New President Leads BES on Inclusive Path

Posted in: News

Dr. Omowale Elson, the newly elected BES President, will be seeking to guide the organization through its strategic goals of being a more inclusive and antiracist organization and to be more engaging with its membership and the Baltimore region.  In his statement to the membership, he stressed what the future holds: 

“We will have an opportunity to re-think our operational and organizational structures to see whether they are in need of transformation to a more inclusive and engaging culture that achieves the organization’s purpose.  We will have a chance to reimagine how we can reflect Baltimore in our name to the wider Baltimorean community.  We have a chance to be more outward-looking in making a bolder impact on the community in which we operate.” 

Consistent with that view, the new Board conducted a retreat and is engaged in the process of revisiting the organization’s mission and purpose to determine whether the operational systems and culture can be aligned sufficiently for the task ahead.  Working with an outside consultant to guide the organization through its antiracist and inclusion initiative, Omowale thinks the organization is on a great path to meet the needs of 21st-Century humanism.  He sees members being energized around the change being undertaken. feel energized around the task before them.

Omowale has served in leadership positions while serving four years on the board, more recently leading the Task Force on Return to In-Person Meetings. The 44-year-old organization has been holding virtual meetings since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and is slowly moving to a hybrid format.  Originally from Barbados, Omowale is a Howard University Ph.D. grad in human communication Studies with a major in organizational communication.  He places a lot of emphasis on strategic communication as a leadership skill.  He is an Adjunct Professor in management studies at the University of Maryland Global Campus and adjunct faculty in communications at Montgomery College in Maryland.

He brings over 20 years of nonprofit leadership and of industry experience, consulting to nonprofits, international organizations, higher education institutions, and businesses internationally and nationally, leading his own communication and organizational development firm, Elson Consulting Group LLC. 

Other BES board members include Joanna Brandt, Vice President; Khandra Sears, Secretary; Rosalie Donatelli, Treasure; Argentine Craig, Charles Innes, Rosemary Irving, Juliana Paré-Blagoev, Sophia Purekal, and Phil Scherer. Non-voting members are Marshella Merritt, chair of the finance committee; Alan Shapiro, Chair of the PR committee; and Hugh Taft-Morales, Leader (ex-officio). 

This covid period did not allow us to have a group picture, but this dynamic team will be presented together soon. 

To contact the board, please direct communication to or to

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