Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Board of Directors Biographies

Eric L. Siegel
Board Chair; Chair, Executive Committee; Chair, Advocacy Committee
Executive Vice President/Legal Counsel/LEED, AP
Cohen Siegel Companies

Eric L. Siegel, a principal at the real estate development firm Cohen Siegel Investors and a former civil rights attorney, is responsible for financing acquisition and development opportunities and overseeing the firm’s leasing and property management operations. Siegel appears before governmental bodies regarding zoning issues, signage, permitting and urban strategic planning. As a LEED accredited professional, Siegel focuses on sustainability and green initiatives for company projects. He formerly practiced as a civil rights lawyer.

Rose Garvin Aquilino
Grants Committee

Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs
Montgomery College
Rose Garvin Aquilino is the Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs for Montgomery College and former Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the College. Garvin Aquilino has held senior development positions with St. Coletta of Great Washington and the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund and formerly worked for several for-profit, arts-related companies in sales and operations, and as a curator and director of collections for the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation. Garvin Aquilino holds a B.A. in Anthropology and History from the University of Rochester, and a M.A. in Anthropology and Certificate in Museum Studies from New York University.

Marilyn Balcombe
President and CEO
Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce

Marilyn Balcombe is the President of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce; co-chair of the Great Seneca Science Corridor Master Plan Implementation Committee and she serves on the Board of the Germantown Alliance and Asbury Methodist Village. Prior to the Chamber, Balcombe was the Executive Director of BlackRock Center for the Arts and she served as staff at the Upcounty Regional Services Center. Prior to her work in the community, Balcombe was an Organizational Psychologist with the U.S. Department of Energy. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee.

Barry Carty
Finance Committee
Vice President
East Coast Acquisitions, Federal Realty

Barry Carty presently serves as Vice President of East Coast Acquisitions for Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), and is responsible for sourcing and closing FRIT’s shopping center investments in its targeted markets including South Florida and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Formerly a Senior Financial Analyst at FRIT, Carty has been involved in various aspects of financial underwriting, market research, and due diligence for FRIT's acquisition, disposition, and financing efforts. Carty has 22 years of commercial real estate industry experience involving transactions valued at over $3 billion. He received a B.S. Degree in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and is from Miami, Florida.

Erin E. Girard, Esq.
Chair, Audit Committee
Partner 
Linowes and Blocher LLP
Erin E. Girard is a partner in the firm’s Land Use group. She has experience assisting a diverse group of clients, including local, regional and national developers, institutional users, non-profits, and individual and corporate property owners, on a wide range of real estate, land use, zoning, development and administrative issues. These matters have included due diligence review, zoning entitlements, rezoning, subdivision approvals, annexations, special exceptions, variances, master plan development and implementation, historic preservation, administrative appeals, condemnation, and all aspects of the regulatory permitting and licensing process. Girard has represented clients on these matters before various administrative boards, agencies and legislative bodies in Montgomery County, Gaithersburg and Rockville, as well as in state courts.

Fred M. Gober
Board Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee

Executive Director and Financial Advisor
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Fred M. Gober is a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Formerly the Director at Barclays Wealth and a Principal at Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Gober was a Partner at Transwestern Carey Winston where he served as a commercial real estate advisor representing national corporations and local entrepreneurial investors for over 12 years. Gober received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in 1982. He currently serves as an Executive on the Board of Directors for Hearts and Homes for Youth in Maryland.

Ruby Lopez Harper
Director of Local Arts Services
Americans for the Arts
Ruby Lopez Harper is the Director of Local Arts Services for Americans for the Arts. She is the Co-chair for the National Coalition on Arts Preparedness and Emergency Response, serves as Co-chair on the Support for Individual Artist Steering Committee for Grantmakers in the Arts and serves on the WETA Community Advisory Council. Prior to joining AFTA, Ruby was the Director of Grants and Services at the Greater Columbus Arts Council in Columbus, OH where she focused on grantmaking, community development, economic development and tourism, and public art. She has a varied background that includes corporate affairs, marketing, and business administration. Ruby has an associate degree from Cerritos College, a certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College, and is a trained meeting facilitator.

Suraya Mohamed
Producer, Programming & Partnerships
NPR Music

Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. As NPR Music’s Producer of Programming & Partnerships, she serves as the Project Manager for Jazz Night In America, a multi-platform cooperative between NPR Music, WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. She is also the Project Manager for Slingshot – a new artist initiative designed to boost public radio music station collaboration, develop and diversify digital content to incorporate new methods of storytelling and accelerate the careers of multi-genre, exceptional, emerging artists. She works on a variety of NPR Music projects including the Tiny Desk Concert series and also produces the NPR holiday specials package that includes Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah LightsToast Of The Nation, Hamilton: A Story Of US and others.

Elaine Robnett Moore
Artist and CEO
Elaine Robnett Moore Collection

Elaine Robnett Moore is a jewelry artist, international business consultant, teacher, and author. As an artist/international development consultant, she works through governments, foundations, NGOs and private companies - assisting artists, artisans, and women’s coops in developing skills, establishing cottage industries, and refining products for export to western markets. Robnett Moore’s work has been published and exhibited internationally and she was recently commissioned by the Rwandan government to write their first “how to” book “Professional Jewelry Making With Beads”, an initiative being used to provide an income stream for women and girls throughout the country. Her second book, “The Art of Bead Stringing: Artist to Entrepreneur”, was published in November of 2014. 

Emmanuel Olaoye
Business Development Specialist
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
Emmanuel Olaoye is a Business Development Specialist on the business expansion team, with plans to help bring new companies to Montgomery County as well as contribute to strategic initiatives for MCEDC. He brings an international perspective and an eagle-eye for detail from his days working as a financial journalist. A graduate of the University of Essex, England with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, he combines his interests for business, finance and economics in work with MCEDC. Emmanuel is passionate about helping small and medium size businesses grow. He recognizes the unique attributes of Montgomery County for success, with its highly-educated and diverse workforce, and proximity to Congress and federal agencies.

Dana Pauley
Vice President, Philanthropic Investments
Leadership Montgomery
Dana Pauley is Vice President of Philanthropic Investments for Leadership Montgomery. She has experience in relationship management, marketing, special events, grants management, board relations, major gifts, and annual fund across small and large nonprofits. Pauley holds a B.S. in Human Services with a concentration in counseling and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She currently serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Maryland Chapter and is on an Advisory Committee for Sheppard Pratt Health System.

Denise Saunders Thompson
President and CEO
The International Association of Blacks in Dance
Denise Saunders Thompson is the President and CEO of The International Association of Blacks in Dance, a non-profit dance service organization. She also the founder of D.d.Saunders & Associates, Inc., a comprehensive fine arts advisory firm offering artist management/representation, arts producing, consulting, and production services. Denise’s nonprofit/for-profit management and philanthropic career spans over 20 years of executive and program director experience. She has advised organizations on administrative, programmatic and fundraising issues including strategic plans, policy and procedures, communications programs, budgeting and contracts. She has pioneered top-ranked courses on the collegiate level in artistic development, entrepreneurship, fundraising, grant writing, leadership, management, and production.

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