Protecting Anne Arundel County’s Land and Water
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Scenic Rivers Executive Director Named One of Leadership Anne Arundel’s 2020 New Leader Honorees

Sarah Knebel to be honored as one of Anne Arundel County’s exceptional new leaders

ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 22, 2020) – Leadership Anne Arundel (LAA), the premier leadership training and networking institute in Anne Arundel County, has announced their 2020 New Leaders Honorees, including Scenic Rivers Executive Director Sarah Knebel.

Honorees were nominated by LAA Alumni and the community at large. Nominees do not have to be a graduate of a LAA program and were selected based on commencing an accepted, appointed or elected leadership role that serves and/or impacts the Anne Arundel County Community since March of 2019. The position can be held in a Non-Profit, Government or For-Profit organization.

Each year, LAA hosts a sold-out reception honoring individuals who have stepped into new positions of leadership in the past year and show exceptional leadership for the betterment of Anne Arundel County. This year, due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the in-person event has been postponed to a future date to be determined. In the meantime, New Leader Honorees will be featured and celebrated virtually.

According to LAA President & CEO Kris Valerio Shock, “While we very much look forward to celebrating these local leaders in-person when it is safe to do so, we cannot wait to recognize their leadership and commitment to our community, as many are newly appointed in key roles facing challenges the current crisis presents. We are deeply grateful for their commitment to our community.”

2020 Leadership Anne Arundel New Leaders Honorees

Donna Anderson – Executive Director, Chesapeake Arts Center

Donna Anderson’s career in non-profit management includes more than 20 years in the arts as VP for Marketing and Development at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and as Public Affairs Officer for the National Building Museum.

Jim Beauchamp – Budget Officer, Anne Arundel County

In July 2019, accepted the position as Budget Officer for Anne Arundel County. Prior to this, he was a consultant of financial modeling and reporting, management accounting and operational analysis.

Dr. Kai Boggess-de Bruin – Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Health & Human Services for Anne Arundel County

Dr. Boggess-de Bruin’s diverse background has included human services and information technology in the private, non-profit, and government sectors. Previously, Kai served as the Assistant Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance for the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services where she was responsible for overseeing performance management, corrective action planning, data analysis and reporting, and change management for all department programs.

Judy Buddensick – First Civilian Board Member, Annapolis Police Dept Scholarship Fund

Buddensick was nominated as the only Civilian Board Member for the Annapolis Police Dept Scholarship Fund because of her valuable contributions of her time and talent to the organization.

Preeti Emrick – Deputy Director, Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management

Ms. Emrick has worked on numerous projects and plans regarding a variety of issues and operations in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the National Capital Region. Emrick was a mass care planner for the Planning, Preparedness and Mitigation Department at the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DCHSEMA), a National Capital Region (NCR) planner for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and health preparedness planner for the Anne Arundel County Health Department and Office of Emergency Management.

Anthony Faranca – Executive Vice President & General Manager, Live! Casino & Hotel

In May 2019, Mr. Faranca joined Live! Casino & Hotel as Executive Vice President & General Manager with 25 years of extensive management in the gaming industry. Past roles include VP & General Manager for the Station Casinos company in Las Vegas, VP & General Manager for the largest revenue-generating Casino in Pennsylvania – Parx Casino, and also Regional VP of National Casino Marketing for Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City.

DaJuan Gay – Alderman, City of Annapolis

Alderman Gay has been a member of several campaign teams, and was a volunteer on Mayor Gavin Buckley’s transition team. He was also a Maryland General Assembly intern and he served as president of the Anne Arundel County Youth NAACP. In 2019, Alderman Gay won a write-in campaign at age 22 to become the youngest City Council member in the history of the City of Annapolis.

Sandy I-ru Grace – Vice President, Government & External Affairs, Baltimore, Gas & Electric

I-ru has served in her current role at BGE since January 2020. She has been with Exelon since 2010. In her new role, Sandy I-ru Grace is responsible for shaping, leading, and directing the company’s positions on legislation affecting BGE’s customers. She was most recently vice president of policy development for Exelon Utilities, where she was responsible for the development and alignment of policy positions across the Exelon Utility operating companies.

David Hunt – Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center

Mr. Hunt is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, receiving his bachelor and master’s degree from the School of Nursing and his MBA from the Carey Business School. Mr. Hunt previously served as Vice President for Patient Access and Emergency Services at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). During his 12 year tenure at UMMC, he led the creation, design and opening of the new University of Maryland Urgent Care Center as well as served as the Interim Chief Nursing Officer at UMMC Midtown Campus.

Edward Jackson – Chief of Police, Annapolis Police Department

Chief Edward C. Jackson began his career as an officer with Baltimore Police Department in 1983, moving up the ranks from Police Officer in 1983 to Colonel in 2004. Chief Jackson came to us from the Baltimore Police where he was rehired in 2018 as Chief, Office of the Inspector General, to provide agency-wide oversight of administrative and operational practices for BPD.

David Jarrell – City Manager, City of Annapolis

Mr. Jarrell previously served as the Director of Public Works for Annapolis.  In his new role he will focus on keeping the city in good financial standing, shepherding several key infrastructure projects to completion and improving relations between Annapolis police and the community. Prior to coming to Annapolis, Jarrell served as deputy chief operating officer for public works and utilities for the city of San Diego.

Dana Jones – Maryland State Delegate, District 30A

The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee selected Dana Jones to represent Annapolis in Maryland’s House of Delegates. Her nomination will be submitted to Governor Larry Hogan for final approval. Jones previously served as a legislative aide to now U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, research director for Emily’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect Democratic women to office, and as a volunteer on County Executive Steuart Pittman’s 2018 campaign.

Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman – Health Officer, Anne Arundel County Department of Health

Previously, Dr. Kalyanaraman was the Chief Health Officer for Health Care for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization with 245 staff that provides health care and housing support to 10,000 people annually. Dr. Kalyanaraman has a bachelor of science degree from Yale University and received his doctor of medicine from SUNY Brooklyn School of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine and has nearly ten years of senior health management experience.

Mark Kleinschmidt – President & CEO, Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Kleinschmidt served as President of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce for twelve years and was responsible for the management of a business trade organization with over 1,200 members.

Sarah Knebel – Executive Director, Scenic Rivers Land Trust

Promoted to Executive Director in August 2019, Sarah joined Scenic Rivers in early 2015. Working with the sixteen-member board of directors and two part-time staff, Sarah directs Scenic Rivers’ easement and stewardship programs and oversees its growing portfolio of 68 easements covering over 3,0570 acres.

Booth Kyle – Head of School, Indian Creek School

Booth comes to Indian Creek School from the Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington. Lakeside School, a co-ed school for grades 5-12, known for its innovation, academic excellence, and commitment to a vibrant and diverse school community. At Lakeside and in other independent schools, Booth served in a variety of roles over the years, holding the positions of Director of Financial Aid, Associate Director of Admission, and a Board of Trustee member.

Jeff Lipson – Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure

Mr. Lipson joined Hannon Armstrong in 2019. Prior to joining the company, he was president and chief executive officer of Congressional Bank; where he remains a director. Prior to that, Mr. Lipson was the senior vice president and treasurer of CapitalSource; and a senior vice president in Corporate Treasury at Bank of America and its predecessor FleetBoston Financial.

Melissa Maddox-Evans – Executive Director & CEO, Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis

Maddox-Evans has over fourteen years of experience in the affordable housing industry and over twenty-seven years in community development initiatives. Maddox-Evans comes to Annapolis from The Housing Authority of the City of Charleston (CHA) where she served in a dual role capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the Charleston County Housing & Redevelopment Authority.

Sally Nash – Director, Department of Planning & Zoning, City of Annapolis

Appointed as permanent Director of the Department of Planning & Zoning in Annapolis in January 2020 after being acting Director since April.

Elizabeth Nowell – Chief Executive Officer, Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce

Being part of the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce since 2013, Ms. Nowell was promoted to CEO in August 2019.  She is also a graduate of LAA’s class of Flagship 2007.

Kristyn Parker – General Manager, The Graduate Annapolis

With an extensive career in management in the hospitality industry, Ms. Parker became the General Manager of The Graduate Annapolis when it opened in November 2019.

Sherry Perkins, PhD, RN, FAAN – President, Anne Arundel Medical Center

Perkins holds a 30-year career in the health care industry with leadership roles in major Maryland and Delaware health systems, including serving as president and chief executive officer of University of Maryland Capital Region Health. As president of AAMC, Perkins is returning to the medical center where she formerly served as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer from 2006 until 2016.

Matt Power – Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Land Use, Anne Arundel County

Mr. Power was the former Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning and has a broad background with smart growth policy and coordination of government agencies.

Stephen Rice – Manager, Annapolis Office of Economic Development

Mr. Rice served most recently as Community Development Director for American Communities Trust.

Kristi Simon – President & CEO, Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Simon has significant experience in leading private business, nonprofit and chamber organizations, most recently serving as Director of Operations at Community Action Council of Howard County.

Jerray Slocum – Director, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County

Mr. Slocum was unanimously elected to the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County which helps to create a vibrant cultural arts community that enriches the quality of life for every county resident.  Jerray is also a member of the current LAA Flagship class, FLG20.

Erin Snell, PhD – Executive Director, Charting Careers

Ms. Snell has worked in teaching and education administration for 12+ years. As Executive Director, she is responsible for overseeing mentoring programs, budget, a small staff, promotion, partnerships and volunteers.

Alison Wisnom – Assistant Branch Manager, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Wisnom is responsible for the training, coaching, and success of over 150 Realtors primarily operating in Anne Arundel Co. Alison brings her experience as a military officer, small business owner, and 20+ year salesperson to the mission of revitalizing and expanding the market share of this branch.

Meghan Young – General Manager, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

Ms. Young brings a depth of experience as a major gifts officer for Special Olympics and as an event planner to her new role at Bitty & Beau’s.

For more information visit https://leadershipaa.org

About Leadership Anne Arundel

Leadership Anne Arundel (LAA), a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 1993, is the premier leadership training and networking institute in Anne Arundel County. The mission of LAA is to provide people of diverse backgrounds with the education, resources and networks necessary to become successful proactive leaders. LAA has over 1400 graduates from its three (3) core programs. LAA graduates serve in leadership positions in public sector, private sector and nonprofit organizations throughout the Baltimore-Washington metro area. For more information visit https://leadershipaa.org

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