In August of 2012, Ms. Arrington organized a field trip with over 50 young women for a visit to Headquarters for an educational session on this important issue. She was proactive in establishing a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to seek answers on what can be done to help the over 2,000 children that are reported missing each day. As a result of the informational session, many of the attendees partnered with police departments in their local areas to help with missing child initiatives.
Prior to founding the Miss Black USA Pageant and Scholarship Foundation, Arrington worked to produce large scaled events and conferences. She attended Georgetown University and University of Maryland. Ms. Arrington became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated during the Fall 1976 sorority year while attending the University of Maryland, College Park. (Eta Epsilon Chapter)
Ms. Arrington has received several honors for her efforts in the community, to include two awards from the “Who’s Who” in Black DC; “Outstanding Community Leader” Award and the “Woman of Excellence” Award. Most recently Ms. Arrington was honored for her contributions to women’s heart health awareness at the Woman’s Day Magazine Red Dress Awards. As a dedicated member of the community, Ms. Arrington has provided over 100,000 hours of community service through mentoring, coaching and philanthropic work. Arrington serves as Goodwill Ambassador for Gambia, and is credited with co-founding the first Diabetes Awareness Day in West Africa.
2012 Woman of the Year – Martina (Tina) Hone
Founder of “The Coalition of The Silence” and Omnivox Strategies
Martina Hone is a former at large member of the Fairfax county school board, where she served for the past four years as the only African American member. In January 2012, in response to the challenges she saw as a school board member, Tina launched “The Coalition of The Silence” which is an effort to bring together voices speaking on behalf of those communities whose children are underrepresented at the highest level of academic achievement in Fairfax County public schools yet overrepresented in the school system’s disciplinary processes. Tina is also the founder of Omnivox Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm that focuses on outreach to under served communities. She began her career on Capitol Hill serving as Judiciary Committee aide to Congressman Mel Watt and as Counsel to the Immigration Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives. She later served as an Associate Under Secretary in the US Department of Commerce, overseeing external affairs for Census 2000, especially outreach to traditionally undercounted communities. She has served as Vice President for Public Policy at several leading non-profits and foundations, including running the Washington office for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Tina received her BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor of the California Law Review.
2011 Woman of the Year – Angela Ciccolo
Chief Legal Officer, Special Olympics
Ms. Ciccolo is responsible for the full range of legal functions handled by the Legal Department and by outside counsel, including contracts, employment law, trademarks, entertainment law, corporate law issues, compliance with U.S. and international legal requirements, exempt organization tax law, sponsorship and fundraising matters, litigation, biannual accreditation of every Special Olympics Program, risk management, and registration of Special Olympics offices around the world. The CLO also has a special role to protect the mission of Special Olympics through oversight and maintenance of compliance with the Special Olympics General Rules, which are the principal governing policies of the Special Olympics movement. (more)
2010 Woman of the Year – Lavern Chatman
President & CEO, Northern Virginia Urban League
Ms. Chatman has been involved with philanthropic efforts to benefit youth, education, healthcare, and arts in the Washington, D.C. region for over fifteen years. She has served on the Board of Directors for Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C.; The Campagna Center, Alexandria, VA; Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, INOVA Alexandria Hospital, Northern Virginia Community Foundation, WETA Public Broadcasting and Chair’s the Diversity Council for AARP Virginia. (more)
2009 Woman of the Year – Charniele Herring
Virginia Delegate, 46th District
Delegate Charniele Herring is currently serving her second term as the representative of the 46th District. During the 2009 session, Delegate Herring advocated for rental assistance for Virginia’s neediest families, small businesses, and the environment. She serves on the Courts of Justice Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
2008 Woman of the Year – Maimah Karmo
Founder, Tigerlilly Foundation
Maimah Karmo is the Founder of Tigerlily Foundation and a five year survivor of breast cancer, who recently received the Congressional Black Caucus Leadershipin Advocacy Award for her work with young womenand breast cancer. In 2009, she spoke on Capitol Hill, alongside Representative Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, now Democratic National Committee Chair, to introduce the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act; and in October 2010, Maimah was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, a committee established by the Affordable Care Act, on which she will work to develop initiatives to increase knowledge of breast health and breast cancer, particularly among women under the age of 40 and those at heightened risk for developing the disease. (more)
2006 Woman of the Year – Dr. Shireen K. Lewis
Executive Director of EduSeed and Founder of SisterMentors
Dr. Shireen Lewis is the Executive Director of EduSeed and Founder of EduSeed’s SisterMentors program. She has devoted over 20 years to mentoring and coaching women and girls. Dr. Lewis has received many awards for her work, including a 2009 Women Making a Powerful Difference Award from Ebony magazine and Pine Sol, the Honorable Annice M. Wagner Pioneer Award from the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and the Youth Community Service Award from the Alexandria Commission on Women. Dr. Lewis was honored as a Distinguished Alumnae by Douglass College, Rutgers University and inducted into the Douglass Society, the highest honor Douglass gives to its most distinguished alumnae. In honoring her, the Dean of Douglass College and Board of Directors of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College identified Dr. Lewis as a role model for future generations of women. Dr. Lewis has also received an award from the National Association of Women Lawyers for her work on behalf of women law students. (more)