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Checking in with The Baltimore Sun’s previous Women to Watch

Jackie Copeland, former executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. She is now chairwoman of Maryland State Arts Council.
Jackie Copeland, former executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. She is now chairwoman of Maryland State Arts Council. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

Jaqueline “Jackie” Copeland

74, chair Maryland State Arts Council

The day Jackie Copeland resigned from Maryland’s largest Black museum last summer during a tumultuous leadership shake-up, her cellphone began ringing. It hasn’t stopped since. Copeland may have lost her “dream job” as executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture but, she isn’t the type to mope.

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On July 1 she became chairwoman of the Maryland State Arts Council, which since the pandemic began has awarded more than $12 million in emergency funds to more than 1,645 artists and cultural groups.

“COVID-19 has made us realize how important the arts are,” Copeland said. “They bring people together. They are chroniclers of our culture. In good times and bad, the arts are always there for us.”

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― Mary Carole McCauley

Ting Cui, of the United States, competes in the women's free skate at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City.
Ting Cui, of the United States, competes in the women's free skate at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Ting Cui

19, figure skater

Ting Cui (pronounced Tsway) knows her career is nearing its end. “I’m only 19, but in the skating world, that’s kind of getting up there.” In the last two years, she finished fourth at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in September 2019, re-sprained her right ankle the following month, and switched coaches. Cui also graduated from Towson High School, wrote for Women in Politics magazine, and will enroll at Middlebury College in February. She aims to compete in the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January. “I love the sport too much.”

— Edward Lee

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Tabassum Majid, program officer at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Tabassum Majid, program officer at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Tabassum Majid

33, program officer at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute

With a passion fueled by personal experiences with older family members and dementia, Tabassum Majid, former executive director of the Integrace Institute, continues to work toward a future which accommodates aging and the needs of a growing, diverse demographic. While working on several initiatives focused on the aging population in her role at PCORI, Majid puts a special emphasis on those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. “I’m a firm believer that it takes a village to care for an elder, and that every elder has wisdom, lessons and a story to tell, if we make the time to listen.”

— Madison Bateman

Lucy Motsay Rutishauser Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group. September 1, 2020
Lucy Motsay Rutishauser Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group. September 1, 2020 (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Lucy Motsay Rutishauser

56, chief financial officer, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Lucy Motsay Rutishauser helped close Sinclair’s $10.6 billion acquisition of 21 Fox regional sports networks in 2019. Then the pandemic shut down live sports.

Still, one of the Fortune 500′s few female CFOs kept the TV broadcaster’s growth on track. Advertising revenues and local sports viewership have improved on Bally Sports networks, all rebranded through a partnership with the gaming company. Next up, a direct-to-consumer “gamification” app will let fans interact and wager through Bally Bet.

Sinclair news stations have continued investigating public education in Baltimore and homelessness in Seattle, bringing “important topics to the forefront for discussion … We have a lot of good things that are taking place as the economy rebounds.”

— Lorraine Mirabella

The state banking association reported $376,338.77 in spending on lobbying, the eighth-most in the state. Pictured is Mary Ann Scully, Chief Executive Officer of Howard Bank, who serves as chairwoman of the bankers association.
The state banking association reported $376,338.77 in spending on lobbying, the eighth-most in the state. Pictured is Mary Ann Scully, Chief Executive Officer of Howard Bank, who serves as chairwoman of the bankers association. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, The Baltimore Sun)

Mary Ann Scully

69, chairman and CEO of Howard Bank

The co-founder of the Baltimore area’s largest locally based bank is poised for her next chapter, possibly advisory work, mentoring or joining a nonprofit board. But first, Mary Ann Scully is focused on completing Howard Bank’s $418 million acquisition by the parent of First National Bank of Pennsylvania, a merger she sees as best for shareholders, employees and customers.

Scully founded the bank in 2004 to help small and medium-sized businesses and others create legacies.

“To the extent I’ve been able to do that, I’m pleased and honored to have had a role. I hope to continue to do that in different ways going forward.”

— Lorraine Mirabella

Shelonda Stokes, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Shelonda Stokes, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Shelonda Stokes

49, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

Shelonda Stokes said she wanted to address systemic racism and social injustice as she became president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. To that end, she launched the program Black-Owned and Occupied Storefront Tenancy in July. Its goals included negotiating affordable leases for Black- and Brown-owned businesses, donating $50,000 to businesses to help with renovations and teaching technical assistance, marketing, and other skills.

Stokes also wants to revitalize the downtown-area alleys by adding art and seating.

“We’re looking at every opportunity in downtown to create place-making, meaning places for people to engage,” Stokes said.

— Billy Jean Louis

Ali Von Paris, owner of Route One Apparel, is pictured in her store at the PA Dutch Market in the Ashland Marketplace Shopping Center in 2017.
Ali Von Paris, owner of Route One Apparel, is pictured in her store at the PA Dutch Market in the Ashland Marketplace Shopping Center in 2017. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Ali von Paris

31, founder and president of Route One Apparel

In the past two years, Ali von Paris was selected as the guest speaker nominated by McCormick for SPLICE networking summit, which required her to have $1B in sales or $100M in royalties to attend. That led to a licensing agreement with Hershey. In 2020 she started the year with an 80% drop in sales and went up 700% by year end. Celebs from John Harbaugh to Cardi B have been seen rocking Old Bay gear. And the company has donated more than $1 million to businesses and charities during the pandemic. In July, she also moved into an 18,000-square-feet commercial building on York Road in Timonium. “I’ve always been motivated by the fact that success or failure depends upon me,” she said.

— John-John Williams IV

Nichole Baccala Ward, president of TBC.
Nichole Baccala Ward, president of TBC. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Nichole Baccala Ward

42, president, TBC

As president of the Baltimore-based TBC advertising agency, Nichole Baccala Ward has steered the firm into the digital age. A working parent, she tries to instill a sense of community into her team, giving employees schedule flexibility and conducting frequent check-ins to assess their needs and emotional well-being. She’s also proud of the pro-bono work the agency has taken on, which includes campaigns for Baltimore Homecoming, the Hippodrome Theatre and the city’s World Cup bid. “We go into all of our work thinking about the people,” Ward said. “We come to them and bring solutions, and work closely with them on what they’re trying to achieve.”

— Hallie Miller

Dr. Leana Wen, who has published a book entitled, "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health."
Dr. Leana Wen, who has published a book entitled, "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health." (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

Dr. Leana Wen

38, physician, op-ed columnist with The Washington Post and a CNN medical analyst

Former Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen was contemplating a guide to public health when the coronavirus pandemic hit. It became the backbone for the just-released “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health,” and helped Wen understand how the field needed to adapt. “While the pandemic is by no means over,” she said, “there is a need to re-imagine what public health can and should look like going forward. In addition to helping to navigate these challenging times, I’m also focused on laying the groundwork for this undertaking.”

— Meredith Cohn

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