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Board of Trustees

The Maryland Environmental Trust is governed by a 19-member Board of Trustees with 15 trustees as volunteer citizens representing diverse areas of the state; the remaining three are ex-officio members—the Governor, Speaker of the House, and President of the Senate.

The Trust is assisted by Area Representatives who work directly with the Board. The Board of Trustees meets on the first MONDAY of the month at least six times a year.

Click here for the Board of Trustees Meeting Schedule.

Pursuant to the Open Meetings Act the Board of Trustees has made the minutes of each meeting available. Click here to view meeting minutes.


Mary Burke (CHAIR) is the Online Learning and Curriculum Manager for the Land Trust Alliance where she serves as the managing editor for the Standards and Practices Curriculum, the most authoritative resource on private land conservation in the United States. Mary also produces webinars and other resources for land trust boards, including Field Guide, a quarterly newsletter on governance issues. Prior to joining the Alliance, Mary worked for Sun Microsystems where she developed custom training solutions for government, business and education organizations. She has taught literature and writing at the University of Maryland where she also earned her Ph.D. in English Literature. Mary also holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Georgetown University and a degree in journalism from the University of Texas.

Royden Powell, III (VICE CHAIR) has served the public for 25 years in state, local and municipal governments, in addition to over 20 years of agricultural experience as a grain farmer in Queen Anne’s County. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Mr. Powell served as a supervisor for the Queen Anne’s Soil Conservation District for 11 years before beginning his tour of duty with the Maryland Department of Agriculture as the chief of resource conservation and assistant secretary of the office of resource conservation. Mr. Powell has coordinated environmental policy with state and federal agencies including the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Farm Services Agency. He entered municipal government in 2004, becoming town manager for Centreville where he broadened his experience to include growth planning and municipal operations. In 2006, Mr. Powell returned to the Maryland Department of Agriculture as assistant secretary for the office of resource conservation until his retirement in 2007. He resides on the family farm near Centreville with his wife JoAnn.

Sarah J. Taylor-Rogers, PhD (SECRETARY) has extensive experience in natural resources management and the public administration sectors. She began her post academic career as a project manager and community planner for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and eventually became the director for the Maryland coastal zone management program for the Department of Natural Resources. In 1983, Taylor-Rogers helped create and administer Maryland’s first land use and growth management program to protect the Chesapeake Bay as executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission. And in 1999 she became the first woman to be named Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. Since 2005, Dr. Taylor-Rogers has worked as assistant director for the Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. where she completed two reports on conservation easements and the use of Downzoning to preserve working lands in Maryland. Dr. Taylor-Rogers received the United States National Environmental Program’s top 500 Environmental Achievers award in 1991 and in 2004 she received the Frances H. Flanigan Award for Leadership from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. She holds a B.A. from Thiel College, a MPA and PhD from Syracuse University’s Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship & Public Affairs.

Julia Jitkoff (TREASURER) is an artist and investor. She has over 40 years involvement in agribusiness, including cattle, cash crops, orchards, water rights and plant nursery. She has been active in civic and cultural organizations relating to agriculture, the arts, environmental conservation, and education in Texas, Colorado and on the East Coast. Ms. Jitkoff is a professional sculptor and ceramist and has been shown in New York, Texas, Colorado, New Jersey and Maryland. She and her husband have a horse farm in Glyndon, Maryland.

Scott Barao is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received his Ph.D. in beef cattle nutrition and management. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and biochemistry and a master’s degree in microbiology. Scott held a faculty position in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Maryland for 20 years where he served as the state Beef Cattle Extension Specialist and Beef Program Leader, directing all beef research and outreach programs at the university’s Wye Research and Education Center, the home of the historic Wye Angus herd. Scott retired from his faculty position as a full professor in 2005. Since 2005, Scott has served as the Executive Director of the Jorgensen Family Foundation, a 501-3-C Agricultural Research and Education Foundation devoted to developing and demonstrating profitable and sustainable models of beef cattle production for beef cattle producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Scott also directs the day-to-day operation of Hedgeapple Farm, the centerpiece of the foundation. In addition, Scott has served as the Executive Vice-President of the Maryland Cattlemen’s Association, the state’s largest single commodity organization, and as Executive Director of Maryland Beef Council continuously since 1985. Scott and his family also operate Fieldstone Farm where they raise Angus cattle, meat sheep and all-natural layer hens.

Major Gary S. Burnett has 29 years of experience with the Maryland State Park Service holding positions at various operational levels ranging from park ranger major to ranger trustee. Major Burnett has recently accepted a position as the North Region Operations Manager for the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks. Previously, Major Burnett held positions as chief of mission support and sustainability as well as director of support services for the Maryland State Park Service. Major Burnett began his career as a park ranger at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Harford County. He serves on the boards of the Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce, DNR Black Officers Association, North East Chamber of Commerce, Cecil County Tourism Board, Howard County Environmental Alliance, and is the founder and president of the Friends of Carrie Murray Nature Center. Major Burnett holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Development from the University of Maryland.

Mark L. Hoffman currently serves as the Maryland Director for the Chesapeake Bay Commission. The Commission, comprise primarily of State legislators, serves to develop and advance legislative action in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. A life-long Maryland resident, his interests in the environment and conservation where nurtured by becoming interested in birds and birding at an early age, a passion he still pursues today. After graduating from Cornell University (B.A., Biology) and the University of Florida (M.S., Wildlife Ecology), Mark began a 31-year career with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Ultimately advancing to the position of Assistant Secretary for Mission Support, he oversaw all the finance and administration functions for the $300 million agency. And given his science background, he was always able to bring that expertise to bear on administrative and budget concerns. Mark has extensive engagement with the Maryland General Assembly on fiscal and policy issues.

Toby Lloyd (Montgomery County) is the President of Turnrow, LLC, a multi disciplinary agricultural consulting company focusing on conservation, communications and real estate. Prior to founding Turnrow, Toby worked for The United States Department of Agriculture for thirteen years. At the USDA, he held various positions at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in their National Office for the Conservation and Environmental Programs Division. Toby later served as the Chief of Farm Programs for FSA in Maryland, overseeing the delivery of the Agency’s Farm Bill Programs as well as working on Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. In addition to his extensive policy experience, Toby has worked for various farming operations ranging in size from 60 acre hay farms to 5,000 acre grain operations. Toby enjoys spending time on his family’s farm in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Lisa in Bethesda Maryland.

Ken Montague grew up on a family farm near Clarksville in Howard County, which remains in his family. He attended Loyola High School in Baltimore, Morgan State College, and then was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 1967-71. Upon return, he became a community leader in northeast Baltimore City, while attending law school at the University of Maryland. Ken was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1986 and served four terms, including a prominent role on its Judiciary Committee, and was chosen a member of the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2003 he was selected by Governor Ehrlich to serve as Secretary of Juvenile Services. After that term expired, he decided to apply for state Master Gardener certification, and since that time, has been occupied with urban gardening and land preservation in the City – while continuing to serve on a number of nonprofit boards and public commissions.

Ex-Officio Members

Senator Addie C. Eckardt serves as the representative of the president of the Maryland Senate.

Tom McCarthy, Land Acquisition and Planning, Maryland Department of Natural Resources serves as the Governor’s Representative.

Delegate Jim Gilchrist serves as a representative of the Speaker of the House of Delegates.

Trustees Emeritus

  • King Burnett
  • Ellen Kelly
  • John C. Murphy
  • Henry A. Virts


List of 2020 Committees and Members

Click here for Committee Meeting Agendas

Click here for Committee Meeting Dates