Our Board

South River Watershed Advisory Committee

Chair: Paul Kaladas

If you would like to join the advisory committee, please send an email to [email protected]

West/Rhode Watershed Advisory Committee

Chair: John Flood

If you would like to join the advisory committee, please send an email to [email protected]

Board Biographies

Robert (Bob) G. Ottenhoff (Chair)

Robert G. Ottenhoff is a veteran leader and expert in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and media. He was the founder and served as the inaugural General Manager of WBGO-FM from 1977 to 1987 and Acting President from 2020-2021.  He took a brief leave of absence while at WBGO-FM to act as Senior Vice President for Representation at National Public Radio (NPR).

After leaving WBGO, he was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority, which operated four public television stations and a statewide radio network. He was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1992 to 2000. While at PBS he also served as Acting President and Acting Senior Vice President of Programming for nearly one year.

He served as inaugural president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) based in Washington D.C from 2002 until 2020. CDP works with foundations, corporations, and individuals and seeks to transform how donors think about, respond and contribute to natural disasters.  Prior to joining CDP, he spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. He holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and was awarded a B.A. from Calvin College in Michigan.

Cate Bower (Vice Chair)

Cate spent her career working with not-for-profit organizations, with a special focus on strategy development and governance systems and processes. She co-founded Cygnet Strategy LLC in 2009, a consultancy working primarily with scientific and medically focused organizations. She was a principal partner with Tecker International LLC of Yardley PA and a senior executive for the Society for Human Resource Management, where she developed and implemented the organization’s ground-breaking and nationally-recognized issues management program, created its communications function, and had responsibility for communications, publications, public relations, marketing, sales, strategic planning and issues management.

An award-winning writer and strategist, she is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives, served on the ASAE Foundation Board of Directors and the ASAE Board, chaired the Strategic Leadership Forum and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Association Leadership. She holds a BA in English from Kent State University and is a graduate and former faculty member of the US Chamber of Commerce’s then six year Institute for Organizational Management.

Since retirement, she has refocused her efforts on supporting environmental and community issues. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Director’s Circle of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater and continues to serve as a docent at SERC. She represented Deale, Shady Side, Churchton, West River and Galesville on Anne Arundel County’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, helping to create the 2040 General Development Plan. An avid gardener and former sailor, she and her husband, Ray Proulx, a retired travel and tourism executive, live on John’s Creek off the West River along with their rescue labradoodle Coco.

V.K. Holtzendorf (Secretary) 

V.K. Holtzendorf spent 22 years in the technology business, retiring from HP in 2005. Most of my carrier was in the advanced research, life sciences industry focusing on super-computing for Department of Energy, Office of Science and life sciences projects including sequencing of the human genome with Celera Genomics.

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, she graduated from the University of Memphis with degrees in Economics. She relocated to the Annapolis area in 1990 and fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay. She became an active sailboat racer for many years and in 2001 bought a historic farm in southern Anne Arundel County.

V.K. previously served on the West/Rhode Riverkeeper Board, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) Advisory Board, the South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development (SACReD), Historic London Town and Gardens Board, Maryland Organic Food and Farm Association, and the Anne Arundel Agriculture Advisory Committee. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Anne Arundel program.

In 2008 she and her husband founded West River Cruises, with the P/V RICHARD LEE, 110-passenger tour boat serving the South, West, and Rhode Rivers and Herring Bay. Their mission was to get citizens and children out on the rivers to create more advocates for the Bay. They offered educational programs, sunset cruises, and charter events and worked closely with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and their outreach programs. They still manage a small farm and share it with locally famous donkeys and farm dogs. They both have 100-ton Merchant Mariner Masters Licenses and Private Pilot Licenses and enjoy experiencing the Bay from land, water and air.

John Wyss (Treasurer)

John Wyss graduated with a BS degree in physics from Stanford University and a JD degree from Yale Law School. He has practiced law in Washington. DC for many years, first with Kirkland & Ellis and, since 1983, with Wiley Rein LLP, representing clients in matters involving patent litigation, antitrust and trade regulation, and general commercial litigation. Prior to joining the Board of Arundel Rivers Federation, he was a Board member and served as Board Chair of the West/Rhode Riverkeeper organization. John and his wife, Joanne Comstock, have a home on the West River near Parrish Creek. In recent years, John has worked with SACReD and the Chesapeake Legal Alliance to prevent environmentally insensitive development in the Critical Area near Deale and Shady Side.

David Brashear

David J. Brashear holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, and a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Technology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. David’s expertise spans across various
technical domains and he holds several technical certifications.

After spending over a decade in various technical roles, David’s passion for innovation and entrepreneurship led him to establish his own business in 2004. As the President and CEO of Altus Technology Solutions, he leads a remarkable team of over 130 employees, offering unparalleled support to the Federal Government in areas of Engineering, Information Technology, and Range Operations & Maintenance services.

Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, David moved to Anne Arundel County in 1999. Since 2020, he has found solace and adventure as an avid boater, cherishing the serenity of the South River where his boat, Brash Legaseas, is docked. David is happily married to Romica Brashear who shares in the joys of life with David along with their two children Donovan and Selah.

Apart from his professional accomplishments, David is a passionate advocate for small businesses, devoting significant time to mentoring entrepreneurs and startup ventures. David has previously served on the board of trustees for the St. Anne’s School of Annapolis and remains actively engaged with the esteemed Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated. David’s unwavering loyalty to his Alma Mater, Morgan State University, is deeply ingrained. He and Romica are prominent supporters, actively involved in alumni affairs, philanthropy, and proudly cheer on the Bears athletics teams.

John Dankowski

John Dankowski is a seasoned business executive offering decades of cross-government and cross-industry experience in both the private and public sectors. He is results-oriented and possesses hands-on expertise in small and large-scale operations, business growth strategies, new business capture, personnel management and mentoring, and strategic facilitation – from inception to implementation – of policy, plans, programs, and operations. Throughout his tenure in multiple, high-profile roles, Mr. Dankowski formed and maintains close relationships with visionaries, experts, and key stakeholders throughout industry and in many U.S. government departments and agencies. John is known for his knack for strategic relationship enablement.

Having spent much of his career in operational National Security leadership positions, Mr. Dankowski was required to coordinate complex interdependent activities across multiple organizations. From authoring policy and managing programs of national scale, to executing day-to-day mission operations, his track record demonstrates prudence in fiscal responsibility, mastery in promoting collaborative behaviors, and respect as a trusted mentor and colleague. Mr. Dankowski’s U.S. Federal Government service culminated in his serving as Special Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of White House Operations.

John resides with his son Silas, son’s partner Dillon, and 100 lb Weimaraner named Bentley just off Broad Creek on the South River. John is an avid boater and has enjoyed and valued our beautiful rivers and bay for decades. His current vessel “Ol’ Bae” is docked near Herring Bay at the Herrington Harbour South Marina.

John Flood (West and Rhode River Advisory Committee Chair)

John grew up on the shores of the South River, like his father, grandfather and several generations before him did. However, when he was growing up, the underwater grasses, crabs, rockfish, and ducks started to disappear. He is president of Flood Brothers Marine Consultants, Inc. In his early career he built bulkheads and piers. However, he was one of the early adopters of living shoreline approach that replaces wooden or stone walls with marsh grass and rock weirs. He also is considered the grandfather of citizen oyster gardening and created “Flood buckets” to raise oysters by hanging them off piers. He has also been a strong and loud advocate for restoring the Bay. He has been awarded the Ellen Fraites Wagner Conservationist Award and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Conservationist Award. He founded Arundel Rivers Federation (originally called South River Federation) in the late 90’s. He has been a staunch ally of the Federation ever since.

Christopher (Chris) A. Graae

Chris started his career after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975, later becoming a co-founding principal of Cox Graae + Spack Architects in 1981 in Georgetown and retiring after 43 years of practice in 2018. In addition to his management role as president of the 30-person firm – which has won over 90 regional and national design awards – he led the design effort for many of the firm’s major public and private sector institutional, educational and religious commissions. These included the World Bank Headquarters, major buildings on the campuses of George Washington and Georgetown Universities, several DC public high schools, churches and synagogues – culminating in the last five years of his career dedicated to the $162m modernization of the National Landmarked Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC. In the mid 1990’s Chris qualified to become a credentialed practitioner of U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program and virtually all of his projects in the last 25 years were awarded LEED Silver or Gold Sustainable Design Awards.

In 2014 Chris joined the 3% of his colleagues elevated to membership in the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for his contributions to the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession. He has served on many boards of directors over the years including the DC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Abramson Scholarship Foundation and the Georgetown Business Improvement District.

Chris and his retired architect wife, Mary Kfoury, spent 35 years in DC raising their two children and pursuing their careers, finally moving to the Annapolis area in 2009 to renovate the old farmhouse in Loch Haven, treasuring every day living on their South River location. In these past 12 years Chris has been able to focus more on the needs of his community around Annapolis, including: supporting and volunteering for oyster and shoreline restoration projects with the South River and now Arundel Rivers Federation. Chris and Mary are avid sailors, gardeners and beekeepers, and raise oyster spat, osprey and purple martins.

Randez Hadden

Randez Hadden spent his career in federal law enforcement. He served as a Special Agent for the FBI for 25 years, having retired in 2012. While at the FBI, Randez was assigned to several field divisions and specialized in investigating white collar crime and counter-terrorism. During his tenure, he ascended to executive management; serving as the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the North Carolina field office. Randez is currently an Investigator for a component of the Department of Defense, where he investigates contract fraud and corruption specific to funding designated for Afghanistan.
Randez is a summa cum laude graduate from NC Agricultural & Technical University, having received a BS in Industrial Technology. Randez is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys kayaking, fishing and hiking. He also is an accomplished long distance cyclist and runner, having completed six marathons including the 2023 NY Marathon. Randez and his wife, Robin have resided in the Columbia Beach community of Shady Side MD since 2013 and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Chesapeake Bay. Randez and Robin are
staunch advocates for the protection, preservation and restoration of our green spaces and

Melanie Hartwig-Davis

Melanie Hartwig-Davis, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C is the Principal and Owner of HD Squared Architects, LLC in downtown Annapolis.  Her architectural practice focuses on resilient, sustainable design including historic preservation that emphasizes the importance of the built
environment’s relationship and impact on the natural environment.

Mrs. Hartwig-Davis serves as vice chair of the Anne Arundel County Planning Advisory Board (PAB) where she contributes her expertise at a county planning level after having served as the at-large environmental representative of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee during AACo’s
creation of the General Development Plan – Plan2040. A long-time board member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters (MDLCVc4), Melanie’s policy expertise will serve Arundel Rivers well as the organization expands its impact not only in AACo but across the

Melanie and her husband, Lance, live in the South River watershed, where their Bay Scaped property is a testament to their passion for helping clean our waterways and provide habitat for our local wildlife.

Paul M. Kaladas (South River Advisory Committee Chair)

Paul holds BS and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from Rutgers University. At the end of 2015, Paul retired from MedImmune, an Astra Zeneca company, as Director of Biopharmaceutical Development. During his 35-year career in the biopharmaceutical industry, he held a variety of scientific and management leadership roles at both small biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. Paul and his wife Norma moved from New Jersey to Maryland in 2011 and to the Annapolis Neck peninsula in 2013. Paul is an Arundel County Watershed Steward, a Clean Water Captain volunteer at CBF and volunteers as an oral history interviewer and editor for the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Paul is an avid sailboat racer and cruiser and enjoys cycling and kayaking.

Dr. Howard Kea

Howard Kea currently serves as the Program Manager for NASA Agency Organizational Development Program. Dr. Kea previously served as a Human Resource Business Partner Supervisor and Executive Coach in the NASA Human Resource Office. Prior to that Dr. Kea was a Systems Engineer Supervisor for NASA Satellite Operations.

Dr. Kea blends his engineering background and behavioral science expertise to provide HR consulting services to help customers meet their mission goals and objectives. He has coached engineers, scientists and managers to overcome roadblocks to become more effective as leaders and team members.
Dr. Kea as also been involved in consulting with organizations across the Agency in helping leaders lead change and improve in performance and organizational effectiveness. He has several certifications that include executive coaching, change management and organizational behavioral analysis.
Previously Dr. Kea worked as an Associate Branch Chief in the Software Engineering
Division, Systems Integration and Engineering Branch at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
He also worked 7 years in DoD with the U.S. Army Materiel Command and Naval Sea Systems
Command. Dr. Kea’s community service includes past president of the GWU Engineering Alumni
Association, past Commodore of the Universal Sailing Club, past president of the Columbia Beach Citizens Improvement Association and currently Adult Leader with Sea Scout Ship 1959 based in Annapolis. Dr. Kea is also a martial arts instructor and owns and operates DC Metro Soo Bahk Do Martial Arts Academy, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit.
Dr. Kea has a BS in Engineering and Technology from the University of Akron, Master in Engineering Management from George Washington University and a PhD in Leadership and Organizational Change from Antioch University. He lives with his wife, Nicola (Dr. Nikki) Smith-Kea and their son Tyler in the Historic Columbia Beach Community in Shady Side, MD.

Mike Krissoff (Cap’n Mike)

Born in Washington DC, Mike Krissoff grew up on the waters of Anne Arundel County, starting with his own 12- foot wooden rowboat at the age of 7 in Shady Side, now cruising with a custom-built 46′ Chesapeake Bay deadrise berthed on Little Aberdeen Creek on the South River. Along the way were Lasers, Hobie Cats, a variety of one-design racing sailboats and log canoes, and countless days of race committee work with the Eastport and Annapolis Yacht Clubs.

Named South River Federation’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Cap’n Mike, a 50-Ton US Coast Guard Master, a past commodore and 35-year member of Eastport Yacht Club, and a 25-year member of AYC, has hosted hundreds of days on the water for volunteer and non-profit organizations for fundraising and appreciation activities, kayaking, stand-up paddling, biking and fishing friends, even a for wedding guests.

Now retired from a 40-year career in non-profit trade association management, Cap’n Mike enjoys sharing his knowledge of the Chesapeake’s history and traditions, its charm and beauty, wildlife, and special settings known best only to the locals.

Sherry Schiller

Sherry is the founder and director of the Schiller Center for Connective Change, a nonprofit organization that helps organizational leaders create positive change. In addition to consulting, she has taught at many universities, including the University of Michigan and George Washington University. Her books, Dispelling the Megatrends Myth: A Leader’s Guide to Managing Change, and Hum offer strategies to lead with
greater purpose and harmony.

In 2023, Sherry and her rescue pup Sunny moved to live fulltime in their Galesville cottage. She is an enthusiastic sailor, voracious reader, amateur painter, avid cook, and intrepid traveler. She finds being nestled on a bend of Lerch Creek endlessly fascinating and restorative. Feeling beckoned to become a better environmental steward, she recently replaced lawn with native plants and installed a living shoreline.

Stoney Simons, Jr.

Stoney Simons, Jr. obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University and went on to a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Endocrinology at the Univ. of California, San Francisco.  He then moved to Bethesda, Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the next 40 years, first as a Staff Fellow before becoming the Chief of the Steroid Hormones Section for 30 years in one of the NIH institutes. Upon retiring in 2015, he and his wife moved full time to western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, where they enjoy running, biking, kayaking, hiking, sailing, gardening, tennis, bird watching, sour dough bread baking, French, skiing, and travelling.  He joined the Board of the West River Riverkeeper in 2016. After the merger with the South River Riverkeeper in 2019, he continued on the board of the Arundel Rivers Federation.  He is a volunteer scientist at NASA/Goddard and is the founder and organizer of the Galesville Astrophysical Society.

Gregory Ziegler

Greg holds MS and PhD degrees from the Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science (MEES) program at the University of Maryland (UMD).  The research focus over his 30 -year career at UMD was aquatic toxicology with projects involving fresh, estuarine, and marine waters as well as toxic sediments. Greg has also conducted research on disinfection by-products (DBPs) and ships ballast water treatment systems which has led to long-term positions on several United Nations/International Maritime Organization (IMO) working groups. Recently retired from UMD, Greg currently works as an Ecologist in the Invasion Studies Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) located on the Rhode River where he runs a barnacle and mussel hatchery and studies the life-histories of potentially invasive species.

Get Involved

The Federation is effective because of the people who live,
work and play on the South, West, and Rhode Rivers.