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KCF names 25-year Kentlands resident its new Executive Director

Elisabeth Monaco, a.k.a. Liz Kraft, a 25-year Kentlands resident, has joined the Kentlands Community Foundation as Executive Director.

The Kentlands Community Foundation (KCF) named a new Executive Director in December, long-time Kentlands resident Elisabeth Monaco, also known as Liz Kraft to many of her friends and neighbors.

Liz and her husband, John Kraft, have been Kentlands residents since 1992 and are original owners. She has a strong background in volunteerism, community development, and financial management. She succeeds Mariann Zylstra, who served as Executive Director for slightly more than one year. Mariann, who brought a wealth of financial experience and acumen to the position, was instrumental in helping develop the Foundation’s One Main Street Initiative (see related story) and decided to step down after her one-year contract expired in order to serve as a volunteer for that project on an ongoing basis.

“The Foundation is extremely grateful to Mariann for all her hard work in both shoring up our financial infrastructure and shepherding the One Main Street Initiative to a successful launch,” said KCF Chair Ruthzaly Weich. “We will miss her financial savvy at our Board meetings, but are excited to have her financial guidance on the OMSI.

“We are equally excited to welcome Liz to the Foundation and look forward to her putting her years of Kentlands experience to work energizing our volunteers and engaging the community.”

Liz has seen the Kentlands grow and mature, having lived here from the earliest years before the Hill District was built and when the downtown area was just a sketch. Originally from New York, she moved to the Washington area after law school to serve as a law clerk to a federal judge. After her clerkship ended, she served as an attorney in a federal agency for five years before leaving to start a family and establish her own private practice.

Liz and John have two children, Anna and Julia. Both girls have attended and continue to attend local schools. While she has been an enthusiastic volunteer for many years, Liz now serves as the special event coordinator at Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church in Germantown. Because her daughter is in the Quince Orchard High School marching band’s color guard, Liz volunteers to manage the band’s uniforms. She is hoping to bring her enthusiasm for volunteering and love for her community to her new position at the Kentlands Community Foundation.

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