In May of 2019, the City of Salisbury’s Secretary of Kindness, Grace Foxwell Murdock, organized a Kindness Commission with community leaders, businesses, non-profits and community organizations. The Commission invites you to join us in our exciting initiative to inspire positive changes in our schools, local governments, businesses, and neighborhoods…through kindness.
We will highlight established kindness initiatives and stories of generosity and acts of paying it forward in our community.
We want to thank WMBGKIND of Williamsburg, VA for sharing their ideas and vision.
Our Commissioners are excited to continue to embed kindness in our community. The commission incorporates the following groups:
- Faith partners
- Community organizations
Brandon Bell, is a mixed media artist and marketing professional. He is the Director of Marketing for a local cannabis dispensary, Peninsula Alternative Health, as well as co-owner of a local art organization, We are Limitless Studios. He and his partner, Deserea, are on a mission to spread the power of personal belief, optimism, and inspiration through multiple art channels including: mural art, graphic design, social media and music. They are proud parents of 3 amazing children.
Rick Briggs began his career with Wicomico County Public Schools in 1999. He has worked at Wi-Hi School, Bennett Middle School, Mardela Middle & High School and James M. Bennett High School. He is the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction – Chief Academic Officer for the Wicomico Board of Education, since July 1, 2017. Dr. Briggs lives in Salisbury with his wife, Kristen, and children Ella and Owen.
Karen Bromley is the Marketing Director/IT Coordinator for Avery Hall. She joined the agency in 2016 and works out of the Salisbury office. She coordinates all Avery Hall advertising and marketing and heads up the IT Department. Personally, Karen enjoys fundraising for local organizations and helping her children’s schools. She and her husband, Danny, have two sons together, Connor and Luke.
Heather Brooks is an Administrative Assistant for the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership office at Salisbury University. She also works part-time as a Marketing Manager and a Photo Solutions Specialist. Heather is a Co-Advisor for the Pittsville Kindness Club and partners with her daughter, Savanna, to spread kindness in our community. Heather enjoys scrapbooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Lynnette Darnell is a Human Resource Manager for Flight Operations and Maintenance for Piedmont Airlines. She oversees employee relations, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion. Lynnette currently resides in Salisbury MD with her husband Ron and 2 dogs. She has lived in Maryland for sixteen years and is originally from the enchanted island of Puerto Rico.
Jake Day is the Mayor of Salisbury, Maryland. Born and raised in Salisbury, he was elected to the City Council at the age of 30 and unanimously elected President. Jake is an Army Cavalry Officer and Captain, currently assigned to the US Army National Guard as an Information Operations Officer with the 110th Information Operations Battalion. Before becoming Mayor, Jake spent his career revitalizing downtowns and making them more vibrant, livable places. Jake and his family live in Salisbury.
D’Shawn M. Doughty is the Relationship Manager for the Bank of America in Easton, MD. He is a member of the Salisbury P.R.I.D.E. Lions Club, a volunteer for the Building African American Minds Center in Easton, MD, a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, a member/advisee of the Human Rights Advisory Committee for the City of Salisbury, and the 81st President for the Salisbury Jaycees. D’Shawn’s passion is to spread kindness throughout the community and teach everyone the importance of reciprocal outreach. D’Shawn believes in pouring himself back in the community that gave so much to him.
Gwenn Garland is a Strategic Communications Coordinator for Peninsula Regional Medical Center and a former Daily Times writer and editor. She lives in Salisbury with her family, including three active boys – ages 15, 12 and 7 – a unicycling husband, a cat with a ‘tude and a quirky Pomeranian. She enjoys volunteering for hospital events and community health fairs, the March of Dimes, United Way, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and Chesapeake Housing Mission.
Martin Hutchison has been the Pastor of Community of Joy since 1999. He is married and has two daughters. In 2015, he founded the Camden Community Garden, where he grows more than veggies. As the city of Salisbury’s Secretary of Community Gardens he has coached the start of 6 other community gardens in Salisbury and several others in surrounding communities. He is currently working with Choices Academy on a hoop house/garden to be used as a hands on learning environment. In addition, he mentors 4 boys at Pinehurst Elementary School.
Heather Mahler is employed in the nonprofit sector and lives in Salisbury with her family & five rescue pets. She has a two decade mentoring relationship with a local college student. Caring for others is truly second nature for Heather. She enjoys engaging work & community teams with a special focus – such as kindness! In her spare time, she is finishing graduate school & growing lots of tropicals, orchids, and houseplants.
Deserea Martin, a native of Texas now residing in Salisbury, MD, she is the co-owner of a local art organization, We are Limitless Studios. Her partner Brandon and she are on a mission to spread positivity, instill the power of belief, and encourage optimism throughout their community and afar. She is also a reiki practitioner and full-time mother of three magnificent children.
Meredith Miller, MSW, LMSW is with Student & Family Services for Wicomico County Public Schools as the Mental Health Coordinator. Miller also works part-time at PRMC in the Emergency Department as a behavioral health clinician. Miller was formerly the Coordinator of the Wicomico County Child Advocacy Center. Meredith is also a Co-Advisor of the Pittsville Kindness club. She & her daughter reside in Wicomico County.
Grace Foxwell Murdock is a Retired educator, Author, Business owner, Dance for Kindness group leader 2016-2019, founder of Wicomico Grows Kindness, Kindness Commission leader and Secretary of Kindness for Salisbury, MD. Grace’s passion for spreading kindness & efforts led the City of Salisbury to its World Kindness USA City designation as the nations 1st World Kindness USA city.
Michelle Nelson is mom of 4 beautiful daughters and is married to her husband, Steve. She has lived in Salisbury for 25 years and has always believed in the importance of kindness and is thrilled to be a member of the Kindness Commission. Michelle is active in her church, an avid runner and a member of TEAM 360, which is a team of runners that helps individuals who are differently abled to complete athletic events.
Susan Parker is the Communications Specialist at MAC Inc., Area Agency on Aging. Prior to her position at MAC, she was the Engagement & Community Content Editor at the Daily Times for 28 1/2 years. In her downtime, she enjoys being a musician and writing.
Chalarra Sessoms is a clinical social worker and has 20 years of experience in the mental health field. A native of Eastern Shore of Virginia living in the City of Salisbury for the past 12 years. She is a member of the Princess Anne Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Princess Anne (MD) Chapter of The Links, Inc. She is a member of the Human Rights Advisory Committee for the City of Salisbury as appointed by the Mayor. Chalarra was honored as one of The Daily Record’s Maryland Top 100 Women in 2019. Mrs. Sessoms serves as a Social Work Field Instructor and a Mentor with the NIA Project at Salisbury University. She has been married to Diallo Sessoms, Ph.D. for 20 years and they have an energetic 10 year old dog, Diesel.
Susan Warthen is a Real Estate Agent/Broker at Long & Foster. Prior to her position at Long & Foster, she was the Executive Director of Bundles of Joy University from 2009-2018. Susan is married to her husband, Monty and resides in Wicomico County with her family.
Dr. Sharon Milbourne Washington is a native of Somerset County, Md, and holds a PhD in Christian Education, Master’s of Divinity and a dual Bachelor’s in Organizational Psychology and Development & Business Administration. She is a Chaplain at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional, a Licensed/Ordained Elder, a Board Certified Life Coach and is the author of the reference book “Greek Philosophy in Christian Theology, An Intellectual Synthesis Shapes the West.” She is also proud to be a Veteran of the US Army. Sharon is an avid supporter of the “Dance for Kindness” initiative and is honored to serve the community with love and kindness for all people.
Sonya Whited works at Perdue Farms Innovation Center as the Senior Director of Retail Research & Development. Sonya was honored as one of The Daily Record’s Maryland Top 100 Women in 2018 due to her work at Perdue, as well as her community service including: co-chair of Wicomico County-City of Salisbury Complete Count Committee (CCC) for Census 2020, Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, United way, Community Foundation & Salisbury University Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, where she served as 2013 – 2017 president of the Princess Anne Alumnae Chapter & currently serves on the Eastern Region Leadership Team.
Stephanie Willey is the Local Sales Manager for Effectv, a Comcast Company. She currently serves on the Wicomico County Tourism Advisory Board, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Council at Large and the Foundation Board. Stephanie is a member of the Community Foundation Board of Directors and is a founding member of The Women’s Fund at The Community Foundation. Stephanie serves as a Trustee for The Salisbury Award. Stephanie is a member of Drug Free Wicomico and the Wicomico County Opioid Intervention Team. She is the Chair of Wicomico Goes Purple which is an awareness campaign focused on the issues of Substance Abuse and Addiction.
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