Coming up on November 21st at 7:30pm at The Belvedere, MVBA will be electing several new board directors and officers.
The slate of candidates for the open MVBA Board positions listed below will have one last opportunity to address the general membership.
President Michele Richter (incumbent)
Vice President Wesley Stuckey (current Director)
Recording Secretary Jeff Withington
Treasurer Onahlea Shimunek (incumbent)
Corresponding Secretary Lex Weisand
Directors (2) Julie Canard (incumbent), John Molino, Marci Yankelov, Mario Brandhorst
Short bios for each candidate follow below.
Michele Richter is an 8-year resident of Mount Vernon and current President of the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association (MVBA) since Fall 2016. Prior to this position, she was Vice President of MVBA. Michele enjoys working towards making Mount Vernon a more livable and vibrant community and leads the Clean & Beautiful Committee as well as the Business Round Table discussions. Michele continues to assist the Architectural Review Committee as well as attends other MVBA committees and works with neighboring community associations as necessary. Michele also serves on the Midtown Community Benefits District Board as well. She serves on the Midtown Community Benefits District Board and on the Executive and Budget & Finance Committees for Midtown. She is a wife for 21 years and a mother of two boys ages 13 and 11. Previously, she worked in the clinical research industry for over 20 years holding a B.S. in Biology. She also co-owned and operated an antiques business in Baltimore for 14 years. Currently, Michele is a business partner of the Co-Op at Madison Street and Maryland Avenue in addition to being an investor in other properties within Mount Vernon.
Growing up in Baltimore, Mount Vernon has always been a special place to Michele. She loves the architecture and high quality craftsmanship found in the neighborhood. She enjoys renovating and restoring these buildings to showcase their significant architectural details and to bring a fresh life into these historic spaces. Michele would love the opportunity to continue serving on the MVBA Board as President. She continues to work towards her goal of making Mount Vernon a destination for people of all ages while improving the appearance and livability of the community. Michele believes that Mount Vernon encompasses the best of Baltimore both historically and presently and wants to demonstrate how valuable and truly special this neighborhood is.
Wesley Stuckey is a designer, printmaker, and educator originally from Mississippi, now living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has been published by HOW Magazine, PRINT, Focal Press, Princeton Architectural Press, Tattly.com, a project by SwissMiss, and by Communication Arts. His work has also been featured in exhibitions across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Mid-West, in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to traditional print design and printmaking, Wesley’s work primarily focuses on branding, illustration, and environmental graphics, with the occasional interactive project for the web. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in the Graphic Design MFA Program with Ellen Lupton in 2011.
Over the past 6 years, he has taught branding, typography, hand-lettering, web design, and basic design at both the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He is currently running his own studio practice where he gets to dabble in a little of everything related to design in addition to teaching at MICA.
Over the last eight and a half years, Wesley has made Baltimore his home. Now, as a property owner and a small business owner, he is active in the restoration of two historic buildings. He is also passionate with his work to help local businesses and non-profits grow and build strong relationships with their neighbors and customers. Some of his current and recent clients, locally in Mount Vernon, include The Co-Op, Par Collective, Dooby’s, Sugarvale, The Owl Bar, Belvedere & Co, Milk & Honey, Creative Mornings Baltimore, Center Stage Theatre, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Midtown Benefits District, and Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.
Most recently, Wesley organized, designed, raised funds, and lead the charge in creating the first Annual Oktoberfest Mount Vernon. The event was a huge success for the neighborhood and MVBA. Over 1,200 attendees came to the festival and enjoyed food, beer & wine, and entertainment. In addition to actively being a Director on the MVBA board, Wesley sits as the MVBA representative on the Midtown Community Benefits District Board and is on the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy’s Maintenance Committee.
Jeff Withington is a US Navy submariner and naval nuclear engineer working as an instructor at the Naval Academy. Previously, he served on a submarine where he deployed to Europe visiting ports in Portugal, UK, and Norway. Jeff has lived in Mount Vernon for nearly three years during which time he has stayed involved in the neighborhood by participating in the police ride-a-long program and producing a report about neighborhood crime trends. He is currently pursuing an MBA and hopes to put that to use in furthering the welfare of the neighborhood!
Onahlea is a long time Mount Vernon resident, property and business owner, as well as the active Treasurer for MVBA. For over 35 years, she worked in the hospitality industry with the Marriott Hotels.
Over the years, she has served on the board of MVBA three different times. She looks forward to continuing her current position as Treasurer. Mother to Bear and keeper of Vicki, she is very active in the neighborhood and has a great sense of humor.
Alexandra (Lex) Wiesand is a long time Mt. Vernon resident with a passion for the Cultural District that embodies everything great about urban living. She moved here at age 18 during her first year at Towson University, where she graduated with a Political Science degree and served as an editor for the Journal of International Affairs. Throughout her college years she lived and worked in Mt. Vernon with her father David Wiesand of McLain Wiesand Custom Furniture, both well known fixtures in the neighborhood. Her love of art and design blossomed here and she enthusiastically decided to join the family business full time after college. She is now the Shop Manager at McLain Wiesand, working alongside her father and learning the intricacies of the custom furniture business. She recently purchased her second house in Baltimore City, a beautifully preserved historic home in the 800 block of Park Avenue where she lives with her boyfriend, two lovely roommates, and two perfect cats. She has been witness to many changes around the city and neighborhood over her past twelve years here and is equally devoted to development as well as historic preservation. Her priorities include bringing new businesses to the neighborhood to improve the quality of life for residents, while also attracting new ones without alienating the veterans. She is committed to working with her fellow neighbors to help their beloved Mt. Vernon grow to it’s full potential.
Julie Canard is a stockholder at Washington Apartments, located at 700 Washington Place in Mount Vernon. Previously, she lived in Bethesda Maryland, but moved 11 years ago to what she thinks is the most distinguished neighborhood in all of Maryland, flowing with culture and character.
Shortly after moving to Mount Vernon, she soon discovered that her neighbors are diverse and delightful! She enjoys walking to restaurants, museums, and the theater in the neighborhood. Her passion is people, with a deep fondness for historic architecture and design.
In her profession is as a real estate agent, she has garnered many awards for professionalism and as a top producer in the Washington, DC area for 35 years. Her affiliation has always been with the prestigious real estate company of W.C and A.N. Miller, now a Long and Foster entity and Christie’s Great Estates. As a realtor, Julie recognizes that first impressions are important. She feels that it is imperative that Mount Vernon put a strong arm on making owners of properties, in our historic neighborhood, accountable for the appearance and repair of decaying buildings. She believes we should have a process in place to fine those individuals, or companies, who do not comply with the standards of which we desperately need. Her goal is to lift this neighborhood up to it’s full potential as a desirable destination.
She has served on many boards and has been president of the Potomac Inner Wheel of the Rotary Club, president of the Old Farm Garden Club in North Bethesda, president of the Hampden Square Condominium in Bethesda, and a docent at the Smithsonian Institution, to name a few.
As a current MVBA board Director, Julie’s focus is to promote more participation from neighbors and business owners and to get Mount Vernon moving forward with renewed energy, and to encourage more shops to come to our neighborhood for a more vibrant, self-contained, walking environment, where current tenants would want to make a permanent residence.
She would greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve Mount Vernon as a MVBA Director!
John Molino lives on the 200 block of East Read Street, with his wife, Ellen, and two children, Annie and Jay. He moved to Mount Vernon in 2005 and bought a home here in 2008, the same year he and his wife joined MVBA.
He gradually got more and more involved in the neighborhood since that time. He started volunteering with neighborhood tree plantings—and after Andy Smith introduced him to the idea—he completed a Healthy Neighborhood Block Project on his street, enhancing the open space behind the Mt Vernon Market Center. During the creation of the Mount Vernon Master Plan, which was finished in 2013, He participated on the Open Space and Transportation & Parking sub committees. In 2015, he assumed responsibility for the neighborhood playground and started working with a few neighborhood families as The Friends of Mount Vernon Children’s Park. Since forming, they have organized park clean-ups, fundraisers, social gatherings, and had new equipment installed in the playground. More recently, in 2016, he joined both the MVBA tree committee and MVBA Development committee.
He is employed as an Economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and takes the MARC train to D.C. four times a week. He doesn’t own multiple properties or businesses in the neighborhood, but he is completely vested in Mount Vernon, because Ellen and he are choosing to raise their family here. John can bring a new perspective to the board and help represent the young families living in the neighborhood.
Marci Yankelov is a Realtor with Allison James Estates and Homes Elite in Baltimore. She received her bachelors in Marketing and Corporate Communications from The University of Baltimore. Prior to real estate she spent 15 years+ working in field marketing, the high tech dot.com and hospitality industry doing corporate event planning and sports marketing. She worked in marketing for several startups which prepared her to own her own business. This included product and corporate launches and branding in Baltimore and other East Coast cities. Major events included the MBA All Star Game and The Congressional Open. She moved into the real estate industry after several lay-offs in the dot.com industry. Marci has a creative edge combined with a strong business sense which is a rare combination in the marketing world. This has won her several professional awards including an award for Special Event Planning from the International Association of Business Communicators and 2008 Top Realtor on The Rise. She is involved in several volunteer organizations and is a life time member of Hadassah. She is currently the co-coordinator for the Howard’s Dog Park. Marci grew up in Baltimore County and has lived in Mount Vernon for over 25 years. She has embraced and welcomed the growth and evolution of the community and is passionate about promoting the neighborhood. She lives on Monument St with her Yorkie-Poo Jackson. She enjoys, cooking, spending time with friends and family and traveling.
Mario Brandhorst, a lifelong Baltimorean, has called Mount Vernon home for the last 14 years. After graduating from The Baltimore School for the Arts, Mario attended The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and returned to his hometown in 2003. In 2006, he launched his two Mount Vernon-based businesses, B&H Chimneys and Majer Metal Works.
Both businesses are located in the heart of Mount Vernon at 1004 Morton Street and actively support in maintaining and developing their thriving neighborhood. B&H Chimneys, which Mario co-owns with longtime friend Tim Howell, provides maintenance and installation services while also completing many masonry preservation projects in the neighborhood. Majer Metal Works, also a partnership with fellow BSA alumnus Malcolm Majer, designs and fabricates architectural elements and furniture in wood and metal, often in collaboration with other Mount Vernon businesses. Numerous private residences and businesses throughout Baltimore, including newcomer to Mount Vernon, The Room and neighborhood staple City Cafe, boast projects by Majer Metal Works.
Mario currently resides on the 1300 block of Saint Paul with his wife Neekta. He spends his free time enjoying Mount Vernon and all it has to offer.