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Silver Spring Regional Service Center

Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board

Members  Biography

 

Delia Aguilar

Delia Aguilar has dedicated most of her professional life to serving for the immigrants of all nationalities in the Silver Spring community. She is the Senior Manager of Workforce Development at CASA de Maryland. Delia has also had experiences as a loan officer, parent liaison and a tax preparer for H&R Block. Working tirelessly as an organizer, a lobbyist and a training coordinator, she has been instrumental in guiding immigrants on the path to a stable future. 

Jonathan Bernstein, Chair, Transportation, Energy and Environment Committee

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 writes in the field but spends more time contributing to a wealth of community projects. Jonathan is president of   Washington Apple Pi, a Metro area Mac User Group.  In his  SOECA neighborhood, he moderates the list serve and helps with the civic’s website.  He is in the leadership group for the  Silver Spring Timebank, a grassroots organization that shares services and builds a more cohesive community “one exchange at a time.”  He strongly supports  One Montgomery Green, that aims for social, economic and environmental sustainability, and spreads word at every opportunity of  A Wider Circle, a local antipoverty nonprofit. 


Stacey Brown, Chair, Commercial Economic Development Committee

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 Lyttonsville Business District. She is currently the chair of the SSCAB Economic Development Committee.

Barbara Darko

Barbara Darko is an Editor, Communications and Public Affairs Consultant, having served as a Newspaper Publisher & Editor (Montgomery Times), Magazine Editor (Heart&Soul) Executive Editor (The Afro), Contributing Writer (The Gazette, Huffington Post, AOL), Political Aide (Councilmember Tom Perez), Television News Producer (CBS, CNN), and Diversity Outreach & Event Management Consultant (Montgomery County Public Affairs Office, Office of Community Partnerships). Her communications and public affairs background incorporates social media platforms in marketing strategies, and it encompasses diverse and global activities that advance government, corporate and nonprofit goals. She specializes in community outreach, custom publications, event management, media relations and multicultural/diversity news. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Johnson C. Smith University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. 

Jay Elvove, Representative to the Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee

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.


Michelle Foster


Michelle moved to Silver Spring in 1994 from New York City in search of a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood with a strong sense of community.  Having found what she was looking for, she never moved again.  As planner and environmental policy analyst, Michelle has sought to develop market solutions to solve environmental issues without compromising housing affordability.  Michelle developed Fannie Mae’s Smart Commute Mortgage, revamped the Energy Efficient Mortgage, and developed a methodology to calculate the carbon reduction from efficient homes so that they could be sold on the emerging greenhouse gas market. She is also a proud co-founder of the Friends of Forest Glen and Montgomery Hills.


Patricia Germann

Patricia Germann has lived in downtown Silver Spring since 2012 and works in the public sector. She holds a Master’s degree in Arts Management and worked for nearly a decade in the non-profit arts sector. A trained dancer and choreographer, she is active in the local arts community and enjoys attending Silver Spring's many festivals and international events. 

 

Mulugeta Habteselassie 

Mulugeta Habteselassie is an UNO translator and communicator for various events particularly health issues. He has participated in community awareness sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. He volunteers with the Ethiopian community and is the founding and executive member of the Ethiopian Community in MD. Mr. Mulugeta received his education from Addis Ababa, India, Oxford University College, and USA.

Lysette House

Lysette House has been working with Friends of the Library, Montgomery County (FOLMC) since June 2016, currently serving as Programs & Membership Coordinator. In this role, Lysette ensures the successful production of a multitude of events to support Montgomery County Public Libraries, including the kickoff to Library Lovers Month in February, Literary Lunches at the Mansion at Strathmore, the Seasoned Spellers Senior Spelling Bee, and the Mosaic Creative Writing Program held in conjunction with Montgomery County Public Schools, among others. She also maintains the membership database for FOLMC and it's 17 Chapters located throughout Montgomery County, including multiple in Silver Spring. Ms. House has also served as the Secretary for the Friends of the Library, Silver Spring Chapter since 2014. Lysette has rented in the Downtown Silver Spring area with her husband and two excitable puppies since 2011, making her not only an avid advocate for the library, but renters rights as well.

Melanie Fonder Kaye


Melanie Fonder Kaye has lived in the South Four Corners area of Silver Spring since 2008. She currently lives there with her husband, three children, and rescue dog Riley. Fonder Kaye is a communications strategist with more than 20 years of experience in communications, media, and journalism. Before founding her communications firm MFK Strategies, she served as Director of Communications to Dr. Jill Biden in the White House. Currently, she serves as Communications Director for the Biden Foundation, and provides strategic communications services to several other clients. She has also worked at GMMB, an agency dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world, as press secretary for former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, and as a reporter for The Hill, among other publications.


Matt Losak, Chair
 
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.

 

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 Mont gomery County government, and work s 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.


Katherine Lucas McKay


Katherine Lucas McKay is a Program Manager at the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program (FSP), leading research initiatives on household finances and identifying strategies to increase financial security for millions of households. Katherine is an experienced policy researcher and advocate in the fields of economic inequality and financial inclusion, and has worked on issues including consumer debt, credit reporting, access to safe and affordable financial products and services, mortgage lending, retirement savings, and safety net policies. Prior to joining FSP, Katherine was the Associate Director of Government Affairs at Prosperity Now; she has also held positions at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Georgetown University. Katherine holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Information Systems and a BA from Wellesley College. She lives with her family in downtown Silver Spring, one of her favorite places on Earth.
 

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

 

Adburahman Mohammed, Chair, Neighborhoods Committee

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 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.
 

Uri Pasternak, Representative to the Department of Permitting Services

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. 


John Seelke

Dr. John Seelke has spent his entire career in education, at the high school level, the university level and now the district level. Currently, he serves as a manager for secondary mathematics in DC Public Schools. He has lived in the Silver Spring area since 2003, when he served the local community as a baseball coach in TPSS Baseball. He is the proud parent of twin fourth graders at East Silver Spring Elementary School, where is he active in the PTA helping work towards issues around equity. He is excited to be on the SSCAB and looks forward to working with hisfellow board members in supporting the region.


Don Slater

Don Slater and his wife, Tina, have lived in Silver Spring since 1983.  They moved from Indian Spring to Park Hills in 2005, in part to be closer to downtown Silver Spring.  Don studied technical theatre at the University of Pittsburgh and computer science and math at the University of Maryland.  He works as a systems engineer for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (one of the Alaska Native Companies) on a satellite weather data distribution system project for NOAA.  Theatre remains an important part of his life.  He is a board member and the resident lighting designer for Quotidian Theatre Company in Bethesda.  He is a past board member and occasional lighting designer at Silver Spring Stage.  As a civic activist, most of his efforts have been toward improving transit and land use in the county.  He is a two-term member of Ride-On’s Transit Advisory Group and is an active supporter of Action Committee for Transit and Purple Line NOW.  He is active with the Park Hills Civic Association (unsuccessfully running for president) and with local politics.  Other interests include mental health advocacy (board member and 1st VP of NAMI Maryland) and gardening (Chair, Philadelphia Flower Show, 2018-2019).
 

 


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