**FILE** Jim Coleman, Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation president and CEO, addresses a procurement opportunities event at the EDC's headquarters in Upper Marlboro on Jan. 26. (Courtesy of PGCEDC)

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The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation announced this week the recipients of its Women’s Excellence and Leadership awards, honoring women who have made remarkable contributions in Prince George’s County.

The awardees will be honored at the EDC’s inaugural Women’s Excellence and Leadership Luncheon, which will take place Thursday, June 8 at the MGM National Harbor Hotel at 10 a.m. Each of the honorees reflect this year’s event theme, “Yes! You Can Have It All.”

“Prince George’s County is fortunate to have so many dynamic and tenacious women as business leaders in our community,” said Jim Coleman, EDC president and CEO. “These honorees all care deeply about people, and are a major force in helping businesses, communities, and the people they serve reach their full potential. These are fantastic role models for all women.”

The luncheon awardees, who were selected based on their outstanding accomplishments, contributions and dedication to the county, include:

Excellence in Partnership – Angela Franco
Franco served as president and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2017. A true advocate of business-to-business networking and synergistic relationship building, Franco grew the Chamber’s programs, trainings and matchmaking network resulting in the establishment and growth of hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses in Prince George’s County and throughout the region. She has served as the EDC liaison to Hispanic businesses for several years and connected the it to Hispanic businesses for its Latin America trade missions.

Excellence in Leadership – Julie Lenzer
Lenzer serves as associate vice president of Innovation and Economic Development and Co-Director of UM Ventures. Lenore is charged with promoting and facilitating productive, university-wide collaboration to launch startup ventures based upon University intellectual property, as well as maximizing synergies the University of Maryland and other colleges and universities in the Region. Prior to this position, Lenzer was appointed to lead the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Excellence in Education – Dr. Debra Mahone
Mahone currently serves as the director of state and federal programs in Prince George’s County. She is a highly skilled educational leader, experienced in school reform, program and leadership development, and curriculum and technology integration. Among many other accomplishments, Mahone was successful in implementing the largest one-to-one, iPad deployments in the nation in 2013.

Excellence in Community Service – Lisa Liu
Liu is the Founder and Manager of Long River Realty, an international real estate company with residential and commercial clients in the United States, China, Korea, India and Europe. Additionally, Liu serves as the Asian Business Advisor to the Prince George’s County EDC, and has aided Prince George’s County by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with the County and the local, Asian business community.

Excellence in Entrepreneurship – Sara Bahethi
Bahethi currently serves as the corporate secretary and treasurer of Science Systems and Applications Inc., (SSAI). As the co-founder and majority owner of SSAI, which was founded in 1977, she is responsible for short-term and long-term cash management, in addition to the overall fiscal control of the company.

For more information about the luncheon, visit www.pgcedcexcellence.com. To register for the event, contact Nichelle Holmes at 301-583-4650 or naholmes@pgcedc.com or visit www.pgcedc.com/events.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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