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Continuing to blaze a new trail: the Trailblazer Awards via Rep Hank Johnson celebrates the impact of women leaders in the 4th Congressional District

While Women's History Month is coming closer to its conclusion (the month of March), the impact of women across multiple walks of life is ever present.

This past Saturday, March 23rd (2024), Representative Hank Johnson's office takes time to honor 11 women in recognition of their impact on the immediate and interlocking community. Their pioneering efforts across the private and public sector are highlighted during this key time of the year.

Joined by Senator Jon Ossoff (who is invited as a guest to honor his mother, Heather Fenton), Stonecrest (GA) Mayor Jazzmin Cobble (who attends to honor her aunt, Rita Scott), State Representative Billy Mitchell (MARTA board member and union advocate), along with special guests Poet Laureate Hank Stewart, Melvin M. Miller (nationally renowned trumpeter), and the Towers High School Ensemble, the event is a not only a celebration, but a reminder of the potential and actual impact women make in the places in which we live, work, and play.

The following women are this year's awardees:

  • Ms. Sushma Barakoti. She serves as the Executive Director of the Refugee Women's Network, Inc (RWN). The nonprofit serves refugees who are resettling in Georgia (DeKalb County).

  • Ms. Cheryl Board. She serves as the Executive Director of the Non-Profit Consortium based in Rockdale County. Their focus is to empower nonprofits and enhance their capacity for leadership and change-making within their communities.

  • Ms. Heather Fenton. As the co-founder of NewPower PAC, their impact in DeKalb County centers on facilitating the process for women to run for local elected office.

  • Ms. Awida Gonzalez. As the president of the Enclave Homeowners Association (Newton County), she serves a key leadership role in forging an improved work-life balance in her immediate community.

  • Dr. Cynthia Roman-Hernandez. As the Vice-President of the Family Stabilization and Well-Being Program (Latin American Association in DeKalb County), her leadership role is essential to serving families and related communities.

  • Ms. Jan McIntrye. Not only is she the first Black Female Director of Fleet Management (for the city of Atlanta), but she also serves as an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Association.

  • Ms. Leonna Perry. Her track record of leadership includes her multiple terms as the 3rd Vice Chair of the DeKalb County Democratic Committee and the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections.

  • Ms. Rita Scott. The leadership roles she takes on include serving as President of the Communication Workers of America Retired Members Council Local 324 as well as representing DeKalb County on the MARTA Board.

  • Ms. Carolyn Sutton. Her efforts with Runs Enclave with the State of Georgia includes distribution of lunches and related resources to children in need during the summer months (specifically, Newton County).

  • Ms. Honey Van De Kreke. She is a founding mother and presence in the city of Tucker. She has served on the Tucker City Council, Tucker Business Association, and the Tucker CID (Tucker/DeKalb).

  • Ms. Lisa A. Wright. In addition to serving as treasurer on multiple boards based in DeKalb County (including the county branch/chapter of the NAACP), her first (LA Wright & Associates) focuses on accounting and business advocacy.

For Women's History Month, there are game-changers making an impact each day (for the month and beyond). This past Saturday's event via Representative Hank Johnson provides a reminder to pause, celebrate, and elevate for the day and beyond.


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