ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced several appointments and transition for various cabinet positions within Howard County Government. Ball appointed A. Raul Delerme as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Maria Bernadzikowski and Glenn Lovelace as Assistant Chief Administrative Officers, Dr. James Smith, Jr. as Chief Information Officer, Yosef Kebede as Director of Public Works, and Jessica Bellah as Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning. Ball also announced the departure of Department of Planning and Zoning Director Amy Gowan and Office of Community Sustainability Administrator Joshua Feldmark.
Howard County Government is grateful to have incredible leaders who will help us achieve our goals of providing innovative and transformative service.I know that each of these new appointments will help ensure every resident has access to the best quality of life in Howard County and our entire region.
A. Raul Delerme will serve as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. Delerme has been with the county since 1990, most recently serving as the Director of Recreation & Parks. In that role, he oversaw over 1,200 employees and was responsible for the maintenance and operation of over 100 parks and historic sites, the stewardship of 9,920 acres of recreation & park lands, over 10,000 recreation program offerings to be enjoyed by over 100,000 participants, and host of local, regional and national sporting and social events. With 33 years of experience with Howard County Recreation and Parks, Delerme has served as a Director, a former Bureau Chief of Capital Projects, Park Planning & Construction, and a former Park Planner. Major improvements Delerme brought during his tenure with the department include building three community centers and Meadowbrook Athletic Complex, creating three new regional parks (Western Regional, Troy, and Blandair), providing a greater variety of amenities within each park, and the opening of the new Harriet Tubman Cultural Center. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from Penn State University. Delerme fills a vacancy that was created following the appointment of Angela Cabellon as Chief of Staff to County Executive Ball. Delerme’s appointment begins on April 3, 2023.
Nicola Morgal will serve as Acting Director of Howard County Recreation and Parks, effective April 3, 2023.
Maria Bernadzikowski will serve as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. Bernadzikowski previously served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the last three years, working in various positions in the office since joining the County as a Recovery Specialist following the 2016 Ellicott City flood. During her tenure, she has managed the office’s planning, continuity, and outreach programs and has deployed with the Maryland Incident Management Team to assist various states and jurisdictions in response to hurricanes, flooding, landslides, pre-planned events, and line of duty deaths. In Howard County, she has served as the Planning Section Chief and Emergency Operations Center Manager during multiple events including, but not limited to, the 2018 Ellicott City Flood and COVID-19 Pandemic Response, for which she was recognized as Howard County’s 2020 Employee of the Year. Bernadzikowski brings 9 years of experience as an emergency manager and community liaison across the country and has a background in strategic planning, policy development, multi-agency coordination, and employee training and development. She is a graduate of St. John’s University (BA, Government and Politics) and Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where she earned a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Disaster Management. She is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), Business Continuity Professional (CBCP), Climate Change Professional (CC-P), and Nationally Qualified Planning Section Chief on the Maryland Incident Management Team. Bernadzikowski’s appointment is effective April 3, 2023.
Glenn Lovelace will serve as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer. Lovelace previously served as Head of Digital Experience for the Howard County Department of Technology and Communication Services (DTCS). He has been a dedicated member of DTCS for more than nine years beginning his career as a Server Engineer, progressing to become the ServiceNow manager, Systems Development Manager, and finally the Head of Digital Experience. As Head of Digital Experience, Lovelace led a team of talented developers through the redesign of both major county websites, while continuing to develop tools that transformed the way the county operates. Lovelace’s focus on process automation and digitization provides efficiencies that continue to streamline county functions, while providing a better user experience for constituents and county employees alike. Lovelace holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Lovelace will begin his appointment on April 3, 2023.
“Howard County remains one of the best places to live, work, play, and grow in the region, due, in part, to the tireless efforts of our County employees. I remain confident that Raul, Maria, and Glenn will continue their hard work to transform Howard County,” Ball continued.
Delerme, Bernadzikowski, and Lovelace will support Brandee Ganz, who Ball appointed as Chief Administrative Officer in December and began her tenure on March 1, 2023. Ganz previously served as Howard County’s Chief Information Officer.
Dr. James Smith, Jr. was appointed as Howard County’s Chief Information Officer with the Department of Technology and Communication Services. Dr. Smith joins Howard County Government from Peraton, formerly Northrop Grumman, where he led a team supporting the U.S. Government’s DevOps, Security, and infrastructure initiatives. He previously worked for the national office of NAACP as a web designer and system architect before joining Amtrak as a Security Manager. During his tenure at Amtrak, he created security policies and ensured network device security. He joined the Baltimore City Public Schools system as the Information Security and Data Center Operations Manager to design and lead the implementation of a network infrastructure optimization and consolidation program. Then Dr. Smith became the Director of Information Security and Infrastructure. He assumed the strategic role of leading four teams with 109 staff in providing information security, infrastructure development, network management and support, and data center operations. He chaired the IT Technology and IT Security Steering Committees, where he guided the C-level executives in business process and technology strategies and cybersecurity planning. Dr. Smith holds a bachelor's degree from Sojourner Douglas College and a master's degree from American Intercontinental University, both in Information Systems Management. He obtained his doctoral degree in Business Administration (DBA) from Walden University. Dr. Smith’s appointment begins on April 3, 2023.
“Our Department of Technology and Communication Resources helps bridge the digital divide within the county,” continued Ball. “I know that Dr. Smith’s vast experience and background will build upon ongoing efforts to build an equitable and accessible technological infrastructure.”
Yosef Kebede was appointed as Director of the Department of Public Works. He most recently served as Baltimore’s Chief of the Water and Wastewater in the Department of Public Works. As Bureau Head, he led an organization of 1,200 employees and six divisions responsible for delivering water, sewer, and stormwater services for the region. He has 22 years of experience in the water/wastewater and infrastructure development sector. During this time, Yosef has built a reputation for participatory leadership that has elevated team members through personal and professional development. Yosef has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Science, both from Stanford University. He also has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with an International focus from the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. His appointment is effective April 10, 2023.
Jessica Bellah will serve as Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning. Bellah joins Howard County Government from the Columbia Association where she served as Manager of the Community Development and Real Estate Services Division working to enhance the community’s knowledge of and participation in local planning processes. She spent her academic and professional career exploring the history and culture that shapes people, places, and values. She is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Bellah has more than 14 years of experience working in government and not-for-profit organizations, including serving as a member of Americorps working on a remote island in Maine, a Community Planner for the City of Greenbelt, and spending the past five years working and living in Columbia. Bellah earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mary Washington with dual degrees in Geography and Historic Preservation and went on to earn a Master’s in Community Planning from the University of Maryland. Bellah fills a vacancy that was created with the appointment of Brian Shepter as Deputy Chief of Staff to County Executive Ball. Her appointment is effective April 10, 2023.
“Our Departments of Public Works and Planning and Zoning oversee many facets of local government that have a daily impact on our residents, including critical infrastructure, capital projects, land use, and developing safe, healthy, equitable, connected and sustained communities,” said Ball. “I am confident that Yosef and Jessica will use their extensive experience to ensure that all our residents have access to the best quality of life.”
The Department of Planning and Zoning Director Amy Gowan recently accepted a new position in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Brian Shepter, County Executive Ball’s Deputy Chief of Staff, will be Acting Director as of April 4, 2023.
“Since joining the Department of Planning and Zoning in 2015, and especially during her last four years as director, Amy has worked purposefully to ensure that Howard County moves forward with sustainable land development, thoughtful community planning and necessary supporting infrastructure to provide a better quality of life for all residents,” Ball continued. “Her leadership has been invaluable throughout the HoCo by Design General Plan process. Many people didn’t know that Amy’s resume includes time in San Diego managing that city’s economic development and community revitalization function. We are sorry to see her leave us, but we are confident she will do an outstanding job in her new role in Anne Arundel County.”
Ball also announced the departure of Joshua Feldmark who served as the Administrator of the Office of Community Sustainability. Feldmark accepted a position in the private sector. Lindsay DeMarzo will serve as Acting Director effective April 4, 2023.
“Under Josh’s leadership in the Office of Community Sustainability, we were able to ensure Howard County became a regional and national model,” Ball said. “Through our collaborative efforts, we passed the strongest forest conservation law in the state, inked the largest solar power purchasing agreement in Maryland, planted more than 65,000 trees, made historic investments in green infrastructure initiatives, and became the first LEED Platinum County in the country. We wish him the absolute best in his next chapter.”
To apply for vacancies, or to see the full list of Howard County Government job openings, please click here.