Please join us March, 27, 2023 for the 28th Annual Breakfast. Join us for a morning of inspiring words, community, and recognizing the achievements of extraordinary women in Greater Lowell. To purchase tickets, click here.
Representative Vanna Howard has been a public servant for more than three decades. She was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 17th Middlesex District in 2020 and became the first woman of Khmer (Cambodian) descent to be elected a state legislator in the United States. Recently reelected to her second term. She currently serves on the Education, Public Health, Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion, and the Cannabis Policy Committees, as well as Special Legislative Commission on Structural Racism at Correctional Facilities, Early Education, and Childcare Advisory Council. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the MA Caucus of Women Legislators, MA House Asian Caucus, Gateway Cities Caucus, Progressive Caucus, and UML Asian American Center for Excellence & Engagement Advisory Council. She is a survivor of the genocide in Cambodia, where both of her maternal grandparents, three younger siblings, and father died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975-1979. She resettled in the U.S. at age 11 after having spent more than 2 years in a Thai refugee camp. As a child refugee who spoke no English, she overcame tremendous adversity, confronting racism, physical abuse, and homelessness. She went on to earn a college degree, get married and raised her family here. For 12 years, she worked in the Office of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, first as Constituent Services Representative and then as Greater Lowell Regional Director. Prior to her work with Congresswoman Tsongas, she was employed for more than 12 years with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office Superior Court Trial Team and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in the Homicide Division. Then most recently as the Communications Director and then as Chief of External and Government Relations with Lowell Community Health Center. She also served on numerous non-profit boards and commissions including the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Mill City Grows, Ironstone Farm, Project LEARN, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Assoc, Acre Family Childcare, Lowell Women’s Week Breakfast Committee, the MA Asian American Commission, and former Chairwoman of Lowell Housing Authority, to name a few. Vanna received her education from Revere High School, Middlesex Community College, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and Lowell. Lowell Leadership Public Matters Class of 2013 and LEADS Fellowship Cohort Fellow 3.0. In 2022, Vanna was the recipient of Girls Inc’s Celebration of Today’s Woman Award for Strong, Smart, and Bold. And in 2019, she was recognized by the International Institute of New England as one of the 100 most influential advocates, trailblazers, and leaders from Lowell’s vibrant immigrant community. In 2018 she received an Unsung Hero Award from the Cambodian Mutual Association of Greater Lowell. Lowell Sun Salute to Women in Our Region in 2015 and the Congressman John Joseph Moakley Award for Exemplary Public Service. She’s the founder of Just Because (the annual brunch honoring women) and the Downtown Adopt-A-Street Program. She resides in Downtown Lowell with her husband Greg and two children, Suzanna and Max, and their dog, Buster.
Tenesha Scarlett was born in Lowell, MA. She graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is the lead singer of the local band, Tee & The Gents, and loves performing and entertaining. Some of her accomplishments have been performing the national anthem at the Boston Celtics game (3 times) as well as local community events around Middlesex County. She thoroughly enjoys giving back to the community and serving as the Executive Assistant to the Provost at Middlesex Community College, she is able to do just that. She is also the mother of two amazing boys, Linton Jr (LJ) and Declan, who also share her love of music. Of all the things that she has accomplished thus far, being a mother is by far her greatest achievement.
Lowell Women’s Week extends a special thank you to Kevin Harkins, https://www.harkinsphotography.com for all of the wonderful Photos taken at the 2019 annual breakfast.
“Lowell Women’s Week is a component fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation”