Hugh Cropper IV, CHAIR
Hugh Cropper, IV was born in Salisbury, Maryland and graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, Maryland (1981), the College of William & Mary, (B.A., 1985), and the University of Maryland, School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1988).
Hugh joined Cowdrey, Thompson on July 1, 2002, and he operates the firm’s Ocean City Office. He was formerly an associate, then partner, with Anderson, Coe & King in Baltimore (1988-2002). His primary practice areas include land use, zoning and property rights, administrative law, as well as general civil litigation. Hugh also represents a limited number of domestic clients in complex domestic law matters.
Hugh is the former attorney for the Town of Ocean City, Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1990-1991), and the Town of Ocean City, Board of Zoning Appeals (1991- 2002).
Hugh is a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank of Ocean City (1996- Present), and he has served as Chairman of the Board since January of 2013.
Hugh is a member of the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Directors (2010- Present), and the Former Chairman of the Recruitment and Retention Committee (2010- 2012) and the current Chairman of the Board Quality and Patient Safety Committee (2012-Present).
Hugh is a member of the Maryland Bar and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He is a member of the Worcester County and Maryland State Bar Associations, and he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Maryland State Bar Association (June 2013-Present).
Hugh and his wife Jennifer live in West Ocean City with their two children (twins) Myra and Hugh Thomas. Jennifer is the Office Manager of the firm’s Ocean City office. Hugh and his family also spend time at their home located on their farm in Snow Hill, where they hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. He is a former Charter Boat Captain, and an active Commercial Fisherman. He owns five farms, four of which are completely unimproved and one has been protected with a conservation easement in Worcester County. Hugh also owns a farm in Accomac County which is unimproved.
DOUG STEPHENS, vice chair
Born and raised in Salisbury, Doug studied photography while attending Salisbury State College. It was then that he first combined his interest in photography with his passion for the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore. After graduating in 1983, Doug followed his father’s footsteps and became a Realtor. He has been a successful Realtor ever since and is affiliated with Coldwell Banker. His interests include hiking, kayaking, boating of all kinds, travel, photography and writing. Doug is author of “Workin’ With the Wind,” his first book of photography and text which documents the history of the Skipjack, the watermen, and the oysters they harvest. He recently completed his second book, “Summer Harvest,” a portrait of commercial crabbing on Chesapeake Bay, also told through photos and text. Both books reflect his love and respect for the Chesapeake Bay area and all its inhabitants.
Doug has served on the boards of the Coastal Association of Realtors, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance and the GoGetters Foundation. He also served a term with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays, and is currently a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Doug lives along the Nanticoke River in Sharptown with his wife, Nancy, where they enjoy the views, wildlife and peace of one of the Bay area’s most pristine tributaries.
Bryan Johnston, TREASURER
Directly out of college, with a degree in Business Management, Bryan went to work for a privately held start-up located in the Four Corners region of New Mexico. As the start-up grew, his position evolved to handling more of the accounting duties. The owner of the company gave him a copy of the book “The Vest-Pocket CFO”, which still sits on his desk today, and started him on his career path. This drove Bryan to return to school, for an Accounting degree. Realizing that opportunities for further advancement at the start-up were limited, Bryan and his wife moved to West Texas, where they both went to work as professionals in the oil and gas industry. Over a period of 7 years, Bryan held several positions in the accounting discipline, eventually becoming a CFO. During this period, he went back to school for a master’s degree in Energy Business.
By this time, Bryan and his wife had been blessed with three daughters, and their goals had changed. Until this point, career aspirations had driven their choices, but it was time to make some decisions based on quality of life aspirations. They wanted to live near a metropolitan center, but as they had both grown up in small rural communities, they wanted to give their children that experience as well. Outdoor recreational opportunity for the family was important, and after 7 years in West Texas, they really wanted to live near trees and water. Rather than living where the job took them, they wanted to find a job where they desired to be. They began their search, and found an opportunity with Perdue Foods on the eastern shore of Maryland. The area met all their criteria, but it was a new industry to Bryan. He knew he would need to take a step back in his career, and his wife would have to alter her own career goals, to make it work. They decided to make the sacrifices necessary, in order to live somewhere that offered the lifestyle they wanted, and for him to work for a company that held the values they strived for.
Bryan encourages persistence to others working to pass the CMA exam. It is a lot of material, and unless they are recently out of school, it may cover topics they have not seen in quite some time. He recommends identifying the areas of weakness, then nibble away at those areas until you gain proficiency. He knows his current employer values the certification; that his work and the sacrifices by his family to achieve the certification are appreciated.
Outside of work, Bryan enjoys working out, hunting, and fishing. His family loves to go fishing and clamming in the bay, weekend road trips, and rooting for the Texas Rangers. Bryan’s faith and family are the primary drivers in his life, and he is beyond grateful for the impact of both. He especially wants to thank his wife, Calissa, for the support she has provided him over the years.
Suzy Taylor, Secretary
Suzy is the founder and co-owner of Ayers Creek Adventures an eco tourism venture providing kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and environmental education along Maryland’s coastal waterways. Established in 2010 Ayers Creek Adventures has introduced a viable and profitable business venture filling a void in tourism and recreation experiences in the Ocean City, MD market.
Prior to Ayers Creek Adventures, Suzy worked as an independent consultant in various Information Technology disciplines including Strategic Planning, Information Security, IT Governance, Business Continuity and Technology Project Management focusing on large financial institutions in the North East.
Suzy currently serves on the board of directors for the Ocean Pines Chamber or Commerce, where she is a member of the finance and ambassador committees. Suzy has served on the
Ocean City Race for the Cure committee for six years holding roles as Chairperson, Co-Chair, and Director of Operations. In addition to the race she supports Komen Maryland in a variety of initiatives and educational outreach on the Eastern Shore. Suzy is also an active volunteer with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services.
Suzy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of PA and a Masters of Business Administration and Decision Science from Loyola University in MD.
David C. Allen, Director
Dave Allen established Allen & Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers, LLC. after many years of working with his mentor Doug Marshall and was instrumental in helping to create Marshall Auctions. After more than a decade of Marshall Auctions growing to be the largest auction company on the Delmarva Peninsula Dave and Doug decided the only way to effectively manage the company’s growth was to split the business into two divisions (one division for Real Estate and the other for Personal Property). Hence, Allen and Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers, LLC was born. In 2005, Dave attended the prestigious Mendenhall School of Auctioneering where he earned the years “best all around” and “most likely to succeed” awards. He has certainly proved worthy of these rewards selling millions of dollars of personal property and developing intense product knowledge and a distinctive client service. Now the leading personal property auction company on the shore, Allen and Marshall Auctioneers looks forward to continued growth.
Pete Bozick, Director
A graduate of Boston College, Pete brings more than a decade of experience in the field of surveying/engineering to Davis, Bowen Friedel, Inc. where he will continue to employ his CAD Civil Design skills. Just a few of the projects to which he has contributed include the MAC Center classroom addition in Salisbury, Maryland, park improvements in Accomack County, Virginia, and The Reserves at Nassau in Sussex County, Delaware. According to Jason Loar, P.E., a Principal with DBF, Inc., “Pete has been a great addition to the DBF family. His diverse experience in survey and site design has been a great help on multiple projects…and his musical skills aren’t bad either.” When not utilizing his Civil Design abilities, Mr. Bozick lends his musical talents to The Larks, a well-known local jazz band he founded in 2002.
Tony DiPaolo, Director
Tony is a licensed professional forester in Maryland. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1982 with a BS in forestry and began his forestry career in 1986 as an Assistant Project Forester in Allegany County with the MD DNR Forest, Park and Wildlife Service. In 1987 he transferred to the Eastern Shore and worked as the Worcester Project Forester. He then entered the private sector in 1996 as a procurement forester for the Cropper Brothers Lumber Co. in Willards, MD. After leaving Cropper Brothers in 2013 he took a position as an Area Forester with Glatfelter working out of the Delmar Chip Facility. He is a member of the Worcester County Forestry Board and a District Supervisor with the Worcester Soil Conservation District. He is a member and past chair of the MD/DE Division of the Society of American Foresters and a past vice president for the Maryland Forest Association. He lives in Snow Hill, MD with his wife Lisa.
David Harkins, Director
Born in Washington, D.C. and from Calvert County, MD, David moved to Salisbury with his family as a toddler. When asked what brought his family to the Eastern Shore in the early 70’s, David’s answers are concrete work and quail hunting; two passions of his father George. David was a student-athlete at the University of Richmond, where he graduated from
the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business in 1992 and also played baseball. Having grown up in the family construction business, David is now owner of The Harkins Companies, a collection of construction and real estate related companies based in Salisbury. Active in the community, David has been a board member of the Life Crisis Center since 2006 and is a past President. He also has served on the Salvation Army’s Lower Shore Advisory Board since 2007, along with the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation since 2010. David also accepted invitation to join The Greater Salisbury Committee in 2015.
David’s love for the outdoors and hunting began at a young age and continues today. He still remembers vividly where he was as a young boy in Worcester and Wicomico counties when he bagged his first deer, his first turkey and especially his first quail. Today David feels very fortunate to own two waterfront farms in Worcester County, both in Lower Shore Land Trust easements and actively managed for wildlife.
David lives in Salisbury with his wife Audrey and their two sons, David and Connor. He loves spending time with his sons on the farm and coaching their soccer and baseball teams.
Robin Tomaselli, Director
Robin Tomaselli is the founder and owner of “Baked” Desserts and Café in Berlin, Maryland. Baked offers delicious handcrafted desserts, artisan breads, cheese spreads and other savory dishes using ingredients, which are free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and trans fats. Their emphasis is on healthy, all natural delicious foods. The bakery also serves as a gallery for local artists featuring and promoting a new talent each month. Baked is a past recipient of the Worcester Green Award recognized for their sustainable business practices and commitment to organic and local ingredients.
Robin is very active in the community and has twice received the philanthropy award from the Berlin Chamber of Commerce. Along with her husband, Kenny (aka Cupcake), they have given generously to a variety of causes in the community in addition to countless hours of time and talent.
As a member of the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee, Robin was the lead in bringing the mural project to Berlin. This project has brought together diverse sectors of the community to create a fun and colorful mural. The four-panel mural adorns the northern wall of the Berlin Welcome Center and depicts the rich history of Berlin. Robin also spearheaded the ‘Artists Giving Back Dinner’. The dinner supported by the local artists and businesses in Berlin provided a delicious meal to over 200 community members in need.
One of Robin’s many passions is working with the children in the community. She is a regular at Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services events teaching the children about healthy food choices, helping them prepare delicious meals, and chaperoning their many activities.
Robin is known for her big heart, generous spirit, and her dedication to improving the community in which she lives and works. Robin and Kenny live in Ocean Pines and are the proud parents of three wonderful young adult children.
Born and raised in Berlin, Victoria didn’t travel far to attend college at Salisbury University where she majored in Environmental Studies. During her time there, she was a founding member of the SU Permaculture demonstration garden and an active student in all clubs environmental. Upon graduation, she took a project manager position with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to coordinate the LEED certification process of the Richardson and Robbins building. The former cannery, which dates to 1881, now serves as the headquarters of DNREC. That same year she began volunteering with the Lower Shore Land Trust on the weekends and fell in love with the organization. Between 2013 and 2016 she worked her way up to GIS Intern and later Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator. With just a staff of two and the help a few dedicated volunteers, she completed the annual monitoring and reporting of each conservation easement among many other responsibilities within the organization.
As her passion for outreach grew, she joined the National Park Service and served as an Interpretive Park Ranger for two seasons. More recently, Victoria joined the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays where she was able to marry her experience managing volunteers, coordinating projects and providing in the field outreach. She now serves as the Science and Restoration Project Manager and is responsible for coordinating reforestation projects as well as green infrastructure and living shoreline projects within the Rehoboth, Indian River and Little Assawoman Bays.
No stranger to LSLT over the years, you’ve probably seen Victoria buzzing around helping at the Native Plant Sale and other outreach events. Victoria lives outside of downtown Berlin in the quintessential 1950s paneled home that she and her husband recently purchased and are slowly renovating. If there is one thing she is excited for it is to finally use her knowledge of native plants in her own yard.