Election of MCM Officers is Underway

Every spring the Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) holds an election for certain officers. We use an on-line process using Google Forms. The election site is now open for members to vote from May 16 through May 30.

While MCM holds an election annually, not all officer positions are elected each year. In 2024, the positions to be filled by election, and the candidates who have expressed willingness to serve, are:

President (2-year term):  John Barrett

Vice-President (2-year term):  Steve Kempler

Treasurer (2-year term):  Ray Kirchner

Recording Secretary (2-year term): Jody Blatt

3 General Councilors that represent the membership at large (1-year terms):

  • Suzy Gerlak
  • Dennis LeCompte
  • Gwen Mahoney

A brief biographical summary for each candidate is provided below.

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS.  Each MCM membership is able to vote once for any candidate. Household memberships may cast a single vote for each candidate. To vote, place your cursor over this link and hit Ctrl + Click, or paste the link in your browser, to go to the election site.

MCM Officer Election Spring 2024 – Google Forms

Then make your selections.

WRITE-IN VOTING. As an alternative to any of these candidates, you may identify a write-in candidate. However,you should contact this person and obtain his/her permission before voting to nominate them.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS.  Results will be announced by email and at the annual picnic on June 8.

CANDIDATE INFORMATION. Below is a brief biographical statement for each candidate.

President: John Barrett. I joined MCM in 2018, following my retirement from the Applied Physics Lab, but have been hiking and backpacking most of my life.  I have been (slowly) section backpacking the AT over the past several years and backpacked through northern New Mexico for several 2-week treks.  Many family vacations have been centered around day hiking many of the national parks in the western and southern states.  Currently, I am the MCM’s Director of Boundary Monitoring, the Wednesday hard-hike coordinator, and a trail maintainer for a part of the club’s section of the AT in Pennsylvania.  Outside of the MCM, I am a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church, a BSA Scout leader in the Baltimore Area Council, and a member of the Howard County Woodworkers Guild. 

Vice-President: Steve Kempler. After my retirement from 36 years at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, at the end of 2016, I met people who told me about this excellent hiking club called the Mountain Club of Maryland.  I joined early 2018.  I soon started leading hikes, followed by becoming Excursions Chairperson (currently known as Trip Schedule Coordinator).  In this position, I developed the requirements and operational concept for our on-line trip scheduling, in consultation with Hike Leaders and Hike Coordinators.  I also coordinate picnic hikes, as well as other event hiking opportunities.  In addition, I am on the 90th Anniversary celebration committee, and have been a HAM sweeper.  Outside of MCM, I had been a Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster and baseball coach.  Since retiring, I volunteer at the Howard County Nature Conservancy, take classes at UMBC, ride my bike, kayak, have picked up my guitar (after 30 years), and play with grandkids.

Treasurer: Ray Kirchner.  I have been a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland for 3 years now.  I became a hike leader about 2 years ago and have been serving as the Treasurer for the past 2 years as well.  I would like to serve as the Treasurer for another 2 year term.  I retired last year after working for over 38 years as a structural engineer in the field of bridge design.  You may have driven over or hiked under some of the bridges that I have worked on without even knowing it, such as the bridge on US 40 over the Patapsco River.  The role of Treasurer utilizes some of the same strengths as engineering, such as discipline, accuracy, attention to detail and experience with spreadsheets.  Other than hiking, I also enjoy running, gardening, fixing things, reading and playing my hammered dulcimer.

Recording Secretary: Jody Blatt. I have been a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland since 2005. Now that I’m retired, I am a regular Wednesday as well as “weekend hiker”. I’ve served as a Councilor for several terms in the past and, in addition, served as Recording Secretary for the Council from 2012 – 2014. Outside of hiking I enjoy kayaking, bicycling and contra dancing. I also volunteer as a Master Naturalist with several of the nature centers in Baltimore and Howard Counties. 

Councilor: Suzy Gerlak. I joined the Mountain Club of Maryland in February (following my retirement from Johns Hopkins Medicine) both for the hiking community and the volunteer opportunities, where I have learned to remove bark and identify, cut, and move stones for the Tagg Run bridge replacement project.  I am a volunteer tree planter and pruner with Tree Baltimore/Blue Water Baltimore and will soon be a certified tree pruner. When not on the trail, I enjoy kayaking, road and gravel biking, and participating in flash mobs. 

Councilor: Dennis LeCompte. I have been a member of the Mountain Club of Maryland since 2018. I’ve been volunteering as an Appalachian Trail maintainer for years, and I’m also MCM’s assistant supervisor of shelters. I work on a lot of MCM’s trail crews to do trail building, and I am part of the Hike Across Maryland planning committee. I also am a volunteer Appalachian Trail maintainer for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

Councilor: Gwen Mahoney. I have been a member of the Mountain Club since 2008. In the past, I’ve led hikes, helped with a few trail maintenance projects, and completed the HAM several times. With my recent retirement, I am looking forward to becoming even more active in hike-leading and participating as a Councilor.

WRITE-IN VOTING. As an alternative to these candidates, you may identify a write-in candidate. However, you should contact this person and obtain his/her permission before nominating them. (If you do want to vote for a write-in candidate, check Other for that position and type the person’s name, and the position in which you would like them to serve, in the Write-In box at the end of the ballot.)

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS.  Click on this link MCM Officer Election Spring 2024 – Google Forms and follow the instructions on the ballot to choose the candidate(s) for whom you wish to vote.