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Calandra Dixon Layne, Carroll H. Hynson, Jr. Award for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Philanthropy

Photo by David Trozzo

Calandra Dixon Layne’s vision of leadership and philanthropy comes from her favorite quote by Junior League Founder, Mary Harriman, “We have the responsibility to act, and the opportunity to conscientiously act, to affect the environment around us.” As the Junior League of Annapolis’ (JLA) first African American President from 2020-2022, Calandra took that responsibility personally, spending her time committed to mentoring girls and young professionals, said nominator and JLA President-Elect Michele Myers. 

Calandra has been an advocate for women’s leadership, mentorship, diversity, and inclusion throughout her career and a member of JLA since 2017. During her time in the league, Calandra served on a number of JLA committees including the Chair of JLA’s Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Calandra represented JLA at the Association of Junior Leagues International’s Organizational Development Institute where she worked closely on energizing the league’s efforts to further integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into the culture of the league; facilitated the league-wide adoption of a Diversity and Inclusion pledge; and successfully championed efforts for the appointment of a Diversity and Inclusion Officer to the board of directors. 

“As a leader, one of Calandra’s greatest strengths is her ability to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard,” said Heather Medina, current JLA President. “Her balanced and approachable demeanor encouraged all members—seasoned and new—to share their feedback, ideas and sometimes concerns.”

However, JLA isn’t the only place that Calandra makes her values and leadership known. As the current Director of Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation at the United States Department of Defense, she is known as a thought-leader in her field and has been published in the Journal of Government Financial Management several times. She is also a board member of the Council for the Advancement of Women and a former executive board member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.  

In 2017, Calandra was granted the National Author Award by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) for her visionary leadership, outstanding accomplishments, and exceptional service that has significantly advanced the profession, strengthened the association, and improved the community through contributions to AGA’s flagship publication. Then, in 2018, she was the recipient of the Working Mother of the Year Award at Grant Thornton where she received multiple endorsements for setting an example for balancing professional and personal commitments. Most recently, Calandra was named one of The Daily Record’s Maryland’s Top 100 Women, an award that recognizes high-achieving women who are making an impact through their leadership, community service, and mentoring. 

“Calandra actively mentors young adults and has become a strong role model for other young women and underrepresented groups,” said Heather. “She is a strong advocate for supporting women and diversity in environments and has already been recognized as a trusted leader in her field. She possesses the qualities of a natural leader: initiative, intelligence, and integrity. She leverages these qualities to create a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community for all.”

Calandra was nominated by the Junior League of Annapolis, Inc.

Named in honor of Carroll H. Hynson, Jr., founding CFAAC Board Member, this award is presented to an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated a significant commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their philanthropic practice in Anne Arundel County. The recipient has made outstanding contributions to philanthropy by forging genuine partnerships with diverse communities, building bridges, and championing the acceptance, respect, and inclusion of all.

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