Joanna Conti is an experienced businesswoman, chemical engineer, and mother of four children.
After graduating from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in June 1979, Joanna joined Procter & Gamble as a Products Research engineer in Cincinnati, Ohio. After several years in product development, she was asked to transfer into brand management, where she worked on Ivory Soap and Downy Fabric Softener.
Joanna joined Campbell Soup Company in 1984 as Marketing Manager for LeMenu New Products. She recommended and developed the LeMenu LightStyle line, which exceeded $90 million in annual sales within two years of its national launch. Following a stint as Marketing Manager for Beverage New Products, Joanna left Campbell Soup Company to become an entrepreneur.
Over the next 13 years, Joanna founded and ran companies in the food, software and international marketing consulting fields. Truly Friendly Software, for example, sold consumer- and business-oriented software programs that Joanna and her team created. And while Joanna was getting her Master’s degree in International Business from the University of Colorado in Denver, she laid the foundation for a consulting client to launch products into Argentina and Japan by conducting consumer research, recruiting strategic partners and negotiating a distribution agreement.
In 2000, Joanna decided to use her skills to make a difference in the world by starting the Alliance for Youth Achievement, Inc. (AYA) to help orphans and street children in Africa and Asia. Over the next 12 years, AYA helped hundreds of destitute caregivers pull themselves out of poverty via microcredit programs, built 55 classrooms and three group homes in Kenya and Uganda, and funded income-generating and other innovative programs for dozens of partners in eight countries. Because AYA guaranteed that 95% of all non-administrative donations would go to third world countries to help the children, the $3.2 million AYA raised was able to dramatically improve the lives of tens of thousands of the neediest children in the world.
In late-2007, Joanna was asked to become C.E.O. of a multi-million-dollar real estate education company that was about to go under. Over the next 13 months, Joanna successfully cut corporate spending by 75% to enable the firm to survive the severe recession. Once the company was back on its feet, Joanna turned her attention to public service.
As a result of her concerns about the lack of progress being made on issues crucial to our quality of life in Maryland, Joanna decided to run for Anne Arundel County Executive in 2010. Since narrowly losing that election, Joanna has been working full-time on efforts to improve our schools, bring more jobs to Anne Arundel County, strengthen public safety, clean up our rivers, and help struggling residents. Her recent successes include determining how to shave 1-2 minutes off of all Anne Arundel County ambulance calls, raising over $90,000 for local nonprofits through the creation of Anne Arundel Cares, and recommending ways to improve our schools as Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Parents Advocacy Network.
Joanna is running again for Anne Arundel County Executive in November, 2014 and truly appreciates your support!