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Silver Spring Regional Service Center

Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board

Member Biographies

Matthew Losak

Downtown Silver Spring Renter community

Mr. Losak has over 25 years of community activism.  Most recently, his work has focused on building an active and organized voice for renters in Montgomery county, including leading the County’s Tenants Work Group from 2008-2010 and followed immediately after with the establishment of the Montgomery County Renters Alliance in 2010 – the first non-profit in the County and State dedicated exclusively to advancing renters’ rights and security. Previously, Mr. Lasak worked with – among others – the AFL-CIO, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Peace Corps, and the White House.

Mark Mendez, Secretary

Mark Mendez has participated in neighborhood issues for 20 years in Rosemary Hills. He and his family have lived in two homes within three blocks of each other since 1990. Mark is President of the Rosemary Hills Neighbors’ Association.

Former SSCAB Member and lifelong Lyttonsville resident, Charlotte Coffield, encouraged Mark to apply to Advisory Board in 2012. She expressed the importance of knowing ‘what was coming down the road’. As a member of the Advisory Board, Mark has witnessed the power of participation or ‘showing up’ but also recognized that not everyone can. He has been pleased to bring his neighbors’ views to board discussions and then relate relevant information back to the broader community. To support this goal, he started a video blog and Facebook page that celebrate and respect the many lives and interests in this area of Silver Spring. Visit www.RealLife20910.com

Uri Pasternak

As a practicing civil engineer who is also working towards a Masters in Community Planning, Uri Pasternak is tuned in to balancing the need for continued growth and development against the needs and desires of the established community.  With a surge in development underway in Downtown Silver Spring, Uri’s attention is focused on how this is working in our community and how our community’s voice is reflected back to the County government.

When Uri, raised in Wheaton , and his wife, of New York , returned to Montgomery County from Philadelphia (where they attended college), they considered amenities available in various communities and moved to Silver Spring for its urban accessibility and convenience.  From bagels in the morning to Fillmore events at night, the walkability and offerings of our community present continuing appeal.

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein joined the SSCAB in March 2013.  He and his wife Linda raised their daughter in Silver Spring, first in the Indian Springs neighborhood and then in Seven Oaks-Evanswood. Long a government campaign finance lawyer, he works and writes in the field but is able to spend more time contributing to a wealth of community projects. 

Jonathan is very active in his community. He helps with programs for Silver Spring Green, serves on the board of the Old Blair Auditorium Project, moderates his neighborhood list serve and continues to assist with the planning of the 5 th Annual Taste the World in Fenton Village (save the date, May 3, 2015).  A fan of using technology more effectively, he is also a nonprofit director for Washington Apple Pi, a Metro area Mac user group.

A regular participant in SSCAB meetings and events, Jonathan receives much by contributing to the community through the SSCAB. He now co-chairs the TREE Committee, while continuing to support the valuable programming of the Neighborhoods and Commercial & Economic Development Committees.

Stacey Brown

South Four Corners/Lyttonville
Stacey Brown and her family have resided in Silver Spring since 2005. She has also owned a business in Silver Spring (Signarama Silver Spring) since May 2010. She brings a particularly broad perspective on relevant Silver Spring issues through her participation and leadership in organizations established to further community goals, such as PTA Co-President and NAACP Parent Council Representative at a local elementary school, the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, the MD97 Montgomery Hills Project Planning Study Stakeholders Group and as an advocate for the Lyttonville Business District. She is currently the chair of the SSCAB Economic Development Committee.

Jay Elvove

Since retiring from the Division of Information Technology at the University of Maryland in July  of 2014, Jay Elvove has taken on the self-appointed task of getting better acquainted with the Silver Spring community, where he has lived since 1975.  On November 13, 2015,  he shared some of what he had learned as the lead-off speaker at PechaKucha Night with a presentation titled “Why I Like Silver Spring.” He is President of the North Hills of Sligo Creek Civic Association, an appointee to the Bicycle Master Plan Community  Advisory Group, a member of the Board of Directors of Docs in Progress, and a volunteer at the AFI Silver’ Educational Screening Program.  He is also a participant in the 2016 Senior Leadership Montgomery program.  He has a Master’s degree in Computer Systems  Management and various undergraduate degrees, including English, Film, Computer & Information Science, and Psychology, all from the University of Maryland.

Ed Levy, Vice-Chair

Ed serves as Vice-Chair of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board.  The Board was the first advisory group established by the Montgomery County government, and works to improve communications between County citizens and County government.  Ed earlier served as Vice-Chair of the Board’s Commercial and Economic Development Committee.   Ed also currently serves as Vice-President of the Northwood Four Corners Community Association, and has recently joined the board of Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.  He serves as Precinct Chair and Acting Area Coordinator for the Democratic Party in Four Corners and surrounding areas. He spent 32 years working at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the last 15 of which as Deputy Director of the Office of the Secretary’s Executive Secretariat responsible for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary’s daily briefing books, and also responsible for their correspondence and public e-mail.  Since leaving Commerce, Ed has worked as a freelance editor/writer for several non-profits and has written for the Silver Spring/Takoma Voice.  He remains deeply committed to the success of our diverse, economically vibrant, and naturally beautiful county. Originally from Baltimore, Ed moved to the DC area ‘temporarily’ in 1974.  He loves international travel and has visited 76 countries, all 50 states, and all Canadian provinces.  


 

Abdurahman Mohammed

An immigrant from Ethiopia, Abdurahman (Abdul) has been a long time resident of Montgomery County in Takoma Park. Abdul and his wife has participated actively in neighborhood issues such as the boy scouts and Takoma Youth Soccer. Abdul works for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments as a Transportation Engineer. As one of the founding members of the Ethiopian Community Center in Maryland he also serves as a board member of the community center and the Montgomery County/Gondar Sister City board. He is also a participant in the Montgomery County African Advisory Group. Abdul brings the perspective of the African community in general and the Ethiopian community in particular and the their role in the growing diversity of our county.

Dan Morales

Dan Morales is an architect and urban planner who believes that buildings and communities should be designed for the people who will live in and among them.  He volunteers his time to influence project outcomes that are attractive, human scaled, and sustainable over the long term.

In collaboration with ESSCA, Dan provided feedback on aesthetics and massing for the Baptist Church redevelopment project at the corner of Wayne and Fenton to reflect the neighborhoods interests. He was able to help the community articulate its needs and help the developer satisfy the community's aspirations.  In collaboration with the SSCAB, Dan contributed to the Taste the World in Fenton Village .  

Attracted by Silver Spring's diversity and livability, Dan and his wife Melanie decided to move their young family from DC to make downtown Silver Spring their home.

Abe Saffer, Parliamentary Vice Chair

Abe Saffer joined the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board in 2015 where he represents Lyttonsville. He moved to Silver Spring in 2006 and has moved three times, never leaving the 20910 zip code. 

He has been active in local politics and advocacy, having served on the board of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, managed multiple local campaigns, and worked for Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18). In 2012 he received his Masters in Political Management with a concentration in political communication and campaigns from the Georges Washington University. 

When he and his wife Tonya aren't chasing after their son Cason, he is enjoying the Capital Crescent Trail, the menu at Denizens Brewing Company, and as many movies as possible at the AFI Silver. 


Jessica G. Simon

Jessica G. Simon was raised in Rockville, MD where she attended MCPS schools graduating from Thomas S. Wootton High School. Jessica has a B.A. in English and Policy Studies from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching high school English for three years at a public all-girls school in North Philadelphia as part of Teach For America, she spent a year studying at The Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel.

She works at J Street advocating for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at J Street as the Capital Region Deputy Regional Director. She also writes and performs her poetry at various venues in Maryland and D.C. She is a renter in downtwon silver spring with her spouse and her orange tabby cat. She is proud to be a member of the SSCAB.

Mary Ann Zimmerman

Mary Ann joined the Advisory Board in March 2013. She retired from the US Department of State where she worked as a contractor for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) and is returning to her “roots” as an active participant in the Silver Spring community.  She has lived in downtown Silver Spring (at the Blairs) since 1993.

In addition to SSCAB, Mary Ann has been appointed to the WMATA Riders Advisory Council.  She is also on the Board of Silver Spring Village and the Silver Spring Branch of the American Association of University Women.  

Past affiliations have included Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. (SSTCi), First Night Montgomery, Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee, and the Montgomery County Blue Ribbon Panel on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.  She is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and the IMPACT Silver Spring community empowerment program.

Mary Ann is a civil engineering graduate from Purdue University, has worked for the City of Chicago, Cummins Inc, and as a management consultant in over twenty-five countries primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe.

Mary C. Anderson

Mary Anderson has lived in Downtown Silver Spring (near Nolte Park) for the past 23 years and has seen Silver Spring change dramatically in that time. Now that I am an empty nester, I feel I have more time to devote to community involvement. I was involved in PTA work at all of my daughter's schools (elementary through high school). Because I work for Montgomery County Government (I have been the Public Information Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services for 26 years), friends and neighbors see me as a source for information about county programs and services.

Vinda Myers

Vineda Myers is a recipient of the Takoma Foundation’s Azalea Award, a Montgomery County resident since 2001, and an experienced community organizer with over 20 years of experience in management, logistics, outreach, and customer service.  In addition to her community development work with a local nonprofit, she is an active volunteer in her community, including the tenant association president of her rental community, a Takoma Foundation board member, and a CHEER Community Advisory Board member.
 Prior to 2013, she was a stay at home mother of two while serving her community as a two term PTA President, teaching an ESOL class and participating in the Piney Branch Action Team with IMPACT Silver Spring, as well as serving as a member on several committees for the City of Takoma Park.
In addition to reading, watching, and spending time with her family, Vineda most enjoys doing work that helps to empower people to improve their lives, and helps neighbors and community members to connect with each other.  
 

 


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