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Government & Politics

Hogan Delivers a Final Round of ‘Green Bag’ Appointments With Many Familiar Faces

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and his Appointments secretary, Chris Cavey, with the “green bag” of appointments being submitted to the state Senate in 2022. Photo from the Executive Office of the Governor.

With just 11 months left in his term, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) submitted his last round of nominations to state boards and commissions Friday, kicking off what is known in the State House as the “Green Bag” appointment process.

Hogan’s 131 nominees include several people who are being reappointed to positions that they already hold, while others are coming out of retirement to re-enter state service. He has chosen people to serve on several key boards and commissions, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors, the Maryland Stadium Authority, and the Maryland State Gaming and Lottery Commission.

The appointees also include the wife of Hogan’s longtime campaign chair, a veteran Republican strategist, and local business leaders and power brokers.

In a statement, Hogan sought to spotlight the diversity of his nominees, noting that 62 of the appointees are women.

“I am confident that these appointees will serve their respective boards with integrity and help us continue to change Maryland for the better,” he said.

Following a tradition that dates back to 17th century England, the governor’s appointments in Maryland have been delivered to the state Senate on the third Friday in February in a green satchel by a member of the governor’s staff. Hogan’s appointments secretary, Christian E. Cavey, who has held the position since December 2016 — a job Hogan himself had under former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) — joined Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) on the rostrum during the Senate’s morning session Friday to deliver the list.

“These citizens are well qualified and reflect the diversity of our state,” Cavey told the lawmakers, adding that he was “grateful and appreciative of all the respect and working relationships we’ve developed.”

Ferguson thanked Cavey and his colleagues in the administration.

“People underestimate the challenge of the appointments office,” he said.

The 151 appointments now head to the Senate Executive Nominations Committee for consideration.

Hogan’s list does not appear to include any bombshells. On the most high-profile boards and commissions, most of the appointments are in fact reappointments, extending individuals’ terms of service.

One notable exception is for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Hogan has nominated Karen B. Salmon, who until last summer was superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education, and Barbara Kerr Howe, a retired Baltimore County Circuit Court judge.

For the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, Hogan is nominating Dori Bishop Kelso, who runs a building contracting firm and is the wife of Thomas Kelso, who was Hogan’s campaign chair and serves as the governor’s designated chair on the Maryland Stadium Authority. Farah I. Helal, a Howard County resident and student at University of Maryland Baltimore County, was appointed to serve one year as the student member of the Board of Regents.

Hogan also reappointed three of Thomas Kelso’s colleagues on the Stadium Authority — Manervia W. Riddick, a former Washington Gas executive; Leonard J. Attman, a Baltimore-area real estate developer; and Jodi C. Stanalonis, chief financial officer of a St. Mary’s County tech firm and government contractor.

Hogan reappointed four members of the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors — Briana D. Bowling, Wanda Queen Draper, Elizabeth E. Sweeney and John T. Williams — and nominated one new member, Gary L. Magnum, an Eastern Shore nursery owner who also has a seat on the Maryland Stadium Authority.

For the Washington Suburban Transit Commission, a planning agency for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, Hogan has nominated Raymond J. Briscuso Jr. He’s executive vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association in Washington, D.C., and was an Ehrlich appointee to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority. He’s also a longtime political player in Maryland who managed President George H.W. Bush’s campaign in the state in 1988.

Hogan has turned to another Republican strategist and government hand, Diane M. Croghan, for a seat on the State Lottery and Gaming Commission. Croghan is currently vice president of community engagement and chief of staff at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie. She has previously served as Hogan’s deputy chief of staff, was chief of staff at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development at the beginning of Hogan’s second term, and was chief of staff to then-Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh (R).

Hogan also nominated nine heavy hitters to the board of the Maryland Public Private Partnership Marketing Corporation, an agency within the Department of Commerce. Seven of the names are reappointments:

  • Henry Fawell, a former Ehrlich administration official who runs his own communications firm in Annapolis;
  • Eric A. Nielsen, president of the Association of Maryland Pilots;
  • Leonard R. Raley, president and CEO of the University System of Maryland Foundation;
  • J. Thomas Sadowski Jr., executive director of the Maryland Economic Development Corporation;
  • Angela Sweeney, vice president of the Peterson Companies, a D.C.-area development company;
  • Aaron N. Tomarchio, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Tradepoint Atlantic; and
  • Laura M. Van Eperen, who runs a public relations firm with offices in Rockville and Baltimore.

Hogan’s new appointees to the corporation board are Sila Alegret-Bartel, who runs a corporate training and marketing firm in Hagerstown, and Alexandra von Paris, the owner of Route One Apparel.


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Hogan Delivers a Final Round of ‘Green Bag’ Appointments With Many Familiar Faces