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Board of Directors / Executive Team
Carol Ann "Cari" DeSantis
Chief Executive Officer
Carol Ann “Cari” DeSantis brings more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, health care, government relations and business management to Melwood. Before coming to Melwood, Ms. DeSantis headed her own management consulting firm, where she led government and nonprofit agencies in the health and human services sector through organizational transformations and guided them through strategic planning and organizational effectiveness processes. Prior to her consulting work, DeSantis was executive vice president, public affairs and communications at the Casey Family Programs Foundation, a $2 billion foundation whose mission is to inspire individuals, communities, elected officials, and the media to care about American’s most vulnerable children. From 2001-2008, she served the State of Delaware as cabinet secretary, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families. As CEO of this large state department, she was responsible for overseeing an annual budget in excess of $175 million and more than 1,300 employees in 30 locations statewide.
DeSantis holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Medical Ethics) from the University of Delaware, where she also received a Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism. DeSantis is the author of three books, including the 2000 National Independent Publishers Book Award-winning Of Hope and Charity, as well as numerous articles. She also is the recipient of the Service Excellence Award from the American Public Human Services Association, among other individual and organizational awards.
David "Dave" Harden
Chief Operating Officer
David "Dave" Harden is the Chief Operating Officer with strategic oversight of Melwood’s operations, corporate activities, contract services, and community services. He brings to Melwood extensive experience in systems, logistics, and business development, plus a passion for people with different abilities. Before joining Melwood, Dave was GM and COO for Southeastern Petroleum, managing the used motor oil re-refining operations for 5 million gallons per year. He has led a multi-million dollar data technology company and is a frequently requested speaker and writer on innovation and strategic thinking. Dave has helped companies save over $360 million and has provided strategic training for organizations from the World Health Organization in the public sector to United Occidental Petroleum, Shell, BP and Halliburton in the energy sector.
Harden earned his BS in electrical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Masters in organizational management at The George Washington University, Washington, DC. He is a certified business and executive coach. He previously co-authored Continuity Management: Preserving Corporate Knowledge and Productivity When Employees Leave and his writings have been in numerous publications to include the Journal of Organizational Excellence. Dave is an entrepreneur, husband, and father of four.
Chief Financial Officer
Myron Thomas is the Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the oversight and management of Melwood’s financial functions. Mr. Thomas brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in strategic planning and corporate finance to his new post. Prior to joining Melwood, he managed a $250 million Private Equity backed fund for one of the leading property management companies in the Southeastern region. Before that he oversaw a diversified hospitality company where he successfully managed the acquisition of over $300 million in vacation ownership sales. Earlier in his career, Myron led efforts to negotiate and acquire over $1 billion in real estate and an associated $500 million in debt financings in the U.S. and Canada.
Mr. Thomas obtained his MPA from Harvard University, his MBA from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and his BS in Accounting from Florida A&M University. He is certified as a CPA, CVA and Six Sigma specialist and is a member of the AICPA and Young Presidents’ Organization (Washington, DC Chapter). He lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife and three children.
Judith McCowan, CFCM
Senior Vice President, Contract Services
Judith McCowan is the Senior Vice President of Contract Services, with strategic responsibility for all contracts, quality control services and vocational support services at Melwood. Prior to joining Melwood, McCowan worked as the Federal Proposal and Contracts Manager for Fire and Life Safety America and as a Regional Manager specializing in Federal Contracts for Bright Horizons. McCowan brings over 25 years of Federal contracts experience to Melwood having had oversight of contracts for clients including the Pentagon, National Security Agency, Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education, General Services Administration, Architect of the Capitol, Bureau of Prisons, Walter Reed, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Defense Logistics Agency, Census Bureau and Department of Homeland Security.
McCowan earned her Administrator’s Certification at Accelerated Christian Education, an Education Degree at the International Seminary, a Master of Government Contracts Degree at Villanova University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Drexel University. Judith has taught contract administration for classes at Bowie State University and Chesapeake College, and served on Maryland Governor Parris Glendening’s task force on education contracting.
Vice President, Human Resources
Scott Gibson is the Vice President of Human Resources, responsible for leading, designing, planning, directing, and evaluating key HR areas including compensation & benefits, workforce planning, employee relations, recruitment/staffing, onboarding and professional development.
Prior to joining Melwood, Scott Gibson was appointed Director of Human Resources for Harford County Government by County Executive David R. Craig in 2007 to oversee HR operations for approximately 1,500 employees. As Director of Human Resources, Mr. Gibson served in the County Executive’s Cabinet, administered and interpreted the County personnel policy, oversaw the management and distribution of benefits, and served on the Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust Fund Board as well as the Sheriff’s Office Pension Plan Board of Trustees. Before leading the Harford County Department of Human Resources, he served as Deputy Director of the Maryland Racing Commission, and on the legislative staff of Maryland State Senator J. Robert Hooper. Mr. Gibson serves on the boards of the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Maryland Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding and Harford United Charities. Additionally, he has served on the adjunct faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s University and Harford Community College, where he teaches political science. Mr. Gibson earned his Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Mount Saint Mary’s College.
Vice President, Community Services
Michael Glanz is the Vice President of Community Services, responsible for Melwood’s program services helping people live, work, and play in the most inclusive setting. Prior to joining Melwood Michael was a leader in providing quality camping, recreation, and travel experiences to people with and without disabilities through The League for People with Disabilities and Camp Adventure Youth Services. Michael is a 2011 graduate of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s Project Leap and is member of Leadership Greater Washington’s Effective Leadership Institute. Michael earned a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit and Association Management from the University of Maryland University College, a BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Iowa, a Certificate in Leisure Studies from the University of Northern Iowa and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.
Vice President, Safety and Risk Management
Jermaine Hunter is the Vice President of Safety and Risk Management, responsible for identifying and controlling all exposure to loss for Melwood, its employees and facilities. Hunter brings 18 years of experience to Melwood as a safety and health professional within the commercial property and casualty insurance industry including risk management exposures and mitigations as well as OSHA’s general and construction industry standards. As an Organizational Management doctoral candidate and skilled risk analyst, Mr. Hunter specializes in obtaining critical information and facts as well as providing particle exposure mitigation techniques.
Director of Quality Control
Patrick D. Hollett is the Director of Quality Control, responsible for developing and deploying enterprise-wide quality processes and systems to measure performance and manage customer expectations. Prior to Melwood, Mr. Hollett was the Director of Quality and Productivity for IAP Worldwide Services, a government services contractor specializing in base operations support and contingency operations, where he also served as the IAP ISO Management Representative and Lean Six Sigma Champion. Prior to his position with IAP, Mr. Hollett was the Global Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental Director for KBR Services, Inc. where he was responsible for directing quality and safety programs at over 115 project locations worldwide including design-build construction, base operations support, and contingency projects.
A graduate Warner Southern College, Hollett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, earned duel Master of Arts degrees in Management and Human Resources Development from Webster University, and is currently pursuing his DBA in International Business from California Intercontinental University. He is a Certified Manager (CM) through the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, an ISO 9001/14000 certified lead auditor, holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Mike Keppler, MBA
Mike Keppler of Fairfax, VA will serve as board chair. He has served on Melwood’s Board of Directors for the past three years leading the fund development task force and committee and advising the executive team on technology strategy. Keppler is an executive in the Global Information Resources division of Marriott International and brings over 25 years of experience in information technology strategy, consulting and operations. In his free time, Mike coaches the Fairfax Challenger Yankees and Nationals, a baseball league for children and young adults with differing abilities.
George Watkins, CPA
George Watkins of Marbury, MD will serve as board vice chair. Watkins previously served as Melwood’s board treasurer. He is President of Watkins and Associates, a CPA firm in La Plata, MD, and brings nearly 30 years’ experience as a certified public accountant to the Melwood Board.
Richard Mahan, CPA
Richard Mahan, of Howard County, MD, will serve as board treasurer. Mahan previously served as Melwood’s board vice chair. He is an audit partner at CohnReznick in Bethesda and brings more than 23 years of experience in public accounting practice and private industry.
Deborah Fischel of Anne Arundel County, will serve as board secretary. Deborah has previously served as a Melwood Volunteer and board member. She is an executive with several years of sales experience with Procter & Gamble, and 25 years of self-employment. She is a member of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Director's Circle; and owns an animal hospital and a real estate holding company. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University.
Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, MBA, FACHE
Donald Donahue, Jr. of Washington, DC, brings more than 35 years of healthcare administration and planning experience and more than 30 years of service as a member of the US military. He previously served as Melwood's board chair. Prior to being elected as chair, he served as board secretary.
Christina Eaglin, of Montgomery County, Maryland is President & CEO of MMPP, LLC, a full-service special events, advertising and marketing firm. Previously, she directed interactive communications for Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and brings more than 25 years of experience in broadcast advertising and marketing.
Sue A. Greer, Esq.
Sue A. Greer is a partner at The Greer Law Firm where she specializes in land use; local government; zoning; and business and contract law. Greer’s legal career, which began with the Department of Justice Honors Program, spans 20 years. She served as the Deputy County Attorney in the Office of the County Attorney for Charles County, Maryland. She was specially assigned as the General Counsel for the Charles County Office of the Sheriff. Greer attended the Notre Dame School of Law and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She is a member of the Maryland State and Charles County Bar Associations and the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as Chair of the Economic Development Committee.
Brenda Sheaffer works for Melwood as a custodian at the New Executive Office Building, a secure federal facility in downtown, Washington, DC. She now lives on her own, but her severe learning disability made it difficult to compete in the job market before she joined Melwood in 1993. She is a talented public speaker and part of the AbilityOne Speakers Bureau. She is often requested to talk about how Melwood’s “umbrella of support” and AbilityOne enabled her to live independently and stop receiving government benefits.
Tracy Wareing of Washington DC., is Executive Director of the American Public Human Services Association, a national, non-profit membership association representing human services leaders in the public sector. Tracy has a long-standing career in human services and government, having served most recently as a senior advisor to US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and before that as the Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Arizona's umbrella human services agency.