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News Release, Chesapeake Bay Trust

Annapolis, Maryland – The Chesapeake Bay Trust introduces four new Councilmembers, four new ex officio Trustees, and one new Governor-appointed Trustee to its organizational leadership.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust, a non-profit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1985, is a unique organization in the region, providing support for hundreds of community and natural resource projects per year and over $100 million since inception.

Because all communities benefit from healthy natural resources and at the same time, all communities can help improve natural resources, the Trust strives to engage all audiences of the region in natural resources programs. The grants supported by the Trust lead to actions that measurably improve local communities and increase resource stewardship through grant awards focusing on education, restoration, community engagement, science and innovation, and capacity building.

“These new voices, coming from academia, government, and private industry, are going to greatly help the Trust accomplish its mission,” stated Trust board chairman, Gary Jobson of Jobson Sailing Inc, a world-class America’s Cup sailor, former ESPN commentator, and NBC Olympic commentator. “These individuals are pillars of their communities, and we are thrilled to add them to the Trust family.”

“The Trust is thrilled to usher in a new cohort of leaders to the team,” said Chesapeake Bay Trust executive director, Jana Davis. “Because we support natural resource projects to a wide array of audiences, it’s important for our leadership team to represent a wide range of communities.”

The New Trustees are:

Senator Pam Beidle, District 32 northern Anne Arundel County Senator Beidle currently serves on the Senate Finance Committee, is Vice-Chair of the Executive Nominations Committee and Chair of the Anne Arundel County Senate Delegation having joined the Senate on January 9, 2019, after spending twelve years in the Maryland House of Delegates serving on the Environment and Transportation Committee and was the sub-committee chair for Motor Vehicle and Transportation Policy Subcommittee. She chaired the Anne Arundel County House Delegation in 2015 and 2017. Senator Beidle currently serves as a Director with Baltimore Washington Medical Center, a Director with Arundel Federal Savings Bank, and a member of the Anne Arundel County Local Development Council.

State Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo District 15 Montgomery County Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo has served as a Maryland State Delegate for six years where he sits on the Environment and Transportation Committee and is the Chair of the Transportation Sub-Committee. He is also honored to be the Chair of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus. Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo was a partner in a web site development firm, worked for a nonprofit organization and served as a Police Officer in Montgomery County. Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo has been the primary sponsor on several key pieces of legislation that were enacted to protect the environment and combat climate change. Most notable legislation: the 2017 ban on hydraulic fracturing in Maryland and legislation which has resulted in over $10 million in funding for incentives for electric vehicle and electric school bus purchases.

Lee Currey, Director of Water and Science Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment; Mr. Currey oversees both the States Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Programs as well as serving as lead staff on the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet supporting Chairman Grumbles. Mr. Currey’s administration is currently leading priority efforts to advance Chesapeake Bay Restoration, to provide a water quality certification for Conowingo Dam Relicensing, revise the next round of NPDES stormwater permits and test for lead in drinking water in schools, to name a few. Prior to MDE, Mr. Currey worked as an engineer in the private sector.

Jason Keppler, Watershed Implementation Program Manager, Maryland Department of Agriculture. With over 18 years’ experience in agricultural conservation program delivery, Mr. Keppler currently oversees the implementation of the agricultural sector’s responsibilities under the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and manages the planning, coordination, budgeting, and implementation of research activities associated with the evaluation of new innovative technologies related to environmental improvements on agricultural land. He provides oversight and direction to both the Maryland Agricultural Certainty and Ecosystem Markets Programs and is currently Maryland’s representative on the Chesapeake Bay Program Agricultural Workgroup. Prior to his current position, Mr. Keppler was responsible for the development of Maryland’s Conservation Tracker System and worked closely with Maryland’s BayStat Program and USEPA to ensure accurate and timely reporting of conservation information. He also reviewed conservation grants administered through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program and was a Non-Point Source Environmental Technician for the West Virginia Conservation Agency. Mr. Keppler is a certified Nutrient Management Consultant and Professional Fertilizer Applicator in Maryland.

J. Robert Bradshaw Retired Maryland businessman who has been active in board service with several organizations, including the Anne Arundel County Housing Commission.

The new Councilmembers are:

Beth Caro, Anne Arundel County Owner, Tag and Title Service of Maryland; A Business Department Member of Anne Arundel Community College since 2014 and a member board member of the Maryland Vehicle Titling Association since 2017. Ms. Caro is an AACC graduate with an associate degree in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Thomas C. Ervin, Anne Arundel County Senior Vice President, Snyder Ervin Group; A wealth management advisor, Mr. Ervin also holds the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist designation from College for Financial Planning and is a Corporate Retirement Director, a designation less than two percent of Morgan Stanley advisors have earned.

Dr. Rhonda Jeter, Dean of the College of Education, Bowie State University; Dr. Jeter was promoted to full professor in 2012, served as department chair for eight years, and served as associate dean in the College of Education before her promotion to Dean. She provided leadership for the international programs and in securing program accreditations from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Vernice Miller-Travis, Executive Vice President, Metropolitan Group; For more than 30 years, Vernice has been a leading proponent of environmental justice and equitable and sustainable development, at the nexus between civil rights and environmental enforcement. Of Bowie, Maryland, she was recently awarded the Robert Bullard Environmental Justice Award from the Sierra Club, which recognizes individuals who have done outstanding work in the area of environmental justice.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...