Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, ECO City Farm’s founder and CEO: Margaret Morgan-Hubbard is an organizer, educator, and activist who has called Prince George’s County home for more than two decades. Prior to founding ECO, she launched and ran the Engaged University, bringing more than 3,000 residents and university members together to jointly consider the needs of the community surrounding the U of Maryland, assess existing partnerships, and carry out strategic interventions and collaborations, including a community farm and recycled bike shop. Morgan–Hubbard’s professional and grassroots organizing experience includes running the Office of Communications at the US Environmental Protection Agency; directing a national environmental organization; managing the District of Columbia’s Low Income Weatherization and related Block Grant programs; building membership for the National Immigration Forum; directing Jobs in Energy in DC and the Energy Task Force in NYC, and operating alternative energy investment programs for the National Council of Churches. She is a member of the Executive Committee of M-NCPPC’s Envision Prince George’s and a Board Member of Future Harvest CASA.
Dr. Amir Abtahi: A world expert in the design of renewable energy systems, Dr. Abtahi is the Director of the Energy Laboratory at Florida Atlantic University and President and CEO of GeoSolar Energy Systems, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida. Abtahi is pioneer and innovator in the field of solar energy. Abtahi developed and installed the first photovoltaic system in the Amazon region of Venezuela to support a major farming operation and an eco-tourist hotel, and designs alternative energy solutions for emergency situations and refugee camps.
Renee Catacalos (Chair): Renee Catacalos’ international, diplomatic and public relations experiences come together with her love food in her mission of sharing information about local farms, producers and artisans in the greater Chesapeake Bay region in ways that help grow our local food community and economy. Formerly editor and publisher of Edible Chesapeake, the only print publication devoted to helping Chesapeake region consumers connect with the sources of their food, Catacalos was a key organizer of ECO’s first major conference, “Sowing Seeds Here and Now! A Chesapeake Urban Farming Summit” in June 2010. She is Communications and Conference Director for Future Harvest – Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, board secretary for FRESHFARM Markets and a board member of the Riverdale Park Farmers Market.
Rhonda Dallas: Currently Executive Director, Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council, Dallas played a leading role in the re-organization, re-branding and legislative expansion of the Council during a period of major transition. She is founding President/CEO of ArtsFusion that develops, markets and manages cultural and historic assets. Dallas is also a specialist in outreach to diverse communities and is actively involved in advancing heritage tourism through adaptive restoration and revatilizing underserved historic places. Dallas served as Special Assistant to the Office of the States Attorney Prince George’s County, Community Affairs Division where she was responsible for launching and overseeing the ex-offender re-entry initiative. Rhonda earned her B.B.A. in Marketing from Howard University. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School Leadership Institute, and was a Howard Thurman research assistant while completing graduate studies at Emory University, Candler School of Theology concentrating in Faith and Public Policy.
Gül Güleryüz: Planner Coordinator with Prince George’s County Planning Department. She is a passionate and tireless advocate of healthy communities and local food production and access. She is an urban planner with special interest in agriculture, community and economic development, and neighborhood revitalization. During her 20-year tenure at the M-NCPPC Prince George’s County Planning Department, Güleryüz has worked very closely with inner-Beltway communities in developing community action plans and prepared successful grant applications for them. As a researcher, in addition to various publications, she produced two reports on agriculture in Prince George’s County and is currently preparing a report for publication on urban agriculture.
She brings a wealth of business and community knowledge to the Board.
Candace Hollingsworth: Candace Hollingsworth is a management consultant and emerging thought leader on best practices in the nonprofit sector. She works with organizations to identify creative and effective solutions to everyday challenges including capacity-building, leadership, managing with Gen Y, and leveraging technology for impact. Coupled with an impressive ability to “tell and sell the story,” Candace has helped her nonprofit clients secure multi-million dollar proposals and attract new supporters by building effective communications campaigns alongside a solid operating infrastructure. Hollingsworth serves a Councilmember for the City of Hyattsville, Maryland. When not working to grow local organizations, she volunteers her time as a tutor and as Vice-President of the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA.
Senator David Harrington: The founder and leader of the Community First Network and the Wellness Opportunity Zone in Prince George’s County and Former Maryland State Senator, Prince George’s County Councilman and Mayor of Bladensburg, Harrington graduated from Howard University and was a senior fellow and faculty member of the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Some of his affiliations include: Board of Directors, Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc., Board of Directors, Maryland Association of Counties, Eastern Regional Representative and National Association of Black County Officials. Harrington also served as director of education of the Close Up Foundation and presided over the Maryland Municipal League and the Port Towns Community Development Corporation. He now is a Senior Policy Advisor with CommonHealth ACTION.
Winston Hoy (Secretary): Creative Director, Curiouser Creative Studio, LLC; Video Producer/Post-Producer, Founding Co-Director, Brave New Bus, Los Angeles and Expert Blogger, Hoy produces visual media for socially conscious organizations. He seeks opportunities to work with all kinds of people in different forms of human interaction: community-building, progressive politics, government accountability and transparency efforts, positive uses of science and technology. He creates music, stories, web sites and video to spark curiosity and incite action.
Douglas Maas (Treasurer): Chief Administrative and Financial Officer for the Textile Museum in DC, a major international center for the display, study, collection and preservation of the textile arts. Douglas Maas brings a wealth of business experience to the Board, ranging from the New Israel Fund, the ARC of the United States, the Special Olympics, and American Youth Hostels. He is a member of the DC Institute for CPAs.
IN MEMORIAM: Steve Newsome (Chair, Development Committee): Former head of the Prince George’s Museum and Cultural Center in Brentwood, Maryland, director of the Prince George’s Art and Humanities Council, and of the Anacostia Smithsonian Museum, Steve Newsome was a skilled Writer, Curator, Fundraiser and Non-profit manager.
Lindsay Smith: Senior community planner for the Southern Division, Prince George’s County Planning Department (M-NCPPC). Smith is a passionate advocate for the preservation of agricultural land and creating equity through the production of and access to healthy food.
Isaac Williams: Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park School of Architecture, Isaac Williams is an architectural educator and practitioner focused on the design of great learning environments. As an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Williams teaches undergraduate and graduate design studios, including a topical studio on the design of schools. His graduate seminar “Learning Places” explores the potential of architecture as a form of pedagogy in places of learning such as schools, museums, and memorials. Prior to his academic appointment, Williams led the design of school projects in New York and New Jersey. In 2007, Williams was awarded a Henry C. Welcome Fellowship and a 3-year grant by the Maryland Higher Education commission to continue his research and creative work focused on the relationship between space and learning.
Deborah Schober Wren: A life-long farmer, born and raised on a small, family-run dairy farm in Upstate New York, Deborah has dedicated her life to sustainability. With a Masters in Sustainable Development from World Learning SIT Graduate Institute, Deborah has developed relationships between community and their food sources through farm-to-school programs and community gardens, as well as advocated for farmer-friendly policies in Washington, DC serving as an intern with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and as Outreach Director for Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. Most recently, Deborah interned with ECO City Farms in both the dirt and the office assisting ECO City CEO with grant writing.