The new year will bring lots of exciting changes, including new board members for IPC! We are thrilled to announce four new board members who are beginning their terms this year. In 2019, IPC's Board passed a resolution outlining IPC's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. To manifest this resolution, the Governance Committee worked diligently to recruit diverse candidates who each bring unique perspectives, skills, and experience to the Board. 

Deborah Sharpe is the Founder and CEO of Sharpe Educational Consulting, LLC and a retired Assistant Superintendent in Baltimore City Public Schools System. She is deeply committed to serving communities through engagement, communication, critical thinking and planning followed by succinct implementation of plans and strategies. Deborah had an illustrious 30-year career in education and has served as Principal, Assistant Principal, Special Education Manager and Special Education teacher. She serves as the Chair for the Board of Directors for the Municipal Employees Credit Union Foundation. She is a Diaconate Officer and 19-year member at Morning Star Baptist Church in Catonsville, Maryland and has started many nonprofits and community development corporations in her community. Deborah's skills and relationships will be tremendous assets to the Finance Committee and Development/Communications Committee, where she will begin her board service. 

Mike Smith is the Senior Vice President of Yes& Agency, the Former CEO of GreenSmith Public Relations, and has served as Public Relations counsel to the NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund for the past 10 Years. He has earned four National Editorial and Press Awards, and several TV and Media awards for NFWF. He is also the former Public Affairs Director of American Sportfishing Association and has been an active National Press Club Member for over 25 years. He is a member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, Va. (serving on the Recovery and Addictions Ministry) and St. Ann’s Parish in Bethany Beach, Del. Mike and Jodi Rose, Executive Director, worked closely together in previous campaigns to strengthen Maryland's forest conservation policies. We look forward to Mike bringing his impressive expertise to our Development/Communications Committee and Advocacy Committee, and serving on our Strategic Planning Task Force. 

Le-Marie Thompson is skilled at developing and launching innovative programs with cross-functional teams. She is the Founder & CEO of Nettadonna, LLC, a social enterprise that addresses sustainable product supply chains in the electronics industry. She is an Adjunct Professor of Social Enterprise at the University of Maryland College Park, teaching courses in social entrepreneurship. She was previously the Senior Product Manager at Iridium Communications, managing product launches and market entry for one of the world's largest satellite networks. Le-Marie is an accomplished emerging leader in the field of social entrepreneurship and will be supporting IPC on the Finance Committee and Program Committee, and serving on our Strategic Planning Task Force. She is a member of Saint Matthias the Apostle Parish in Landham, Maryland and volunteers as the Youth Group Ministry Coordinator there. 

Roy Lyford-Pike is another young professional we are excited to welcome to the board. He is a bilingual attorney specializing in employee dispute litigation in the DC metro region. Roy immigrated from Uruguay at a young age and grew up in rural Baltimore County where he loved the nearby creeks in his neighborhood. He is Roman Catholic and currently searching for his church home in the Silver Spring area. He was recently elected President to the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association and is a Member of both the Metropolitan Washington Employment Law Association and Maryland Employment Law Association. Roy was first introduced to IPC through his friend, Phillip Chalker, another attorney serving on our board. Roy will serve on the Governance Committee, knowing that his duties with the Hispanic Bar Association in 2021 will be demanding on his time. 

The IPC Board directs the vision and mission of the organization, and oversees the fiscal integrity and stewardship of funds. While the staff executes the day to day activities, the board develops long-term strategy and direction. The staff and board work as a team -- neither can operate without the other. If you are interested in putting forth your name for consideration in our 2022 slate of board candidates, please click here and introduce yourself to us.  

We're also excited to announce new executive leadership of the board for 2021. Jeanne McCann will take over as Chair of the Board, and Laurie-Anne Sayles will serve as Vice-Chair. Tonya Sanders and Bill Bierbower will hold their same leadership roles as last year, Treasurer and Secretary, respectively. This will be the first time two people of color will be serving as board officers. A special thanks to outgoing Board Chair, Al Todd, who served as the Chair of the Board from 2018 to 2020 and drove ambitious pursuit of our strategic plan and board growth. He will remain on the board through 2022 serving on various committees.

Thank you to all of the volunteers on our Board who guide and direct the awesome work of IPC! We are excited to work with you in 2021!