The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County

3 Questions With … Incoming WGC Chair, Barb Van Winkle

3 Questions With … Incoming WGC Chair, Barb Van Winkle

3 Questions With … Incoming WGC Chair, Barb Van Winkle!

Each month we are speaking to our donors to learn more about how they are participating in WGC efforts, and why it’s meaningful to them. This month, please meet incoming WGC Chair, Barb Van Winkle:

1. How long have you been involved with the WGC, and what is your role now? I attended the very first Women’s Giving Circle meeting in 2002, and what I always remember is the incredible experience it was when I parked my car at Kahler Hall and went in with hundreds of other Howard County women all coming to the beginning of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County!!! It was a powerful and beautiful experience to be surrounded by so many women who had the same desire to be part of a group that was going to support women and girls directly in Howard County! I have been a long time supporter of WGC, and while I was serving on the board of the Community Foundation of Howard County, I asked to be the liaison to WGC, which is a fund of the foundation. I continued on the WGC Advisory Board as Chair of the Donor Development committee and Vice Chair, and I am incoming Chair beginning July 1. I have been honored to support Alison Canning, current WGC Chair, and I am thrilled to lead WGC as a premier funder in Howard County!

2. What is your favorite WGC grant or effort, and why? This is a very difficult question for me to answer because I truly love all the grants, programs and efforts we support through our donations and collaboration with our nonprofit partners! From the WGC-funded Journey Camp for Girls, which is a week-long summer leadership program for middle and high-school aged girls held in collaboration with Maryland Leadership Workshops, to our partnership with Howard Community College, where we provide scholarships to help women returning to the workforce, to our long-standing Emergency Response Network, which is returning as an enhanced program that provides opportunities for our donors to immediately give to help to women and children in dire situations. But I guess that as a long-time business owner, I have to say that I deeply love the JA Rising Women entrepreneurship program that has provided an opportunity for almost 300 high school women learn how to run a business, create a product, sell that product, and then donate their profits to a philanthropy of their choice. Four years ago, the WGC made it’s largest grant in our history – $80,000 to JA of Central Maryland to run this incredible program. These young women truly learn the successes and failures of owning your own business and in the end, they have all proved successful so far!

3. Why should women in Howard County give to the WGC and get involved in WGC efforts? Your donation to the WGC supports women and girls locally in the community that you live in! The power of a Giving Circle is that any donation, small or large, gets pooled with all other donations so we can collectively make a larger impact to help those in our community that need it most, for either life circumstances or to help empower women and girls in the journey of life! To become a member of the Women’s Giving Circle, all you need to do is make an online donation ( and sign up for our eNewsletter! You can also be a part of the WGC by attending our events. In fact, we have a WGC Happy Hour on July 17th at Sub-Zero and Wolf by Fretz from 5 to 7 pm and then our Annual Celebration is October 15th also from 5 to 7 pm. Our keynote speaker this year is a local Howard County woman, Rayna DuBose, whose story is absolutely incredible about the strength and ability to overcome a tragedy and become a huge success in her life! Also, let your friends know about the WGC and like us on social media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and share our events with your friends! Finally, we are always looking to expand our committees and if you are interested in joining a committee, please contact us at:

Barb welcomes the opportunity to answer any questions about the WGC – feel free to contact her after July 1 at

Barb Van Winkle, Incoming WGC Chair, is President of Nancy Adams Personnel in Columbia, where her company has been for over 40 years. Her business specializes in providing top-notch candidates to all size companies for Administrative, Customer Service, Accounting and Office Support positions, both permanent and temporary. She has a BA degree in Sociology from Goucher College, is a triathlete and golfer, and has served on many nonprofit boards including HCCEF and Community Foundation of Howard County. She loves the Women’s Giving Circle and has been a strong supporter since its inception in 2002!

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