ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today appointed Maria Bernadzikowski as the Director of Howard County’s Office of Emergency Management. Maria assumes the role following the departure of Mike Hinson who took a position within State government. Maria becomes the first female Director of the Howard County Office of Emergency Management, and her appointment is effective Monday, November 6, 2023.
Howard County Government is grateful to have incredible leaders who help prepare our community for every possible scenario and situation. With her depth of experience in emergency management, I know that Maria will help ensure that Howard County is prepared to address critical needs in our community, and she will excel in this position. I want to thank Mike Hinson for his service to Howard County, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I wish him the best in his new role.
Maria Bernadzikowski most recently served as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, where she developed and oversaw the coordination of all policies and procedures for County Administration, as well as issues and initiatives related to the environment and climate, emergency management, and fleet. Bernadzikowski previously served as Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), managing the office, and working in various positions since joining the County as a Recovery Specialist following the 2016 Ellicott City flood.
“Maria has been an incredible asset to the County as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer,” said Brandee Ganz, Chief Administrative Officer. “Her extensive background in emergency management and in managing policy initiatives will be beneficial as we move Howard County forward. I am positive that she will continue to serve our community well as Director of Emergency Management, and she will ensure that Howard County is always ready to respond.”
During her tenure, she managed OEM’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 presidentially declared disasters 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.
It has been an absolute privilege to work for the County and with our community in various capacities over the last seven years. I am honored to rejoin my former team to further the office’s vision of a resilient and prepared Howard County for all residents, businesses, and visitors. I look forward to expanding our partnerships and continuing to bolster our state, regional, and federal relationships, ensuring that Howard County continues to be at the forefront of preparing and mitigating for emergencies and disasters in an ever-changing environment.