About Us

Takoma Foundation Board of Directors

The Takoma Foundation is guided by an all-volunteer working board made up of members of our community. All of our fundraising, grantmaking, communications, programs and activities are managed by board members and other community volunteers. The Foundation has no paid staff. 

(Updated March 2018)

  • Benjamin Frey (President) has more than 20 years of experience as a public sector and philanthropy professional. He lives in Takoma Park Maryland with his wife and two daughters. Since his initial experience as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer, he is proud to have served an interesting variety of effective and mission driven nonprofits, foundations and government agencies and has developed a broad range of experience in program development and training, grants management, communications, and program monitoring and evaluation. After nearly four years in Africa, he and his family were thrilled to return "home" to Takoma Park in July 2016. He enjoys coffee, movies, libraries, playing the guitar and watching college basketball. He is excited to join the Takoma Foundation and is convinced that recent events will make the Foundation's activities and grantees an even more crucial resource for raising awareness and building community in the greater Takoma area.

  • Howard Kohn (Vice President).Howard is a freelance writer and a political consultant. He has been involved with the Foundation for 10 years and participates in several civic groups. He and his wife Diana, another activist, have lived in Takoma Park since 1982. Their three children are grown.

  • Kathy Porter (Treasurer)

  • Shruti Bhatnagar (Immediate Past President). Shruti is a recipient of the Azalea Award (2014) and has been actively involved in the Takoma Park community since 2008. Her 20+ years of work experience includes working in non-profit, corporate & community organizations. In her various leadership positions on the PTA board of Maryland State, Montgomery County and Takoma Park schools, she successfully led several initiatives including fundraising, membership & outreach, communication, and board development. She also advocated for the needs at the 13 Blair HS Cluster schools, led initiatives to build understanding of the needs within the Blair community and promoted programs to support student success.

    She continues to make a positive contribution to the Takoma Park community through her involvement in various initiatives. She Chairs the Takoma Park Welcoming Committee for Syrian Families that was formed as a result of a resolution passed by the TP City Council in November 2015. She also serves on the board of other organizations.

  • Gary Cardillo

  • Patti Mallin. Patti moved to Takoma Park in 1997 and immediately began volunteering for the Friends of the Takoma Park Library. She ran the highly successful twice-yearly book sales for several years until her daughter started school, at which point volunteer time was spent in the classroom or media center at the elementary school. During Camden’s girl scout years, Patti was the troop’s “Cookie Mom,” coordinating sales of over a thousand boxes of thin mints and such each year. Patti has also been involved with her daughter’s soccer, basketball and softball teams all along the way. Patti and Camden, now an 8th grader at TPMS, live on “Little Eastern” where Camden attempts to corner the market on dog-walking and pet-sitting and Patti spends too much time on homework patrol.

  • Eric Bond is a previous board president and board member. He is heartened by the continuing community support for the Takoma Foundation, as well as the breadth of important community projects that the Foundation supports. "The Takoma Foundation is the beating heart of Takoma Park," he says.

  • Denise Jones is a longtime Takoma Park resident and a tireless community building advocate who has a long history of activity and accomplishments in Montgomery County and beyond, promoting arts reach to underserved youth communities. Denise currently serves as the Director of Community Engagement for Carpe Diem Arts and is also engaged as a consultant delivering her youth development, college prep, and adult capacity building programs.  Denise has served on the School Improvement Team with Takoma Park Elementary schools, the NAACP Parents Council, and later, on the MCPS Deputy Superintendent’s Minority Achievement Advisory Council, while serving concurrently as the Chair of the Parents of Children of Color Committee at The Holton Arms School, where her daughter later attended. Over the years she has partnered with various youth organizations in designing, writing and delivering youth development programs related to entrepreneurship and workforce readiness for the Takoma Park Youth Collaborative.