Silver Spring Citizen's Advisory Board
Bernice North, Chair
The daughter of immigrants from
Since joining the Board, Bernice served as Co-Chair of the Neighborhoods Committee and was voted as Executive Vice-Chair for two terms.. She also served on the boards of the African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation and the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, and served as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee.
Bernice works as an Assistant State's Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland where she prosecutes criminal and traffic adult and juvenile cases including domestic assault, drug possession, and driving while under the influence of alcohol. Bernice resides in
Praj Kasbekar, Vice Chair, Neighborhoods Committee
Praj joined Montgomery Housing Partnership in 2007, a non-profit developer of affordable housing in
Kasbekar received her Master of Regional Planning from
Mark Mendez, Parliamentary Vice Chair
Mark Mendez has participated actively in neighborhood issues for almost 20 years. He and his family are now in their second home in the same neighborhood they’ve called home since 1990.
His professional communications and marketing talents were put to good use working with neighborhood coalitions to maintain valuable green space surrounding the Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Center as a park, and to shift the planned location of the Purple Line Train Yard from a commercial area to one that is already industrial.
Former SSCAB Member Charlotte Coffield, one of Mark’s neighbors and a sister to Gwendolyn – for whom the Rec Center is named, encouraged Mark’s participation on the Advisory Board. He is pleased to convey relevant and timely information to his neighbors and to the broader community. Mark is Vice President of the Rosemary Hills Neighbors’ Association and a member of the Lumina Theatre Board of Directors.
Uri Pasternak, Secretary
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
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 5th 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.
South Four Corners/Montgomery Hills
Ms. Brown is vested in Silver Spring as a long-term resident and business owner. 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 and NAACP Parent Council Rep at community schools, the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and the MD97 Montgomery Hills Project Planning Study Stakeholders Group.
Active in Faith Community
Mr. Dittmer brings great enthusiasm together with both education and experience in developing and implementing public policy. Having recently fallen in love with the “diverse, eclectic, and engaging downtown Silver Spring community,” Mr. Dittmer is especially interested in building community among young adults here in support of their choices to stay in Silver Spring rather than move elsewhere. He has already shown his collaborative abilities in working with his faith-based community – Restore Church, service at Shepherds Table and promotion of local businesses through social media.
After an accomplished 32-year career with the U. S. Department of Commerce, Ed Levy brings his enthusiasm for public policy and politics to the
His increased activity in the community has been extensive. In addition to his commitment to the Advisory Board’s efforts – especially on Taste of Fenton Village and the Commercial Economic Development Committee, he has been a freelance writer/editor writer for several non-profit organizations and is a regular contributor to the Silver Spring Voice.
Downtown Silver Spring Renter community
Mr. Lasak 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.
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
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.
New Young Professional Resident
Mr. Morrow brings the perspective of a new, young professional, resident who greatly values the unique diversity of our community. In addition to seemingly boundless energy and ideas, he brings the experience of leadership roles in professional and multicultural community organizations and a passion for “breaking through any racial, cultural and economic barriers that may exist” in Silver Spring. While an undergrad, he was awarded the David A. Portlock Cross-Cultural Diversity Award, and in law school, served as Vice President of the Charleston School of Law Black Law Students Association in Charleston, South Carolina.
Sigurd (Siggy) Neubauer is a resident of National Park Seminary, a historic neighborhood idyllically adjacent to
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.
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.
A native Washingtonian, Suzy was born in DC, raised in Kensington, and schooled in Bethesda. She earned an MBA at GWU and lived in Kalorama and Cleveland Park while marketing real estate development and architectural services. During the 1990s, at the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation, she was involved in guiding the planning and development of Penn Quarter as major new residential buildings, retail, and arts uses were built and occupied.
Her continued interests in the decisions that produce vibrant cities and neighborhoods drew her to invest in a home, to serve on the Advisory Board, and to launch her business as a real estate agent in Silver Spring.
Suzy is committed to understanding local issues and supporting community efforts aimed at enhancing our quality of life. In addition to serving on the Advisory Board, she represents the Advisory Board on the Urban District Advisory Board.
Silver Spring Regional Center · Silver Spring Civic Building · One Veterans Place · Silver Spring, MD 20910
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