Hanna and MAC, Inc. Earn 2009 President's Distinguished Community Leadership Awards
Henry H. Hanna, III
The 2009 President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Awards at Salisbury University go to an individual and to an organization that are household names on the Eastern Shore, synonymous with excellence in service and leadership.
Henry H. Hanna, III, who has continued a family tradition of leadership in business, public service and education, is this year’s winner of the individual award. MAC, Inc., which promotes the well-being of an increasingly aging population on the Lower Eastern Shore, is this year’s organizational honoree.
Both will be recognized during Salisbury University’s 83rd year Spring Commencement Thursday, May 21, at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. Diplomas will be conferred during two ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The community awards are presented at the afternoon commencement.
“Henry Hanna has an ability to unite people, to bring them together in a common cause, in a positive manner,” said Dave Ryan, executive director of Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development, Inc. A longtime member of SWED, Hanna served on its board for several years, including as president.
During times of challenge, “Henry stays calm,” said Ryan. “He gets quieter, more creative and determined, and never loses sight of the goal.” Many other community organizations would say something similar about him, Ryan added. And they do.
Officials at the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Salisbury Committee and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore praise his support. “He has served on several of our committees and has been involved with two of our campaigns, including the most recent that made our current offices and non-profit support center possible,” said Gee Williams, Community Foundation director of development and marketing.
A senior advisor of Sperry Van Ness/Miller Commercial Real Estate, an industrial specialist with the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, and a Certified Commercial Investment Member, Hanna has used his real estate expertise to assist area organizations such as the SU Real Estate Foundation, Coastal Hospice and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, to which he and his wife, Dara, have family ties.
The Hannas often work in tandem, as with Coastal Hospice, or when they endowed a scholarship for SU legislative interns in Annapolis. Given in memory of Henry’s father, Henry H. “Buddy” Hanna, the elder Hanna had been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. The Hannas have also been supportive of the SU Foundation where Henry served as board president. “His quiet guidance, confidence and positive outlook have made him well-respected,” said Ryan. “He’s a true partner.”
MAC (Maintaining Active Citizens), Inc. of the Eastern Shore was one of the first area agencies on aging in the United States. Founded in 1972, it today operates 15 local senior citizen centers serving Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Services range from Meals on Wheels (71,000 were delivered in 2008) to dementia day care, wellness centers and exercise programs, to nursing home ombudsmen and investigation, and insurance and Medicare assistance.
“MAC serves the elderly who are both healthy and frail,” said Dr. Carolyn Stegman, a member of the MAC board. “It helps the elderly live as dignified as possible for as long as possible.”
“These elders are the greatest generation who deserve to be treated with a sense of pride and honor for what they’ve done,” she added.
The growth in the Lower Shore’s elderly population was anticipated by MAC, which has been proactive in providing programs. They range from services for family care givers to re-training for senior-friendly jobs—a variety of initiatives than help seniors maintain health and independence.
Fully 93 cents of every dollar donated to MAC goes directly to programs. It also partners with colleges and universities, helping to raise awareness of elderly needs among younger generations. Through the leadership of Margaret “Peggy” Bradford and the dedicated work of 400 volunteers, MAC is well regarded throughout Maryland. Recently MAC raised $7.2 million for a new 31,000-square-foot senior services center now under construction.
Over the next decade, nearly one in three people on the Eastern Shore will be over the age of 60. “The test of a people is how it behaves toward the old,” said Abraham Herschel. Through the leadership of MAC, the Eastern Shore is showing its commitment to a culture of dignity and care for all.