Shawna N. Kearsley

Executive Director

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An active community organizer and a vibrant, engaging speaker, Shawna’s passion is to motivate and foster our next generation of leaders. She has an exceptional track record for bringing organizations, businesses and individuals together in creative ways to make things
happen, tackle needs, and inspire collaboration throughout the Lower Shore community. Her work has helped to break down the “silos” that can be counterproductive to community growth. Just a few of her recent projects include creating the Criseld Community Gardens, Video-casts of local events under the umbrella of Bay Country Radio, Leading the Crisfield Steering Committee on the Local Food Local Places Federal Assistance Grant, and coordinating
support for the Somerset County Summer Arts & Education Series, now in its 4th year.

Patricia S. Kotzen

Board President

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Dr. Laurie Henry 


Dr. Laurie Henry has been appointed the next dean of Salisbury University’s Seidel School of Education.

Henry comes to SU from the University of Kentucky, where she is Associate Dean for clinical preparation and partnerships in the College of Education. She also has been interim chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, associate professor of early adolescent literacy, and faculty director of the P20 College and Career Readiness Lab, part of a communitywide student preparation


“I am very excited about the leadership that Dr. Henry will bring to the existing energy and momentum in the Seidel education programs,” said Dr. Karen Olmstead, SU’s interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. She also called Henry “an accomplished scholar who has been nationally active in educational innovation, teacher preparation and clinical practice


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Curtis W. Lafey


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.

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.

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Tamalin C. Truitt

Board Memeber

Tammy C. Truitt Accounting Services, a sole proprietary business I began in 1990 after working for Scott Tawes and Associates in Princess Anne, MD. I have managed this successful practice for more than 29 years and have also developed businesses in mortgage finance and residential real estate improvements. elected by Somerset citizens to serve as a Republican Central Committeeman and re-elected in 2018. In December 2018, fellow Central Committee members elected me to the position of Chairman. I am active with the Somerset County Republican Club and have raised close to $10,000 over the last four years. In 2014-2015 I served on Somerset County’s Planning Commission. I worked as vice-chair for the Historic Presentation at Somerset’s 350th Anniversary celebration in 2016 and spent a summer coaching a recreational softball league team. My community involvement includes working on the Executive Board for Crisfield Heritage Foundation, maintaining a stretch of 413 for the Adopt-A-Highway program, Founder & Executive Board for Safe For Somerset, Executive Board of Commonsense For Carvel Hall, First Baptist Church Bible School Teacher, Mentor/Tutor for Miss Kay Lawson at Whittington Primary School, Parent volunteer at Holly Grove Christian School, and assisting a recent widower who has Alzheimer’s. Currently, my service includes the position of Vice-President of Keeping Somerset Beautiful and hosting two foreign exchange students attending their junior year at Crisfield High.

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

Board Member

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.

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Terri Baker 

Board Member

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.