Mary Ann Elwood

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Mary Ann Wilder Elwood is a former president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, serving as its first female president from 1986 to 1990[1]. She helped kick-start the success of the downtown mall by converting several buildings to apartments in the 1970's.

Elwood created a free kindergarten program for low income children alongside Penny Weiss in 1965. She later continued her involvement in youth education in 1991 when she helped form the Charlottesville Book Buddies Program. [1]

In addition, Elwood is depicted in Frances Brand's "Firsts" collection.


Elwood was born in Elkhart, Indiana on December 15, 1932, later arriving in Charlottesville in 1964. She died on September 12, 2011 at age 78[1]. Elwood as married to the UVA professor and civil rights activist William Elwood, who died in 2002.

Democratic Party Involvement

Elwood quickly became involved in the local Democratic Party upon her arrival in Charlottesville. She rose to become the first woman to be chair of the Charlottesville Democratic Committee, serving from 1978 to 1982. She was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972.


In 1998, she was awarded the Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award by the Chamber. [2] In 1992, she was named the Virginia Women's Forum Woman of the Year.[1]

Frances Brand Portrait

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Web. Activist, businesswoman Elwood dies in Charlottesville, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, 9/12/2011, retrieved November 13, 2017. Print. 9/13/2011 page A3.
  2. Web. Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award, Website, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, retrieved November 13, 2017.