Ellen Janes began her career in Baltimore at the Neighborhood Design Center, where she served as Executive Director from 1989 to 1995. During her tenure, she tripled the size of the organization and managed over a 100 projects a year – Projects that ranged from transforming vacant lots into new playgrounds, to creating community and commercial district master plans.
She next served as the first Assistant Secretary for Neighborhood Revitalization in the history of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development under Governor Parris Glendenning. Under Janes’ leadership, a series of innovations in Maryland redevelopment was introduced, including the Neighborhood BusinessWorks loan program, the Community Investment Tax Credit and the Community Legacy grant program.
In 2003, Ms Janes joined the legendary Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office, where she supervised a staff of 20 in 5 regional offices with responsibility for instate: project, legislative and constituent service and outreach activity. She did that until 2008, when she moved over to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Baltimore Branch. Among her achievements there were Redefining Rust Belt, a two-year series of video conference discussions involving community leaders from Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia that she conceived and directed; and the Maryland Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Roundtable – which she launched in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Opportunity Finance Network. Since the advent of the CDFI Roundtable, just over two years ago, CDFI lending and program activity in Baltimore has more than tripled.
Ms. Janes outstanding work was recognized by 1,000 Friends of Maryland in 2014 when she was declared a Smart Growth Hero. Also in 2014, she was the recipient of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission’s Leadership and Service Award for exemplary community development efforts. In 2009, she received the Citizens Planning and Housing Association’s prestigious Frances Morton Froelicher Civic Statesmanship Award.
For the past five years, Ashley Wallace, has managed major community planning aspects of the Homewood Community Partners Initiative (HCPI) agenda by advancing CBP’s major quality-of-life, transportation, TOD, and other commercial and housing initiatives in Central Baltimore. She received her graduate degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, where she was a member of a multi-disciplinary academic research team consulting on community organizing, land use and wetland restoration planning in New Orleans, LA.
Prior to making Baltimore and CBP her home, she worked for the State of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Planning Grant Program and a Midwest-based private planning firm, Crispell-Snyder, as their Planning Assistant and Interim Lead Community Planner. She earned an undergraduate degree in Peace, Conflict and Global Studies with a Community Organization concentration from Northland College. Ashley is a proud Greenmount West resident in Central Baltimore. She can be reached at
Originally from Brazil, Julia Branco earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore in International Studies. As an undergraduate, she worked on several community projects in Baltimore addressing neighborhood blight and food security. After graduation she served as a community development educator for Burmese refugees living in the Thailand/Burma border. Later, she served as an Administrative Director for a non-profit bringing health access and education to rural communities in Thailand.
As Project and Program Services Coordinator, Julia Branco builds and manages coalitions of neighborhood organizations and a wide-range of stakeholders throughout Central Baltimore, focusing on CBP’s quality-of-life agenda. She is a proud resident of Greenmount West in Central Baltimore.
Jessica Josey, a Washington, D.C. native, is now a proud resident of Central Baltimore’s Charles Village. Jessica received a bachelor’s degree from Towson University in Mass Communications with a focus in Strategic Public Relations. During her four years, Jessica helped plan the School of Communications’ Annual Networking Fair, in which she obtained local sponsorship and provided Towson students with internship and career opportunities. Jessica also served as the Media Chair for the university’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she focused on the issues concerning the Towson and Baltimore City community. While an undergraduate, Jessica interned for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s public relations department.
Jessica’s work at CBP, focuses on promoting the remarkable assets of Central Baltimore. Outside of CBP, Jessica is actively involved in volunteer work in the Baltimore community, including the community service initiatives of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Edward Weiss (who provides contract services to CBP through Edward Weiss Words and Pictures) is a native New Yorker, who spent much of his youth in Baltimore while visiting his grandparents, before moving here in 2012. He currently provides services to CBP on a contract basis, creating and supervising content for both the organization’s website and its Explore the Core campaign, as well CBP brand social media.
Previously, serving as CBP’s Communication Manager (its first communications employee at the managerial level), he created all the new external communications content (words and pictures) that came online in a 2 year stint between 2014- 2016, including this website. He also created the organization’s first cross-platform information infrastructure. Results included a 500% annual increase in press coverage (over the previous 12 month period prior to his employment), and a 1000% percent increase in social media organic impressions to an average of more than 70,000 per month.
In a previous stint managing communications and public relations for market researcher Packaged Facts, Weiss created a newsletter “Press News from Packaged Facts” that generated 775+ major media stories and was quoted by every major newspaper, business publication, and TV network in the U.S. He also served as an occasional spokesperson, including appearances on CNN and NBC, and in print outlets ranging from consumer (such as the New York Times) to trade publications (such as Ad Age). Weiss left that position in 1996 to become a freelance content producer working in a variety of fields including book publishing, journalism, and web development, and to pursue a career in art. Over this period he managed projects and wore a variety of hats (researcher, writer, editor, web creator, and occasional illustrator & designer). His illustrated book Peter Pigeon of Snug Harbor won the 2006 COAHSI Award for Literary Excellence sponsored by JP Morgan Chase. In 2011, his public art project, The Forgotten History of Staten Island was awarded an Original Work Grant from N Y State. He has also served as a grant panelist for the New York State Council of the Arts.
As the Public Realm Project Manager for CBP, Maria works on a variety of programs related to public spaces and transportation. Her projects include, among others, the Two-Way Study on St. Paul and Calvert Streets, North Avenue Streetscape, and Reconnecting Charles Street. Maria will also serve as the coordinator for the HCPI Community Spruce-Up Grants, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Outside of CBP, Maria is an Urban Art Leadership Fellow with the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
Originally from Colombia, Maria graduated from Johns Hopkins in December 2014 with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Economics. While an undergraduate, Maria interned at the International Rescue Committee and studied abroad in Paris at Sciences Po. In the summer of 2013, she received a research grant to travel to Copenhagen and conduct a comparative research project on policy and urban agriculture.
Born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland. Temple earned a Bachelors of the Arts degree (in sociology) at Morgan State University. While studying there, she received National Institutes of Health research certification and went on to conduct Institutional Review Board-approved research titled: “What Sociological Factors Contribute to the Recidivism of Youth Detained in the Juvenile Justice System.”
Temple has worked on a volunteer basis for several organizations such as Bea Gaddy Foundation Inc. and Helping Hands Foundation Inc.
Temple is now completing her graduate studies degree in Human Service Administration at the University of Baltimore. She is one of the three students in the University of Baltimore Fellows Program that places students in the field of Community Development to gain more hands-on experience.