Per the WORA By-Laws, the Ward One Residents’ Association Nominating Committee proposes that the following people be considered to fill the WORA 2020-2021 Board. Due to COVID-19, this year’s election will be conducted by sending email ballots to the membership in early June with responses due shortly thereafter. Please be on the lookout for those ballots. Now, the Nominees are:
President, Mark Mhley – Conduit Street A USNA Class of 1996 graduate, a resident of Ward One since 2013, when the Navy assigned him to teach at the USNA. He retired from the Navy in 2017 and founded a small business that provides business tools to and advocacy for veteran-owned and military-spouse-owned small businesses. Locally, Mark is leading the Anne Arundel County Veteran and Military Spouse Small Business Ecosystem Initiative. Mark facilitated the research and presentations to the City Council of short-term rental legislation and its effects on residents. He was a member of the City Dock Redevelopment Steering Committee, and is coordinating the WORA input to the 2020 Annapolis Comprehensive Plan. Mark has also worked closely with Lisa Harrison to update the WORA website and digital media sites.
Vice President, Christina Cole – East Street. Chris has an academic background in chemistry and conservation/historic preservation (BS, NC State; MS, University of Michigan; PhD, University of Delaware), and has become a self-taught software engineer working for a 100% remote company that exists to help creators earn a living online. She first discovered Annapolis 20 years ago, and regularly haunted Ward One’s businesses and surrounding waterways before moving here. It took a while for her to discover WORA, but she really became involved in the recent short-term rental legislation. She organized all of the facts, information, and academic studies that were sent to her. She says that helped crystallize in her something she knew all along. Our neighborhood challenges aren’t particularly unique: other coastal historic towns with strong senses of history and healthy tourism draws have the same quest for balance–and diffusion of tension–between residential, tourist, and environmental needs that we do. She believes the key to striking a successful balance is a strong residential voice at the table: one ready to support smart, intentional change (because change is inevitable), and one ready to thoughtfully challenge plans that don’t support a long-term vision of a vibrant, self-sustaining downtown core. Annapolis’ core is Ward One: within our borders is the Historic District, most of the Arts District + Inner West Street, and many of the city’s favorite tourist attractions. Tourists want to go where residents go, and she cares deeply about “where” she goes, what it takes to build a year-round residency base…and how to attract the kinds of businesses and services that such a base would patronize. Her focus will continue along those lines, starting with our partnerships: strengthening existing ones and/or building new ones with elected officials (city, county, and/or state), neighborhood associations in other wards, Historic Annapolis, etc. It will take time and effort, but she believes WORA can be fundamental in leading Annapolis to that vision of a vibrant, self-sustaining core–one that draws residents, and allows tourists to follow.
Treasurer, Susan Hardy – Market Street. Susan’s continuing goal as a board member is to participate in the process of honoring the historic integrity of Annapolis as a resident. At the same time, it is important that we build partnerships with businesses and development that involves careful consideration when changes are to occur. It is a delicate balance for all parties to work together so that future generations will have the same dynamic experience of living in a quaint, historic seaports town that we enjoy today. I have lived on Market Street since 1997 with my two college age children and am in the process of restoring my second home on the street. I studied Marketing and Business Administration at American University
Secretary, Carl Larkin – Prince George Street. Carl has over 30 years of contracting and project management experience on Exxon’s major capital investment projects in both the downstream and upstream segments of Exxon’s capital investment programs. He has been a resident of Annapolis for 18 years, WORA Board Member four years (3 as Secretary), on the City’s Parking Advisory Committee for 8 years, and the CDAC. Carl earned a B.S. degree in Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a J. D. Law degree from Oklahoma City University. He says that continuing to serve on the WORA Board will provide him the opportunity to address issues that neighbors, residents and visitors express to him concerning safety, appearance and quality of life activities within Ward One and beyond.
Member, Craig Harrison – King George Street. Craig worked as a government contractor for over 33 years with SAIC, Bechtel and CSC and is now leading a much more satisfying life living in Annapolis and directing events such as the Annapolis Running Classic, the Annapolis Oyster Classic and the Sailor’s Triathlon. He and his wife Lisa Fontaine have resided in Ward One for eighteen years. In addition to putting on events, for almost two years they have owned Annapolis Eventours (formerly Urban Eventours). With a fleet of ten electric carts (eCruisers), they provide history and food tours as well as event transportation (weddings, fundraising and corporate events, Navy football games, etc.). New this year will be a Craft Beer Tour and a Progressive Dinner Tour, so come join us! Eight years ago, the mayor appointed him to the Annapolis Recreation and Parks Board of Advisors. He now serves as the chair of the Board and is active in supporting the department’s events and initiatives. As a tour guide, he is passionate about this city and its history. His focus is to improve transportation and parking within Annapolis by providing the electric carts for local rides on demand, as well as fixed routes. He believes that having routes from Eastport to West Annapolis and down West Street to Park Place could be convenient, environmentally friendly and affordable.
Member, Noelle Richmond – Monticello Avenue. Noelle has been a resident of the city since 1976 and has lived in Murray Hill since 1983. Prior to starting her own business in 2005, she spent nearly 30 years in nonprofit management, first in operating a child care center for pre-schoolers and school-age children in Montgomery County and then directing fundraising programs for 2 local environmental organizations. Her interest in serving on the board stems from her concern over the many issues and challenges currently facing the city and the desire to play a more engaged role in helping to determine the best actions and solutions to effectively meet these challenges. As we grapple with the implementation of the City Dock Action Plan, undertake a new comprehensive plan, plan for solutions for the city’s public transportation and parking problems, and address housing and zoning issues that have been brought to the surface with the recent STVR bill and the consideration of accessory dwelling units, she feels that she needs to personally act on her belief that we need to get as many citizens as possible to step up to the plate and get involved.
Member, Larry Claussen – Prince George Street. Larry and his wife Ruth, retired nearly seven years ago and happily moved to Annapolis to be near their family. They share a life-long passion for history and historic preservation, the arts, and service to others. They have been so excited to be an active part of this very vibrant and friendly community. While living in Annapolis, Larry has served on the executive board of the Ward One Residents’ Association, and during the last election ran for the position of Ward One Alderman. For several years Larry has also served as Trustee and Secretary on the executive committee of the Hammond-Harwood House, and has also served as Treasurer and board member of the New Providence Club. Both Ruth and Larry are active volunteers and supporters of Historic Annapolis, Inc. and Historic London Town. They have also enjoyed being ambassadors for visitors and school children visiting Annapolis by providing historic walking tours of Annapolis.
Member, Carolyn Patenaude – Jefferson Place. Carolyn is currently an interim member on WORA board, and is chair of WORA Parking Committee. While on the Parking Committee she has helped identify parking issues, researched analysis on residential parking in other cities, and attended City Council meetings to support residential parking being just for residence. She is also serving her second term on the Board of President Hill Community Association (PHCA). Carolyn has lived in Ward One Annapolis for more than five years and previously lived in four other states. She works as a Registered Nurse in Annapolis and is married to Albert Smith and they have shared over 14 years together.
Member, Kate Stillwell – Duke of Gloucester Street. Kate has lived in Annapolis for 20 years, the last 2 in the Historic District. She serves on the Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) board, specifically on the Exhibition and Nominating Committees. She is also a photographer whose work has appeared in many juried in exhibitions in Annapolis, Severna Park, Bethesda and College Park. She was also a member of the City Dock Action Committee’s Outreach Work Group. She joined WORA last year and believes strongly in the civic mindedness and civility participants tend to bring to gatherings. WORA is an impassioned group which she believes is a positive quality necessary if our ward is to safeguard residents and reach necessary compromises. What a dynamic and exciting time! Much change is afoot and our ability to reach sound decisions will be greatly tested. She would love to be part of that conversation.
If you have any questions, I will be pleased to try and answer them.
Nominating Committee Chair