About our Honorees

Sara Portman Milner

Sara Portman Milner, Co-Founder and Director of Student Services

Sunflower is recognizing one of our own, Sara Portman Milner with the Shaping Inclusive Futures award. As co-founder, Sara has been part of Sunflower since the organization’s inception in 2008. She now focuses on students and families interested in our Pastry Arts and Hospitality employment training and teen programs. She has helped to develop Sunflower’s curricula and expand our reach to young adults and teens with learning differences in Metro DC. Sara has 45+ years of experience in the disability field in Montgomery County and has touched the lives of countless individuals with learning differences.

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman

Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman and Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue

Maharat Ruth Friedman and Ohev Sholom Congregation are being recognized with Sunflower’s Building Community Impact award. Maharat Ruth is a member of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat, which is the first institution to ordain Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic (legal) authorities. She serves as Maharat at Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue® in Washington, DC.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, Maharat Friedman wanted to find a way to help alleviate the stress of the members of her community, and also support local businesses that were suffering. She began to organize weekly food deliveries from local kosher restaurants so that Ohev folks wouldn’t have to cook dinner one night, and so that we could all support local businesses and the economy. Sunflower has been delivering baked goods for Shabbat every Friday since.

Adventist HealthCare Logo

Adventist Healthcare, Shady Grove

Sunflower is recognizing Adventist Healthcare, Shady Grove as an Exemplary Employer Partner. Adventist HealthCare, based in Gaithersburg, Md., is a faith-based, not-for-profit organization of dedicated professionals who work together each day to improve the health and well-being of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Founded in 1907, Adventist HealthCare is the first, largest and only health system headquartered in Montgomery County, Maryland. Over the past 5 years, Adventist Healthcare, Shady Grove, has employed two Sunflower graduates in the Food Services.