ST. MICHAELS, MD -- July 20, 2021) The St. Michaels Community Center has announced its new Advisory Board members and officers, while recognizing the service of six retiring Advisory Board members.
Board officers are President Langley Shook, Vice President Carolina Barksdale, Secretary Robert Tiernan, and new member and Treasurer Parker Spurry. Newly elected to a two-year Board term besides Spurry are Advisors Chris Agharabi, the Hon. Edward Kasemeyer, Lori Morris, and Chief Anthony Smith. Remaining on the Board are Cheri Bruce-Phipps, Laura Chance, Karen Footner, Travis Johnson, Delores Pinder, Dr. Jeffrey Quartner, Sharon Shenk, and Dr. William Thomas.
SMCC also recognized the dedication and work of retiring President John Stumpf, Treasurer Harley Gates, and retiring advisors Mattie Fountain, Capt. Jeff Oswald, and Katrina D. Whittington.
The Community Center is beginning to resume its normal summer programming after serving during the pandemic as the Talbot County designated Bay Hundred Food Distribution Hub, providing tens of thousands of bags of groceries and prepared meals to those in need.
“The St. Michaels Community Center is entering into an exciting time,” said SMCC Board President Langley Shook. “We’re welcoming Patrick Rofe as our new Executive Director this August. He’ll be an outstanding leader to take our Community Center where it can go to strengthen and expand its community service. We also want to recognize and thank Executive Director Emerita Trish Payne for her dedication and service as our longtime Executive Director.
Shook resides in St. Michaels and is a retired lawyer and former President of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Vice President Barksdale of St. Michaels is an Associate Real Estate Broker with Benson & Mangold Real Estate. Secretary Tiernan of Bozman is a retired editor of Consumer Reports.
Treasurer Parker Spurry grew up in Talbot County and now lives in Easton with her husband Joe. Their two grown children are Eliza Spurry, 21—who is studying elementary education and will be returning to her Talbot County Public Schools alma mater as a teacher, and U.S. Marine Corps Second Lieutenant Marine Officer Stewart Spurry, 23—a Virginia Military Institute graduate currently enrolled in The Infantry Officers Course at The Basic School in Quantico, Va.
Spurry studied psychology at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Va., before beginning her 35-year banking career with Shore Bank in Accomack County, Virginia. She then worked for Maryland National Bank in St. Michaels before joining Talbot Bank as Assistant Vice President, St. Michaels Branch Manager. Spurry is serving in her 26th consecutive year in the position, with the bank now Shore United Bank.
Her volunteer work focuses on a passion for enhancing education for local elementary school students. Spurry’s volunteer work spans her entire career and includes helping youth through the St. Michaels Community Center, Character Counts, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church’s Nursery School and Preschool, The Country School, St. Michaels Elementary School, St. Michaels Middle High School, Friends of Hospice’s Festival of Trees, Christmas in St. Michaels, and Shore United Bank’s Teach Children to Save program. Spurry also is a member and volunteer with the Talbot Watermen Association and is a past Rotary International member in St. Michaels.
“I am passionate about helping people in need,” said Spurry. “Connecting people in need with the people who can help makes our community stronger, and the Community Center more sustainable. The St. Michaels Community Center is a gathering place for people to have as a safe haven. It’s a non-judgmental, happy place for all to enjoy.”
New board member Chris Agharabi of Easton arrived to the Eastern Shore in 2008 when he and his wife opened Ava’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar in St. Michaels. The restaurant is named after his daughter, Ava, and serves a staple of gourmet pizzas featuring locally produced fresh ingredients, where possible, and a diverse wine and international beer selection.
Agharabi currently owns and operates six restaurants in St. Michaels, Cambridge, and Rehoboth, Del., with ongoing expansion plans. He also has spearheaded local, charitable endeavors including the Maryland Eastern Shore’s Feed the Front Effort during COVID-19, and has been a constant contributor to charities and organizations throughout the communities his businesses serve.
“The St. Michaels Community Center is a great place to bring the community together,” said Agharabi. “Its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop is the first place Ava and her friends want to go when they are in town. In fact, Ava has started her Collection of ceramic chicken bowls from Treasure Cove. I’m eager to help the Center expand and reach its goals while continuing to serve St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred communities.”
Retired Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer was born in Baltimore City in 1945 and moved to Howard County in 1957. He graduated from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, in 1967. Kasemeyer served in the Maryland General Assembly for 32 years, 28 of which were in the State Senate. From 2010 until his retirement at the end of the term in 2018,
Sen. Kasemeyer served as Chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. Sen. Kasemeyer and his wife have since bought a home near St. Michaels and are in the process of becoming full-time residents. He says a lifelong passion for community service and serving those most in need will continue as he becomes more involved in the St. Michaels community.
“I’m honored to be able to serve on the Board of St. Michaels Community Center,” said Sen. Kasemeyer. “I’m excited about seeing how our services and programs help improve the lives of people in need in St. Michaels and throughout the Bay Hundred area.”
Lori Morris is a life-long Marylander, born in Bowie and attending Prince George's County Public Schools before earning Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Morris serves as Chief of Staff to Maryland State Senator Douglas J.J. Peters, 23rd District. She assists Sen. Peters in his role as the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee’s Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair. She advises the Senator on a full range of issues, represents him in the community, and coordinates all facets of the Senate office’s work. Morris also served as Senate Veterans Caucus and Prince George’s County Senate Delegation staff through her work with Sen. Peters, which began when he served as a County Council member with a focus on education issues.
Morris is a respected community leader, serving on the Board of the Prince George’s Community College Foundation, and as past Board Chair of Prince George's Community College. Under her leadership, PGCC selected Charlene Dukes as the first female President in the college’s history.
Morris and her husband, Mark Pelavin, moved to St. Michaels in 2020 and have two adult children. Morris says she looks forward to developing strong opinions about where to get the best crabs, French fries, and margaritas in the area.
“I’m honored to help the St. Michaels Community Center prepare for the future while serving the needs of our community today,” said Morris. “I’m grateful to be of service to such a vital anchor organization for St. Michaels and the entire Bay Hundred area.”
St. Michaels Police Chief Anthony Smith of Tilghman is returning for his second term on the St. Michaels Community Center Advisory Board. Smith is a committed officer with 40 years of experience serving with the Maryland State Police and the St. Michaels Police Department. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University and his Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs in College Park. He previously served for six-years on SMCC’s Board.
“The St. Michaels Community Center is our most important partner,” said Smith. “Community policing is 90% of what a police department should perform, and the Community Center helps improve our community policing program through their involvement and many invaluable resources.”
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with program and building improvement plans dependent on grants and private donations. Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.
(ST MICHAELS, MD -- July 5, 2021) The St. Michaels Community Center’s Advisory Board has announced Patrick Rofe will become the nonprofit’s fourth Executive Director in its more than 30-year history.
Rofe will begin in mid-August after he and his wife Simone move cross-country from Olympia, Wash., where he has served the past three years as Executive Director of a local land trust.
SMCC’s Executive Director Emerita Trish Payne announced her retirement in late 2020, and has continued serving as Interim Executive Director while the Advisory Board conducted its executive search.
“Patrick is an outstanding choice to lead our Community Center in strengthening and expanding our community service,” said SMCC Advisory Board President Langley Shook. “We also want to recognize and thank Trish for her dedication and service as our longtime Executive Director and her staying on to help with this transition.”
Rofe’s career in executive leadership and development spans more than 16 years. His experience includes working at large and small nonprofit organizations with a focus on strategic planning, financial management, event planning, program development, process improvement, and development. When he’s not at work, you might spot Patrick birding, hiking, kayaking, or fly-fishing throughout the Eastern Shore.
“We moved from Salisbury to the Pacific Northwest, but the Eastern Shore kept calling us back,” says Rofe.”The Eastern Shore is where Simone and I were married, and we’re excited to return and to reconnect with friends and eager to get out and explore Blackwater and Assateague.”
Rofe served as Executive Director of the Furnace Town living history museum in Snow Hill, Md. from 2015 to 2018, with prior service leading nonprofits on the Eastern Shore and Annapolis. He received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and serves on the boards of the Eastern Shore Heritage Council and the Haki Farmers Collective.
“I’m very much looking forward to working collaboratively with the SMCC’s staff, board, and the community,” said Rofe. “I’m eager to create lasting results and deeper connections for people and the Community Center’s work.
“Rofe’s leadership comes at a critical time in the history of SMCC,” said Shook. “We’re planning a major renovation of our building on Railroad Avenue, with our dream to transform our old lumber warehouse into a modern, efficient facility to better serve our community and to become a landmark that better harmonizes with the neighborhood and the historic Union United Methodist Church across the street.”
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community, with program and building improvement plans dependent on grants and private donations.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.
(ST. MICHAELS, MD – June 4, 2021) St. Michaels Community Center Executive Director Emerita Trish Payne received the Comptroller of Maryland’s 2020 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award at a virtual presentation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is Payne’s first time receiving the award.
The annual award recognizes individuals and organizations in each of the 23 counties and Baltimore City who best exemplify former Governor and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer's unparalleled legacy of public service and selflessness, with awardees nominated by their peers.
Payne’s work improving the community, problem-solving, and providing direct aid to vulnerable members of the population during her 13-year tenure as SMCC Executive Director earned her this honor. She has been instrumental in developing strong partnerships with other community organizations and agencies. Her efforts with the Town of St. Michaels, the St. Michaels Police Department, and the St. Michaels Youth and Law Enforcement (S.M.Y.L.E.) program have resulted in inclusive and diverse community outreach and involvement.
Under Payne’s effective intervention and leadership during the pandemic, SMCC pivoted from its normal programs to provide tens of thousands of bags of groceries and takeout and delivery meals to those in need as the County designated Bay Hundred food distribution hub.
“We are extremely grateful for Trish’s leadership and service to the people of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred region,” said SMCC Board President Langley Shook. “Because of Trish’s dedication and hard work, we can continue to provide much-needed services and programs to the people in our community who need them the most. And because of Trish, SMCC is now in great shape to pass the baton to our next leader. We’re excited about what the future holds.”
Payne recently retired and SMCC’s Board of Advisors named her Executive Director Emerita to honor her longstanding role leading the organization. She continues to serve part-time as interim Executive Director while SMCC conducts a search for her successor.
“It has been a sincere honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to serve my neighbors and friends in the Bay Hundred Community,” said Payne. “I am very grateful to have enjoyed the many valuable partnerships with local businesses and other nonprofits that I had the pleasure of working with all these years. Most of all, my most heartfelt appreciation goes out to the incredible family of staff members, volunteers, and supporters who believe in the mission of SMCC. Thanks for the memories.”
The St. Michaels Community Center provides quality activities and services contributing to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the community. SMCC is dedicated to filling the unmet needs of the Bay Hundred and St. Michaels communities by providing supervised programs for the enrichment of children and teens; activities and services for adults and senior citizens; and affordable recreational, social, and educational activities to the entire community.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop, located on Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels, help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services, and community events for people from throughout the Bay Hundred area. More information is at stmichaelscc.org.
St. Michaels Community Center Executive Director Trish Payne has recently announced her retirement to the Board of Advisors, with plans to stay on with the nonprofit through December. The Board will name Payne Executive Director Emerita upon her retirement to honor her longstanding role leading the organization.
“It has been a sincere honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to serve my neighbors and friends in the Bay Hundred Community,” said Payne. “I am very grateful to have enjoyed the many valuable partnerships with local businesses and other non-profits that I had the pleasure of working with all these years. Most of all, my most heartfelt appreciation goes out to the incredible family of staff members and everyone that supported and believed in the mission of SMCC. Thanks for the memories.”
“Helping those in need has always been the mission closest to Trish’s heart. Trish has been instrumental in establishing SMCC as the Maryland Food Bank hub during the COVID pandemic beginning this past March,” said SMCC Board Vice President Carolina Barksdale. “With new administrators for the Food Distribution Program in place, Trish now feels that the program is established and she can move ahead with her long-planned retirement.”
“We are extremely grateful for Trish’s leadership and service to the people of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred region,” said SMCC Board President John Stumpf. “Because of Trish’s dedication and hard work, we can continue to provide much needed services to the people in our community that need it the most. And because of Trish, SMCC is now in great shape to be under the reigns of our next leader. We’re excited about what the future holds.”
Stumpf says the Board has formed a search committee to identify SMCC’s next Executive Director, and that Payne plans to continue volunteering in the community after her retirement.
Payne is a long-time resident of Talbot County and St. Michaels. She came to SMCC in 2007 following a 28-year career in the financial services industry. Trish also has enjoyed a lifetime of experience in the performing arts as an actor, dancer, singer, director, and a professional clown. She has always been involved and active in the community, and continues to thrive on being of service in her hometown and the Bay Hundred area.
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to serve, empower, and connect the community. The Community Center is currently conducting an online needs-assessment survey, with public participation encouraged. The survey is accessible at bit.ly/smccsurvey20.
From the St. Michaels Community Center's Trustees and Executive Committee:
The St. Michaels Community Center, whose mission is to serve, empower, and connect our community, is committed to combating discrimination and racism through its actions, partnerships and programs. We stand with St. Michaels Town and its Police Department in condemning the senseless killing of George Floyd, whose death was a stark symbol of how much more work we all have to do to achieve a just society.
The Center’s programs of food distribution, neighborhood engagement, family activities, and more, aim to bring our neighbors together and reduce inequality. Our partnership with the police department’s SMYLE program helps introduce youths to community law enforcement. And our work with churches in the Bay Hundred area tries to foster greater understanding.
As the Center begins to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, SMCC renews its pledge to be the expression of the heart of the community.
The St. Michaels Community Center has recently earned a GuideStar 2019 Gold Seal of Transparency by adding information about its goals, strategies, capabilities, and vision to the nonprofit’s profile.
GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations, and provides transparency standards for nonprofits so that potential donors and funders can make educated decisions about the work they support.
“Now, our community members as well as 10+ million GuideStar users can find in-depth information about the impact St. Michaels Community Center has made for the children and adults we serve,” said SMCC Executive Director Trish Payne. “This Seal of Transparency helps us shine a spotlight on the big differences we help make in our community.”
The St. Michaels Community Center’s mission is to promote and provide quality activities and services that will contribute to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the community.
Donations to SMCC and proceeds from the Treasure Cove Thrift Shop in St. Michaels, Md. help the nonprofit provide year-round programs, services and community events for people from throughout the Bay Hundred area, with more at stmichaelscc.org. More about GuideStar is at guidestar.org.
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