Sussex County businesswomen honored by Delaware Today

Delaware Today magazine recently honored a dozen local entrepreneurs as its 2012 Downstate Women in Business.

“The women we feature in Delaware Today are leaders,” said Editor Maria Hess at a luncheon last week. “As leaders, they adapt to a myriad of situations. They’re aggressive, passionate, tough, fair and, by the way, they happen to be pretty nice people too. Delaware Today honors women for substantive reasons.”

Those who were honored for their contribution as women in business were: Taryn Burris and Lori Schell, owners of Kids Cottage and the Little School at Kids Cottage; Mariah Calagione, an owner of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Georgie Cartanza, chicken producer; Ami Leaming, owner of Forney’s Jewelers; Ellen Magee, marketing partner of Magee Farms; Linda Parkowski, executive director of the Delaware Tourism Office; Marnie Oursler, founder of Marnie Homes; Betsy Reamer, president of Lewes Chamber of Commerce; Shana D. Ross, vice president of human resources at Bayhealth; Lisa Torbert owner of Heather’s Holistic Health LLC; and Jennifer Zerby, director of marketing for Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.

Keynote speaker and former NPR reporter Liane Hansen said that she was “God-smacked and awed” by the women who were honored and who attended the event.

“I really hate being cliché about it, but we’ve come a long way,” said Hansen. “Things are changing… not just here in the United States, but globally.”

Hansen congratulated the honorees for their work in helping lead the way for women in the future.

“I am actually living for the day when it is no longer considered unusual to have a woman in a place of power,” she said. “Congratulations to all of you for your accomplishments and the trail that you are blazing for the future generation of women in Delaware.”

Of her newfound joy in retirement, Hansen said she has found her “bliss” in Delaware, while helping to establish the state’s first NPR station.

“I’m amazed by the number of stories here, from the cornfields to the crab pots.”