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Towne Salute: Mary Frances Isakov of YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County

Aug 30, 2016 01:27PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Chelsea Hanson

It’s not often that a career and volunteer work go hand-in-hand as well as it does for Mary Frances Isakov. The Arkansas native is celebrating her 20th year in Annapolis and at her banking job, and her 10th year volunteering at the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

Isakov is a group manager for commercial banking at M&T Bank. She also serves on the YWCA’s TWIN committee, executive committee, capital campaign committee, is the treasurer and chair of the finance committee, and previously served on the development committee. You name it, she’s been on it.

Isakov became involved in 2006 after being nominated by M&T for a TWIN award and selected as an honoree.

“TWIN—a Tribute to Women & Industry—is an event that the YWCA hosts as a professional awards event for businesswomen in the community,” Isakov says.

After her nomination, she joined the TWIN committee.

“I helped out with the planning of that event for the next few years, and the more I learned about the organization, I realized that I care very deeply about the folks who use the services of the YWCA,” she adds.

The YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County was formed in 1920, according to Isakov, but the organization is much older than that. In 1858, the first Ladies Christian Association was formed in New York City.

“Its mission is to build an environment where women and children thrive, and that has taken on many different meanings over the years,” Isakov says. “Today, the organization is the only comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault provider in Anne Arundel County and so its primary focus is to assist victims in their path to healing.”

One of the ways Isakov volunteers is through giving presentations in the community on what domestic violence is, signs to be vigilant of, and how to help a victim of domestic violence.

“Raising visibility and awareness is probably what I’m most proud of,” she says. “The general public isn’t necessarily aware of the services that the YWCA provides and so we have really worked hard to spread the word and make the community aware.”

To raise money for the organization, the YWCA holds an annual gala. Historically over the past seven or eight years, Isakov says, the event has been disco themed.

“Gala is the most fun party of the entire year in all of Anne Arundel County,” she declares. “M&T buys a table and we always fill it with a lot of the folks in this office, and I buy a couple tables and invite all my friends and everybody shows up in crazy disco costumes, and we just have a great time and we raise a lot of money for YWCA in that one night.”

Isakov says she is fortunate that M&T strongly supports and encourages all of its employees to volunteer time to serve the community.

“I want to be known as someone who gives back and someone who doesn’t take for granted what I have and the privileges that have been bestowed upon me,” Isakov says. “I want to be remembered as someone who makes a difference in the community in whatever very small way that I can.”

For more information, visit annapolisywca.org.

Do you have a volunteer to nominate? Email Becca Newell at Bnewell@WhatsUpMag.com