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Date: Dec 13, 2018


Baltimore County Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III announced today he will retire on December 31, 2018 to begin a new career in the private sector. At the request of County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., he will serve for several months as a transition advisor to the County Executive.

Olszewski has named Assistant Chief Jennifer L. Aubert-Utz to serve as Acting Fire Chief beginning January 1, 2019.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to Chief Preis for his 28 years of service to the residents of Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “He has provided valuable insight into Baltimore County’s Fire and EMS operations, and I want to thank him for continuing to assist us in the coming months as we work to build a better Baltimore County.”

Chief Preis, 52, informed County Executive Olszewski earlier this week of his decision to retire. He was appointed in 2017 by the late County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; he replaced John J. Hohman, who retired after a long tenure as Fire Chief. A life member of the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, Chief Preis has served on numerous professional boards including the Maryland EMS Board, which oversees budgets for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Shock Trauma, Maryland State Police Aviation Command and the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

“I truly believe that the Baltimore County Fire Department has given me the most rewarding career one could have,” Chief Preis said.

Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz, 45, is an 18-year Baltimore County Fire Department veteran. She began as a Firefighter/EMT and has held every rank in the Department up to Assistant Chief. Aubert-Utz holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Management with a focus on public safety and leadership. She also earned the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer designation.

“In nearly two decades of service to Baltimore County, Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz has earned the respect of her colleagues and our residents,” Olszewski said. “She has the experience and talent to guide the Department through this transition, and I have great faith in her ability to lead the fire service.”

Transition team meetings, progress will be updated online prior to final report being issued in January

As he continues his efforts to modernize County government, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today provided an update on his transition team’s progress, releasing the full rosters of his transition team work groups and schedule of work group meetings.

“We’re proud to have recruited a diverse coalition of thoughtful leaders from across the Baltimore region to lead our work groups and begin building a better Baltimore County,” said County Executive Olszewski. “We are laying the foundation to set goals and priorities and provide every resident access to the 21st-century government they deserve.”

Each transition work group is developing a comprehensive set of recommendations that will inform policy priorities, reform how Baltimore County does business and improve the delivery of services and resources provided by county government.

The Education Work Group is co-chaired by Diana Morris, Director, Open Society Institute and Ed Gilliss, Partner, Royston, Mueller, McLean & Reid LLP.

The members of the Education Work Group include:

  • Abby Beytin
  • Allie Carter
  • Melissa Broome
  • Yara Cheikh
  • Tony Fugett
  • Marisol Johnson
  • Tam Lynne Kelley
  • Jennifer Lynch
  • Ligia Mardari
  • Sean McComb
  • Eric Washington

The Jobs & Economic Development Work Group is co-chaired by Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University; Freeman Hrabowski, President UMBC; and Shina Parker, CEO Integrity Title.

The members of the Job Creation & Economic Development Work Group include:

  • Kirk Baumgart
  • Rick Binetti
  • Brandon Bonnano
  • Dante Daniels
  • Linda Dworak
  • Chickie Grayson
  • Jessica Hack
  • Marci Hunn
  • Joe Jones
  • Adam Kane
  • Sandra Kurtinitis
  • Erich March
  • Jon Mayers
  •  Amy Menzer
  • Sam Neuberger
  • Tommy Obrecht
  • Odette Ramos
  • Hugh Sisson

The Public Safety Work Group is co-chaired by Sheryl Goldstein, VP, Abell Foundation and Carl Jackson, Community Activist.

The members of the Public Safety Work Group include:

  • Elizabeth Alex
  • Craig Coleman                                           
  • Bryen Glass
  • Dyana Forester
  • Mary Livingston
  • Aisha Khan
  • Raees Khan
  • Ganesha Martin
  • Kevin O’Connor
  • Garry Pace
  • John Ripley
  • Anthony Russell            
  • Keith Tiedemann
  • Mark Weir
  • Alonza Williams  

The Health & Human Services Work Group is co-chaired by Talib Horne, Executive Director, Bon Secours Community Works; Gill Wylie, President, Johns Hopkins Medical Management; and Bill McCarthy, Executive Director, Catholic Charities. The members of the Health & Human Services Work Group include:

  • Lauren Averella
  • Amy Blank
  • Lisa Budlow
  • John Chessare
  • Jean Gaffney
  • Justin Holliday
  • Ricarra Jones
  • Amy Kleine
  • Dawn O’Neill
  • Mark Puente
  • Tom Smyth
  • Brock Yetso
  • Mark Yost

The Diversity, Inclusion, Quality of Life Work Group is co-chaired Vicki Almond, County Council, District 2 and Chuck Tildon, VP, United Way of Central Maryland.

The members of the Diversity, Inclusion & Quality Of Life Work Group include:

  • Rabbi Jessy Dressin
  • Sara Elalamy
  • Charles Fink
  • Doug Hoffberger
  • Linwood Jackson
  • Bobbie Laur
  • Cindy Leppert
  • Pam Newland
  • Gray Parsons
  • Susan Radke
  • Doug Riley
  • Shanaysha Sauls
  • Jason St. John
  • Morgan Streeter
  • Lisa Weiderlight

The Government Reform & Innovation Work Group is co-chaired by Beth Blauer, Executive Director, JHU GovEx; Lisa Hamilton, President & CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Roy Meyers, Professor, UMBC.

The members of the Government Reform and Innovation Work Group include:

  • Akbar Ansari
  • Sonny Appolonia
  • Mitch Butta
  • Sheldon Caplis
  • Rob Gavel
  • Mandee Heinl
  • Kevin Mooring
  • Jeff Supik
  • Shirley Supik
  • Maria Tildon

The Sustainability, Transportation, Infrastructure workgroup is co-chaired by Anwer Hasan, Senior VP, Louis Berger and Tim Regan, President, Whiting-Turner.

The members of Sustainability, Transportation & Infrastructure Work Group include:

  • Ed Adams
  • Joan Bryan
  • Chris Burton
  • Charlie Fenwick
  • John Hawks
  • Brent Howard
  • Marsha McLaughlin
  • Teresa Moore
  • Peter O’Malley
  • Klaus Philipsen
  • Scott Phillips
  • Tom Pilon
  • Rob Poleski
  • Todd Schuler
  • Jim Smith
  • Tyrone Taborn
  • Ted Venetoulis

In order to develop these recommendations, work group members are reviewing department data and consulting with policy experts and community members.

Each work group will continue their work, meeting throughout December and January and will issue a final report on January 31, 2019.

The full schedule of work group meetings is available online.

Residents can continue to monitor the transition team’s progress, submit ideas, and find information about workgroup meetings on the County’s website.

Community members can continue to submit ideas for the transition online or by emailing These community suggestions will be reviewed by the transition team and incorporated into the final report.

Revised September 11, 2017