Tonya Hatosy-Stier (far right in above photograph) lives her life deliberately and with passion. Her energy is infectious. Her warm-heartedness radiates through her being. These qualities pair well with her role as Executive Director of Woman to Woman Mentoring, a mentorship program for women in the Frederick area. Hatosy-Stier is a special kind of matchmaker. I can vouch for her abilities because I have seen them first hand as a current mentee to the program.
It came as no surprise to learn Hatosy-Stier was tapped to be the Western Maryland Committee Leader for the Maryland Chapter of Million Women Mentors. Million Women Mentors is a national organization that aims to create one million mentoring relationships with girls and young women through state-level initiatives to increase their participation in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
“When you’re really passionate about something, you’re driven to want to do more of it,” Hatosy-Stier said.
As the Committee Leader, Hatosy-Stier will continue to masterfully play matchmaker, pairing businesses with educational institutions. The goal is to provide mutually beneficial relationships to business leaders in STEM fields and young women who will one day work in those fields.
“[The chapter executives and I are] kind of working it from both ends: they’re going to work it top down and I’m going to work it grass roots up,” Hatosy-Stier said.
The chapter launch, which took place last Wednesday at the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education kick-started the initiative in Maryland. Co-chair Jeanne Martin welcomed speakers including Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford and Maryland Secretary of Labor Kelly Schulz.
“The conversation was really about mentoring of many different kinds and how we need to create a culture of mentoring,” Martin said.
The launch event covered the youth apprenticeship pilot program Secretary Schulz introduced to Frederick and Washington counties to the cyber security programs offered through Community Colleges of Baltimore County.
“From my perspective, it was really enlightening to hear about the gap that exists between men who pursue and persist in STEM careers and women,” Hatosy-Stier said.
Hatosy-Stier worked in the corporate world for 18 years before getting involved in the non-profit sector, and spent most of that time in the financial services industry where she helped leaders to grow and evolve. It was through a long-time friend and role model that Hatosy-Stier found her way to mentoring.
“I was really scared to take on this role [as Executive Director] because I had no experience in non-profit. But I knew I had a strong passion for mentorship and for young women and helping them succeed. Because I didn’t have really strong role models in my youngest years; they came to me in my later years,” Hatosy-Stier said.
At any given group workshop for Woman to Woman Mentoring, Hatosy-Stier is able to connect with individuals and deliver the exact support they need at that moment. These connections are honest and genuine. She is able to see the potential in people and organizations before they may actually see it in themselves.
With Hatosy-Stier at the forefront of the Western Maryland division, Million Women Mentors is sure to expand.
“Because I have a really big vision about where mentoring can go in Frederick, and across the United States, but in Frederick, you know, how big it can become. And I really want mentoring to be a household name.”
Read more about mentorship here.