Gov. Ann Richards puts women in their place -- right at the top

On the Town

June 02, 1996|By Sylvia Badger

"I BRING YOU greetings from Texas, the home of the original good old boys. It sure is great to be in a state where men are men and women are senators." Those were but a few of the gems former Texas Gov. Ann Richards shared with members and guests at the annual Network 2000 breakfast.

While we ate quiche, bacon and other tasty things one should never eat for breakfast anymore, Frances Reaves, breakfast chairwoman, began the show.

She started the introductions before announcing that this year's winner of the Business 2000 award was the YMCA, not the YWCA. The award is given to businesses that advance women to key leadership positions. Mercy Hospital and First National Bank were runners-up.

The breakfast group, made up of about 600 women and a handful of men, seemed to love Richards' inimitable way of telling stories about women's roles in the world of business and politics today.

(When I think of Richards, it's her speech at the Democratic Convention poking fun at President Bush that always comes to mind. She began, "Poor George, he can't hep it, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth." Those words, I am told, made the victory of the younger George Bush over Richards in the Texas general election even sweeter.)

Others at the Hyatt Regency breakfast included Federal Magistrate Susan Gauvey; Lois Shofer, Essex Community College; Betsy Hayes, broker with Chapin, Davis; Barbara Manekin Spodak, Dean Witter; Karen Weatherholtz, McCormick & Co.; Jim Shea, Venable Baetjer & Howard; Marian Hwang, Miles and Stockbridge; William O'Connor, Black & Decker; Dawn Hyde, Berkshire Associates; Toni Draper, African American Newspapers; Susan Swift, Susan Swift LTD; Carole Pickett, publisher of the Columbia Business Journal and Howard County Business Journal; former Maryland Attorney General candidates Eleanor Carey and Dick Bennett; Lenel Srochi-Meyerhoff, attorney; Network 2000 president Laura Black.

Laura took over as the group's president from Carolyn McGuire Frenkil, who was there with her husband, Dr. Jim, and his brother, Victor, who is well-known for making famous people's initials from dollar bills, which he did for Richards.

I enjoyed chatting with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Donald and Val Jean Slowinski, he's retiring as president of Essex Community College; CTB Associates' Carolyn Burridge; Republican gubernatorial wannabe Ellen Sauerbrey, who was with Baltimore businessman Dick Hug. Dick and his wife, Lois, by the way, threw a party at their home for about 50 people, who paid $1,000 each to hobnob with Sauerbrey.

A perk enjoyed by Network members was a meeting with Richards after breakfast. While I can't tell you everything that was said, I can tell you she didn't mention one word about the rumored television sitcom that would star the colorful ex-guv.

Guests flocked to the table where Network 2000's mentoring video was being shown. It's a bargain at $250, thanks to member Floraine Applefeld and her committee.

Pub Date: 6/02/96

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