After County Executive Steuart Pittman’s expected re-election to a second term this week, five top officials in his administration will leave at the end of Pittman’s current term, the county said in a news release Thursday.
Stepping down are Matt Power, chief administrative officer, and Kai Boggess-deBruin, chief of staff; Pam Jordan, deputy chief administrative officer for health and human services, Lori Rhodes, deputy chief administrative officer for land use, and Chris Phipps, director of the department of public works, are retiring.
Power started in the Pittman administration working in land use before taking on the chief administrative officer role, he said. Before joining Pittman’s team, the 51-year-old worked for the Maryland Independent College and University Association, lobbying for higher education priorities in Annapolis. He’s been with Anne Arundel County government for three years.
Pittman delegated Power to coordinate the response to COVID-19 when the pandemic hit.
“I’m very proud of what we did during COVID,” Power said Thursday. “It was an incredible challenge to pull that response together. I’m proud of the work we did getting vaccinations sites in the county to get more and more people vaccinated because that’s what ultimately turned the tide.”
While Power said he loved working with Pittman, he recently got a job offer he couldn’t pass up — to be president of the Maryland Independent College and University Association, where he formerly worked.
“Opportunities like that don’t come along very often,” Power said, but added, “It’s incredibly hard to leave.”
Boggess-deBruin, 49, started in the county’s Health and Human Services department, before becoming Pittman’s chief of staff. She’s worked for the county for more than three years.
She worked on the county’s COVID response, designing equity, diversity and inclusion programs, including developing the county’s EDI Office and helping develop future plans for Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park. Boggess-deBruin also helped affordable housing efforts and designed the Anne Arundel Veterans Service Coordination Center that provides centralized services to county veterans, she said in an email Thursday.
“I achieved the goals I set for the work in this position and felt it was time to explore other opportunities,” she said. “While I am doing that, I am taking a breath, and reflecting and integrating all the experiences and lessons I’ve learned over the past years. People rarely get the opportunity to do that so I am grateful for it.”
The 61-year-old Jordan will be retiring after more than 40 years in Anne Arundel government in multiple departments, including the Department of Public Works, Communications and the Office of Planning and Zoning. Before joining Health and Human Services about two years ago, Jordan led the county’s Department of Aging and Disabilities, she said. Jordan started working for the county directly out of high school in 1979.
One of Jordan’s recent achievements was helping set up a warmline for county residents in need of food, hygiene products, rent and childcare as the pandemic put a financial strain on residents. The warmline also helped older residents sign up online for covid vaccines. She also helped oversee the county’s first improvements to its senior centers in more than a decade and create the county’s first and only fully accessible conference room for people with disabilities, the Independence Room at Heritage Complex in Annapolis.
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Jordan said she’ll be spending her retirement with her 88-year-old mother, her daughter and 1-year-old granddaughter.
“While it’s been very rewarding, my career has been more than rewarding, I have sacrificed a lot of family time and now it’s time to spend time with the people that matter the most in my life,” she said. “[Anne Arundel county government] has been my only solid home and where I’ve given all my life ... I’ll have a good cry over it.”
Rhodes retires from her role in land use after previously serving as an assistant planning and zoning officer in the Office of Planning and Zoning. She spearheaded legislation related to zoning and land use, according to the county’s website.
Phipps, who is 57, will retire after more than 27 years with the county’s Department of Public Works, which oversees waste management and ensures residents have clean water. He has been the department’s director for more than nine years.
He’s worked on major projects including a $250 million upgrade to the county’s wastewater treatment plants, which he said are performing beyond their expectation of removing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous from county water. Another major task he oversaw was working on the county’s watershed protection restoration program, which is designed to combat pollutant discharge into the bay.
“I’ve done a lot, accomplished a lot. I’m at a point in my career where it’s time to pass the baton,” Phipps said Thursday. “I’m not that old yet so I wanted to still have some time to pursue other things.”
Pittman will announce plans to replace the five officers in the coming weeks, according to the news release.