The leading voice for smarter growth since 1994

1000 Friends of Maryland advocates for a more environmentally and economically sustainable future that creates opportunities for all Marylanders through better development patterns.



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Staff and Board




John Campagna

John Campagna
Executive Director
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John took over as Executive Director in November 2017.  John’s career has included high tech, finance, and environmental restoration. As the founder of Restore Capital and an independent advisor, he has helped organizations such as Corvias, GreenVest LLC, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, and others create solutions to help clean up the Bay, create local jobs, and enhance the local community.  



Kimberly Golden Brandt
Local Policy Director
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Kimberly manages the organization’s local campaigns. She advises officials and advocates working to advance sustainable growth in their communities and provides technical analysis of local planning efforts. Kimberly received a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked as a professional planner for eighteen years, focusing primarily on the relationship between people and the natural and built environments. Her work experience includes local land use planning and natural hazard mitigation planning for the State of Maryland. 


Sally Otto
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Sally has over twenty years of project administration and management experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She is a graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and the University of Maryland at Baltimore with extensive experience in construction management, historic preservation, and human resources. 


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Alexandra Ryan

Alexandra is the local policy intern. She supports the organizations local campaigns by assisting with communication and outreach, including maintaining social media presence and online updates for several of the organization’s coalitions. Alexandra received an Associate’s Degree from Anne Arundel Community College in Business Administration and is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Baltimore’s R.G. Merrick School of Business. 


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Dru Schmidt-Perkins
President and CEO emeritus

We want to thank Dru for her 20 plus years of dedication to 1000 Friends of Maryland.  Dru became 1000 Friends' first Executive Director in 1998 after serving on the founding steering committee for two years. She left in Novmber 2017 to explore new opportuntities.  We wish her great success!


Board of Directors

  • Dale Sams, Chair
  • Karla Aghajanian, First Vice Chair
  • Caroline Moore, Second Vice Chair
  • Rick Struse, Treasurer
  • Marsha Ramsay, Secretary
  • Alfred W. Barry, III
  • Robert C. Embry, Jr.
  • Klaus Philipsen
  • Edwin Remsberg
  • Ellen Stifler
  • Ginger Woolridge

1000 Friends of Maryland Begins a New Chapter

John Campagna

This year 1000 Friends of Maryland begins a new chapter: Dru Schmidt-Perkins has stepped down after two decades of amazing leadership, and I have the honor of being the new Executive Director.  It is a privilege to begin my tenure with a great legacy of success, excellent staff, and an enthusiastic and engaged board.  Most of all I am excited by the possibilities of what we can accomplish with supporters like you.

Like many of you, I am alarmed and angered by what is going on in DC and at the federal level:  environmental protections rolled back; innovative renewable energy programs curtailed; transit initiatives stifled; and community development funding eliminated.  The politicians in DC have abandoned just about all principle components of smart growth. 

Therefore, we need state and local leadership to show new ways to incorporate smart growth into Maryland’s future to improve our economy, environment and social equity

1000 Friends of Maryland is doing this by building diverse, effective coalitions, and taking on complex issues within our communities and in Annapolis.  Because of this, we bring positive change to Maryland.   We have made important progress, but we have a lot more work to do. With your generous year-end gift, we can continue to:

  • Advocate for smart, sustainable local planning and make sure those plans are implemented. We are excited to be engaged in this important work in Charles, Calvert, Frederick, and Anne Arundel counties.
  • Reform state-level planning processes to create more renewable energy, equitable transit options, and healthier neighborhoods.

Finally, in 2018 we will focus on bringing innovative, community-based smart growth principles to the Baltimore region to help create vibrant and inclusive neighborhoods based on social justice and community engagement.  

In closing, I ask you the following simple questions:

  • With Maryland’s great reputation as a smart growth leader, Why Not Here to demonstrate what we can do to create innovative solutions for our local needs and be a national model?
  • As the politics in DC remain gridlocked and without leadership, Why Not Now to take up the challenge and develop the solution and leadership?
  • And in partnership with our great supporters and coalitions, Why Not Us?

Please support our coalition building and leadership at both the state and local levels, especially in this time of divisiveness.  Please invest in 1000 Friends and in Maryland’s future today.

Together we have already accomplished so much. And together we can, and must, do even more for our state and as a beacon for the nation.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

John Campagna, Executive Director