LGAC Welcomes Three New Members
The Local Government Advisory Committee is pleased to welcome three new members to its watershed wide delegation. You can get to know each of the new members below:
Mark Dobbins is Chair of Maryland’s Northeast Planning Commission. He works at the University of Delaware as the Business Officer for the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment where he is responsible for finance, budget and human resources. Mark was born and raised in North Carolina and grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served as a field corpsman assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps with service in Beirut, Lebanon. He then received his B.S in Biology from Towson University and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Delaware. Currently living in the town of North East, MD. Mark is also the founding President of the Elk and North East Rivers Watershed Association (ENERWA) and a Master Watershed Steward for Cecil County.
Michael Helfrich served on York, Pennsylvania’s City Council from 2011-2017. He was elected Mayor of the City of York on November 8th, 2017. Before his work on York’s City Council, Michael served as the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Judge of Elections from 2003 to 2005, and as an elections inspector and clerk from 2008 to 2010 (where he was honored with the York City Leader of the Year Award in 2004 and the York County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award in 2005). He has also previously sat on the York County Community Foundation Codorus Watershed Endowment Advisory Board, was Director of the Board of Keep York Beautiful and the Watershed Alliance of York, and was Vice-Chair of the York NAACP Labor and Industry Committee. Finally, Michael started the non-profit, Codorus Creek Improvement Partnership, which led York’s volunteers in an effort that has since made great progress in restoring York’s main natural resources. Currently, Mayor Helfrich is living in the oldest owner-occupied home in the City of York, the Cookes House, also known as the Tom Paine House, which was built in 1761. In his spare time Mayor Helfrich enjoys spending time with his young daughter, Lily, fishing in the Codorus Creek, eating at Central Market, and listening to and playing music around the York community.
Robin Rich-Coates serves as the Chair of the Board for the Eastern Shore Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a retired educator who taught Biology and Chemistry for a total of 40 years, six years in Accomack County Schools and 34 years as Associate Professor at Eastern Shore Community College. When Robin moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1978 she worked for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science where her keen interest in environmental education began. At ESCC, Robin was the founder of the shore-wide Science Fair for K-12 students which emphasized environmental issues. Robin was instrumental in bringing the Envirothon to Virginia and has worked on a variety of projects including Arbor Day on the Eastern Shore and Watershed Festivals. She especially loves working with partner organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Nature Conservancy.
LGAC was pleased to meet Mayor Helfrich at the last LGAC Quarterly Meeting, September 11-12, 2019 at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. Members are also looking forward to their next meeting December 4-5, 2019 at the Claggett Center in Adamstown, MD, to officially welcome Mark Dobbins and Robin Rich-Coates to the Committee.