What will we do without Marti?
Marti Worshtil became an unforgettable part of our lives in 1991, when the Maryland Committee for Children, one of Maryland Family Network’s two legacy organizations, selected the Prince George’s County Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) as one of the first CCRCs in Maryland. Entrepreneurial, visionary, and determined from the start, Marti built the CCRC into a force for quality child care in Prince George’s County. With her political savvy and forceful speech, Marti pushed the child care agenda statewide as part of a growing network of CCRCs, working both inside to improve the work of CCRCs and outside to improve the regulatory and administrative climate for child care providers.
In 2001, Friends of the Family, our other legacy organization, awarded the Prince George’s County CCRC a contract to run a Family Support Center (FSC), a two-generational program to strengthen families to raise healthy infants and toddlers. Here again, Marti distinguished herself as a tireless supporter of her FSC, through ups and downs of personnel changes, economic conditions, and County politics. Among operating agencies of FSCs in the state – now numbering 25, covering 26 FSCs – Marti has always been a champion for the interests of community-based programs and an active part of the network.
Marti’s talents were a great asset to the Board of Directors of Friends of the Family and later, Maryland Family Network, where she filled the one-year term – successively for eight years – reserved for a representative of the FSC network. How convenient that, beginning in 2009, when MFN’s merger brought the CCRC and FSC networks under one roof, Marti was on the Board! She was the voice of FSC and CCRCs at the table, representing families with young children, front-line staff, community-based service organizations, and child care providers, with energy and thoughtful, straight talk.
To me, a fellow nonprofit executive director, Marti was a professional confidante, and I valued her advice. She was quick to share resources and contacts, insight and instinct, and I learned a great deal from her. She became my friend over all these years, and I shall miss her in the daily work.