Mom of the Month: Sheena Saydam {November 2020}


The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!

Sheena Saydam: November Mom of the Month

Sheena Saydam is co-Managing Partner of Saydam Properties Group at Keller Williams Capital Properties, a small but mighty real estate team that serves the DC Metro area. They’ve sold over 800 homes, helped build Maryland’s first shower truck for the homeless, and build clean drinking water wells in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sheena earned her Master of Public Policy, with Advanced Training Certification in Conflict Management at the Center for International Development & Conflict Management at George Mason University. As an Army brat, Sheena moved eight times throughout the United States and Europe before turning fourteen. Prior to real estate, she managed grassroots lobbying efforts at The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Sheena currently serves on the board of The Tree House of Montgomery County, chairs the board of Generosity Global, and is the former Board Chair of UrbanEd in Southeast DC. She loves baking chocolate chip cookies, jumping rope, reading non-fiction, and is a die-hard Nike girl.

Robin Funkhouser of Funkhouse Photography

Here is our Q&A with Sheena:

1. What is it like being a mom and having a full-time career?

I have a toddler, 7-year-old, and 9-year-old who keep us super busy. I think that being an experienced working mom has given me a perspective that so many in our country still don’t understand; this knowledge has allowed me to be a voice for other working parents and especially moms when speaking to small business owners around the country. When COVID hit, many business owners told me they weren’t sure they’d keep their staff of mothers of young moms because they weren’t producing at the same level. I helped them to understand that the children don’t just go away when work starts; they’re there all the time, and it’s our job to educate, nurture, and feed them. Managers and business owners need to learn to be flexible, to care for their people, to lead them. I was honored to use my voice to help change hearts and minds.

Robin Funkhouser of Funkhouse Photography. Sheena along with one of the largest investors in Generosity Shower, Michelle Bove, owner of Case Design who designed the shower truck, and Rich Akwo, President and Founder of Generosity Global through which we build shower trucks and wells.

2. What is one thing you want your children to learn from you?

I want them to learn to be curious—always. Don’t be swayed too much by emotion or by so-called “facts.” Curiosity helps us be nimble—to stay open-minded. It helps us grow. It’s important to ensure we’re judging a person’s character based on what they say and do versus on some broad-brush someone else has created to determine the narrative. If I hear my kids repeating things I say regarding politics, policy, or my own moral code, I challenge them: why do you think that?

Sheena’s daughter, Aysil, started cleaning the showers at Generosity Shower when she was 5. One on trip, she cleaned 26 showers.

3. What are ways that you give back to others?

Through Generosity Global, we’ve helped build a shower truck for the homeless. We’ve donated and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring clean water and food to people in sub-Saharan Africa. When COVID hit, we learned that 3,000 girls in a rural county in Kenya had been impregnated. Some girls were as young as ten. We helped kick off a campaign to help girls protect themselves and educate them on their right to protect their bodies. We fund therapy sessions for sexually abused children served by the Tree House Child Advocacy Center and IT education for the disenfranchised of southeast DC through Urban Ed. Also, we created a FB group called “The Village of MoCo” to help connect those in need with those able to give. Every month we feed the homeless, collect clothing, and toiletries.

Shower Truck Guest.
The first girl who ever drank from the SPG well.

Do you know an amazing mom that would be a great mom of the month? Nominate them here!

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Courtney Whittington
Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). They have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back in 2016. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but is constantly trying to figure out how to manage it all. She spends her days talking Star Wars, playing with legos, doing crafts, having tea parties, and chasing her toddler. Motherhood is wonderful and wild and in 2017 she banded together with other mothers to start DC Area Moms to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.