They're still making news: We checked back in with some of The Baltimore Sun's Women to Watch from previous years.
53, regional president, Greater Maryland, PNC Bank; chair, Baltimore Community Foundation
Last year’s unrest presented Laura Gamble and PNC with a challenge: helping Baltimore rebuild. “Our first responsibility was the businesses that had suffered,” Gamble recalled. “How do we get them running as soon as possible?” By checking in, making sure employees were safe, coordinating donations with United Way. In her role with the Baltimore Community Foundation, Gamble was in a hot seat again this summer: Funding for secret police surveillance of the city had been funneled through the foundation. Gamble and the foundation’s president have said that they’ll now require government agencies to inform the public of receipt of funds.
64, Librarian of Congress
Carla Hayden packed up her office at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, deciding what to discard and what to take along. As the new Librarian of Congress, she’s the first woman and African-American to hold that post. A prominent item on her “to-keep” list: Baltimore. Still living in Cross Keys, she’ll watch the progress of the $115 million renovation of the Pratt’s central library. She’ll remember the man who landed three job interviews because the Pennsylvania Avenue branch — and its computers — remained open during the 2015 unrest. “That day, I thought, ‘This is what a library should be.’” Hayden says. “I want to see if I can make America’s library more accessible to everyone.”
—Mary Carole McCauley
51, VP and general manager, Lockheed Martin MST — ship and aviation systems
More than 1,000 projects cross the desk of Stephanie Hill, who oversees a division that includes unmanned aircraft, the new Middle River manufacturing center and ships developed to fight in shallow waters. Still, the Baltimore native has added extracurriculars, joining the board of Project Lead the Way, which develops science curricula, and becoming the first black woman to chair the Greater Baltimore Committee. For Hill, the three roles combine her interest in the next generation of engineers. “It’s been such a wonderful career for me, so I try to shout it from the rooftop as much as I can,” she says.
Until Laura Lippman became a mother, she had no idea that every decision a parent makes is subject to scrutiny by strangers. In two years, Lippman has published two novels and is writing a third that meditate on the “good” mother. “Hush Hush” (2015) imagines a mother who kills her toddler. “Wilde Lake” (2016) features a main character who is a single parent. The novel-in-progress, tentatively titled “Pink Lady,” is about a mother who abandons her children. “If I take a step back, I can see that these three books form a loose, unplanned trilogy,” Lippman says. “I’m rethinking classical works of art such as ‘Medea’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in the context of motherhood.”
—Mary Carole McCauley
80, Maryland’s senior U.S. senator
When she shocked state politicos by announcing her retirement, Barbara A. Mikulski vowed to end her three-decade run in the Senate on a productive note. She has helped move a major spending bill through Congress and taken on a vocal role in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The longest-serving woman in Congress will spend her remaining tenure stumping for Clinton and trying to land Maryland a new FBI headquarters. Mikulski hasn’t ruled out a post-term position in politics — she left the door open to a role in a potential Clinton administration — but all she has committed to do in retirement is to keep “raising hell.”
Patricia J. “PJ” Mitchell
69, board member, KCI Technologies, Sun Trust Bank, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Since leaving a high-ranking position at IBM, PJ Mitchell admits she has been “flunking retirement with a big fat F.” More than a year ago, the president-elect of The Center Club and chair-elect of Greater Baltimore Medical Center signed on as chair of the Women of the World conference coming to Baltimore this October. It will explore issues such as leadership, sexual assault, financial literacy and feminism through performance, workshops, speed mentoring and more. “I think it’s good for Baltimore on a number of levels,” she says. “Anything that celebrates women and their contribution, I’m behind it.”
36, Baltimore state’s attorney
The start of Marilyn Mosby’s tenure as Baltimore’s top prosecutor has been a trial by fire. She’s landed high-profile convictions against two men deemed “Public Enemy No. 1,” a serial rapist and a child murderer. But she also failed to secure convictions against the officers accused in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Now Mosby, one of the nation’s best-known local prosecutors, says she’s working to reform the criminal justice system after a Justice Department report highly critical of city police — including a push for independent investigators in police misconduct cases. “I’ve learned so many valuable lessons,” she says. “Justice is no small task. It’s always worth the price paid for its pursuit.”
As Sinai Hospital turns 150, President Amy Perry marvels at the evolution. Sinai was founded on anti-discrimination beliefs and still welcomes all comers. But the aim now is keeping people out of the hospital by going into neighborhoods and preventing disease. When patients need care, Perry wants cutting-edge therapies, with emphasis this year on epilepsy, strokes and cancer. An innovation center is recruiting start-ups to tap physician expertise in the hunt for more treatments. “We want to be there for our community and our patients, hopefully keeping them well,” she says. “If they’re not well, we need to be there with the most advanced services.”
35, comedian and actress
When we talked to Amy Schumer in 2013 for our first “Women to Watch” issue, her Comedy Central series, “Inside Amy Schumer,” had just debuted and she was starting to feel the buzz. “There’s a new energy around me, and I am definitely getting recognized more,” she says. The Towson University graduate has since become one of the most recognized performers in popular culture. Her first film, “Trainwreck,” earned $140 million. “Inside Amy Schumer” has won Emmy and Peabody Awards. Her first nonfiction book, “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo,” was published this year. Next up: a film with Goldie Hawn and Season 5 on Comedy Central.
54, State House minority whip, U.S. Senate candidate
Kathy Szeliga’s bid for the Senate represents Republicans’ best shot at a statewide win in November. The feat would advance the GOP’s goal to make deep-blue Maryland more of a two-party state — and ensure there’s still a woman in the congressional delegation. “Every single issue,” she says, “we bring a little different angle to it.” Since participating in a coup that upended entrenched power in Annapolis in 2013, Szeliga emerged as a thoughtful leader who works well with Democrats. Still, she faces an uphill battle against Rep. Chris Van Hollen to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.