Community Action Council of Howard County Announces Honorees & Keynote Speaker for Annual Rev. John W. Holland Awards

The Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC), Howard County’s designated anti-poverty organization, today announced that President & CEO of the Columbia Association, Lakey Boyd, will serve as the keynote speaker for their annual Holland Awards. The Holland Awards Dinner will be held virtually for the second year on Thursday, October 14, 2021. 

The Holland Awards Dinner is named in recognition of Reverend John W. Holland, a lifelong resident of Howard County, who was extraordinarily influential in shaping the quality of life in Howard County through his ministry and civic leadership. The Holland Awards annually recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates extraordinary commitment and dedication to serving the most vulnerable in Howard County. The dinner also raises funds to support the mission of CAC: to diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency and advocate for low-income families and individuals in Howard County.

“It’s hard to imagine that poverty is a problem in an area like Howard County, but one-in-four neighbors are struggling to make ends meet every day,” said Bita Dayhoff, CAC president. “Our vision is to enhance the quality of life for our neighbors so they may share in the promise and opportunity of our community, but we cannot do it alone. It is only with the help of our community partners, supporters and volunteers that we are able to meet the ever-growing needs of the clients we serve every day.” 

As President & CEO of the Columbia Association, Ms. Boyd brings over 20 years of experience in community economic development and urban planning. She has led community and neighborhood plans and strategies, spearheaded economic development initiatives, piloted and grew programs and assessed market dynamics around redevelopment. Ms. Boyd also served with nonprofits to operationalize strategies, engage stakeholders and restructure operations to deliver on their priorities. 

This year’s Reverend John W. Holland Humanitarian Award recipient is Kathleen Koch, the chair of the Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD). Ms. Koch has played a pivotal role in bringing together our community’s nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, as well as local business to address the unprecedented needs of Howard County residents in the face of the devastating personal and economic effects of COVID-19.

This year, CAC will also be awarding a 2021 Service Award to Neighbor Ride. Throughout the pandemic, the staff and volunteers of Neighbor Ride selflessly played a critical role to address the needs of Howard County residents. They worked tirelessly to ensure that hundreds of Howard County residents had consistent access to nutritious food and maintained reliable transportation to critical appointments.

Ticket and sponsorship opportunities for the 2021 Virtual Holland Awards are available now. More information on the event and Community Action Council of Howard County can be found here: 

About the Community Action Council of Howard County:

Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) was created in 1965 as Howard County’s designated anti-poverty agency. The organization’s mission is to diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency and advocate for low-income families and individuals. CAC provides a multi-generational, family-focused approached with services for more than 52,000 residents by running the Howard County Food Bank and 14 affiliated food pantries, administering a Head Start program for more than 300 Pre-K children, offering energy/weatherization assistance and providing housing assistance. For more information about CAC, please visit or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.