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Leadership Team

The Blue Ribbon Project Leadership Team is a core group of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time. Members of The Blue Ribbon Project's Leadership Team come from a variety of backgrounds and professionals who bring unique knowledge and skills to the table and work to support the mission of The Blue Ribbon Project. It is the Leadership Team that work to implement and operate each of the programs offered by The Blue Ribbon Project. 

 

  • Taylor Pyles

    Taylor Pyles

    Founder/Executive Director

    Website

    Taylor Pyles grew up in Anne Arundel County Maryland. As a child, Taylor’s mother fell victim to several mental health issues, leading to physical abuse within the home. In the early 1980’s, Taylor was removed from this abusive environment and entered the system under Department of Social ...

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  • Jennifer Benton

    Jennifer Benton

    Website

    Jen joined the Blue Ribbon Project team in the fall of 2018 and primarily supports the Backpacks of Love and Mirahs Closet programs. In addition to her role with BRP, she works as the Director of Global Human Resources for a technology services and staffing firm based out of the Baltimore area. She ...

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  • Barb North


    Hi! I am a G-ma (Gee-ma aka grandma) recently retired from Lockheed Martin where we developed Air Traffic  Control software. I've been married for 41 years and we have been blessed with 3 children and 3 grands. In retirement, I have wanted to give back. I was excited about Backpacks of Love ...

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  • Sharon Van Meter

    Sharon Van Meter


    Sharon joined The Blue Ribbon Project in 2017, and works primarily with the Backpacks of a Love. She was born in Washington, DC, and has lived in suburban Maryland her whole life. Sharon is a retired Federal employee who spent the majority of her career with the Environmental Protection Agency‘s ...

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  • Carolyn Sabisch

    Carolyn Sabisch

    Foster Friends and Celebrations Club

    Website

    I joined the Blue Ribbon Project Leadership Team in February, 2019.  I coordinate Foster Friends and the Celebrations Club.  As a survivor of child abuse, I have found healing and purpose in serving foster youth.  

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  • Carly Bereznay

    Carly Bereznay

    Website

    Carly currently works behind the scenes of Foster Friends and the Open House of the Blue Ribbon Project. Carly works with children with autism as her profession but majored in Criminal Justice at the George Washington University with a focus on Family Law. She interned at DC Safe Shores, an ...

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  • Joanne Bennett

    Joanne Bennett

    Community Outreach & Events Coordinator

    Website

    JoAnne has been with The Blue Ribbon Project since the fall of 2018. She has worked as a Sign Language Interpreter for over 30 years- primarily in the field of mental health. She lives with her husband and four pups in Crownsville.

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  • Sara Koslow

    Sara Koslow

    Website

    Sara joined the Leadership Team in July 2019. Sara and her family have lived in the Annapolis area since 2014. Previously, they lived in Montgomery County where Sara volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children and commuted to Washington D.C. working for several nonprofits, most ...

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  • Patricia Keffer

    Patricia Keffer

    Website

    Hi! My name is Pat Keffer and I have been involved with BRP for a little over a year. Although I retired from AACPS as a principal in 2019, I have remained involved in education as a mentor to new administrators and teachers. I also teach classes at AACC which means I have been in the education ...

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  • Felicia Denn

    Felicia Denn

    Website

    Felicia joined the Blue Ribbon Project team in the summer of 2019 and primarily supports the Backpacks of Love and Mirah's Closet programs. In addition to her role with BRP, she works as a Speech Language Pathologist for the past 27 years.  She lives in the Annapolis area with her husband, 2 ...

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  • Sarah Cahill

    Sarah Cahill

    Website

    Sarah has been actively involved in supporting children since high school, first as a Big Sister, then and volleyball coach and elementary school educator. In 2019, she became a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Now as a Director for a Property Management Company in Virginia, her role involves ...

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  • Nicole Silver

    Nicole Silver

    Website

    Nicole Silver is a Senior Recruiter at UMMS, one of the largest health care providers in Maryland and one of the top 20 employers in the state, UMMS brings together a distinguished and collaborative team of innovators committed to caring for the community.  She earned a Bachelor’s ...

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  • Corie Jones

    Corie Jones

    Leadership Team Member

    Website

    Corie started volunteering with The Blue Ribbon Project in 2019.   She mostly helps with Backpacks of Love and Mirah's Closet, but looks forward to finding more ways to get involved. With years of experience working with children and in schools, Corie is excited to be a part of the ...

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  • Denise Messineo

    Denise Messineo

    Leadership Team Member

    Website

    With over 25 years of HR business experience with a global technology firm, Denise now specializes in leadership coaching, leadership development and civil treatment in the workplace. She serves as an independent career coaching consultant with the company she founded, Thallo Leadership ...

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  • Sandy Pelletier

    Sandy Pelletier

    Leadership Team Member

    Website

    Sandy Pelletier brings focus and organization having been a technical writer and marketer for a variety of industries with sales, marketing and operational initiatives for more than 15 years. Ms. Pelletier is a SoulCollage(R) Facilitator, a former officer and secretary to the Board of Creating ...

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  • Marj Cahn Sparer

    Marj Cahn Sparer

    Leadership Team Member

    Website

    Marj joined the Blue Ribbon Project in March 2021.  She retired in December 2020 from Anne Arundel County CASA after 14 years as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate.  She spent her professional career in health services research, retiring in 2006 from the National ...

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  • Jill Yamaner

    Jill Yamaner

    Leadership Team Member

    Website

    Jill Yamaner and her family have been filling and donating backpacks for the Backpacks of Love Program for about 5 years. In 2021, Jill joined the BRP Leadership Team to help this team of amazing volunteers to support the needs of the local foster kids and their families. She has spent her career ...

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  • Fara Lekhnych

    Fara Lekhnych

    Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma Program Director

    Website
  • Megan Kurtik

    Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma Program Facilitator

    Website
  • MaRita Jacobson

    MaRita Jacobson

    Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma Group Facilitator

    Website

    Hey Everyone!! My name is MaRita and I am an Adult Survivor of Child Abuse.  I live in Minnesota with my husband of 18 years and our daughter. I am excited to be able to be a part of the Blue Ribbon Project and the Survivors Support Group!!

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Members & Volunteers