Public Awareness and Outreach

Sonia Demiray (CEMWG member, Co-chair PAO sub-group)

Sonia has thirty years of experience in diversified advertising, public relations, and production, with a strong focus on strategic planning and messaging. In 2006, she founded DemirayINK, an MDOT, SWaM, and MWUCP certified Minority and Woman Owned Small Business, that subcontracts with federal government agencies, private companies, and larger communications firms. Prior to DemirayINK, Sonia developed award winning national and international campaigns for clients such as SONY, Puerto Rico CVB, Miami Dade Expressway Authorities, and Sol Meliá Hotels and Resorts, across Europe and the Americas. While closely connected to Frederick County and City since 2000, her family moved to Petersville, to take over the family farm in 2010. Sonia has always been enthusiastically involved in environmental conservation. As a mother of three, and witnessing the effects of climate change across the globe, she has become more acutely aware and alarmed by the continued trajectory of environmental degradation. Sonia volunteers with the Sierra Club, Sea Shepherd, the Frederick County Forestry Board, and other organizations seeking to ensure a healthy planet for all. She is proud to join this Climate Emergency Mobilization Work Group of enormously well-qualified volunteers and to help mobilize Frederick towards a path of sustainability.

Kate Wilson (CEMWG member, Co-chair PAO sub-group)

Kate Wilson is a teacher and enjoys writing fiction and poetry. Currently, Kate teaches Science Writing and Advanced Composition for the Professional Writing Program at the University of Maryland, College Park as well as Critical Reading, Writing, and Research at Montgomery College. Kate also teaches a class with her husband at Montgomery College titled, “Surviving Together: Reading and Writing About the Environment Using a Sociological Lens.” Kate has been a Frederick resident since 2008 (born and raised in Chattanooga TN; college in Birmingham AL; MFA Creative Writing at American University in Washington DC). Kate is particularly interested in environmental issues of deforestation and tree cover. She is also a Love at First Sight enthusiast of the Chesapeake Bay and particularly the area around Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's County. Kate is thrilled to be a part of this workgroup and is passionate about contributing to positive environmental change for Frederick county.

Katey Grogan (CEMWG member, PAO sub-group member)

Katey Grogan serves as President of K&G Enterprises, a government proposal support company located in Frederick, Maryland. She has worked for fifteen years in government contracting, helping technology companies grow their businesses. She serves as Chairman of the Sustainability Committee for The City of Frederick and as Secretary of the Board of Directors for Hope Connections, a nonprofit providing support to cancer patients and their caregivers. She lives with her husband in Frederick, in the Market Square Community and is committed to creating a future in Frederick that is livable for years to come.

Virginia Borda (PAO sub-group member)

Hi! I’m Virginia Borda, a current sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Environmental Science and Policy. I also am an intern for Clean Water Action, a student employee at my university’s Career Center, and a member of Phi Alpha Delta, a co-ed, pre-legal, professional fraternity. In my free time, I love to draw, go for walks, and spend time with my loved ones. I’m originally from Brunswick, Maryland, and I cannot wait to see Frederick County and my hometown continue to grow and become more sustainable. I am particularly passionate about seeing people all over Frederick County become more environmentally friendly as we move into the new decade, and I am so grateful to be a part of that movement and educational process.

Michelle Schaffer (CEMWG member and POA sub group member)

Michelle Schaffer moved from Portland, OR to Frederick, MD in 2011 for a position at a biotech start-up in Gaithersburg, MD. After 2+ years of the 270 commute, she changed course and became a small business owner in historic downtown Frederick. As owner of North Market Pop Shop, she has utilized environmentally friendly products, composts store waste, recycles and reuses packing materials. Michelle was a merchant representative on the Board for the Downtown Frederick Partnership, the non profit in Downtown Frederick that runs the national Main Street Program where she was also co-chair of the Downtown Frederick Merchant Promotion Committee.

Michelle is originally from the Midwest. She received a B.A. from Reed College, Portland OR in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she earned her Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK. After living in the UK for 5 years, she moved to Perth, Aus to help start up a drug discovery lab at a small biotech company there. These experiences were a framework for thinking about how public awareness and subsequent education impact public attitudes leading to the stimuli needed for the important changes that are truly consequential, especially for public health and safety.

She also likes to attempt to garden, mostly thwarted by voles.

Kristen Schultz (PAO sub-group member)

Kristen has lived in Frederick county for nearly 30 years and loves it more every day. As a child her family would take summer camping trips to Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Park. This is where she would develop her love for nature at a young age. She spends her days working in software and her evenings and weekends as a “baseball mom” usually hopping game to game watching her son play a game he loves. She loves nature, being outdoors and gardening. She started a small herb garden that has rapidly evolved into a full-fledged vegetable garden. As a social person, Kristen loves to meet new people, learn about their passions and what motivates them. Never one to turn down a virtual coffee break or happy hour, she is happy to chat about our environment or whatever is on people’s minds. She still carries on her family’s tradition of camping at Cunningham Falls and takes the opportunity to enjoy our wonderful outdoors with her son and boyfriend.

Shane Stewart (PAO sub-group member)

I moved to Frederick in 2018 with my wife and daughter and we love this city and county. I have 20 years experience in social activism including in 2016 co-leading a successful grassroots volunteer effort to pass a strengthened ethics ordinance in Carroll County. I am also currently assistant chief shop steward at my workplace and have been part of the labor union movement for 13 years. Research, planning, outreach and organizing are all skills I hope to contribute to this workgroup.

Janet Carrier Ady (PAO sub-group member)

Janet Ady retired from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). For FWS, she worked at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV; as the regional Environmental Education Coordinator for the Alaska region; and at the Environmental Education Center on the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. For the BLM, she led the Division of Education, Interpretation, and Partnerships in the Headquarters Office in Washington, DC.


Janet earned a Bachelor of Science degree and teaching credentials in High School Biology and Elementary Education from California State University, Humboldt; and a Masters degree in Natural Science from San Jose State University. In 2016 she completed a doctorate in Sustainability Education from Prescott College in Arizona and in 2021 will complete a certificate in Sustainability and Behavior Change from the University of California, San Diego.

 

Ms. Ady advises the North American Association for Environmental Education, the Sustainable Forestry Institute’s Project Learning Tree, the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education Maryland Green Schools Program, and Sunrise Frederick. She is a member of the Myersville Lions Club, and served on the Myersville Open Space and Trails Committee.

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