Looking back over the year, our pride in professional accomplishments is so often entwined with our personal joys that it’s impossible to separate the two. We love hearing about the public achievements as well as those private personal milestones that make a more complete picture and insight into the lives of our community neighbors. Congratulations to all of us who experienced highlights in 2019!
CATHY SCHMIDT, CTR:
“This year was a big one for CTR! In September, we learned that we would receive another year of federal grant funding from the VA Adaptive Sports Grant to serve four different departments at the VA Maryland Health System. This grant is the largest one-year grant amount CTR has ever received! To date in 2019, we have served over 100 veterans through adaptive horseback riding lessons and basic horsemanship lessons.
Our biggest news ever in the history of our organization is that we purchased our “forever farm”, located in Street on October 16! This endeavor has been 16 years in the making. We’ve moved four times, always out growing wherever we were operating. The purchase of Serenity Hill Farm allows CTR the autonomy necessary to serve our community for generations to come!”
“I could not be more pleased to say that 2019 has been a very special year for me on a personal basis and has also been a very rewarding year professionally. Personally, the most notable event is that my wife Sonya and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary in April. We were both able to notch out a couple of weeks in our schedules and travel to Rome for a few days before embarking on a cruise through the Greek Isles. An amazing trip for both of us from start to finish and one well deserved by Sonya for putting up with me so long! 2019 also marked a big year as our two daughters each reached milestones of their own. Shelby, our oldest, entered her senior year at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and, Sydney, our youngest, began her senior year at Bel Air High School! Sonya and I could not be more proud of the wonderful young women our girls have become!
Professionally, I remain humbled to work with the exceptional men and women at the Sheriff’s Office. Our personnel working with all of our County partners, both public and private, have seen the first positive steps in the actual reduction of lives lost to the opioid epidemic, a reduction in the number of overdoses and what appears to be another record year of low crime in our County as measured by the Unformed Crime Reporting System.
Although 2019 has certainly flown by, it has been a year filled with wonderful memories. I look forward to the year to come!”
MANAGER, ROCKFIEL MANOR:
“This year was full of a lot of excitement!
We moved into a larger home, with more space for us and a bigger yard for the pups! We had loved living in Forest Hill for the past six years and knew we didn’t want to leave the area, so we moved only three miles away from our old home!
Our dogs are both rescues from Pet Helpers. First up was Tater, who came from a very lonely life and didn’t really understand what it was like to have someone love him. He stayed clear of people and didn’t even know how to play with dog toys, or even that he was allowed to do so! Because Tater seemed so very lonely, we decided he needed a buddy. So we got Rocky. Rocky also came to use from Pet Helpers at the age of 1. He is full of life and loves people – so much that there is no such thing as personal space! Rocky showed Tater that it’s ok to trust people again, to chew a bone and play fetch, and to run around in our new backyard!
Everyone has adapted to the positive change that comes from the stresses of moving!”
DIRECTOR, PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, CITY OF ABERDEEN:
“I have been working for the City since 1987 when the Municipal Building was located on West Bel Air Avenue. I witnessed the change from a Town and Commissioner form of government to today’s visible growth and economic vitality as a City on the move. I have been part of the new construction activity with the Municipal Center being built on the corner of Parke and Franklin and the Ripken Stadium with its 6,000+ seats on Long Drive. Over the years, I have been able to maintain a strong commercial industry with hospitality, retail, manufacturing and distribution, medical, as well as, supporting the mission of Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Some of my proudest moments have been standing in the foreground as the ribbon was cut for new businesses in the downtown and along MD 22, U.S. 40, and Beards Hill Road: Café Michelle, Target, Home Depot, Hilton Garden Inn, Saxons Diamond Centers, and Chaps Pit Beef, to name a few. Witnessing the construction of a four-decade old road project was also a monumental event to me: the opening of Middelton Road next to the new Starbucks.
Yes, my eyes have seen a lot of great change in Aberdeen! As the City has grown over the years, so has my family. I have a terrific husband, Greg and two handsome sons, Nick and Jason, who have grown up understanding my passion for Aberdeen. They have taken part in helping me plan major events in the City and have always been so supportive of my unusual hours, missed dinners and a few late homework assignments.
I am now a proud Nana with six grandchildren and another little girl on the way in 2020! I will soon be graduating with my MBA/Public Administration in the spring of 2020 and look forward to my continued successes with the City.
Here is my philosophy on life as quoted by Charlie Brown: “Life is short, so do the things that make you happy. Be with those who make you happy. Look for the good in every day – even if some days you have to look a little harder.”
PRESIDENT, RICE CONSULTING:
“2019 brought a new addition to our family and new non-profit leadership role. Hugo, a blue fawn French bulldog, came home in June and was thrilled to meet his new brother, 10 year old Chocolate Lab Augie. Hugo is pure joy: playful, cuddly, a true character and a really loud snorer. Augie and Hugo come to work with me every day and they elicit smiles and warm interactions as we walk around Bel Air at lunch.
Soon after Hugo came into our lives, I was honored to be elected President of Pets on Wheels (PoW) of Maryland. PoW volunteer teams bring therapy animals to help “lick” the loneliness of those in institutional settings across Central Maryland: nursing homes, hospice and assisted living facilities, hospitals, child welfare facilities, shelters, veteran’s hospitals, substance abuse recovery centers and facilities for the emotionally and physically disabled. Augie and Hugo bring my family tremendous delight and comfort; every day I see the effect they have on people. As President of PoW, it’s my mission to make sure as many people as possible (175,000 in a typical year) enjoy the support, cheer and love of a visit with a friendly therapy animal. Just as Augie and Hugo have changed my life, we know that Pets on Wheels is a program that makes a difference.”