Morris County Advisory Committee on Women Seeks Nominees for 2023 “Seeds of Change’’ Award

January 6 Deadline to Nominate Women Who Inspired Other Women

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Morris County Commissioner Deborah Smith, William Brown, son of the late Leanna Brown, Commissioner Kathy DeFillippo, Seeds of Change Award recipient Lila Berstein, and Commissioner Doug Cabana. Dogwood trees were planted in honor of the late public servants Pat Maynard and Leanna Brown at Frelinghuysen Arboretum during the 2018 Horticultural Memorial Program on Friday, April 27, 2018. File Photo.






MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Advisory Committee on Women is now accepting nominations for its “Seeds of Change Award,” which will be presented next year to a woman who has worked to improve the community and who has been a leader and inspiration to other women in the county.

Nominations may be submitted through January 6, 2023. The Morris County Advisory Committee on Women is asking that all nominations be submitted online:

Morris County 2023 Seeds of Change Award Nomination Page

For additional information, please contact Pam Bennett-Santoro at jpmp010@aol.com no later than January 6, 2023. The person selected to receive the honor will be contacted after the deadline and asked to attend the Seeds of Change Award Ceremony at a meeting of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.

The “Seeds of Change Award” was inspired by the late State Senator Leanna Brown, who passed in 2016, and her longtime friend and colleague, the late Morris County Freeholder Patricia Maynard, who died a few months later in 2017. The honor is intended to highlight and celebrate women who build up other women, including those who work at the grassroots levels in the community.

The award was first issued in April 2018 and has been bestowed only two other times since because of an interruption in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is preferred, but not required that the recipient be linked with a cause of current interest to the Advisory Committee on Women. Current areas of interest include housing and homelessness, human trafficking, incarcerated women, women in the military, female veterans, and other areas that impact women.

Ms. Brown served on the Chatham Borough Council from 1969 to 1972. She was the first woman elected to the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders (now the Board of County Commissioners), becoming the Director in 1976. In 1978, she was named president of the New Jersey Association of Counties.

In 1983, Ms. Brown was also the first Republican woman elected to the New Jersey Senate. She was a champion of women’s causes and mentor to many women who sought to join the political and electoral process. Ms. Brown also was the driving force behind the county’s creation of the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women.

Ms. Maynard served as a member of the Mendham Township Committee from 1974 to 1978 and was Deputy Mayor from 1976 to 1978. She served as a Morris County Freeholder from 1978 to 1984 and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1984 to 1996.

Ms. Maynard was passionate about public service and helped to maintain and improve the cultural and educational opportunities and the quality of life in her many roles in Morris County. Her activities included the Morris County 9 Memorial Committee, Morris County Library Foundation, and as a trustee at the Morris Museum, Ralston Cider Mill, the County College of Morris Foundation, and N.J. U.S. Olympic Committee.

Prior “Seeds of Change Award” winners include:

2018 – Lila Bernstein of Mendham Township
2019 – Phyllis Chanda of Flanders
2022 – Mary Ledyard of Rockaway Borough