10 outstanding individuals have been named the Top 10 Movers & Shakers of the year, and we have the honor of sharing their stories on Montco Happening.
We asked locals to nominate Montgomery County’s most influential people – men and women who are shaping the community, influencing their industries, and making a difference. Dozens of amazing stories were submitted about passionate and committed locals. At Montco Happening, we salute all those who wake up every morning with the intention of leaving the world just a little bit better.
Meet Elise Baker of Blue Bell. Elise created the Ambler/Whitpain eXpress travel girls team for girls age 8 through 12.
Montco Happening: What motivates you every morning?
Elise: I challenge myself each day to make it the very best day I can. In a small or big way, I try to make someone’s day better. I’m not always successful at doing that, and maybe all I’m successful as some day is being annoyingly smiley, but whether it’s coaching, parenting, or working, I try to alway be positive, seeing someone smile is the best motivation to keep doing what I’m doing.
Montco Happening: What would you say is your idea of a perfect day?
Elise: I’m a pretty simple girl, so a perfect day for me is when my kids are not fighting with each other or me, I can get a good workout in, it’s not cold outside, and I can see a gorgeous sunset.
Montco Happening: Who inspires you?
Elise: I have had many inspiring influences in my life- my family, my best friend, previous supervisors who have seen something special in me, and my children. In general, teachers and members of the military have my ultimate respect and make me want to be the best version of myself and strive to better others’ lives.
Montco Happening: How did you decide to create the league?
Elise: I’ve been a full-time mom, military spouse and community volunteer for the last eighteen years. I just recently began working agin. I wouldn’t change a single thing about being there for my kids all these years. I know in my heart is was where I need to be. It also allowed me to give my time, effort, energy, and talents to volunteering in many capacities. I began coaching youth when my kids were very young, and it became a passion. When Scott Miller, the President of Ambler Junior baseball & softball, approached me with an idea for a travel softball program and challenged me to make it a reality, I readily accepted. I still can’t believe it when I see the girls on the field in their fantastic uniforms!
Montco Happening Which achievement are you most proud of?
Elise: Pushing myself out of my comfort zone. physically: I tore every ligament in my right knee while playing sports in college, so I never imagined that as an adult I would finish multiple spartan races, learn how to sail on the open ocean, skydive, climb mountains and scuba dive. Mentally: being a military family, we have to move every few years. I’ve had to make new friends, immerse myself into new communities and cultures (sometimes in foreign countries!) and set my kids up for success over and over and over. I’m very proud of myself for embracing those challenges and for putting myself out there every time.
Montco Happening: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Elise: Being on my own with two small children during two different year-long army deployments.
Montco Happening: What is the biggest accomplishment that you’d like to achieve over the next 5 years?
Elise: I would like to own by own business.
Montco Happening: How do you think your friends & coworkers would describe you?
Elise: Hopefully they would say I’m positive, hard-working, and funny.
Montco Happening: Where’s your favorite place to go in Montgomery County?
Elise: I would have to say hiking. There are so many great trailed surrounded by natural beauty.
Montco Happening: You can take a time machine back to visit yourself 10 years ago. What advice would you give?
Elise: I have traveled a lot, but I would have definitely traveled more in the last ten years, knowing what I know now. I was hesitant to let the kids miss school, but I should have. I know I still have plenty of time to see the world, but I wish I would have started sooner.
Montco Happening: Same question 10 years in the future.
Elise: I would advise the future me to travel, make memories, connect with old friends, and keep working very hard to achieve my goals and dreams while continuing to make a difference locally and attempting to leave the world a better place.
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