Board of Directors
Blue Water Baltimore is proud to have a board of directors who are passionate about protecting and restoring our waterways.
Our board of directors are volunteers who set organizational policy, facilitate community outreach, fundraise, participate in volunteer events, and create and maintain the overall direction of our organization. They bring talent, expertise and energy to the table. We are very fortunate to have them on our team!
- Chair: Bill Howard
- Vice Chair: Anne Yastremski
- Secretary: Rebecca Phillps
- Treasurer: John Savage
* Executive Committee Member
Susannah Bergmann brings an international background as she was born in Amsterdam. She currently lives in Baldwin Maryland. Susannah is the president and principal of a construction firm and has 25 years of business and non-profit experience. Susannah is also a long term donor of Blue Water Baltimore. She is excited to learn more about our work and contribute as a board member. Susannah’s experience combined with her ability to forge relationships with caring and creative individuals is enlivening.
Angus Burton has been on the water since he was a boy growing up in Ohio. Summers on Lake Michigan, many years at canoe camp in Vermont, and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay all deepened his love and respect for the outdoors. Angus has lived in Maryland for over forty years and has volunteered for environmental groups such Trout Unlimited, serving on the national board, and the Irvine Natural Science Center where he served over twenty years, the last four as president of the board. Angus and his wife Dana have three children, all currently living and working on the west coast. They both work locally, Angus as a partner in an investment management firm and Dana in admissions at St Paul’s School for Girls. Summer vacations are spent in Maine mostly on the water, of course.
Stephanie Coldren is currently the Chief of Staff at Loyola University Maryland. She previously served as Vice President for Marketing & External Relations at Goucher College. She is an experienced senior level administrator that has over 19 years of experience in marketing, communications, and development. Stephanie holds a M.S. in Marketing from the Carey School of Business of Johns Hopkins University.
Phyllis Fung joins the Blue Water Baltimore board after many years of volunteering with the organization in her role as a certified Baltimore City TreeKeeper. A senior marketing strategist at AARP, where her portfolio covers fraud prevention, savings & planning, and Social Security, she brings nearly 30 years of experience in marketing strategy, membership marketing, and direct marketing in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Though originally a proud Jersey Girl, she and her Baltimore-born husband love living in the Canton/Fell’s Point neighborhood close to the harbor. Phyllis has a B.A. in economics with a minor in art history from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Theresa Furnari is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast dedicated to working with the public. Since 2002, she has served as a Family Magistrate for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. At Blue Water Baltimore, she chairs the Governance Committee. An active member of her community, where she has lived for the last 20 years, Theresa serves as president of the Lake Evesham Community Association. In this role and as a Master Gardener, she has facilitated the creation of a native pollinator garden, the planting of nearly 75 native trees and introducing sustaining measures for storm water management, in the neighborhood. After college and serving as a Peace Corp Volunteer, she has sought to live in harmony with our environment.
Yury Gimburg has over 15 years of professional experience at the intersection of energy, resources and corporate finance and currently manages the Capital Markets team at Constellation Energy. At Blue Water Baltimore, Yury chairs the Finance Committee. He grew up close to the Jones Falls, often hiking and playing around the water. Today, Yury lives in Otterbein with his wife and three sons. They are lucky to see the benefits of Baltimore’s Harbor and its tributaries on a daily basis and hope to establish and maintain its health for the present and future.
Bill Howard is a university attorney, administrator and executive search consultant with a passion for the environment and watershed issues. He grew up in Northeast Ohio playing in streams and woods and learning about nature from his outdoor-loving mother. He has lived most of his life in Maryland, including Baltimore and Silver Spring. During his stint in Silver Spring, he co-founded and led a local watershed group and became active in larger Anacostia River advocacy and protection issues.
Daniel O’Leary is a Maryland Licensed Professional Engineer and Principal at ESD Associates, a water resources engineering and design firm in Baltimore. Dan has over 30 years of varied water related experience in Maryland as a designer, regulator, non-profit employee and expert witness. Dan brings to Blue Water Baltimore a seasoned, hands-on approach to understanding and working to solve problems faced by our waterways. He serves as chair of the Blue Water Baltimore’s STAC (Science and Technical Advisory Committee).
Margaret “Meg” Oliver is a practicing attorney, who is the owner and managing partner of Oliver Leffler Law. She is a Baltimore City resident and has already volunteered for a restoration project with Blue Water Baltimore. Meg is a long term donor and notes her membership on her firm’s website. Meg is enthusiastic and excited to expand her knowledge of Blue Water Baltimore.
Born in Baltimore, Rebecca Phillips is Chief of Staff for Baltimore City Councilwoman Phylicia Porter. She previously served as the Social Media and Marketing Associate for Associated Black Charities (ABC). Prior to joining ABC, Rebecca served on multiple campaigns including municipal, state, and federal. Her experience includes serving as campaign manager for a city council campaign while still in college. This work included developing a progressive finance plan that raised over $100,000 to maximize voter contact. She lives by words spoken by the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Rebecca believes that we all have an obligation to take care of our environment because the earth is what sustains us; our food, water, and air quality rely on the choices we make.
Wally joined the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) as an intern in September 2010, gaining valuable experience and insight into international business. Building on the positive experience of his internship, he rejoined WTCI in August of 2011 as the Assistant Manager of Marketing and Event Planning and is now the Director of Marketing, Business Development, and Events. Wally received his undergraduate degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. A Baltimore native, Wally currently resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood where he enjoys being outside, raising his two daughters, and serving as a Weekend Mentor for Bridges, an academic and cultural enrichment program for East Baltimore youth.
Steven Ragsdale was previously the Program Administrator for Health Equity Programs for Lifebridge Health. He directed operations of Lifebridge Health equity initiatives including hospital and community efforts focused on health disparities reduction, both within Lifebridge Health facilities and in the surrounding communities. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Presidents Diversity Leadership Council, Maryland Congress on Health and Economic Disparities and is a guest lecturer on the history of social determinants in Baltimore and applied systems design theory.
Sydnee Wilson Ruff is a lifelong Baltimore City resident, except for the period when she was away at college. Sydnee lives in the Forest Park area, where she and her husband recently purchased a home. Sydnee’s passion and commitment to improve the lives of Baltimore City communities and advance Environmental Justice is contagious. Sydnee is currently the Deputy Director at the Lillie May Carroll Jackson School and has previous professional experience in Baltimore City agencies.
John Savage has 14 plus years of Energy & Risk Management experience holding a variety of risk related roles at Exelon Corporation in both its Constellation Energy and Baltimore Gas & Electric affiliates. He currently serves as the Director of Enterprise Risk Management for BGE. At Blue Water Baltimore, he chairs the Finance Committee. John was fortunate to grow up on the water near Rocky Point at the mouth of Back River. Many of his fondest memories involve exploring life along the Chesapeake and spending time with family near Hart Miller Island. He is a father of one young son and currently resides in the Riverside community enjoying how impactful the Harbor is to life in and around Baltimore.
Carlton Sexton practices radiology at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. At Blue Water Baltimore, he chairs the Development Committee and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee. He played in the Jones Falls in the Greenspring Valley as a child, and continues to wade and canoe in its waters. He organizes stream clean-ups for the Ruxton Riderwood Lake Roland Area Improvement Association, where he serves on the board. He hopes and works for the day when our city will have a swimmable Inner Harbor.
N-Neka Smith is currently the Vice President of Quality Operations at ABL, Inc. in Rockville. She previously served as Director of Quality Assurance at Catalent, Inc and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. both in Baltimore City. She is an experienced Quality Compliance and Microbiologist professional with over 27 years experience in the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industry. N-Neka holds a B.S. in Biology from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. and a M.S in Management from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. N-Neka is married with two children and two grandchildren. Though originally born and raised in Boston Mass. she and her family live in Baltimore City, in the Park Heights neighborhood.
James Stierhoff is a Portfolio Manager at Brown Advisory where he works with individuals, families, endowments and foundations. James is a member of Brown’s Sustainability Development Team where he helps source and evaluate sustainability and ESG focused investment solutions for clients. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Towson University and his MBA from Loyola University Maryland. He is an amateur steeplechase jockey who won both the 2010 and 2012 Maryland Hunt Cup. James and his wife live in Baltimore County and are avid patrons of the outdoors. James was drawn to serve with Blue Water Baltimore because of his desire to help restore and preserve Baltimore’s rivers and streams for future generations.
Bob Summers, PhD.
Bob Summers is a veteran of the environmental community, with over 31 years service at Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), where he played a leadership role in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration effort and served as Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment from 2011 through 2014. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and is currently a lecturer in JHU’s Environmental Program for professionals teaching a course on coastal water pollution restoration, focusing on Chesapeake Bay. Bob served as interim executive director for Blue Water Baltimore in 2021.
An accounting controller by trade, David Weis lived as a kibbutz-nick in Israel for 25 years until returning to Baltimore in 1999. David has been the financial controller at the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (BHC) in northwest Baltimore for 17 years. David has organized a buying group with the Associated Jewish Charities and is working on a solar deal for the group. David and the BHC have recently worked together to install a rain garden in the parking lot of the BHC. He is interested in applying his knowledge gained working in the local not-for-profit business world and demonstrating good environmental and social stewardship by volunteering with Blue Water Baltimore’s Board.
Anne Yastremski currently serves as Vice President Population Health Strategy for a healthcare technology company. She previously held a variety of positions including director of development for an environmental justice nonprofit and lecturer at the University of Economics, Prague. At Blue Water Baltimore, she chairs the Strategic Planning Committee. She lives in northeastern Baltimore City where she serves as president of Hamilton Community Association. Anne is a member of Baltimore City’s Department of Planning’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Council. She holds a Master’s in Population Health Management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science and Economics from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.