Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) recently honored Toody Maher, an artist, inventor and entrepreneur, of Richmond as the 15th Assembly District Woman of the Year.
“I had the pleasure of presenting this award to Toody Maher who has been a great influence in making our community a safer place for our children. Her undeniable passion to provide a fun and safe environment for kids in Richmond is an inspiration and model to follow,” said Assemblymember Thurmond.
Maher is the executive director of Pogo Park, a community-based nonprofit in Richmond. She works with a core team of local residents from Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood to transform broken and abandoned neighborhood parks into safe and vibrant public places for children to play.
To date, Pogo Park has redesigned and rebuilt two city parks, Elm Playlot and Harbour-8 Park.
Maher has also worked with at-risk youth through Juma Adventures, a nonprofit in San Francisco, where she held the position of business director. At Juma, she created a series of social enterprise businesses including a Ben & Jerry’s/Tully’s coffee concession stand at Candlestick and AT&T Parks that employed 200 youth a year.
She has also been recognized by Inc. Magazine as “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1990, the same year her invention of the world’s first clear telephone with lights was named the “Product of the Year” by Fortune Magazine.