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Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism

Purpose of the Commission

The Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism was created and appointed by the Governor in 1994 to review and approve all AmeriCorps State funding in Maryland and to serve as a body of ambassadors for service and volunteerism in local communities. With the Governor’s approval, the Commission may apply to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that manages AmeriCorps, and other public and private sources for additional funding. Under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, Governor-appointed service commissions are required to oversee each state’s AmeriCorps activities and resources. The Act also requires each state to develop, update, and implement a three-year strategic plan for service which sets funding and program priorities for allocation of AmeriCorps funds and promotes volunteerism and community service broadly. Learn about the Commission’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.

Upcoming Meetings

March 3, 2020

Meeting Agenda

100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
May 13, 2020 Howard County Library System, Elkridge Branch

6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
October 6, 2020
New Hope Lutheran Church

8575 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
December 3, 2020 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Who are the Commissioners?

The Commission consists of a representative of the State Superintendent of Schools and members appointed by the Governor to three-year terms.

In addition, the Governor may appoint community members with significant experience and knowledge of issues related to service and volunteerism.

Executive Committee

Erin Lewis, Chair, is owner and risk advisor at one of the fastest growing personal lines insurance agencies in the country – Goosehead Insurance.  She and her team help Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Delaware families protect their dreams (new home, vehicle, business) by utilizing sophisticated technology, the power of choice, concierge customer service, and expertise to provide the right insurance coverage at a fair price. She is Founder of The Dream Queen Association & Foundation – an organization dedicated to creating a world where all women and girls have the knowledge and support they need to step into positions of leadership and bring their whole selves to impacting the world, making it a more positive, peaceful, and joyful place to live.


William (Bill) Mandicott, Vice-Chair, currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student and Community Involvement with Frostburg State University and brings over forty years of professional experience in higher education administration with an emphasis in civic engagement, community and leadership development, volunteer outreach, service learning and the arts. In particular Bill has been engaged with national service programs at FSU since their launch in 1994.


Siobhan Davenport, Secretary, is the executive director of Rocksprings Foundation, which supports youth programs and community-changing ideas. Rocksprings Foundation is also a supporter of the Aspen Institute.



Sadiq Ali believes that “when adults run out of answers, they start blaming children.” Sadiq currently serves as Executive Director of Maryland MENTOR, Maryland’s statewide affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, whose mission is to increase the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships and to close the mentoring gap while centering youth voice and race equity. As a passionate and dedicated youth advocate, Sadiq has spent the last 15 years working with young men of color in a variety of settings, including workforce development, school and community-based programs and in juvenile justice, where he developed a number of culturally relevant curricula and leadership development programs.

Locally, Sadiq sits on a number of boards and advisory groups including My Brother’s Keeper Baltimore (local chapter of Obama Foundation’s MBK Alliance), the Baltimore City Children and Youth Cabinet, the Youth Leadership & Advocacy Network Committee, Baltimore’s Campaign For Grade-Level Reading and the Maryland Out of School Time Network Board. Sadiq is also a 3x author, frequent keynote presenter and facilitator, trained mediator, and Results Based Accountability practitioner. He is a graduate of the HBCU, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland Global Campus; he resides in Baltimore, MD with his wife and children.

Julie Ayers, ex-officio, service-learning specialist for the Maryland Department of Education, oversees Maryland’s ground-breaking service-learning graduation requirement. She draws on her experience teaching in higher education settings and working in an anti-hunger nonprofit organization, and is able to provide support for issues she believes are critical for creating healthy communities. She is the designee on the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism for the State Superintendent of Schools.

Henry Coppola is a Volunteer Services & Community Partnerships Coordinator with M-NCPPC, Montgomery County Department of Parks where he runs the Park & Stream Cleanup Program and focuses on water quality-related engagement. Henry has a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and has been working with volunteers and doing environmental management work with a community-based perspective for over 15 years.

Krista Gilmore works for Cecil County Department of Community Services and serves as the volunteer and community resource coordinator.

Bruce Goldensohn is a retired non-technical systems engineer for management at TASC Inc. He has served the Montgomery County region in various capacities, including as former mayor of Gaithersburg and co-chair of the Committee Evaluation Review Board for the county executive of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Candyce Harris is an Air Force veteran and a Management and Program Analyst for the United States Department of Agriculture.  She has also served as the Director of Development for non-profit organizations with an emphasis in fund raising, marketing/media, and volunteer management.  Her commitment to volunteerism spans over 20 years where she served in many capacities that ranged from board memberships that addressed the needs of disadvantaged populations, to advocating for financial literacy and food deficiency, to delivering meals and running errands for sick, elder and hospice patients to name a few.

Molly Hilligoss

Molly Hilligoss has been leading Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County as its Executive Director since 2015.  In that time, 16 families have been served with affordable home ownership and she expanded the Roof & Repair program to include Aging in Place initiatives. She has built the agencies capacity to serve more low-income families by partnering with the Social Work Department and AmeriCorps programs at Salisbury University adding five new jobs at the agency. With her marketing background, she revamped the advertising of the ReStore Thrift shop to help grow sales to over $424,000 a year, a key driving force in the funding of Wicomico Habitat’s construction program. She is skilled at grant management with the largest award recently accepted of $244,000 by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention in 2020.

She earned her Bachelors degree from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.

Her past non-profit work included board and leadership appointments with Furnace Town, and the Worcester County Tourism Board. She serves as the President for Soroptimist International of Salisbury (2020-2021) and Treasurer for the Wicomico Rotary Club (2020-2021). In her free time, she likes to cook, garden, read, paint landscapes, and play with her dogs. Collectively, she and her husband have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.

Christopher Lidard (Chris) is a 12th grade student at Centennial High School in Howard County and is active in a wide variety of youth-accessible service activities. Chris is a regular volunteer and a social media assistant with the Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), an organization that has coordinated local leaders and organizations to facilitate a targeted and collaborative community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris is also an active volunteer with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, where he has worked with their Young Adults in Church service youth group, a mission trip with Habitat for Humanity, and is a delivery coordinator for their Casserole Ministry to local shelters. Chris is an active member and senior leader in the Howard County Association of Student Councils, Centennial National Honor Society, and Centennial Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and he is a proud Eagle Scout of Boy Scout Troop 944.


Kelly MacBride-Gill works for the University of Maryland Extension and serves as the program coordinator for the Watershed Stewards Academy. Kelly started her career serving in AmeriCorps and has continued to work with volunteers in the environmental field.

William J. McCarthy, Jr. has been the executive director of Catholic Charities of Baltimore since August 2009. He serves as chairman of the board at Loyola Blakefield, as well as on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, SunTrust Bank Maryland, The Thomas O’Neill Catholic Health Care Fund, Board of Financial Administration of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the Maryland Catholic Conference.

R. Matthew McKinney currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and White House Liaison with the Peace Corps. In addition to political campaigns at the state and federal levels, he has held staff positions with two Members of Congress, and served as Special Assistant to the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Interior. He has worked on several different campaigns in Maryland, and has also worked as Campaign Manager for Florida Congressman, Cliff Stearns.

Matt served as the Regional Director for the Hogan for Governor Campaign in Montgomery County, Maryland. Once Hogan was elected Governor, Matt took on the role as Special Assistant to the Governor in the Appointment’s Office.
Originally from Alabama, he now resides in Annapolis. Matt holds a Bachelors of Political Science from Samford University.

Lt. John P. Neary serves as fire lieutenant for the Frederick County Department of Fire Rescue Services. He is also the president of the Career Fire Fighters Association of Frederick County, IAFF Local 3666. Additionally, Mr. Neary serves as a soccer coach for the Middletown Valley Athletic Association.

John Palinski is a philanthropy officer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore focused on the university’s inclusive community engagement work in West Baltimore. Having spent most of his career in youth development, John previously served as executive director of Seeds 4 Success and BEST Kids and as DC Director of Youth Service Opportunities Project.  He is an AmeriCorps Alumnus (Public Allies Chicago, ‘03) and strongly committed to expanding national service and volunteer opportunities throughout Maryland. He resides in Annapolis with his wife, Anne-Marie, and newborn son, Nick.

Joshua Pedersen has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit industry for more than 24 years.  He led the implementation of the 211 service throughout Utah, has served as Director of Services for the Utah Food Bank, as Vice President of United Way of Northern Utah, CEO of United Way of Frederick County, Maryland and as President & CEO of 211 Maryland.   Today Joshua works as the 211 Director of Network Operations & Performance for United Way Worldwide. Joshua has a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Weber State University.

Samélia Okpodu-Pyuzza is the Executive Project Manager at Chesapeake Church Ministries, where she manages projects for the CEO of End Hunger in Calvert County, Inc, a premier charity in Southern Maryland, and serves as the Director of Women’s Empowerment for Honduras Compassion Partner’s, Inc. As a former biomedical researcher, Samélia uses her passion for research and program development to affect lasting change for the advancement of women globally. She is an AmeriCorps Alumnus (Volunteer Maryland, ’17) and currently serves as a member of the Volunteer Maryland Alumni Committee.

Arundhati (Aru) Rao is an Associate Professor of Accounting at Towson University.  She grew up in Mumbai, India where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Commerce; she earned her Ph.D. from University of Cincinnati.  She has been recognized for over 25 years of service that has impacted the lives of her students at public and private universities with the KPMG Mentoring Award.   She also owns and operates a small tax practice that caters to the low-income residents in Harford County.  She volunteered for the first time while in high school with the Rotary Club in Mumbai, India, and has continued to seek out opportunities at various organizations.  Recently she served as the VITA site coordinator for the CASH Campaign in Harford County for three years and serves as a Training Officer for the USNSCC, a Naval Youth program in Baltimore, MD.

Juan Leo Salazar

Casey Schurman, is a teacher at Bollman Bridge Elementary school. She serves as board member for Pathways, is the Chair of the Oriole Advocate’s fundraising committee, and volunteers for the Ravens Punt, Pass, Kick program.

David Slaughter (Dave) is the President of the M. Luis Construction and M. Luis Products Companies headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.  M Luis is the only woman and minority-owned Construction Services and Asphalt Manufacturing business in the United States.  In addition to his duties at M. Luis, Dave is currently Chairman of the board of directors for The American Red Cross of Central Maryland.  Dave serves on the board executive committee for the Maryland Asphalt Association and served on the executive committee of Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association and was President of the board of directors for the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association.

Carol Ann Smith is an Assistant Attorney General beginning her 30th year of legal practice in Maryland in the field of Child Welfare and Human Services. Since July 1999, Ms. Smith has served as counsel to the Department of Human Services (DHS). She represents DHS in civil actions against the State of Maryland in State and Federal court, as well as at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Assistant AG Smith provides advice and counsel specifically to the Social Services Administration within DHR on matters relating to child protective services, foster care, juvenile court proceedings and policies related to families and children served by the twenty four Maryland department’s of social services. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Smith was counsel to the Baltimore City Department of Social Services’ Legal Services’ Intake Unit for two years. Prior to that she worked for nine years at Maryland Legal Aid both in the Baltimore City Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) Unit and Legal Aid’s Howard County general practice office representing low income clients. Ms. Smith has served on numerous committees related to child welfare and has helped shape Maryland’s system for serving vulnerable populations.         

Adjunct Professor Carol Ann Smith is in her third year teaching Criminal Law & Procedure and Introduction to Legal Studies at The University of Maryland University College.

Betsy Southall, ex officio, is the State program director of the Maryland and Delaware State Office of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Jack Spaulding is executive director of strategic planning at Planit. He is an expert in helping nonprofits, such as St. Vincent de Paul and Healthcare for the Homeless, develop brand identity.

Renée M. Winsky  is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Leadership Maryland, a non-profit professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of the leaders throughout the state’s businesses and communities. Her current volunteer service includes leadership roles with the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, Maryland Commission on Service and Volunteerism, Maryland Innovation Initiative Funding Authority, Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Funding Authorities, Maryland Economic Development Association, and The Maryland School for the Blind. She also founded her own small business.

Corae Young is the assistant director of Lifestyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc. She serves on the Charles County Commission for Women and the Southern Maryland Regional Homeless Board. Additionally, she is a youth ministry leader and marketing coordinator at Free Gospel Church of Bryans Road.

Governor’s Staff

Steven McAdams, ex officio, is the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.