Johnny O Taps Leaders of Baltimore County Transition Team

    Baltimore County Executive-elect John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. (D) on Tuesday announced the leaders of his transition team along with the staffers who will helm the day-to-day transition effort.

    Calvin G. Butler Jr., the CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and Rachel Garbow Monroe, president and CEO of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, will be the transition team co-chairmen.

    Butler is a longtime BGE executive with a long list of civic good works. He serves on the boards of several prominent Baltimore-area organizations including the Baltimore Community Foundation, University of Maryland Medical Center, Greater Baltimore Committee, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. In addition, Butler serves on the board of the Institute of International Education, a nonprofit focused on advancing scholarship, promoting access to education, and building economies; and the Library of Congress’ James Madison Council.

    Prior to heading the Weinberg Foundation, Monroe served as the chief operating officer for The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; the worldwide director of marketing for the international architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago; and marketing manager for the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago.

    “Building a better Baltimore County means bringing together the best and brightest to identify new ways of looking at familiar problems, and to develop innovative solutions,” Olszewski said in a statement. “Calvin Butler and Rachel Monroe are two of the Baltimore region’s most dynamic and effective executives, and I am grateful to them for providing their vision, expertise and energy to leading an open and inclusive transition process.”

    Additionally, Olszewski announced that Elisabeth Sachs will serve as director of the transition and Sam O’Neil will serve as senior adviser to the transition.

    Sachs is currently managing partner of Long Point Strategies LLC, a public policy consulting firm. She previously served as executive director of the Job Opportunities Task Force, program director of EARN Maryland, interim secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, director of policy and planning at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and as an assistant state attorney general.

    O’Neil is currently vice president of Margrave Strategies, an economic development consulting firm headed by former Howard County executive Ken Ulman (D) that implements strategies on behalf of anchor institutions, including the University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University, Bowie State University and Salisbury University. She previously served as special assistant to Ulman when he was county executive and as director of outreach and community partnerships at the Howard County Health Department under Dr. Peter Beilenson.

    Officials announced that the transition will include seven workgroups:

    • Education;
    • Public Safety;
    • Job Creation and Economic Development;
    • Sustainability, Transportation and Infrastructure;
    • Health and Human Services;
    • Government Reform and Innovation; and
    • Diversity, Inclusion and Quality of Life.

    The transition team will announce chairmen for each work group in the coming days. Each workgroup will submit an initial report to the co-chairmen by Dec. 3, the day Olszewski is to replace interim County Executive Don Mohler (D), and a final report by Jan. 7.

    Community members can submit ideas for the transition to [email protected].

    Individuals interested in applying for a position in the Olszewski administration should submit a cover letter and resume via email to [email protected].

    In a related development, Howard County Executive-elect Calvin Ball (D) plans to announce details of his transition team at a news conference on Wednesday morning in Ellicott City.

    [email protected]

    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.