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 and nominee of Montgomery County Council of PTA’s President of the year award. She has served on the board of local, MoCoCouncil PTA and MD State PTA to support and advocate for issues that impact education, children and communities. She has successfully led initiatives on fundraising, membership, communication, school & family partnerships, community engagement & partnerships, diversity inclusion, leadership training and board development. She has also supported initiatives on un-accompanied minors from Central America, Youth Substance Drug Abuse and other community oriented projects. As the Blair cluster coordinator for three years she advocated for the needs at the 13 schools of Blair HS Cluster that also helped built connections and understand needs within the Blair community. Her connection to Takoma Park Community is particularly strong through active involvement since 2008 with several initiatives at Takoma Park schools and community activities. Shruti has several years of work experience in management positions at private, public sector organizations. She also serves on the board of other organizations and is the PTA President of Takoma Park Middle School where both her children are students.

  • Maureen Feely-Kohl

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Vineda Myers. Vineda is an Azalea Award winner, a proud Takoma Park resident of 14 years, and an experienced community organizer with over 17 years of experience in customer service, logistics, management, and outreach. In addition to her work as the Director of Housing Programs for CHEER, she is an active volunteer in her community, a COLTA Commissioner for the City of Takoma Park, and the Tenant Association President of her tenant community. Prior to her work with CHEER, she was a stay at home mother of two while serving her community as a two term PTA President, teaching an ESOL class as well as participating in the Piney Branch Action Team with IMPACT Silver Spring, and various other activities that positively impacted the lives of the Takoma Park youth, and the community as a whole.

  • Kathy Porter

  • Cindy Dyballa

  • Jared B. Hughes (Secretary).

  • 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.