Meet Our New Program Manager: Valerie Rivera-Maldonado


Meet Valerie Rivera-Maldonado, Dundalk Renaissance’s new program manager.  Valerie joined our team at the end of 2022. As a native Puerto Rican professional, she has dedicated over six years of her career to facilitate access to services among Hispanic communities in the non-profit and government sectors. In Maryland, she worked at Esperanza Center and most recently at Leadership Howard County, working collaboratively in the development of initiatives that serve diverse communities.   As part of her new role, Valerie will assist in translating and adapting educational materials for individuals and households engaging in our housing and financial counseling programs while engaging [...]

Meet Our New Program Manager: Valerie Rivera-Maldonado2023-02-01T10:57:29-04:00

Meet Jennifer Smutek, photographer of “Beautiful Dundalk” exhibit in the Forge


Jennifer Smutek is a Dundalk local whose passion for art started as a child.    “My favorite toy as a child was a pretend polaroid camera; and, by the time I was 8, I knew I wanted to be a professional photographer,” Jennifer said. Her father, Mike, purchased her toy camera and then a real camera for her to learn on.  Her childhood passion led her to seriously pursue the craft in high school and later at the Community College of Baltimore County.  She established a photography business in 2007 that focused primarily on portraits.  The pandemic shifted the way she viewed [...]

Meet Jennifer Smutek, photographer of “Beautiful Dundalk” exhibit in the Forge2022-10-04T10:18:05-04:00

New Team Member: Stevie Mosley, Community Engagement Coordinator


We’re excited to welcome Stevie Mosley to our team.  Stevie will be out in the community as our community engagement coordinator. You’re likely to see him at tabling events or around the neighborhoods helping Dundalk’s neighborhood associations reach their residents.  Stevie is a people person and can’t wait to help the Dundalk community. “I look forward to meeting new people with the potential of learning from them in return,” Stevie said.  When looking for a new job, Stevie knew he wanted to work somewhere meaningful. He decided to apply to Dundalk Renaissance because of our extensive community and housing work. Stevie [...]

New Team Member: Stevie Mosley, Community Engagement Coordinator2022-09-06T12:18:02-04:00

New Team Member: Lisa Wright, Housing Counselor


We’re excited to welcome Lisa Wright to our team as our new housing counselor. Lisa will assist Sonya Dease, our housing and financial counselor, in our housing initiatives work.  She will be available for one-on-one counseling; help manage our Dundalk-wide grant program and assist in our home buyer education classes. When asked why she wanted to join our team, Lisa said “I loved the Dundalk Renaissance mission: Mobilizing people to invest in greater Dundalk neighborhoods and quality of life.” Lisa wants to help individuals and families purchase homes and stay in them.  “I love the feeling of helping individuals and families [...]

New Team Member: Lisa Wright, Housing Counselor2022-09-01T16:08:16-04:00

“View Through My Lens” Gallery Opening @ the Forge


Barbara Bustard is a local artist who attended Dundalk Elementary School, Dundalk Middle School, Dundalk High School. She received an AA degree from CCBC Dundalk and is a graduate of Notre Dame University of Maryland with a BA Degree in Religious Studies and Art. “I may not have identified myself as an artist, but I have been an artist as long as I can remember.  As a child, I wrote poems all the time,” Barbara said.  “Art was always in me.” Barbara’s love of art and artistic interest cover a wide array of artistic endeavors. She’s created art in many forms, [...]

“View Through My Lens” Gallery Opening @ the Forge2022-07-22T12:29:50-04:00

Staff Spotlight: Tasha Gresham-James, Executive Director


Tasha Gresham-James started at Dundalk Renaissance as an administrative assistant nearly eight years ago. She moved on to become our housing initiatives manager and, eventually, our executive director.  "One of my favorite parts of working at Dundalk Renaissance is our connection to the community and to people. Some days you don't see how much we positively impact lives and other days you see how our help has changed someone's life." She said.  She cites our Senior Home Repair, which she was instrumental in developing and implementing, as one of her top accomplishments. "I am proud of our Senior Home Repair/BCAUSE programs have expanded our [...]

Staff Spotlight: Tasha Gresham-James, Executive Director2022-06-09T10:49:31-04:00

Jean Kettell Dance Studio, Milestone Winner


Jean Kettell Dance Studio was founded by Jean Kettell on her parent’s porch after a May Day celebration at Edgemere Elementary school.  Several of her classmates marveled at Jean’s grace and dance ability.  They begged her to teach them how to dance.  Jean’s father worked two jobs and her mother also worked, but managed to take her two daughters to weekly dance lessons by street car and two buses.    “In those days there weren’t that many dance studios in Baltimore,” Jean explained.  “My mother used to dance in her parlor when she was a kid, but her mother didn’t really support [...]

Jean Kettell Dance Studio, Milestone Winner2022-05-26T10:35:13-04:00

J.D. Urbach, Milestone Award Winner


J.D. Urbach is a former Dundalk resident and lifelong volunteer whose work with the Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke School, the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) and the Boy Scouts of America is why he is one of this year’s Milestone Award winners. He joined the Cub Scouts in 1983 after a flier was distributed in his 2nd grade class at Bear Creek Elementary.  He’s been registered in the BSA for the nearly 40 years since. Rising to the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 409 during high school, J.D. became involved with the local scout council recruitment process [...]

J.D. Urbach, Milestone Award Winner2022-05-25T15:08:44-04:00

Then and Again, Milestone Award Winner


Then and Again Secondhand Store, located at 79 Shipping Place, is receiving the Milestone Award for their dedication and commitment to the community. Since they opened three years ago, they've forged partnerships with the Family Crisis Center and Soup for the Soul and work to create an affordable shopping experience for clients of all price ranges.   "The Historic Dundalk Town Center was a good spot for us because it filled a void in the center of the community," Rachel Winkler, who owns Then and Again with her husband Mike Winkler, said. "When we opened, there was no store like us [...]

Then and Again, Milestone Award Winner2022-05-25T09:49:42-04:00

Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company, Cornerstone Award Winner


Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company is celebrating their 80th year serving the community. Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company was created to address the need for fire protection in the neighborhoods of Inverness and Rosewald Beach. Founded in 1942 during WWII when there was a concern that an attack on Bethlehem Steel from enemy forces could lead to fires and pandemonium in the surrounding neighborhoods.  “In 80 years a lot has changed and in some aspects nothing’s changed.” Bob Frances, Wise Avenue’s public information officer, said. “We went from a single, trailer-mounted civil-defense pump to the complex fire apparatus and ambulance, we have today. Equipment’s changed, but the commitment hasn’t.” Over the years the changing mission of the fire [...]

Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company, Cornerstone Award Winner2022-05-23T11:50:23-04:00
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