I am inspired

When I read the stories and columns for the upcoming issue of Maine Women Magazine each month, I am inspired. I am also inspired by each of the women on our team who bring this magazine to print, and our lively discussions as we plan each issue, which leaves me feeling full. And every other month, when we wrap our Advisory Board meetings (meet our board members on page 38), I am overflowing with inspiration and awe at the ideas, thoughtfulness and passion that these women bring to the table. I am a lucky woman to be involved with this magazine, this team and all of the women who inspire me in a multitude of ways.

As you can imagine, it is ridiculously hard to decide which stories to tell about Maine women who inspire—there are so many amazing stories to tell, it’s nearly impossible to choose. Always, we hope to introduce you to a few women of whom you may not be aware, and we aim to remind you of others who are still out there doing the awesome things they’ve always done. Mary Allen Lindemann, co-founder of Coffee By Design, is one of these women who has spent her life committed to her passion to create welcoming places for people to gather. In her business of bringing people together over coffee, Lindemann has inspired many. One man describes her as “the magic person you go to when you want to open doors—she gets things done.” Read more on Lindemann on page 14.

Nicole Witherbee found support in her life when she needed it most, and now she is giving back. Witherbee started an organization called Women United with a purpose to create a community of support for single mothers so that they can reach goals and improve their lives. She believes that “women have an ability to knit themselves together with others and provide a circle around somebody to lift them up.” Read how, in their first fundraising effort with Women United, Witherbee and her team raised $120,000 to support women in the East Bayside community, on page 20.

At age 20, Hamdia Ahmed wanted to embrace her modesty and inspire other girls who looked like she did to never change who they are. As a contestant in the Miss Maine USA pageant, Ahmed proudly walked across stage in her long dress and traditional hijab, because these items are part of her identity. Kerry Gross set off on a 5,800-mile bike trek to find women who inspired her, and Rabbi Carolyn Braun, one of the first women ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1988, found additional passion in weight lifting and competing. Read more about these “badass” women on page 40.

These are just a few of the highlights from this very inspiring issue of Maine Women Magazine. We would love to hear who the women are who inspire you and why they do. Write to us at letters@mainewomenmagazine.com.

Thanks to all who came out for our Maine Women’s Expo at the Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn on Feb 3. We had a great time meeting and talking to you all. Mark your calendars for our next event, April 21, at the beautiful Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. For more information, www.mainewomenexpo.com.

Lee Hews

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