When well-known Ct chef and restaurateur Ann Howard needed to borrow $20,000 for a business venture in the 80s, the male loan officer she was dealing with in Hartford said “sure, as long as you have a co-signer.”
Already well-established and successful in her business at the time, Howard was less-than-happy about the subtle discrimination but went on to prove how successful a woman can be.
On Tuesday, Howard, who with her family owns Apricots in Farmington, the Bond Ballroom in Hartford and her own catering business, and several others females were lauded for their courage, independence and success as Malta House handed out its annual “Wonder Women” awards.
“My advice to women who are looking to succeed, don’t protest against the gender inequities that exist,” said Howard. “Instead get out there and do what you want to do and show them all.”
Also recognized at the reception and ceremony at The Bushnell were Jill Adams, Eliana Cardeno, Ranjana Chawla, Pamela Trotman Reid and Carol Stiff.
“I’m a wonder woman because of the supportive community around me,” said Trotman Reid, president of University of St. Joseph, which holds commencement exercises this weekend and includes its first graduating class from its School of Pharmacy.
“There were people who thought we couldn’t do it,” she said when the School of Pharmacy idea was launched. “But we did.”
“I think every woman has a little wonder in her,” said Dawn Meyers, who was part of the crowd at the event benefiting the Malta House mobile medical clinic that provides primary health care to those in need. “I’d like to think we all have something special inside us, because we are woman, to make a positive difference in something, no matter how little it might seem. “