Towne Salute: Judi Herrmann, Historic Annapolis Inc.
Date: What's Up Annapolis, January 4, 2017, Caley Breese
It’s pretty rare when someone can pull their career into their volunteer work. However, for Judi Herrmann, President and Creative Director of Herrmann Advertising, Branding, and Technology, the two do just that. Herrmann started her company 37 years ago and has been volunteering with Historic Annapolis for over 20.
With Historic Annapolis, Herrmann serves on the Board of Trustees, she’s co-chairman of the Development and Marketing committee, and she and her company also helped with the design of Historic Annapolis’ website. Her most significant accomplishment, however, was the creation of the Paca Girlfriends’ Party.
“I was really anxious to do something that would help change the image of Historic Annapolis and basically re-brand them,” Herrmann says. “So I started with a small group of people—not a small group actually—40 of my friends. And we started this Paca Girlfriends’ Party.”
The Paca Girlfriends’ Party started in 2009, although Herrmann began working on it in 2008. The idea was to have friends reaching out to friends and bring more awareness to Historic Annapolis, yet have a fun get-together with girlfriends and make it different than any other party.
“Our original idea was not to do fundraising. We were just doing ‘friend-raising;’ bringing people to the Paca Garden,” Herrmann explains.
“Year after year, the party just really started to grow and bloom,” Herrmann says. In just its fourth year as an event, the Paca Girlfriends’ Party really took off. Herrmann explained that they added vendors down the parterres of the garden who were selling dresses, jewelry, sportswear, art, furniture—among other things. She says one thing she really likes about this event is a lot of the vendors are women, and they’re really trying to sponsor and support them as young entrepreneurs. “It’s like a women for women type of party,” Herrmann explains.
This event attracts women of all ages to come eat, drink, shop, listen to music, socialize, and have fun. Additionally, 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Historic Annapolis.
“It’s just become this amazing event. People are driven. But I think it’s because you have a beautiful evening in a beautiful garden,” she adds. “But the awareness to me is the big thing. People now know who Historic Annapolis is.”
Historic Annapolis formed in 1952, and was founded by St. Clair Wright. According to Herrmann, Wright stopped the demolition of the William Paca House in the ‘60s. “She was the one that would go stand in front of a bulldozer,” she says. “Without her initial leadership, Annapolis wouldn’t look like this. It would look like any other city.”
In regards to the organization’s mission, Herrmann explains, “they’re preserving historic Annapolis. Their slogan is ‘Preserve. Protect. Connect.’ So they preserve [Annapolis]. They protect so they’re trying to get people to upgrade their properties or they help them—they help the community. It’s sort of a stewardship of Annapolis. And then they connect—they’re connecting with people and other organizations.”
Herrmann is very passionate about this organization and has worked hard volunteering. “I love historic buildings and I love gardens. And I’m really partial to the Paca House and Garden because they’re just exquisite. And they have a huge volunteer staff that keeps them going,” she says. “They’ve really been essential in preserving why people want to stay here.”
For more information on the Paca Girlfriends’ Party and Historic Annapolis, visit annapolis.org.