Our month-long celebration of women continues this morning. We’re telling you the stories of some of the most influential women in America this month, including some from our own backyard.

This morning, we talk to County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper about leadership and why it’s important for women to support one another. 

From dietitian to congresswoman, and now Erie County Executive, Kathy Dahlkemper is a shining example of a woman who’s not afraid to aim high. But, her work in government is only half of the story.

“I’m a mother of five and I’m a grandmother of eight and I love big families and gatherings and just being around people.”

Doing it all, but not doing it alone. 

“I have a really supportive spouse. I am so fortunate. My husband, Dan, is a great mentor. He’s a great supporter. He’s a great partner. He likes to call himself my arm candy as a joke.” 

And what keeps her moving forward is the love she has for serving others.

“Follow your passion, and you may not even know what your passion is at the moment, but I think I found my passion in elected office and it’s something that I’m so glad that I took that leap of faith, that I did move out of my comfort zone and tried this new world and it’s been something that’s been so rewarding for me.” 

This Women’s History Month, Dahlkemper says sticking together is what sparks the largest impact; one voice at a time. 

“We, as women, we need to support other women and that’s something I’m very, very passionate about. Madeleine Albright had the statement, ‘there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,’ and I strongly believe that. We’ve got to lift each other up and encourage each other to find whatever our passion is and go for it.”