The Faces of Our Organization


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Patricia S. Kotzen

Board President

She worked for the Department of the Navy for over 30 years, the last 13 as a member of the Senior Executive Service. Trish was the first civilian Deputy Inspector General of the Navy, a position she held for six years. She was also the Deputy Assistant Director for the Pacific Fleet Shore Installations in Hawaii for over four years and the Deputy Assistant Director for Naval Aviation Maintenance for two years before taking early retirement. Since her retirement, Trish has devoted much of her time and energy to giving back to the community. She founded the first CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program for abused and neglected children in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. She also became a Community Mediator and helped to resolve many court cases before trial and many other issues before they reached legal status. Trish was a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and led four very successful fundraising events for the chapter.

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Curtis W. Lafey brings a vast experience of business knowledge to our organization from the commercial industry, as well as, numerous state and federal government sectors. He currently owns and operates a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned firm, headquartered in Crisfield MD, conducting construction and facility services operations throughout the Eastern Seaboard and the Caribbean. His clients include the US Navy, The Department of Homeland Security, The US Army, and other Federal Government Agencies.

Following his military service as a U.S. Army Officer, His stellar career includes upper-level management assignments in the retail, manufacturing, construction, home building, and international business arenas.

Curtis W. Lafey


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Throughout my career, I have provided professional expertise to several universities, non-profits and held management positions with such companies as Akzo Nobel, Ahold, Spectacular Service. I have identified and worked with clients primed for higher than average growth potential to create jobs and wealth creation. I oversaw the entrepreneurial development of numerous clients through an array of support services, offered both in a centralized incubator facility and through a network of business contacts. Advising the roster of clients representing a portfolio generating over $6.4 million annually all the while successfully leading MCE’s efforts to grow consultation with regards to operations, marketing analysis, business analysis, and strategic planning.

Donnie H. Waters, M.S.I.M.

Board Member

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Before retiring in 2004, served 25 years with the Department of State Foreign Service, both in Washington DC and in U.S. embassies abroad. Provided direct support to U.S. ambassadors abroad and to Assistant Secretaries of State in Washington DC.  After moving to Smith Island in 2004, served as PTA president for Ewell School PTA the year Somerset County Schools provided funding for playground replacement.With fundraising,
grants and in-kind assistance, we turned $20,000 into more than $46,000 to install a beautiful and functional playground before the end of that school year.I am a licensed Realtor associated with Wilson Realty in Crisfield. I have enjoyed promoting Smith Island and the Crisfield area to people who live far away. It is also rewarding to find new owners for property that is in need of renewal.

Terri Baker 

Board Member