Board of Directors

board page.jpg
  • Steve Raabe, Chair

  • Adil Desai, Vice Chair

  • Melanie Parker, Secretary

  • Steve Russo, Treasurer

  • Kristin Reilly, Development Chair

  • Jan Atwood

  • Bill Daniel

  • Frank Dawson

  • Leila MacCarthy

  • Liam O'Meara

  • Barbara Palmer

  • Carmera Thomas-Wilhite

  • Michael Wagener

Steve Raabe, Chair
Steve Raabe is president of OpinionWorks, a full-service market research firm based in Annapolis, Maryland.  Steve Raabe founded OpinionWorks in 2001 to provide mission-driven clients with critical insights into consumer behavior and public attitudes based on scientifically-sound survey research.  He has built an active survey research firm specializing in helping for-profit, non-profit, and public sector clients reach and engage their customers, stakeholders, and the public on important issues.  His expertise is understanding the cues to individual and consumer behavior through probative interviewing and representative sampling. 
Mr. Raabe attended American University in Washington, D.C., earning a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and graduating cum laude in 1986. He is a past member of the City of Annapolis, Maryland Conservancy Board and has founded a park and heads the tree-planting initiative in the West Annapolis neighborhood.  He is an active community volunteer, having served on the Board of the Lighthouse Shelter, a homelessness prevention organization located in Annapolis, and for various other local projects.  Steve and his wife are active historic preservationists, having restored an 1812 Federal-style house and operated it as a bed and breakfast for five years.

Adil Desai, Vice Chair
Adil Desai is the Director of Sales for MOI in Baltimore.  MOI helps its clients transform their workplace enabling employees to be inspired, engaged, and productive.  Adil has an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and a BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Living in the Eastport area of Annapolis, Adil along with his faithful canine companion, Hale can be found at Quiet Waters Dog Park nearly every day of the week. Adil’s passion for the environment stems from his extracurricular activities as a dog owner, kayaker and SCUBA diver.  Adil has witnessed firsthand how poor planning and mitigation upstream has had a long term and devastating impact on our rivers, bay and oceans.   

Jan Atwood
Jan Atwood received a BSE degree in Physical Education from SUNY College at Cortland in 1973. Unable to get a teaching position she enlisted in the U.S. Army. She was boarded for an In Service Direct Commission and was commissioned as a 2LT in 1975. She was a Reserve Officer on Active Duty for approximately 10 years in the field of Military Intelligence. Jan had assignments in South Korea, Ft. Meade, MD and West Germany. In 1984 she requested relief from Active Duty and attended UMCP using her GI Bill. She graduated with an MA in Recreation in 1989. Simultaneously, she attended school, worked full time and was a drilling reservist. 
At first she built her civilian career based upon her recreation background, but later transitioned to using her military intelligence and security background to work for a number of Federal government contractor companies. It was during this time she attended graduate school at The Johns Hopkins University obtaining a Master of Science in Information and Telecommunications Systems.  She retired from the military in 2000 but continued to work as a civilian until 2012. 
After retiring she had the time to travel and continues to check off locations on her “bucket list” of destinations. In 2016 and 2017 she went back to school for a new avocation. This time it is to become an Anne Arundel County Master Watershed Steward. Jan graduated from that course November 2017.

Bill Daniel
Bill Daniel’s sales and marketing career in healthcare capital equipment spanned over 34 years including senior management positions for two Fortune 500 companies. He served as the Executive Director for a health care trade association in Washington DC.  In his volunteer time, he has held several leadership positions with the Presbyterian Church, including elder, Vice Moderator of the Board of Deacons, and chair of several pastor search committees.  He currently serves as the Director of Human Resources at Woods Memorial Church in Severna Park, Maryland.  Bill’s hobbies include boating, photography and scuba diving.

Frank Dawson
Frank Dawson is Division Chief of Watershed Management Capital Projects of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.  He is responsible for the planning, design, permitting and construction program for the County’s watershed management program, working to meet the County’s Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements. This has included the assessment and implementation of program and process improvements, including the piloting and adoption of different business models for the Stormwater Management Capital Improvements Program (CIP).  Previously, Frank served for more than 30 years as a leader, administrator, and policy advisor with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, with a focus on efforts to manage and restore the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and regionally. Frank has a Master of Science in Resource Management and Policy from the State University of New York at Syracuse and a Bachelors in Agricultural Science from the University of Delaware.  Frank lives in Arnold with his wife Effie and a spoiled golden retriever, Chase. He is most importantly the proud father of three adult children who are out making the world a better place.  Franks passion for the environment comes from by playing in Tookany Creek in Philadelphia as a child, fishing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and hiking/exploring with his family. 

Liam O’Meara
Liam is President of EQR, the largest and most accomplished ecological construction company of its kind. His background in infrastructure construction and his passion for the environment has brought him to lead over 200 employees in the charge to reshape the Chesapeake Bay Watershed into the pristine natural treasure it’s meant to be. His project portfolio includes miles of stream restoration for federal, state, local, and private clients. Liam holds a MS in Development from the University of Maryland, and is a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional. However, his most important joint venture, with his wife Emily, has brought them to lead their three tiny eco-warriors in the fight to be happiest and greenest family they can be. Liam grew up playing in the streams, creeks, and rivers of Anne Arundel County, and strives to deliver that experience to future generations.

Barbara Palmer
Barbara is a general practice lawyer in firm of six attorneys, with concentration in real property and land use law. Litigation specialist handling matters in State and Federal courts, Court of Special Appeals, Court of Appeals and before various administrative bodies.  Practice also includes land development consultation (subdivision, commercial/residential permits, variances, special exceptions), drafting of contracts, and related land transfer documents. 

Melanie Parker
A native of St. Mary’s County, Melanie spent most of her childhood exploring the creeks, farm fields and woods of the western shore of the Bay. This love for the outdoors and desire to improve the environment shaped her career. She currently serves as the Coordinator of Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education for Anne Arundel County Public Schools developing and implementing environmental literacy curriculum and programming to empower students of all ages through authentic hands-on outdoor experiences with the environmental knowledge, skills, and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions. She has been with Anne Arundel County for the past 20 years serving as an educator and teacher prior to becoming the Coordinator. Prior to AACPS she worked with Izaak Walton League of America as their Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator. Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education at UMCP, she holds certificates in Administration and teaching.  She has an MS in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from NCSU, BAs in Geography (Cert in Cartography) and Art-Graphic Design (minor in Computer Art) at UMBC.  Melanie lives with her husband and daughter in Baltimore County where they implement and experiment with best environmental practices. 

Kristin Reilly
As the Senior Communications Manager for the Choose Clean Water Coalition, Kristin focuses on both internal and external communications strategies. Her work involves coordinating messaging of the over 200+ Coalition member organizations around legislative threats, the Coalition’s priorities, and upcoming events. She also manages the communications workgroup for the Coalition, which brings together the communications professionals in the Bay watershed to collaborate on strategic communications work. Kristin earned her master's degree in Public Communications from American University in 2013, focusing her studies on social marketing and behavior change. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography and Political Science from Miami University, with a focus on environmental studies. Her thesis was on the Clean Water Act and the state of the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort.  

Steve Russo
Steve Russo has over 20 years of government and nonprofit financial management experience. He previously directed the financial operations of the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, and he has held senior financial management positions with the Government of the District of Columbia and the City of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of the federal government’s Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program and he has worked at both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Steve possesses a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

Carmera Thomas-Wilhite
Carmera Thomas- is the Baltimore Program Manager at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. She received a B.S. in Biology from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Carmera began her career as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps member in its inaugural year in 2010, later joining Chesapeake Bay Foundation full-time working in agriculture and oyster restoration. Carmera has a passion for sharing hands-on experiences with the public, with a knack for inspiring, educating, and raising awareness so that others become stewards of the land and water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As the Baltimore Program Manager, she manages the Greater Baltimore Oyster Partnership, growing oysters in the Baltimore Harbor, manages a vacant lot renovation project and connects communities and students to the Harbor and Chesapeake Bay through hand on experiences.

Michael Wagener
Michael Wagener grew up navigating the rivers of the Chesapeake Bay.  His fondness of the water lead him to a nine month sabbatical in the Bahamas living on a sailboat after graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan with a Degree in Psychology in 1979.  He has enjoyed many years of competitive sailboat racing and water skiing. Michael has been an active and passionate volunteer for many years. His love of soccer, from early on, has fueled involvement in working with many non-profit organizations.  He has served as a grant chairman for Soccer 94 distributing $1 million dollars to assist the development of youth soccer in this region.  He has helped form soccer leagues for underserved immigrant populations in the Baltimore and Washington area, and helped integrate locale health department services within these activities. His professional career began in 1983 with USF&G Insurance.  He is currently Vice President at Insurance Management Associates in Annapolis, MD.  Michael is currently serving as the HOA President and has been for the past ten plus years in Glen Isle Estates, where he resides with his wife, Deborah.  He and Deborah are graduates of WSA Class 3.