Who We Are

Takoma Foundation Board of Directors

The Takoma Foundation is guided by an all-volunteer working board made up of members of our community. All of our fundraising, grantmaking, communications, programs and activities are managed by board members and other community volunteers. The Foundation has no paid staff. 

(Updated April 2017)

Introducing our Newest Board Member, elected in April 2017:

  • Benjamin Frey has more than 20 years of experience as a public sector and philanthropy professional. He lives in Takoma Park Maryland with his wife and two daughters. Since his initial experience as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer, he is proud to have served an interesting variety of effective and mission driven nonprofits, foundations and government agencies and has developed a broad range of experience in program development and training, grants management, communications, and program monitoring and evaluation. After nearly four years in Africa, he and his family were thrilled to return "home" to Takoma Park in July 2016. He enjoys coffee, movies, libraries, playing the guitar and watching college basketball. He is excited to join the Takoma Foundation and is convinced that recent events will make the Foundation's activities and grantees an even more crucial resource for raising awareness and building community in the greater Takoma area.

  • Shruti Bhatnagar (President). Shruti is a recipient of the Azalea Award (2014) and has been actively involved in the Takoma Park community since 2008. Her 20+ years of work experience includes working in non-profit, corporate & community organizations. In her various leadership positions on the PTA board of Maryland State, Montgomery County and Takoma Park schools, she successfully led several initiatives including fundraising, membership & outreach, communication, and board development. She also advocated for the needs at the 13 Blair HS Cluster schools, led initiatives to build understanding of the needs within the Blair community and promoted programs to support student success.

    She continues to make a positive contribution to the Takoma Park community through her involvement in various initiatives. She Chairs the Takoma Park Welcoming Committee for Syrian Families that was formed as a result of a resolution passed by the TP City Council in November 2015. She also serves on the board of other organizations.

  • Howard Kohn (Vice President).Howard is a freelance writer and a political consultant. He has been involved with the Foundation for 10 years and participates in several civic groups. He and his wife Diana, another activist, have lived in Takoma Park since 1982. Their three children are grown.

  • Scott Ward (Treasurer). Scott moved to Takoma Park from Adams Morgan in 2000. He is owner of the independent full-service publc relations firm Fifth Estate Communications. Scott's volunteer activities include working with Cub Scout Pack 33 and the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church. He has also coached youth soccer and basesball, and serves as volunteer Webmaster for a number of organizations, including the Takoma Foundation. Scott and his wife, Elizabeth Hedstrom, are parents of gradeschoolers Caroline, Nicholas and Henry.

  • Cindy Dyballa is a long-time Takoma Park resident, active in community affairs, and currently on the Foundation grants committee. She is co-chair of the City's Committee on the Environment, former vice-chair of the Recreation Committee, and one of the key organizers of the McLaughlin woods fundraising effort. Her professional background is environmental, specifically water resources. A long time federal employee, she runs her own consulting practice and is familiar with both sides of the grant making process. She is also volunteers with Casa de Maryland and with AFS foreign exchange students.

  • Maureen Feely-Kohl

  • Jared B. Hughes has more than 20 successful years as an innovative fundraiser — first as a self-motivated and organized volunteer and within the last 13, as a visionary and problem-solving professional. Jared possess the proven ability to connect people and their passions in support of challenging fundraising goals. He has raised more than $14 million to date representing hundreds of closed deals and thousands of donors who began or increased their giving.  Jared connects people with their passions as they support their favorite charities. These skills have helped him to grow revenue at some of the nation’s top non-profit organizations. In 2005, he received The President’s Call to Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from The White House. Expanding End-of-life Options to include Medical Aid in Dying and Improving end of life care for all Americans have been personal passions of Jared’s for many years.  Jared lives in the historic district of Takoma Park with his wife and daughter.

  • Patti Mallin. Patti moved to Takoma Park in 1997 and immediately began volunteering for the Friends of the Takoma Park Library.  She ran the highly successful  twice-yearly book sales for several years until her daughter started school, at which point volunteer time was spent in the classroom or media center at the elementary school. During Camden’s girl scout years, Patti was the troop’s “Cookie Mom,” coordinating sales of over a thousand boxes of thin mints and such each year.  Patti has also been involved with her daughter’s soccer, basketball and softball teams all along the way. Patti and Camden, now an 8th grader at TPMS, live on “Little Eastern” where Camden attempts to corner the market on dog-walking and pet-sitting and Patti spends too much time on homework patrol.

  • Kathy Porter