Under the leadership of founder Karlys Kline, the original members of the Women's Giving Circle of Frederick County had the vision and drive to inspire the creation of a new paradigm of support for women facing challenges in our community.
The Circle is governed by the Leadership Circle, consisting of the officers, immediate past Chair, Chair Emerita (founder) and committee chairs. The Leadership Circle is responsible for the Circle's management and operations. The Circle officers serve two-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms. Terms coincide with the Community Foundation's fiscal year, ending June 30th.
Bonnie Swanson joined the Circle in 2006 and took on the role of Program Chair in 2016. After serving as Vice-Chair for a term, she currently serves as Chair of the Giving Circle. Bonnie worked in the event planning business from 1994 until her recent retirement, working for two different event venues and co-owner of an event planning business. She completed the George Washington University Event Management Certificate Program in 2001. She served as Chair and Co-Chair of the “Evening on the Riviera” fundraising gala for close to 20 years, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities. She has been a member of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek and a Board member of Color on the Creek. Besides being active in the community, Bonnie has served on the Board for Rotary Club as well as Board member of the Weinberg Center. Her favorite things are Rotary, WGC, traveling, her family and friends, and mostly being Mimi for her ever-growing number of grandchildren.
Betsy Pakenas joined the Circle at its inception in 2006 and now serves as Vice-Chair. In that role, she is responsible for managing sponsorships in addition to other executive duties. Betsy was raised in Frederick and returned after college, first entering the health insurance industry and then joining Legg Mason in 1998 as a Financial Advisor. She is now a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and the managing partner of her wealth management practice, Four Points Group at Morgan Stanley. Her industry recognition includes Forbes “America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors,” Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors,” and Working Mother magazine’s “Top Wealth Advisor Moms.”
Betsy is a current member and Past-President of the Rotary Club of Frederick and a director of Frederick Health. Previous community leadership includes Heartly House and the Frederick County Commission for Women, where she was President in 2009.
Betsy earned her B.S. at Washington and Lee University and serves on the university’s Board of Trustees. She and her husband Peter have two college-age children and are enjoying their recent move to downtown Frederick.
FINANCIAL CHAIR (OFFICER)
Elizabeth DeRose joined the Circle in 2016. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she holds a BS in Finance and had a successful first career in the financial sector working in Chicago. Eventually, her love of cooking called to change careers and attend the Culinary Institute of America where she earned a Culinary Arts degree and met her future husband and love of her life, Ralph. She returned to Chicago to work for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as a chef and then Director of Operations, before moving here to Frederick in 2001, at which time she joined the national restaurant consulting firm, VSAG, as Vice President for a number of years. She began a new career in the nonprofit sector, serving as the Director of Operations for an organization that provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She joined Frederick Community College in 2016 to direct the Hospitality, Culinary & Tourism Institute. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, serves on the leadership council for Community F.A.R.E.'s Farm to School Program, and in her spare time volunteers throughout the community.
Linda Roth joined the Circle in 2014 and has served as the co-chair of the program committee, Vice-Chair, and most recently, Chair for the 2020-2022 term. In 2006 Linda moved to Frederick to work for Hood College as the Sr. Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. After 12 years at Hood, Linda then started her current position at FCB Bank, A Division of ACNB Bank, as the Vice President and Treasury Management Officer. Linda specializes in board development, capital campaigns, major gifts, annual fund programming, community relations, volunteer management, communications, and marketing. Linda is a current member and Past-President of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. She has also held community board leadership positions at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Inc., Heritage Frederick, Downtown Frederick Partnership, and Past- President of the Frederick County Commission for Women. She is a member of the Order of the Good Samaritan at Frederick Health, The Tivoli Society at the Weinberg, and recently joined the board of the Frederick Arts Council. In her spare time, Linda enjoys traveling, visiting wineries, heading to the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
Karlys Kline founded the Circle in 2006. She is a community leader, known for her service and philanthropic activities. She moved to Frederick in 1990. Her earlier career had been successful in New York & Philadelphia with the Jones New York Company. She switched careers completely as Vice President of a large building manufacturing company. By 2009 she retired and dedicated all of her time to helping improve the lives of women and their children in Frederick County. This was accomplished mainly by creating the Women’s Giving Circle in 2006. Karlys has participated on the board or committees of over 42 local nonprofits. Her passion is to ‘connect the dots’ with no agenda or reward. Her only goal is to make the community a better place. A few of her current boards include Frederick Health, Homewood, Frederick Arts Council, and Sheriff’s Advisory Council. Her husband, Tom Lynch, encourages her to “spread goodness & joy”. The pair says that they “vacation in Frederick” because they both love their lives and this community. Karlys is grateful every day for the full-time opportunity to spend her days giving back wherever she is needed.
Angela Chase joined the Giving Circle in 2012 and currently serves on the Leadership Circle team as the chair of the all-important membership committee. She loves getting people together and has been working at that in one form or another for most of her adult life. She graduated with a BS in Business Management from Marymount University in 1990 before returning to Frederick to work in the family business. A 3-year move to Indiana and subsequent return to Frederick for the past 23 years have been filled with various volunteer positions in community organizations. In 2008, after several years of substitute teaching, she returned to school to obtain a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Mount St. Mary’s University, which was followed by 5 years as a Technology Education teacher. She left teaching in 2016 to spend more time with her family and return to community volunteering. She often says she is a jack of all trades, but a master of known- always eager to learn new skills and become more knowledgeable. She and her husband are members of the Order of the Good Samaritan at Frederick Memorial Hospital. In her free time, Angela and her husband travel extensively and spend many of their weekends on the shore of Deep Creek Lake.
Mimi Galanis has been a member of the Women’s Giving Circle since its inception. The mission of the Women’s Giving Circle draws her enthusiasm, as it’s evident that many women need a hand up. Growing up, she was involved with many soup kitchens, having many young adults from limited means stay with them, and also doing volunteer work in Peru after college.
Mimi graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Economics, and after working a few years, she chose to follow her passion. She became a chiropractor and studied at Life University. She has been in private practice in Walkersville since 1995. Over the years, she’s been involved with the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Carroll Creek Toastmasters, ProNet, the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, the Walkersville Business and Professional Association, as well volunteering with St. Ignatius of Loyola catholic community.
She and her husband, Jim, live in Frederick and spend an abundance of time being involved with their children, Nick 17, and Grace 15. They play many sports, and also appreciate volunteering together and spending time with family and friends.
Brenda Main is a founding member of the Circle and currently serves as chair of the Program Committee. A native of the area, she was born, raised, and educated in Frederick County. Brenda’s family owned and operated a dairy farm in the Mount Pleasant area – a farm the family still owns today. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hood College. After graduation, she started her career in banking as a teller at what was then known as Frederick County National Bank (now BB&T). While working for FCNB Bank, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Frostburg State University. During her time with the bank, she rose through the ranks and held the position of Senior Vice President – Director of Marketing when it was acquired in 2001. She was responsible for corporate marketing/communications, brand management, event planning, and public relations efforts to include community sponsorships as well as advertising and promotion.
Although most of her career has been in the community banking industry, she has also spent some time as Director of Marketing for The Frederick News Post and The Great Frederick Fair. Most recently, she worked for Habitat for Humanity of Frederick as Director of Operations of its ReStore, where she retired in 2020. She is an active member of the Frederick community. She has been on the boards of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, the local American Heart Association, United Way of Frederick, Community Living and the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek. Brenda is also actively involved with Frederick Memorial Hospital’s Annual Giving Committee and is a member of the Order of the Good Samaritan.
Harriet Langlois joined the Circle in 2010 and currently serves on the Circle Leadership team as the Communications Committee chair. A graduate of the University of Washington, Harriet holds degrees in Botany, Forest Ecology and Computer Science. For over 30 years, she worked in the satellite communications field as a software engineer/project manager, retiring as Assistant Vice President from Hughes Network Systems in 2012. Harriet is an active member and past officer of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club, volunteering in a number of roles including race coordinator. In that role, Harriet oversees club races and serves as race director of the Frederick Women's Distance Festival 5K, which has raised over $181,000 for the Circle since 2010. Harriet shares a love of running, cycling, hiking, camping, and volunteering with her husband of 26 years and is a doting grandmother to four grandchildren.
Carole Heine joined the Circle in 2010 and currently serves on the Circle leadership team as the Community Outreach Coordinator. In this role, Carole liaises with community groups that would like to interact with the membership and/or support the Circle through fundraising activities. Carole is originally from Upstate NY and found her way to Frederick as a Hood College student. She returned to Frederick in 2000 with her husband and four children and could not imagine raising a family anywhere else. Her previous work experience includes sales, contract negotiations, non-profit board leadership including Director of Tour de Frederick and Director of Business Development at OneClick.chat. Carole is currently Director of Customer Success at Yakabod, a leader in secure software development. Her free time includes cycling, hiking, traveling to visit family and lending a helping hand in the community.
Janel (Jan) Welty has been a member of the Circle since its inception. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Jan holds a BS in Public Relations and Marketing. After graduating she worked in a variety of public policy and press positions including the White House, US Senate and The City of Frederick. Later Jan’s passion for helping others challenged her to pursue a career in counseling. She received her LCPC and worked as a school counselor with Frederick County Public Schools and later as a behavioral therapist with Sheppard Pratt.
Jan and her husband Joe live in downtown Frederick where she enjoys walking her dog, exercising and spending time in Baker Park. Jan also loves all things outdoors including hiking, kayaking and boating. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, is a graduate of Leadership Frederick, and is a member of the Weinberg Center’s Tivoli Society, and Frederick’s Health’s Order of the Good Samaritan.
Jan is excited to be serving as Development Director and looks forward to creating new opportunities for giving to the Circle.