The Montgomery Village Foundation Board of Directors Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Below are some highlights from the meeting.
The MVF Board of Directors meets the fourth Thursday of every month, except November and December, at 7:30 p.m. in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.
Pete Young, President
MVF Board of Directors
March 22, 2018
Good evening, friends and neighbors, fellow MVF Board members, committee members and MVF staff.
2017 was an event-filled year for us as Montgomery Village residents, as our community moved forward with our generational refresh. Some of these events, which we can advocate for, but over which we have little control, continue to progress slowly but surely, such as the continuing approval and development process for the former golf course property and progress on the Village Center project. We are still awaiting news on the sale of the Professional Center and what kind of plan will be proposed.
Other events, including continuing to renovate aging facilities and provide new amenities as outlined in the MVF facilities plan, have been successfully completed and have already enhanced the quality of life for our residents.
- The Peggy Mark Pool was completed and opened in time for the summer swim season and enjoyed a record-breaking attendance;
- Natural-looking play equipment and 50th anniversary benches were installed at Lake Whetstone Park, following completion of the dredging project;
- The Whetstone Community Center Playground and McKendree Playground were replaced;
- The new all-ability playground at Apple Ridge Recreation Area was approved by the Board and will be constructed shortly.
All of these projects demonstrate MVF’s commitment to invest in our community! We can celebrate the progress made in the past year, while reminding ourselves that generational change and renewal is a marathon, not a sprint.
In addition to those concrete projects that we can see, our community is affected by county-wide decisions, and this year we saw an increase in the number of issues under consideration by our state and county officials that we on the MVF Board weighed in on.
- For example, I had the opportunity to testify on behalf of the MVF Board before the county council regarding the issue of short-term rentals—more commonly known as Airbnb—and how best to manage them in Montgomery County. At the heart of this issue is how to best manage the effects of this new “sharing economy” on existing communities, including the balance of embracing new ways for residents to earn additional income while not creating significant negative effects on communities. While this is not as big of an issue for Montgomery Village as it is for those communities down county, I provided testimony highlighting our concerns about parking impacts in our denser neighborhoods, emergency notification procedures and licensing enforcement.
- I also provided testimony with regard to planning for new development in the upcounty, and supported a resolution, in accordance with the newly approved MVF Board Transportation Priorities, not to allow the Planning Board to count M-83 capacity in their approvals. Thankfully, there is no funding for this road in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan.
- I presented testimony before the Planning Board in support of the Bloom Plan, which lays out a final plan to build approximately 500 homes on the former golf course. The great news for our community is that a new park will be built by the developer and dedicated to Montgomery Village Foundation. The park, known as Central Park, will include community gardens, a dog park for large and small dogs, a play structure and pathways. We are hopeful that construction on the property will begin in 2019.
These issues highlight how the Village—and the county around us—is changing rapidly. We have seen this coming and have carefully laid plans over the past decade to prepare for these changes.
MVF operations took some important steps forward as well. In 2017, the Board approved numerous new initiatives to move the Foundation further along into 21st century technology:
- The Architectural Standards and Community Management departments fully deployed Smartwebs, a software program that allows for inspectors to collect data in the field using smart devices. The previous year’s pilot project was successful, and it was decided to train all the staff and move forward with this new initiative. This same technology is used to collect data for private property maintenance inspections for our HOA customers.
- The Communications Department, following recommendation of the Communications Committee, moved forward with a new marketing initiative aimed at connecting residents to the community through shared stories. “What’s Your Story?” identifies and promotes residents with a story to tell—their successes and achievements, and why they enjoy living in Montgomery Village. This new venture highlights residents, their accomplishments and investment in the Village, and showcases the caliber of people we call our neighbors, through the use of digital content, videos and social media. The videos can be found on our MVF website. This is just one of the ways in which the department is moving toward more digital communication in an effort to reach more residents.
- The Finance and Administration Department began working with a contractor for secure off-site scanning of all MVF homeowner files into Treeno, MVF’s electronic document record storage, in the effort to reduce MVF’s use of consumable paper supplies.
- The Recreation and Parks Department enhanced interactivity of the Recreation Guide online to facilitate class and program registration. In addition, a digital survey was developed in order to evaluated current recreation offerings and invite resident suggestions for new recreation initiatives. The Board looks forward to reviewing the survey results in the coming months.
Last, but certainly not least, significant change has also come to our MVF senior staff. 2017 marked the retirement of two longtime department heads, Peggy Mark, Director of Recreation and Parks, who served MVF for over 40 years, and Diane Stasiewicz, Director of Architectural Standards, who served for nearly 40 years. We will never forget their dedication and long-time service to MVF.
In August, we welcomed a new Director of Recreation and Parks, Duncan Mullis, who has already kicked off a strategic planning process that promises to revitalize our recreation offerings.
Katherine Webb was hired as the new Director of Architectural Standards in late 2017 and has begun to evaluate policies and procedures in that department.
Change in MVF senior staff continues in 2018, with the recent announcement of CFO Greg Snellings’ resignation after almost 10 years of service. Greg, will you please join me at the podium.
Greg took over MVF’s financial activities mid-2008 and created a plan to turn around the MVF’s financial condition. Under his leadership, a new budget process and controls were implemented, resulting in a financially strong balance sheet, which quickly repaid the Reserve loans and accumulated a significant surplus that has enabled the Board to have very small or no MVF assessment increases for many years. The financial turnaround allowed for sizable contributions to reserves, which now total over a million dollars per year and have funded many new projects, including the Whetstone and Apple Ridge pool renovations. The budget is now much more transparent and understandable and is full of important financial and programmatic data. Greg was also the author of MVF’s first Five Year financial plan, which has guided our strategic planning and assessment budgeting processes. In addition, after bringing his recommendation to the Board for approval, Greg implemented formation of a new Investment Committee, along with a revised Reserve Fund Investment Policy and guidelines, which enabled diversification of MVF’s Reserve portfolio.
As we as a community face the many projects and challenges ahead, I hope that we all can bring a renewed sense of optimism, commitment and enthusiasm for our community’s renewal and reinvestment efforts that lie ahead.
I also invite you to appreciate the many blessings we have—from the nature that surrounds us, to the dedicated staff that serves us, to the many residents that give so much of their time and talent to make our community better. I trust and hope that we on the MVF Board and staff can earn your support as we move the community forward.
We are eagerly awaiting the next major milestones, including the Village Center site plan hearing and redevelopment (after sale) of the Village Professional Center. I hope that you will all continue to help us make our visions come alive. In the meantime, keep up to date on developments on our MVF website and through the Village News. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for every one of us to keep informed about ongoing development processes, to participate in community forums, to let our voices be heard, to help ensure that our concerns and wishes are taken into consideration.
MVF has a great Board, dedicated volunteers and a strong staff; but we need your help to support our initiatives today and into the future. Let’s all help Montgomery Village stay the amazing community it has been all these years and work to make 2018 a year to celebrate and be proud of.
During the meeting, the Board also honored several community members, organizations and staff members for their volunteer efforts, service to the community or years of dedicated employment.
Awards were presented to:
Community Service Awards
- MV MOMs Club for volunteer trash pickup and maintaining the community with their children.
- Dion Mulvihill for teaching and hosting boat safety programs at Lake Whetstone.
- Paula Brooks/MV Garden Club for volunteer work and maintaining a community herb garden at the North Creek Nature Center.
- Erica Guthrie for completing her Girl Scout Gold Award.
- Sawyer Conklin for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.
Outgoing Board Member
- John Driscoll
Staff Service Awards
- Linda Azoff, Community Management Staff Accountant – 5 years
- Jo Banky, Community Management Administrative Assistant – 5 years
- Karen Kodjanian, Director of Community Management – 5 years
- Greg Korniloff, Park and Facility Assistant – 5 years
- April Steward, Community Manager – 5 years
- Dave Humpton, Executive Vice President – 10 years
- Jana Serlo, Program Manager – 15 years
- Ernesto Montano, Custodian – 20 years
- Gonzalo Montes, Custodian Supervisor – 20 years
Employee Recognition Awards
- Greg Snellings, Chief Financial Officer
- Maria Pullifrone, Graphic Designer
- Alex Alcon, Recreation Specialist I
- Ron Schroers, Parks and Property Manager
- Scott Gole, Jason Nicklow & Petra Padilla, Aquatics Team
- Dee Wirth, Architectural Compliance Specialist
- Martha Cruz, Architectural Compliance Specialist
- Michelle Bentzel, Director of Human Resources