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ZONTA CLUB NEWS: Spear wins Women in Business Scholarship

January 11, 2019
By MIRIAM HADDEN - Zonta Club of the Adirondacks , Lake Placid News

Lake Placid resident Martha Pritchard Spear was recently awarded Zonta District 2's "Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship."

Martha was selected among candidates nominated by each of 20 local Zonta chapters within the district, which encompasses upstate New York, western New York and parts of Canada. The $2,000 districtwide scholarship is awarded each year to a woman pursuing an accredited business or business related educational program who demonstrates outstanding potential in the field.

Martha won the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks' Jane M. Klausman book award last summer. The local Zonta chapter then nominated her for the district wide scholarship, and sent her application along for consideration.

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The scholarship is intended to encourage women to enter into and seek leadership roles in business related fields, with the goals of increasing the number of women holding executive positions in business management and encouraging more business decisions that positively impact women.

Women are still very much a minority in the business world. Only 5.2 percent of Fortune 500 Company CEO's are women. Only 21.2 percent of board seats on Fortune 500 Companies are held by women.

Martha, who describes herself as a "53-year-old mother, wife, social justice activist and nonprofit professional," graduated in December 2018 from SUNY Oswego with a Master of Business Administration degree.

She originally came to the North Country in 2003 from Brooklyn to work as the development director at North Country School and Camp Treetops in Lake Placid. She left that position in 2008 to start a family. She describes her 11-year-old son, Yosef, whom they adopted from Ethiopia in 2008, as her "guiding star."

Martha has spent her adult life working for and with nonprofit organizations, and has raised "more than $25 million for small and medium sized groups." She was the executive director of the Keene based nonprofit Creative Healing Connections, Inc. from 2011 to 2013, which serves to help women with cancer and chronic illness, veterans and military spouses.

She served as the director of development for Planned Parenthood of the North Country from 2013 to 2014, and notably secured a nationwide competitive grant to found the Planned Parenthood surgical unit in Watertown.

While studying full-time for her MBA, she also maintained a consulting business for nonprofits around the North Country, including Essex County Arts Council and Paul Smith's College. She served as president of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid in 2017-2018 and was elected to the Board of Education of Lake Placid Central School District in 2018.

Martha is uncertain what her next professional venture will be; however, her graduate studies opened her eyes to the possibility of having a global impact through her work. She will, of course, be joining Zonta Club of the ADKs to help support the club's mission to help improve the lives of women around the world.

Zonta Club of the ADKs offers numerous scholarship opportunities for both women and girls. Upcoming scholarships will be announced on the club's Facebook page in February.



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