Long & Foster’s Columbia, Md., Office Receives the Howard County Government’s 2018 Higher Power Award

June 15, 2018
Long & Foster's Columbia, Md., office
Led by the team at Long & Foster's Columbia office, Long & Foster Columbia Gives aims to improve the quality of life for area residents in need by providing shelter, food and education.

Long & Foster’s Columbia, Maryland, sales office was honored with the Howard County Government’s 2018 Higher Power Award on June 12. The award recognizes companies that “empower their workforce and the community at large through innovative and inclusive employment practices and creating greater improvement in the quality of life for all Howard County residents.”

Long & Foster’s Columbia office, which is led by Manager Suzi Padgett, is extremely active in the community. In 2009, Long & Foster agent Nancy McCord established Long & Foster Columbia Gives, which aims to improve the quality of life for area residents in need by providing shelter, food and education.

“We have such a wonderful family of agents at the Columbia office, and they are all amazing examples of what it means to be committed to creating a better life in our community,” Padgett said. “Their dedication and hard work are never ending, and they have a deep understanding of the importance of giving back. I couldn’t be more proud and honored that they are receiving the Higher Power Award.”

Long & Foster Columbia Gives raises funds year round and now donates about $30,000 to local organizations annually. They have supported the Howard County Public School System’s Pupil Personnel Workers, nonprofit organization One Month’s Rent, the Howard County Food Bank, the Community Action Council of Howard County and Comfort Cases, among others.

“Long & Foster as a company has a strong history of giving back to the community and the agents at our Columbia office take that desire to be good stewards of the community seriously,” said Cindy Ariosa, senior vice president and regional manager of Long & Foster’s Baltimore region. “We’re so proud of the work they do through Long & Foster Columbia Gives, and they are truly deserving of this recognition.”

Kathy Baccala and Laleh Alemzadeh, both sales agents at Long & Foster’s Columbia office, said their efforts through Columbia Gives help connect them to the community and build relationships.

“Our two major events are our Annual Bingo in the spring and our Holiday Market in the fall and it’s great to get to see agents invite clients, friends and family at our fundraisers,” Baccala said. “One agent who is a full-time Pupil Personnel Worker for the schools and does real estate on the side has brought 17 of his PPW coworkers to bingo two years in a row now.”

“There is need here and our attendance has been growing,” Alemzadeh said. “As the word gets out we’re attracting more people who feel welcome to join and to participate and help, and that’s the best part.”

The Columbia office was presented with the award at the Department of Community Resources & Services’ Annual Getting Ahead and Higher Power Awards Gala. The event was held at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center on June 12.

For more information about Long & Foster, visit LongandFoster.com.