WEST CHESTER, PA — The Fund for Women and Girls will host its sixth annual Champions of Change Event on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, from 7:30-8:45 am at The Farmhouse at People’s Light. The event will honor Fredda Maddox for her ability to break barriers in the law enforcement field while supporting and uplifting other women and girls. WSFS Bank will also be honored for its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace environment by supporting employees from diverse communities and backgrounds.
Fredda Maddox will receive The Fund’s sixth annual Gladys Black ‘Woman of Distinction’ Award, named in memory of The Fund’s late friend and committed Board member Gladys Black. As a business leader and supporter of women and girls in Chester County, Gladys left a lasting impact on our community. This year, The Fund honors Fredda for her dedication to supporting, mentoring, and uplifting women in the legal and law enforcement fields.
Throughout her career, Fredda Maddox has broken glass ceilings. She started as a Pennsylvania State Trooper in Chester County, then moved on to become a Narcotics Agent for the Bureau of Narcotics in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. While working in law enforcement, Fredda earned a law degree at Widener University. She then combined her legal skills and desire to protect abused women and children by working as an attorney with the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. In 2020, Fredda became the first African American to be elected as Chester County Sheriff, and the first African American woman sworn in as a sheriff in Pennsylvania. Additionally, she serves as a Trustee of the West Chester Public Library.
Fredda is also an inspiring leader, speaker, and mentor to other young women in the legal and law enforcement professions. Most recently, she mentored a law student who was struggling financially without family support. Thanks to Fredda, that mentee went on to become a lawyer and have a family of her own. While working at the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, Fredda saw first-hand the issues faced by survivors of domestic abuse and sex trafficking, and was moved to provide food and other support to local organizations that help sex trafficking survivors. Through all of her work in the community, Fredda advocates for justice and inclusion and is an inspiration to women and girls.
“I have watched her break glass ceilings — for women and, particularly, females of color. That comes with pain, fatigue, and criticism from many who don’t want to see change — there are days I’m amazed she doesn’t have glass shards in her hair,” says her nominator and colleague at the Chester County Sheriff’s office, Carol Metzker. “She embodies the saying, ‘Be the change.’ A true woman of distinction, Fredda Maddox is the change.”
Corporate honoree WSFS Bank is committed to providing support for its diverse group of employees and executives who represent the communities it serves. For instance, over 30% of the Board of Directors is comprised of women. In 2021, WSFS was recognized by The Forum of Executive Women for this achievement as one of its 2021 Champions of Board Diversity. Additionally, WSFS Bank has been honored six times with the Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, most recently in 2022. The award recognizes companies with the most supportive, productive workplace cultures.
In 2021, WSFS furthered its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with the hiring of Dr. Michelle Burroughs, who now serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Burroughs has almost twenty years of experience building and leading collaborative environments with a focus on diversity initiatives. She is working to identify gaps in these areas, provide feedback to its Executive Leadership Team, and work with its senior leaders to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion into all it does as a Company.
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