Ball Taps Leadership Team, Retains Howard County’s Veteran CAO

    Howard County Executive-elect Calvin Ball (D) on Wednesday announced his leadership team as he prepares to take over on Dec. 3. Ball has selected:

    • Lonnie R. Robbins as Chief Administrative Officer
    • Sameer Sidh as Chief of Staff
    • Angela Lagdemeo Cabellon as Chief Innovation Officer and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
    • Jennifer Jones as Deputy Chief of Staff
    • Maureen Evans Arthurs as Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships
    • Shaina Hernandez as Senior Adviser for Policy
    • Scott L. Peterson as Director of Communications
    • Kimberly Pruim as Director of Constituent Services and Community Partnerships

    “This is a strong and talented team of professionals to advise and assist me,” Ball said in a statement. “I looked for experienced, innovative leaders to help me best serve our community.”

    Most noteworthy is that Robbins is retaining his role as CAO, which he has held under Ball’s immediate predecessors, outgoing Executive Allan Kittleman (R) and former executive Ken Ulman (D). He has held the job since 2007 and became deputy CAO in 2004.

    “Howard County is one of the most highly functioning and achieving jurisdictions in our nation. I look forward to assisting the new administration to ensure efficient operation of government and effective use of tax dollars in delivering services,” Robbins said.

    He began his career with Howard County government as an assistant county solicitor in 1989, and was named a senior assistant county solicitor in 1993.

    Sidh previously served as chief of staff at Towson University and before that was director of Baltimore City’s Citistate program. He has also worked as the deputy chief of staff for the Maryland Department of Transportation and served as both acting director and deputy director of the StateStat program.

    Lagdemeo Cabellon has worked in state government for 10 years and recently was at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, where she served as the Social Services Officer and Deputy Chief of Children, Youth and Family Services, overseeing $38 million in social service programs funded by the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) and a workforce of nearly 500 people.

    Previously, Lagdemeo Cabellon served as the assistant secretary for Policy and Program Management at DHS and got her start in state government, preparing all education policy briefings for the Director of Policy and then-Gov. Martin J. O’Malley (D).

     Since 2015, Jones has worked as a business development consultant for small and midsize companies both nationally and internationally. Most recently, she was the field director for Ball’s campaign.

    Prior to starting her consulting company, Jones spent eight years at Live Nation Entertainment, including as the vice president of Business Analysis, Europe. Jones also spent time at Sony Pictures, United Cinemas International, and Ernst & Young LLP.

    Evans Arthurs has served as legislative director for Del. Shelly K. Hettleman (D-Baltimore County) since 2015. She has also worked in higher education and for nonprofits focused on advocating for women’s empowerment, wellness and access to financial and educational resources.

    Evans Arthurs spent the year as chairwoman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, the youngest and the first African American woman to do so. She also served as the campaign manager for county council campaigns including Team Howard County, a collaborative effort with the Maryland Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

    Hernandez most recently served as the director of Local Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives for the Greater Baltimore Committee.

    Prior to joining the GBC in 2014, Hernandez served in O’Malley’s press office and as the special assistant to the governor’s chief of staff.

    Peterson was most recently the press secretary and deputy communications director for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) and was director of Media Relations for the City of Baltimore in 2009 and 2010.

    Peterson also spent nine years as a spokesman, marketer, producer, and civic educator for the C-SPAN Television Networks, and he worked for two years at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.

    Pruim has served as special assistant to Ball during his tenure as a county council member. While living in California, she headed up client relations and cultivated strategic partnerships working for a company called Business Commerce Solutions.

    Ball and the members of the Howard County Council will be sworn in on Monday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road in Ellicott City. The ceremony will be streamed live on the county’s website at http://www.howardcountymd.gov.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.