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The Mount Pleasant Village Board of Directors and Committee Chairs

Board of Directors

William Emmet, President

A resident of Mount Pleasant since 2000. Has more than twenty years of experience in mental health policy at the state and national levels. Earned a B.A. in history from Beloit College. Worked in television, journalism, as a writer, and as a teacher. Since 1990, has held a variety of positions addressing health care and mental health reform. He previously served as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. 

 

Laura Breeden

Lived in DC in the 90s for two years while working for the Clinton Administration, then returned in 2009 for another stint at the Department of Commerce.  Lived in Mount Pleasant since 2011. Professional work has focused on the public-sector application of new communication technologies, in areas including education, libraries, state and local governments, and workforce development. Enjoys qi gong classes, attends All Souls Unitarian Church and tries to garden on her tiny deck. She has also served on the Village’s Diversity Committee.

 

Judy Byron, Diversity Committee Co-Chair and Governance Committee Co-Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant for more than 40 years. As an artist and activist, with her works on paper, installations, and artist books, she explores issues of identity and imagines art as a common ground for the community.  She was the founder of the Corcoran Museum Art Mentorship Program (CAMP). Co-Chair of the Diversity and Governance Committees.

 

Olivia Cadaval

A resident of Mount Pleasant since 1985. B.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies and Folklife at George Washington University. Curator and research associate at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. An active member of the Diversity Committee

 

Jan Fenty, Partnership Committee Co-Chair

A District resident since 1967. B.A. from Buffalo State University. With husband Phil, owned and operated the first Fleet Feet franchise on the east coast. Co-founded the Meet-the-Street Mount Pleasant Street events. Active on the Diversity Committee and Co-Chair of the Partnership Committee.

 

Judy Fisher

A District resident since 1967 and in her Lanier Heights home for more than 30 years. Earned degrees in English and secondary education from Howard University and an M.A. in early childhood education from the University of the District of Columbia. She is active on the Diversity Committee.

 

Rob Fleming, Secretary

A resident of Mount Pleasant for more than 40 years. B.A. and M.P.A. in Science Policy. Formerly with the U.S. Department of Commerce, providing White House support, planning and program evaluation, and grants administration. Three-term ANC commissioner. Officer and director of community-based organizations. Recovery advocate and substance abuse policy advisor to D.C. Council, two mayors, Councilmembers and Committees, and government agencies. Founding Village Board Member and Vice-Chair of Neighbors’ Consejo. Member of Communications and Volunteer Committees.

 

Ross Hamory, Treasurer

A graduate of Maryville College. Worked for 34 years for the Federal Aviation Administration in management and executive positions. Served on the Board of Directors of the Habitat for Humanity in Beaufort, N.C. and the Main Street Organization in Washington, N.C.

 

Lawrence Rickards, Communications Committee Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant since 1983. Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Maryland. Forty years of experience in health and primary care, mental health and co-occurring disorders, aging and adult services, policy and legislative affairs, and government service. Ten years in federal aging policy and 15 years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration overseeing programs for persons experiencing homelessness and those with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Former Chair of the Coalition on Mental Health and Aging.

 

Rebecca Shannon, Governance Committee Co-Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant for 35 years. B.A. and M.A. Twenty-five years’ experience as a proposal and marketing writer, editor and manager. Contributed to the community as a volunteer by writing articles for local publications, organizing art events, and supporting a range of progressive programs to address social issues. Former Village treasurer; serves on the Communications Committee.

 

Katie Tyler, Vice President and Membership Committee Co-Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant for more than 30 years. B.Sc. (sociology) and M.A. (human resources). Twenty-seven years’ experience in human resources at the World Bank and 15 years’ prior human resources experience in the United Kingdom. Volunteer social worker in London and former officer and director of Historic Mount Pleasant. Founding Board Member of Mount Pleasant Village and its first president. Serves as Membership Committee Chair.

 

Committee Chairs

Michael Burke, Membership Committee Co-Chair

A resident of the District since 1981. Attended Kalamazoo College; earned a degree in economics and business. Retired from Bloomberg BNA (formerly the Bureau of National Affairs), where he worked in the Product Research and Development division, with responsibility for maintaining BNA’s internal and external websites. Being retired has allowed Michael to enjoy the theatre. He is currently on the board of directors of the Constellation Theatre Company and is a trustee for the Anderson-Hopkins Award for Excellence in the Theater Arts. Michael joined the Village three years ago, being drawn to our emphasis on aging in place and in the community.

 

Tom Conway, Committee of Committees Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant for more than 40 years. B.A. (political science, with a minor in economics). An early supporter and active member of Historic Mount Pleasant; founding member of Mount Pleasant Elm Fund (to stabilize the neighborhood tree canopy); founding member of Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance; and member of the Urban Forest Council of D.C.

 

Josephine Escalante, Partnership Committee Co-Chair

A founder and first executive director of the Filipino American Human Services, Inc., in New York City, and a member of the Asian American Task Force on Aging. Graduated from the Northeastern University School of Law. Practiced union labor law and later intellectual property law. A Mount Pleasant resident since 2005. Currently helping to coordinate the D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living grant to the Village.

 

Elinor Hart, Volunteer Services Committee Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant for more than 40 years. Officer and director: Mount Pleasant Main Street, Historic Mount Pleasant, Neighbors’ Consejo, and League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area. Works for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Former Member of the Village’s Board of Directors.

 

Darlene Meskell, Program Committee Co-Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant since 1989. M.A. in journalism and M.B.A. from Northwestern University. A board member of the American Council for Technology and a Senior Fellow of the Council for Excellence in Government. Retired from the position of Director of Inter-governmental Solutions, U.S. General Services Administration, in 2015. Served as a Village founding board member and was the first Communications Committee Chair and newsletter editor.

 

Rick Reinhard, Diversity Committee Co-Chair

A resident of Mount Pleasant since 1973. He came to Washington in 1970, following two years in Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer. He began photographing while living in Honduras and gradually became a full-time freelance photographer. His personal work has been to document issues of peace and racial and social justice. Recent work includes the La Esquina project, a visual representation of the esquineros near the Seven-Eleven on Mount Pleasant Street and the corner around which the project radiates. He and wife Judy Byron co-founded the Diversity Committee, with the goal of helping the Village membership to reflect the complex diversity of the neighborhood in which we live.

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