Cathy Bernard has been instrumental in Sunflower’s move to our beautiful new home. From helping us find our location to ensuring and supporting our transition, Cathy has demonstrated her commitment to Sunflower. The founder/creator of the Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Competition, she has served on boards of Strathmore, Signature Theater, Imagination Stage and the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District as well as the Ivymount School. As head of HCM Corporation, a property management and investment firm, her work extends to business consulting and speaking about entrepreneurship. Named to the Top 100 Women in Business in Montgomery County (2006, 2008 and 2010) and as a top County 25 Women Business Owner, Cathy has also received the County Executive Volunteer and Patron Awards. She heads the Bernard Family Foundation, funding arts, education and cancer research. Cathy lives in Bethesda and has two grown children, Alex and Amanda.
Ron is an advocate par excellence for the Jewish community of Greater Washington and his efforts on behalf of Sunflower demonstrate his effectiveness. His knowledge of, and relationships with, local and state government leaders were essential to Sunflower realizing the dream of our new home. Our community is most fortunate to benefit from Ron’s passionate and strategic approach toward community relations. Under his leadership since 2001, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has developed a wide range of strategic initiatives; secured tens of millions of dollars for Jewish agencies including Sunflower, passed numerous pieces of state-wide and local legislation of concern to the Jewish community, developed creative new pro-Israel initiatives, and strengthened relationships with other faith and minority groups. Ron and his wife Michelle live in Gaithersburg with their three children.
As a speech-language pathologist, the joy of Sue’s field is its scope of practice in using everyday situations to help clients successfully communicate their needs and foster relationships with others. Sunflower trainees in retail sales strive to master a range of proficiencies, including knowledge of products, barista skills, customer service and teamwork. Four years ago, as a Café Sunflower customer, Sue recognized that trainees employed at the counter also needed to improve their social and communication abilities. That’s when she decided to volunteer her service by helping these adults learn verbal and non-verbal skills for everyday life. Role-playing is central to this effort, focusing on a variety of circumstances — telling customers about product ingredients, suggesting items for a party or simply making small talk. The trainees enjoy these sessions and Sue enjoys seeing the improvements every time she walks into Sunflower.
Chef Liz Hutter has truly given Sunflower her all. Sunflower students, customers and our wider community of supporters benefit from her passion and commitment to our mission. Over the last ten years, she has been instrumental in helping Sunflower realize it’s dream of training young adults with learning differences for skilled employment in pastry arts. Joining Sunflower as a fledgling organization, Liz applied her organizational and pastry arts skills to create curricula, menus and systems, and is still going strong! Like an orchestra conductor, she integrates students and staff seamlessly into the production of our baked goods. Liz graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine in 2000 and completed her internship at Payard’s Patisserie in New York. Soon after, she was the Pastry Chef at The Watergate Hotel and Executive Pastry Chef at RSVP catering in Fairfax. Liz lives in Darnestown with her husband Mike and two boys, Ben and Daniel.