Board and Officers


Board of Directors


 Jennie Howland at Rachel Carson Birthday Event


Jennie Howland - President

Ms. Howland has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland.  She has volunteered for the Sierra Club on legislative initiatives in addition to her work with forming our organization.  She currently works at Starbucks.  She brings a lot of energy to the group and has led our trash pickup initiatives,  a leadership role in education outreach and in demonstration projects.  In recognition of her work, she was honored with Green Gaithersburg's "Environmentalist of the Month" in 2012.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Tracy Rouleau - Vice President

Ms. Rouleau has been very involved in exposing her family to the watershed.  They take regular hikes in and around the stream.  She recently became the sponsor for two of our summer interns and plans to take a more active role in our water monitoring efforts.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Sandy Doveikis - Secretery

Ms. Doveikis has been very involved with the Frog Watch program and has adopted the Lakelands site at Lake Shiela.  She is also very active in the C&O Canal trail program.  She has been active in funding requests and work on the Epworth project in Gaithersburg.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Frank Webert - Treasurer

Frank has been involved in maintaining the trails, picking up trash, working with the weed warriors and enjoying the beauty of the local streams and parks.  Performing the role of Treasurer allows him to use his financial skills and provide valuable support to the Alliance. 

[Term expires 5/1/2017]

Meredith Leading Road Side Trash Pickup  


Meredith Strider - Director

Meredith provides good advice based on her experience working for the City of Gaithersburg as Environmental Project Coordinator.  Gaithersburg supports a healthy, productive environment with clean air and clean water. The role of Gaithersburg's environmental program is to understand environmental concerns, develop strategies, and make decisions consistent with the City's Mission and Strategic Plan that protect and enhance our environmental resources.  She currently is leading out various Trash Pickup Initiatives.


[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Merikay Smith - Director

Merikay is our tree project leader and chair of the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Speaker Bureau and serves on the MCMG Board.  She gardens in Darnestown on two acres with her family.  Merikay has planted 80+ trees and many hundreds of native shrubs and perennials on her own property in an effort to replace extensive lawn with a more sustainable, creature friendly habitat.  Her experience is the basis of her "Less Lawn, More Life with Native Plants" presentation given through the Speaker Bureau. Merikay sees the planting of native trees in watersheds as essential to improving water and habitat quality.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Lorie Coston - Interim Director

Lorie is an active birder and maintains bluebird houses in the watershed, and has been involved in our work with placing wood duck nesting boxes along the Muddy Branch.

[Term expires 5/1/2017]


Paul Hlavinka - Director

Paul has a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland and works in the environmental field.  As an avid sailer, he has a personal interest in the health of the Chesapeake Bay.  He has been active in many environmental organizations including Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Chesapeake Water Environment Association.  He has also served in leadership with several churches and is very excited to work with several faith based groups within the watershed.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


Pete Darmody - Director

Peter grew up along the banks of the Northwest Branch (Stream Valley Park/Rachel Carson Park) in Silver Spring MD—hiked and played there extensively.  He loves water in all forms!  He has worked as  summer and temporary intern at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton MD (MNCPPC park).  Currently (since 1978) Project management (specifically CPM scheduling) for a construction program. He has lived in the Muddy Branch watershed/ Seneca Creek divide (Kentlands) since 1993.  He majored in Ornamental Horticulture, minored in Geography with coursework: Meteorology, Soil Science, Landscape Architecture and received his BS from UMD College Park.   His interests include Gardening, Running, Railroad Transportation, Bicycling, Moderate kayaking, History and Hiking especially streams and the Potomac.

[Term expires 5/1/2018]


[ ] - Honorary Board Member


Toni Bailey - Landscape Designer

We are fortunate to work with Toni as a consultant for most of our Demonstration Projects. She is a graduate of the Landscape Design program at George Washington University and in 2008 completed a Master’s degree in Landscape Design at GW, with a concentration on sustainable landscape design.


Bragi Valgeirsson - Webmaster

Mr. Valgeirsson has a passion for land use issues in the watershed.  He currently works for a services provider for printer and other IT services to the federal government.  In addition to holding the fiscal controls, he brings experience in web development to the organization.

Communications Specialist  

Laurie-Anne Sayles - Communications Specialist

Born and raised in Maryland, Laurie-Anne Sayles lives in Gaithersburg, MD with her husband Julian Haffner, Esquire and their 15-year-old daughter Mikaylah a rising junior at Gaithersburg High School. Laurie-Anne earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland School of Public Health and went on to earn a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore School of Public Affairs.  She previously worked as​​ a Clinical Research Coordinator at the National Institutes of Health.  Before she came to the NIH, she spent three years as a Public Policy Fellow with the Schaefer Center for Public Policy working on a wide range of state and local policy issues ranging from preventing health disparities to tax policy reform.  Sayles has sought opportunities to work with residents and stakeholders to improve community input and to ensure residents play an integral role in decision-making that affects the community. Laurie-Anne works with the Muddy Branch Alliance to raise awareness among residents about environmental issues. 

 Quintint Ngyun and Mentor Karl Van Ness  


We do provide opportunities for interns to gain experience in the environmental sciences.



Wall of Honor

Becky Curtis, Larry Speicher, Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin, Mike Honig, Rhoda Shulman, Cynthia Pansing, Julie Gilson, Michelle Cooper, Eileen Conley, Leah Miller - Past Directors and Founding Member.

Quintint Nguyen (2016) - Mapping the trail

Sajan Mistry and Jack Beautz (2015) - Trail awareness

Courtney Watson (2015) - Invasive awareness through Art

Chantal Agnew (2014) - Water Quality Monitoring

Tamara Heiselmeyer (2012/2013) - Volunteer Engagement

Alice Wu (2013) - Engagement of Youth

Amanda Tritinger (Summer Intern 2012) - Tree Initiative

Cally Deppen (Summer Intern 2012) - Tree Initiative

Mark Adams (Intern 2012/2013) - Stream Monitoring

Nicole Conden (Intern 2012) - Tree Initiative and Storm Drain Marking