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Like Mother, Like Daughter 3 dynamic duos reflect on their relationships

Sixty percent of American mothers employed full time grew up in a household with a mother who worked outside of the home as well.

Research from the Harvard Business School suggests women whose moms worked outside the home are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at their jobs and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time.

And WorkingMother.com says the children of working mothers tend to be more flexible, learn early lessons about economics and are more independent.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we interviewed three Baltimore mother-daughter duos validating all these stats and more. They’re dynamic powerhouses who’ve improved the city’s economy and impacted their communities, all while inspiring other women in the process. Sometimes there is no greater mentor than the one a businesswoman finds at home.

Lynne Brick is president of Brick Bodies Fitness Services Inc., the company with health clubs under the Brick Bodies and Lynne Brick’s brands. She’s also part-owner of PF Growth Partners LLC, a Timonium- based company that owns 30 Planet Fitness gyms. Lynne’s daughter, Vicki Brick, is CEO of Brick Bodies Fitness Services Inc. Under Vicki’s leadership, the gyms have been named one of the top 25 gyms in the U.S. and the Best Mom and Pop Health Club Chain in the country. Vicki is now pregnant with her first child, a girl.

How did you balance motherhood and being a successful businesswoman?
Lynne: Convenience played a huge role in balancing motherhood and work. The best part of owning Brick Bodies was that we offered child care. I was able bring my kids to work with me, take a break when they needed me and leave when I needed to drive them to school, all while teaching more than a dozen fitness classes per week and growing the business.

What do you find inspiring about your mother?
Vicki: I admire the fact that my mom (and dad) traveled all over the world for business — they were constantly asked to speak and present at fitness conventions — yet she (and my dad) never missed any of our sporting events, concerts or important childhood events. I also find it inspiring that my mom is 62 years old and still travels all over the world presenting in the fitness industry as a successful business owner.

What tradition or trait of your mom’s do you hope to one day pass on to your daughter?
Vicki: I grew up attending health and fitness conferences around Baltimore with my mom. I felt like my childhood revolved around either my sports, the clubs or business and public appearances with my parents. I remember spending weekends at community events, malls and schools promoting our business and encouraging the residents of Baltimore to move their bodies! I hope to one day pass my mom’s energy, compassion and positive attitude to my daughter. My mom never takes no for an answer, has a very clear vision of what she wants and never lets anything get in her way.

As the founder and president of HeidnSeek Entertainment, Heidi Klotzman has been the mastermind behind curating and promoting many engaging events in Baltimore since 2005. HeidnSeek Entertainment has marketed community event programming in Port Covington and launched events for four regional Bozzuto complexes, a local VH1 Save the Music benefit and countless others. Heidi is also the founder of Rock & Soul Baltimore: The Live Music Showcase, which highlights local talent on the rise. Her mother, Helene Klotzman-Miller, is an educator and an event consultant for the company.

How did you balance motherhood and being a successful businesswoman?
Helene: The reality of life is that things aren’t always in balance. I balanced being there for Heidi by working from home on businesses and projects some years and with the help and support of her dad, those close to us and God. Many things transpired, and I took on many roles.

What do you find inspiring about your mother?
Heidi: I’m inspired by her kindness. Her disposition. Her loyalty. Her ethical nature. Her dependability and practice of keeping her word. Her humor. Her resilience and perseverance. She’s overcome challenges that I couldn’t dream of facing and has stayed good-natured, optimistic and grateful. When I go out, everyone always asks, “How’s your mom doing?” because many people know her, and she’s so likable and interested in other people. It makes me feel good to know that she’s made the same impact on others that she’s had on me.

What tradition or trait of your mom’s do you hope to one day pass on to others?
Heidi: Mom took me to volunteer in the city sometimes on holidays and taught me the importance of caring for others who were less fortunate. She sent me to plays, concerts and musicals downtown because she knew how much I loved the arts. She nurtured my love for poetry and reading. She has so much worth passing on, but I would hope to pass along her big heart and love of family, friends, music, history and justice. Also, it would be nice to share her endearing ritual of celebrating the Jewish holidays and perspective they bring about regarding what’s important. I’ve already passed on her laugh apparently everywhere I go.

Beneak Hargrave is the president of Mahogany Interiors, a division of Mahogany, Inc., a general contracting and architectural millwork company with 60 employees located in Baltimore. Some of the company’s clients include Horseshoe Casino, Exelon and MGM National Harbor. Beneak’s daughter, Rian Hargrave, is also a business development director with the organization. Her other daughter is music executive Tiara Hargrave, who is the director of publicity at Columbia Records and has supported leading companies, such as Bad Boy Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Red Bull and Sony Music Entertainment. She also co-hosts The Oprah Rose Podcast, a show created to empower and inspire women through shared experiences.

How did you balance motherhood and being a successful businesswoman?
Beneak: It was critical for me to have a supportive village to assist me in balancing motherhood. This village came in the form of family members and friends who assisted with child care, driving and whatever needed to be done. Once I knew the girls were safe and well-tended to, I was free to focus on my career.

What do you find inspiring about your mother?
Tiara: Our mother was always so resilient. She’s the strongest person we know and always found a way to make things work out. In addition to her strength, she is the type of person who can walk into a room and light it up with her warm demeanor and smiles. She makes every person feel special and worthwhile.

What tradition or trait of your mom’s do you hope to one day pass on to others?
Tiara: I remember visiting a lot of historical and monumental places in Baltimore. We would visit the [Maryland] Zoo, the Aquarium, picnic in Druid Hill Park, roller skate around Lake Montebello, the list goes on. Attending plays and church on weekends. She always made sure we were extremely well-rounded by exposing us to different environments. Our mother always instilled in us to always be the truest version of yourself, to always have integrity, be respectful, yet speak your mind, and to never take any crap from anyone.

One one more …

Marsha Parham-Green strives to create economic opportunities for many working mothers in Charm City. Marsha holds several advanced degrees and certifications and has more than 20 years’ experience working with nonprofit organizations in financial and operational capacities. As both executive director of the Baltimore County Office of Housing and executive director for the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission, Marsha is committed to helping Baltimore County residents strengthen their families, improve their skills, education and economic status, and ultimately promote self-sufficiency for their families. She is also my mother.

How did you balance motherhood and being a successful businesswoman?
Marsha: The only way that I could have balanced this endeavor was to have the help of my mother. She was a stay-at-home mom, and she supported me by taking care of the kids before and after school. Even when I had to travel or work late she was as supportive as she could be. With the help of my father, drop-off and pick-up was always handled. A good support system is necessary, especially if you are a single mom.

What piece of business advice would you like to offer me?
Marsha: The advice I would offer is to stay true to your beliefs and convictions. Sometime organizations will ask you to do things that are not in your personal value statement. Never compromise yourself for the sake of a job.

Thanks, Mom! You command respect, are always prepared to lead and lead with high expectations, for good reason. Truly, you have inspired me.
—CHRISTINE MICHEL CARTER

(Photos: David Stuck)

About Christine Michel Carter

When Adranisha Stephens isn’t chasing down a story, she is traveling, blogging, photographing or spending time with family and friends. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in journalism/digital storytelling from American University.

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