Hugh Cropper, IV was born on April 30, 1963 in Salisbury, Maryland. Hugh graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, Maryland (1981), the College of William & Mary, (B.A., 1985), and the University of Maryland, School of Law (J.D., with honors, 1988). Hugh joined Cowdrey, Thompson on July 1, 2002, and he operates the fmn's Ocean City Office. He was formerly an associate, then partner, with Anderson, Coe & King in Baltimore (1988-2002). His primary practice areas include land use, zoning and property rights, administrative law, as well as general civil litigation. Hugh also represents a limited number of domestic clients in complex domestic law matters. Hugh is the former attorney for the Town of Ocean City, Board of Adjustments and Appeals (1990-1991), and the Town of Ocean City, Board of Zoning Appeals (1991- 2002). Hugh is a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank of Ocean City (1996- Present), and he has served as Chairman of the Board since January of 2013. Hugh is a member of the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Directors (2010- Present), and the Former Chairman of the Recruitment and Retention Committee (2010- 2012) and the current Chairman of the Board Quality and Patient Safety Committee (2012-Present). Hugh is a member of the Maryland Bar and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. He is a member of the Worcester County and Maryland State Bar Associations, and he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Maryland State Bar Association (June 2013-Present). Hugh and his wife Jennifer live in West Ocean City with their two children (twins) Myra and Hugh Thomas. Jennifer is the Office Manager of the firm's Ocean City office. Hugh and his family also spend time at their home located on their farm in Snow Hill, where they hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. He is a former Charter Boat Captain, and an active Commercial Fisherman. He owns five farms, four of which are completely unimproved and one has been protected with a conservation easement in Worcester County. Hugh also owns a farm in Accomack County which is unimproved.
Dr. Judith Stribling: Vice Chair
Judith Stribling is a Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Salisbury University. Her teaching focused on ecology and wetland science, and she served for many years as coordinator of the collaborative Dual Degree Program in Biology and Environmental-Marine Science with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She was the science coordinator for the Wicomico Creekwatchers Program until 2017. Stribling’s research career has centered on wetlands: their ecology, biogeochemistry, restoration, and management. She currently serves on the board of the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society, and she is involved locally with environmental advocacy and collaboration. She was President for 20 years of the Friends of the Nanticoke River and first president of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, and she currently chairs the Wicomico County Natural Resources Conservation Advisory Committee. Stribling was awarded the 2003 Frances H. Flannigan Environmental Leadership Award by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and the 2015 John Groutt Award for Environmental Stewardship by the Wicomico Environmental Trust.
Suzy Taylor: Treasurer
Suzy is the founder and co-owner of Ayers Creek Adventures an eco tourism venture providing kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and environmental education along Maryland’s coastal waterways. Established in 2010 Ayers Creek Adventures has introduced a viable and profitable business venture filling a void in tourism and recreation experiences in the Ocean City, MD market. Prior to Ayers Creek Adventures, Suzy worked as an independent consultant in various Information Technology disciplines including Strategic Planning, Information Security, IT Governance, Business Continuity and Technology Project Management focusing on large financial institutions in the North East. Prior to her consulting role, Suzy was the Senior Technology Officer and Director of Technology Risk and Program Management at Citibank North America, where she was responsible for managing electronic fraud prevention, information security, risk control self assessment, incident response, business continuity, the project office and SDLC compliance. Prior to her role at Citigroup, Suzy was Senior Vice President and Director of Enterprise Information Security and Recovery at FleetBoston Financial. Suzy held responsibility for ensuring the safety and soundness of the Fleet enterprise in all matters relating to information security, business continuity, disaster recovery, and crisis management. She has over 30 years experience in information systems and technology compliance. Suzy currently servers on the board of directors for the Ocean Pines Chamber or Commerce, where she is a member of the finance and ambassador committees. Suzy has served on the Ocean City Race for the Cure committee for six years holding roles as Chairperson, Co-Chair, and Director of Operations. In addition to the race she supports Komen Maryland in a variety of initiatives and educational outreach on the Eastern Shore. Suzy is also an active volunteer with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services. Suzy formerly served on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity, Worcester County and Habitat for Humanity, NE Monmouth County NJ. She served in the role of treasure at both organizations. She continues to support Habitat Worcester on the finance committee and as a family mentor. Suzy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of PA and a Masters of Business Administration and Decision Science from Loyola University in MD.
Charlene Sharpe: Secretary
Charlene Sharpe, a longtime Worcester County resident, is a newspaper reporter. She grew up on a horse farm outside Berlin and graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2003. She went on to attend the University of Richmond, where she was a member of the equestrian team and studied abroad in Spain. Charlene graduated in 2007 with a degree in journalism and returned to Worcester County to work for the Delmarva Media Group. After seven years there, she left to join the staff at The Dispatch, a locally owned newspaper that’s provided coverage of Ocean City and the surrounding area since 1984. She covers Worcester County government as well as the Town of Berlin and general human interest stories. Charlene has a deep appreciation for Worcester County’s rural heritage and outside of work enjoys running, horseback riding and harness racing.
Tracy Causey Jeffery
Tracy Causey Jeffery wants to live in a world where art, integrity, friendship and the environment are more important than money or fossil fuels. Tracy was born and raised in Salisbury Md working within the family business, Larry J. Causey & Sons Inc. She learned to love the woods, planting trees and gardening from her dad, Jack Causey and farming from her Grandfather, Elijah Truitt. Both men taught her the value of wildlife preservation and conservation of the natural environment. Tracy moved to London then New York as an adult where as at the former owner/director of Causey Contemporary, Tracy, her gallery and the artists she worked were featured or reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, The Village Voice, Time Magazine, and other such publications. Additionally, she served on the board of directors for the Art Institute and Gallery of Salisbury, MD and the Williamsburg Art Gallery Association, Brooklyn, NY, on the programming committee for ArtTable, on the gala committee for Chashama, NY and as the liaison for Salisbury during Mrs. Glendening’s Year of the Arts in Maryland. Tracy and her husband, Mark returned to the lower shore in 2020 to aid her aging mother. Since returning, they have begun a natural straw bale garden on the family farm outside Snow Hill, and have developed their own line of hot sauces whose ingredients they nurture from seed to sauce. They sell both their produce and the hot sauces at area farmers’ markets. When Tracy’s not working at the garden, or reviewing grants for Maryland State Arts Council,, you can find her sitting on the board of the Lower Shore Land Trust, studying for her master gardener’s certificate or herbal practitioner’s certificate, practicing yoga, reading any book that comes her way, enjoying sunsets over the Wicomico river or studying Japanese.
Tony is a licensed professional forester in Maryland. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1982 with a BS in forestry. He began his forestry career in 1986 as an Assistant Project Forester in Allegany County with the Md. DNR Forest, Park and Wildlife Service. In 1987 Tony transferred to the Eastern Shore and worked as the Worcester Project Forester. He then entered the private sector in 1996 as a procurement forester for the Cropper Brothers Lumber Co. in Willards, Maryland. He left Cropper Brothers in 2013 to take a position as an Area Forester with Glatfelter working out of the Delmar Chip Facility. Tony is a member of the Worcester County Forestry Board and a District Supervisor with the Worcester Soil Conservation District. He is also a member and past chair of the MD/DE Division of the Society of American Foresters and a past vice president for the Maryland Forest Association. Tony lives in Snow Hill, Maryland with his wife, Lisa.
An Eastern Shore native, Mike Dryden grew up in Somerset County on his parents produce, grain and poultry farm. Still in active participant in the family business, their main production focus is growing and selling tomatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe. In 2007, Mike began his career with the Maryland Department of Agriculture as a Soil Conservation Associate, where he focused on helping local farmers in Worcester County implement best management practices. In 2008, Mike accepted a position as the Public Drainage Coordinator for the Eastern Shore where he directed over 100 Tax Ditch Managers in tax levying, budget management, maintenance scheduling, and project management. Currently, Mike serves as the Restoration Specialist for the MD/DC chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a global non-profit specializing to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Since 2013, Mike has led and aided in the restoration and protection of over 3,500 acres of wetlands. He educates landowners throughout Delmarva on how to meet water quality and habitat goals. Mike resides on the Rewastico Creek in Hebron, MD with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Annie and Elizabeth.
Glenn Irwin recently retired after almost 23 years as Executive Director of the Ocean City Development Corporation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization charged with revitalizing downtown Ocean City. Among the OCDC projects he managed were: building renovation, business assistance programs, public art program, employee housing management, land acquisition, marketing, design standards, and special events. Prior to OCDC, he worked for 16 years in the private and public sectors in South Florida specializing in downtown redevelopment, affordable housing, and urban planning. He holds a designation from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He served on the Worcester County Board of Zoning Appeals for six years. In Florida he served on the Planning & Zoning Commission for the Village of Royal Palm Beach in which he also served as Chair for two years. He has served on a number of boards and continues to be active with several local and State nonprofit organizations. Glenn holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Rowan University (NJ) and a M.A. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. He is the 2023 recipient of Business Person of the Year from the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. Glenn was born and raised on Long Island, New York. He has always had a great interest in environmental and recreational activities; kayaking, canoeing, biking, camping, and hiking. Glenn lives in Ocean City with his wife, Pam. This 2023 summer he will be working with Ayers Creek Adventures in Berlin.
Mike Lewis and his wife Cassy have lived in Salisbury since moving there in 2000. Their two kids (Simon - 20 - and Kara - 18) have been blessed to grow up in this very special part of the world, where streams and swamps, woodlands and beaches, are never more than a few minutes away. Originally hired as an environmental historian in Salisbury University's History Department, Mike was heavily involved in starting SU's Environmental Studies Program, which he directed and chaired from 2004-2018, and where he continues to serve as a Professor. His research - on the interplay between science, conservation, and cultural ideas about nature - has included work on India, US Wilderness, and the Chesapeake. Over the past 23 years at SU, he has regularly worked with his students in uncovering and sharing the history of the Eastern Shore's forests and farms, and the changing human communities that rely upon them. A Wicomico Creekwatcher since its founding in 2002, he also has spent time as a member of WET, the Pemberton Advisory Board, and on various advisory groups for the City of Salisbury, including the City of Salisbury's Mayor's Environmental Policy Task Force.
A Lower Shore native, Colin McAllister grew up in Wicomico County and at early age developed a deep love and appreciation for our local lands and waters. He enjoyed many afternoons combing fields in search of native artifacts with his grandfather, Vaughn Richardson. Pop-Pop, as he was known to Colin, would train horses while he searched the tilled fields along the Pocomoke River. He spent summer weekends in a four room, concrete cottage on Tangier Sound where he fished crabbed and searched for pirate treasures (never found). After graduating from Parkside HS in 1989, he attended and graduated from University of Tennessee with a Horticulture / Plant Sciences degree in 1993. He then graduated from the University of Georgia’s School of Environmental Design with a degree in Landscape Architecture in 1995. Following graduation, he worked for several design & IT firms in Virginia. He returned to the eastern shore in 2001 to help with ailing family members. While back home, he returned to school to broaden and advance his technological skills. He graduated from Salisbury University’s Geography & GIS program in 2004. While attending SU, Colin worked on local geographical projects that used GIS to locate historical features in the modern landscape. This reignited his appreciation for the Lower Shore’s wonders and the importance of rural preservation. In 2008, Colin accepted a position as a Resource Conservation Planner with the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Colin has MDA Nutrient Management certification and NRCS Conservation Planner - Level III certification. He is currently an Environmental Compliance Specialist for MDE – Resource Management Program where he assists Eastern Shore farmers and landowners with environmental guidance, best management practices, and regulatory issues. He has teamed with DNR on public land management, agricultural issues and BMP planning and has a broad background of cooperation and communication with many local, state and federal agencies including MDA, DNR, USDA - NRCS, EPA, USACE, county gov’t agencies, PDAs and the SCDs. He has guided and presented at many workshops to educate and inform on regulatory issues, cost-share offerings and best management practices. Colin resides in Snow Hill, with his wife Stephanie and their three children, Eliza, Oliver & Everett. He loves spending family time exploring local trails, kayaking, paddle boarding, birding & fishing the Pocomoke River or surfing and exploring Assateague.
Rachel Pennington moved to Worcester County in 2002 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from Marymount University in Arlington, VA. She bought her home in the Town of Berlin in July 2005, where she still resides. She works remotely for an insurance agency based near Cleveland, OH and travels periodically, although business travel has been suspended since March 2020. Rachel enjoys being outdoors and getting involved in the local community through activities such as yoga and stand-up paddle boarding. She is especially drawn to the beach and local waterways. Some additional interests and involvements have included past leadership roles with a local chapter of Coastal Women’s Networking (CWN), voluntary positions with Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT), contributing to area non-profits to support local philanthropy – Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services (WYFCS), Atlantic General Hospital (AGH), Assateague Island Alliance (AIA).