Board of Directors and Staff

Here at Unity Gardens, we are so proud of (and grateful for) our history of having truly amazing, dedicated board members volunteering their time and talents to help us accomplish our mission of improving and strengthening communities across Anne Arundel County through the support of sustainable greening projects.  Our board members bring a variety of personal passions and professional backgrounds to the table, and we invite you to take a few moments to learn more about them below. If you are interested in potentially offering your services as a board member or volunteer, please contact us!

 

Barbara Dowling, Executive Director of Unity Gardens

Barbara Dowling
Executive Director

Barbara moved to Annapolis from Baltimore, Maryland over 30 years ago to teach at Chesapeake Montessori School.  After meeting her husband, Michael, and starting a family, she became a stay at home mom. Barbara sat on the Board of Chesapeake Montessori School, and is a member of both The Garden Club of Old Annapolis Towne and Bay Area Traders Investment Club. She joined the Unity Gardens Board in 2006, and has held various executive volunteer positions. In 2013, Barbara assumed the position of Executive Director of Unity Gardens. As Executive Director she oversees the fall and spring grant cycles, assists in fundraising, and chairs the annual lecture event. Barbara’s passion for gardening keeps her busy most seasons. She enjoys cooking, exercising, and spending time with her family.

 
Meredith Beach, Interim President

Meredith Beach
Interim President

Meredith Beach is a landscape architect with Campion Hruby Landscape Architects in Annapolis, Maryland. Her extensive travels throughout the world bring breadth and depth to her understanding of complex landscape issues. Meredith’s award-winning landscape architecture designs focus on harmonizing the built environment with the natural landscape and plants of the Chesapeake region. She holds degrees in both ornamental horticulture from the University of Delaware and landscape architecture from Penn State University, a Master Watershed Steward, a registered landscape architect in the state of Maryland, and an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She lives in Annapolis, loves to cook, and enjoys exploring nature with her husband and two young children.  Meredith joined the Unity Gardens board in early 2016.

 
John Rodenhausen, Vice President

John Rodenhausen
Vice President

John Rodenhausen has worked on Bay issues in the region as an educator, restoration specialist and fundraiser for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation since 1998.  He lives in Anne Arundel County and enjoys fishing with his family.

 

 

Barbara (Bobbie) Kestenbaum
Secretary

Originally a Texan, I have been a Marylander since 1971. I have been a federal government administrator, Judicial Conference researcher, stay-at-home mother, law student and lawyer, in that order, sailor, and now an Anne Arundelian and rabid gardener and environmental worrier.  I am a Master Gardener, Master Watershed Steward and Horticultural Society member.

 
Pat Logan, Treasurer

Pat Logan
Treasurer

Pat has been a board member of Unity Gardens since 2012, has served as Secretary, and is currently Treasurer of Unity Gardens.  She is a retired government attorney, having enjoyed a 37-year career working for Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland.   Retirement has provided her with the opportunity to pursue her interest in plants and gardens.  She actively gardens at home, completed the University of Maryland Master Gardener program in 2008, and is a member of the Annapolis Horticultural Society. 

 

Donna Usewick
Board Member

Donna is a native Annapolitan, having grown up in the community of Annapolis Roads.  Her mother was on the Garden Club (maybe that’s where she obtained her love of gardening).  After attending Severn School, Lynchburg College and Adelphi University, Donna went on to become a Special Educator in the state of New York.  While there, she attending New York University, where she received a Professional Diploma and permanent certification in Education Administration and Supervision.  She married and came back to Annapolis where she still resides.  She has two children, Danny 22 and Jaimie 26 who are both independent and in careers that they are passionate about.  After being a Special Educator for 20 years, she became an interventionist both academic and behavioral.  This lead her to become an Assistant Principal for 4 years and she just finished her 5th year as a Principal at Oakwood Elementary in Glen Burnie.  Her school received two grants from Unity Gardens for native plants and lead to what is now a beautiful outdoor classroom of which she is most proud and aligns with her school’s award as a National School of Character.

 

Pam Hanna
Board Member

Pam Hanna is a recently retired teacher who has enjoyed gardening with her students for many years. She became acquainted with Unity Gardens during a project at Oakwood Elementary when students combined STEM learning with language arts by designing and creating a sun dial/clock garden with plants that bloomed at specific times of the day.  She looks forward to continued support for gardeners as she begins training in the Master Gardener program in the fall of 2016. Unity Gardens provides many opportunities for her to learn about native planting through interaction with the community of local gardeners.

 

Sally Iliff
Board Member

A retired lawyer, Sally Iliff was educated at Duke University, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland School of Law. She and her husband are longtime Annapolis residents who raised their son and daughter in Annapolis.  After becoming a Master Gardener, Sally’s interest in native plants increased, spurred in part by an interest in attracting more birds, butterflies, insects, and wildlife to her home property and an attempt to control an ongoing assault by invasive plants.  Travel is a strong interest along with a variety of outdoor activities—hiking, kayaking, biking.  She and her husband are long time competitive Masters Swimmers who regularly participate in the Chesapeake Bay swim and other open water swims.

 

Lucy Goszkoswki
Board Member

Lucy Goszkowski has lived and worked in Annapolis since moving here with her family from the Chicago area in 1985. She is employed as a health inspector at the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, in the Bureau of Environmental Health. She is an avid gardener, and is a member and former president of the Annapolis Horticulture Society. Lucy has volunteered with several local organizations, including the Friends of Quiet Waters Park, Historic London Town, the Hammond-Harwood House, and the Anne Arundel SPCA.

 

Julie Dieguez
President Emeritus

Julie is Founder & Principal of The Wild Child, LLC, providing consulting and design services to help organizations create affordable, imaginative nature play & learning areas and outdoor classrooms. Julie led schoolyard habitat programs with Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center and The Chesapeake Bay Foundation before joining the Maryland Assoc. for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) & the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as a Schoolyard Habitat Specialist. She has served on the boards of MAEOE and the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, and spent several years as Coordinator of the Maryland No Child Left Inside Coalition: 250+ organizations that played a key role in supporting the passage of the first environmental literacy graduation requirement in the nation. In addition to her Wild Child work, Julie serves on the Maryland Children in Nature Partnership’s Nature Play Task Force and is developing an online schoolyard habitat project instructional guide for the Mid-Atlantic region. Most importantly she is being raised by her own “wild child” and rescue pups!

 

Sarah Robertson
President Emeritus

Sarah was first introduced to Unity Gardens as a grantee in her efforts to obtain Green School certification for her children’s school.  She loved the Unity Garden mission to bring everyone in our neck of the woods together through a love of nature and gardening so much that she joined the team; and spent many happy years doing her best to deepen Anne Arundel’s roots. Hailing from Ireland, Sarah is the product of avid gardeners on both sides of her family.  As a child, Sarah split her time between helping out in the garden, making forts in the bracken (pteridium aquilinum) heathland beside her house or out sailing on the water.  So it is no surprise that she found a successful career as an environmental consultant, ultimately founding her own practice. Once her children arrived on the scene Sarah transitioned to a teaching career with a steely determination to instill in each child a sense of respect for nature and humankind through a passion for science. Sadly her home country pulled at Sarah’s heartstrings, and she and her family moved back to Ireland. She has a lovely home by the sea with three-quarters of an acre of nothing but lawn! She is giddily overwhelmed with the potential 🙂

 

Catherine Shultz
President Emeritus

Cathy Shultz had a 30+ year career in the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.  Among other assignments, she was the principal counsel for the Department of Human Resources, the state agency responsible for child welfare and public assistance, and principal counsel for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  She also had the opportunity to work on criminal justice, migrant worker rights, and voting rights issues.  Before retiring, she was the Acting Secretary of Higher Education.  

 

 

Were you a Unity Gardens board member and your name is not listed here?
Please feel free to contact us with your bio and picture!