Gary Kelman, MS, M.ASCE, CEP

NAEP Related Experience

Gary first found out about NAEP from a brochure on a bulletin board at his first professional employment in 1977. He joined the Maryland Chapter shortly thereafter, rising to be its secretary in 1982, vice-president in 1983 through 1987 and president from 1988 to 1990. He was central to the expansion of the Chapter to the Chesapeake Chapter (adding Virginia and Delaware), Gary being its first president. Gary was encouraged to run for the national NAEP board of directors in 1987 and became the national secretary in 1991, national president-elect in 1993 and was national president in 1993 to 1994 and again in 2004 through 2006. He was the co-chair of the NAEP national conference in 1991, 2003, and 2019 and assisted in facilities planning of the 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996 national conferences. Gary was chair of the Permanent Conference Committee from 1998 through 2004, spearheading the development of the first chapter affiliation agreement. He was also the track chair and session chair of the “Regulatory Alternatives” track of the 2000 NAEP Conference. In addition, Gary served on the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Board-Certified Environmental Professionals, ABCEP (2005 to 2016), rising to be its president from 2010 to 2013). Gary was named a Fellow member by NAEP in 2010 and received the Richard J. Kramer Award from ABCEP in 2016. Gary continued involvement with NAEP through the Fellows Committee and being the technical co-chair of the NAEP Annual Conference in Baltimore in 2019. He is currently the NAEP Chapter Representative and Vice-President of the Mid-Atlantic Region of Environmental Professionals (MAREP – which covers Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington, DC).

Professional Experience

After receiving his MS degree in 1977 Gary worked for a small consulting firm in Bethesda, Maryland for almost three years, contributing to environmental assessments and impact statements and performing water quality analyses and field work. He then moved to the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources Water Resources Administration in late 1979. He developed municipal NPDES permits (1979 to 1982) as his role transitioned to the Office of Environmental Programs for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and finally the Maryland Department of the Environment. Gary’s responsibilities also transitioned to development of industrial NPDES permits (1982 to 1984), leading the Maryland Pretreatment Program (1994 to 2002), director of the Office of Permitting and Customer Service in the Office of the Secretary (2005 to 2009), and finally the Chief of the Animal Feeding Operation Division (2009 to 2019), retiring from the State in 2019. Among his awards from MDE was the Employee of the Year in 2010 and received a Governor’s Citation in 2019. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) named him a Life Member in 2018. Gary is planning to continue his career as an environmental professional and is now sorting through several opportunities including consulting on water and wastewater engineering and science.

Education, personal, and environmental dedication

Gary received his BS degree in Life Sciences from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences (now Jefferson University) in 1974. He was awarded a MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1977. Gary was inspired to enter the environmental field by a professor in college who taught a course on Biological Interrelationships and has been fascinated by the interaction of humans with the planet ever since. His most recently read books include Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, both by Yuval Noah Harari and many books on the history of the United States. Other activities involve volunteering at the Newseum (for 12 years until it closed in 2019), the US Capitol Visitors Center, and the Eisenhower Memorial for the US Park Service in Washington, DC. He also visits his children and grandchildren, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Wendy. Gary upholds the NAEP Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Environmental Professionals and strongly encourages colleagues in other fields to also do so.

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