Board of Directors
- Joe Gill
- Kathleen Litchfield
- Kincey Potter
- Barbara Palmer
- Melanie Parker
- Jeff Reagan
- Michael Wagener
- Steve Raabe, Chair
- Adil Desai, Vice Chair
- Kate Fritz, Secretary
- Mark Laidlaw, Treasurer
- Ethan Berkwits
- Rev. Johnny Calhoun
- Bill Daniel
Steve Raabe, Chair
Steve Raabe is president of OpinionWorks, a full-service market research firm based in Annapolis, Maryland. Steve Raabe founded OpinionWorks in 2001 to provide mission-driven clients with critical insights into consumer behavior and public attitudes based on scientifically-sound survey research. He has built an active survey research firm specializing in helping for-profit, non-profit, and public sector clients reach and engage their customers, stakeholders, and the public on important issues. His expertise is understanding the cues to individual and consumer behavior through probative interviewing and representative sampling.
Mr. Raabe attended American University in Washington, D.C., earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and graduating cum laude in 1986. He is a past member of the City of Annapolis, Maryland Conservancy Board and has founded a park and heads the tree-planting initiative in the West Annapolis neighborhood. He is an active community volunteer, having served on the Board of the Lighthouse Shelter, a homelessness prevention organization located in Annapolis, and for various other local projects. Steve and his wife are active historic preservationists, having restored an 1812 Federal-style house and operated it as a bed and breakfast for five years.
Adil Desai, Vice Chair
Adil Desai is the Director of Sales for MOI in Baltimore. MOI helps its clients transform their workplace enabling employees to be inspired, engaged, and productive. Adil has an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and a BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Living in the Eastport area of Annapolis, Adil along with his faithful canine companion, Hale can be found at Quiet Waters Dog Park nearly every day of the week. Adil’s passion for the environment stems from his extracurricular activities as a dog owner, kayaker and SCUBA diver. Adil has witnessed firsthand how poor planning and mitigation upstream has had a long term and devastating impact on our rivers, bay and oceans.
Kate Fritz is the Executive Director of the South River Federation whose mission is to protect, serve, restore, and celebrate the South River and its interdependent living Community. She is an environmental professional with ten years of experience in water quality, land use and sustainability planning, policy management and implementation. Over the last seven years she has played a leadership role at the Prince George’s County Planning Department as the Sustainability Coordinator, and recently managed the update of the county’s land use policy plan for where and how the county should grow in the next 20 years.
Kate’s volunteer activities have reinforced her professional experience giving her practical experience in watershed restoration as well as an understanding of pollution conditions in the South River. She is a certified Master Watershed Steward and has played a leadership role in many restoration projects mostly in the South River watershed. Kate is a Qualified Professional Forester in the State of Maryland and a LEED Green Associate. Kate has her master’s degree in Environmental Management from University of Maryland University College and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Mark Laidlaw, Treasurer
Mark is a Manager of Commercial Transactions for Constellation Energy, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, and the largest supplier of competitive power in the US. He has experience in a variety of areas which include M&A, renewable energy project development, wholesale and retail power supply, project finance, capital markets, and corporate finance. In his more than 10 years’ experience with Constellation he has been involved in $4.5B of various market transactions, which includes the financing and development of nearly 5,000MWs of power generation projects. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC attaining the rank of Sergeant. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Loyola.
Ethan Berkwits serves as the Private Client Marketing Strategist at Brown Advisory, a leading national investment firm based in Baltimore that manages more than $50 billion for a wide range of individuals, families and institutions. Prior to joining Brown Advisory, he held senior roles at Winslow Management Company, an investment firm focused on environmentally driven equity strategies, and Alliance Consulting Group, a management consulting firm. He received his M.B.A. from Boston University and his undergraduate degree from Duke University.
Rev. Johnny Calhoun
Pastor Calhoun has worked for several Fortune 500 corporations including Proctor & Gamble, Control Data Corporation, Commercial Credit and Honeywell. Holding several positions in marketing and sales, he worked until beginning full-time ministry in 1991. He has held many positions in ministry.In June 1999, Rev. Calhoun was appointed to be the pastor of Mount Olive AME Church in Annapolis, Maryland.
Under Pastor Calhoun's leadership several local organizations were organized and established, including: the Annapolis Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (AIMA), The Annapolis Drum & Bugle Corp, BLACK is the New GREEN Initiative, Our Creeks & Conservancy, A/AA READY Program, Jr. Watershed Stewards Program, Nonprofit Economic Development Coalition, Annapolis Anne Arundel Interdenomiinational Ministries Network for Health & Wellness (AIMn4 Health & Wellness - County Wide Collaboration of Church Health Ministries) and AIMA Men's Ministry (over 100 members)
Bill Daniel’s sales and marketing career in healthcare capital equipment spanned over 34 years including senior management positions for 2 Fortune 500 companies. He served as the Executive Director for a health care trade association in Washington DC. In his volunteer time, he has held several leadership positions with the Presbyterian Church, including elder, Vice Moderator of the Board of Deacons, and chair of several pastor search committees. He currently serves asthe Director of Human Resources at Woods Memorial Church in Severna Park, Maryland. Bill’s hobbies include boating, photography and scuba diving.
A career public service professional with over 25 years of diverse executive, management and legal experience as a state cabinet secretary, deputy secretary, counsel, and community leader. Joe currently directs day-to-day operations of the Department including water, waste and animal management, and sustainable initiatives to improve communities and neighborhoods as Deputy Director of Prince George's County Department of the the Environment.
Kathleen is one of the Washington area's leading landscape experts, with 35 years in the industry. She holds a BS in Horticulture from the University of Maryland and many other industry-related educational certifications. Her insightful advice on landscape design, construction, storm water and drainage solutions and practice has been published and quoted in numerous regional and national magazines. As a Master Watershed Steward of the Chesapeake Bay, Kathleen is acutely aware of sustainable landscape design and practices and the need for the reduction of storm water run-off. She has developed and taught accredited college courses in Horticulture and Landscape Construction and continues to teach college level Landscape Design and Construction Courses. She has lectured for numerous Garden Clubs, the National Association of Remodeler’s Industry, Landscape Contractors Association, the Smithsonian Education Series, George Washington University Landscape design program, Home and Design Magazines “Live” event and the Washington Design Center. She developed and continues to teach the CEU course ‘Landscape Design, Construction and Cost’ to members of the American Association of Interior Designers ASID, Washington and Maryland Chapters and is listed as a national speaker for both organizations.
Barbara is a general practice lawyer in firm of six attorneys, with concentration in real property and land use law. Litigation specialist handling matters in State and Federal courts, Court of Special Appeals, Court of Appeals and before various administrative bodies. Practice also includes land development consultation (subdivision, commercial/residential permits, variances, special exceptions), drafting of contracts, and related land transfer documents.
Coordinator of Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education AACPS – Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center.
A native of St. Mary’s County, Melanie spent most of her childhood exploring the creeks, farm fields and woods of the western shore of the Bay. This love for the outdoors and desire to improve the environment shaped her career. She currently serves as the Coordinator of Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education for Anne Arundel County Public Schools developing and implementing environmental literacy curriculum and programming to empower students of all ages through authentic hands-on outdoor experiences with the environmental knowledge, skills, and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions. She has been with Anne Arundel County for the past 20 years serving as an educator and teacher prior to becoming the Coordinator. Prior to AACPS she worked with Izaak Walton League of America as their Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education at UMCP, she holds certificates in Administration and teaching. She has an MS in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from NCSU, BAs in Geography (Cert in Cartography) and Art-Graphic Design (minor in Computer Art) at UMBC. Melanie lives with her husband and daughter in Baltimore County where they implement and experiment with best environmental practices.
Kincey Potter served as Chairman of the Board of the South River Federation for six years in the period when the Federation moved from an all volunteer organization to a staff of three with a budget of approximately $400,000. Kincey is also co-founder of the Anne Arundel Chapter of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters which began in early 2010. She is a retired Vice President of AMS, a billion dollar information technology and business consulting firm based in Fairfax, Virginia. In her 20-year career at AMS she managed large, complex projects that leveraged information technology to achieve strategic business results. She and her husband, Bruce, live on Church Creek off the South River and have constructed two major raingardens to capture runoff from their driveway and parking area.
Michael Wagener grew up navigating the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. His fondness of the water lead him to a nine month sabbatical in the Bahamas living on a sailboat after graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan with a Degree in Psychology in 1979. He has enjoyed many years of competitive sailboat racing and water skiing.Michael has been an active and passionate volunteer for many years. His love of soccer, from early on, has fueled involvement in working with many non-profit organizations. He has served as a grant chairman for Soccer 94 distributing $1 million dollars to assist the development of youth soccer in this region. He has helped form soccer leagues for underserved immigrant populations in the Baltimore and Washington area, and helped integrate locale health department services within these activities.His professional career began in 1983 with USF&G Insurance. He is currently Vice President at Insurance Management Associates in Annapolis, MD. Michael is currently serving as the HOA President and hasbeen for the past ten plus years in Glen Isle Estates, where he resides with his wife, Deborah. He and Deborah are graduates of the WSA, class 3.