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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.

Trustees

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.

Major Gary S. Burnett (VICE CHAIR) 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.

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.

Megan Benjamin is a Planner in Baltimore County. She graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and earned a Master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Planning from Towson University. She began her career as an Americorps Volunteer through the Maine Conservation Corps working with a land trust/watershed organization in the mid-coast area of Maine. She has worked for several environmental non-profits in program management and administration. While in graduate school, Megan interned at the Critical Area Commission and served as Volunteer Coordinator at Maryland Environmental Trust (MET). She was later hired as the Western Region Planner at MET, a role she served at for 12 years with the addition of the Central Region during that time. Megan is now with Baltimore County in the Department of Planning as a Planner and Land Preservation Specialist.​

Gregory Bowen, AICP, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners with over 37 years of experience in planning, land preservation and public policy. Mr. Bowen worked for the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning for 32 years, the last six as its Director. During that time, he oversaw the county land preservation program, which featured the first transferable development rights program in Maryland, along with two county purchase-of-development rights programs and three state easement programs. In 2006, he led efforts to rewrite the county zoning ordinance to permit agri-tourism, eco-tourism, heritage tourism uses, and value-added production on farms.

In 2011, he formed Land Stewardship Solutions, LLC with a focus on land preservation and programs to help farmers throughout the state of Maryland. As part of that work, he studied the land preservation programs and zoning in all of the counties in Maryland and served as Director of the Maryland FarmLINK program at the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission. Mr. Bowen also co-authored a publication commissioned by the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. entitled "The Future of Sustainable Farming and Forestry in Maryland" and more recently co-authored a publication for the Center entitled "Health, Safety, and Welfare?: A Report on the Factors that Favor or Hinder the flow of Local Food in the Chesapeake Region".

In 2015, he became Executive Director of the American Chestnut Land Trust, which currently owns, manages or holds an easement on 3,200 acres in Calvert County. Greg is a lifetime resident of Calvert County, growing up on a farm near the Patuxent River. His passion is preserving working landscapes along with their ecological and culture assets.

Megan D’Arcy’s life’s work has focused on land conservation, resource stewardship, and an understanding that the relationships between people and their environment can influence culture and positively shape the future. She has spent the last 15 years of her career in the land trust community with an intense focus on working with landowners to navigate complexities associated with conservation easement stewardship and the preservation of agricultural land. In 2009, Megan moved to the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland for a position with Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, her accomplishments include building a robust land protection and easement stewardship program with a portfolio consisting of 299 properties on 58,000 acres of land throughout a six county region. Accomplishments include managing relationships with stakeholders, creating a volunteer land stewards monitoring program, and the development and implementation of a practical farmer friendly best management practices initiative for rural easement landowners.

Most recently, Ms. D’Arcy accepted a position with the Rural Maryland Council, an independent state agency located within the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Council is to improve the quality of life of people living in rural Maryland. Megan is excited for this new opportunity as it allows her to explore solutions for those human challenges found in rural areas and how they can be improved. Megan’s collegiate background includes a bachelors of arts in cultural anthropology from Kutztown University and a master’s degree in resource management from The University of Pennsylvania. Megan is the recipient of the 2016 Aileen Hughes Award for her outstanding work in the conservation field and is a Shore Leadership graduate. She enjoys life to the fullest living in Easton with her husband Dan and two wonderful children, Wyatt and Ben.​

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.

Lori Lynch is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland. She examines various issues related to land preservation and land conservation as well as providing advise to farmland program managers and legislative bodies. She has worked with policy managers at the county, state and federal level on issues such as the compensation, taxation, change in land values due to conservation easements, characteristics of landowners in preservation programs and post- preservation activities on conserved properties. Her PhD was from the University of California, Berkeley and her MS from University of California, Davis.

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.

Tom Prevas is a leader in environmental litigation and regulatory compliance with experience in contract, tort, enforcement and construction litigation involving solid waste, hazardous waste, petroleum, bio solids, wastewater, land contamination and climate change. Tom has also done extensive work in brownfields redevelopment and cleanup under CERCLA, RCRA and state voluntary cleanup and brownfields programs. He has served as environmental counsel to the largest brownfield redevelopment project in Maryland—the redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Steel site- and speaks nationally on effective reuse and development of Brownfields. Tom has expertise in overseeing large and complex projects involving traditional energy, renewable energy and infrastructure matters; on federal preemption of state environmental laws; and his experience extends to natural gas pipelines and electric transmission as well. Tom has advised clients on NEPA compliance and effective public engagement and has also counseled clients on how to bring a NEPA (or state equivalent) challenge. He is an adjunct law professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in the Environmental Certificate Program, and teaches state and local environmental law. He has written on the use and admissibility of expert evidence, particularly in the environmental, land use and property valuation contexts, and counsel’s clients on OFAC/trade sanctions compliance.

Susanne Zilberfarb is the current Executive Director of the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. Susanne comes to MAEF from the Delaware Soybean Board, where she was executive director for 14 years, and the Maryland Soybean Board, where she was a communications contractor from 1994 to 2017 and executive director from 2017 to 2019. During her time with the boards, she fundraised and locally coordinated the Mid-Atlantic Farmers Feed Us program, an online ag education campaign; co-created and directed the popular My Maryland Farmers website and social media campaign; facilitated the establishment of the Atlantic Soybean Council, a regional soybean research organization; and aligned the boards’ programs and budgets with their strategic plans. She was recognized by Gov. Bob Ehrlich for her contributions to promoting the biodiesel industry. Susanne and her parents, John and Ann Richards, and her nephew, Shawn Richards, operate Sheepfield Farm just south of Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County, raising cut flowers and lawn ornaments that “baa.”


Ex-Officio Members

Senator Addie C. Eckardt serves as the representative of the president of the Maryland Senate. http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/05sen/html/msa12216.html

Tom McCarthy, Land Acquisition and Planning, Maryland Department of Natural Resources serves as the Governor’s Representative. http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/land/

Delegate Jim Gilchrist serves as a representative of the Speaker of the House of Delegates. https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/06hse/html/msa14617.html


Trustees Emeritus

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

Committees

List of 2020 Committees and Members

Click here for Committee Meeting Agendas

Click here for Committee Meeting Dates

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