PRESS RELEASE: Envision Frederick County Announces New Executive Director

NEWS RELEASE (December 1, 2020)

FREDERICK, MD — Envision Frederick County Founder and Executive Director Kai Hagen announced today he will be leaving his position in the organization to pursue other opportunities. He is looking forward to actively supporting the organization in other ways, as it begins its second decade of community education and engagement. The new executive director, Linda Norris-Waldt will take the reins on January 1, 2021. 

kai and linda

Under Kai’s decade of leadership, Envision Frederick County has actively promoted civic engagement, advocated for wise land use policies and other initiatives to protect our environment, and supported sustainability practices that benefit the Frederick County community.

Kai launched Envisions expert speaker series on important trends and issues, educational nature outings, and Envision Essentials, a multi-week program that engages participants more deeply in topics such as Smart Growth/Land Use/Planning, Environmental Issues, Grass Roots Advocacy and Local Government.

These programs aligned with the organization’s operating principles of informed public discourse and active engagement of individuals and groups in civic life as essential to our mutual well-being and prosperity. He managed the organization’s website and social media, including a Facebook page that is now followed by almost 3,000 people. And he was a co-founder of the thriving Smarter Growth Alliance of Frederick County.

Kai led Envision to become one of Frederick County’s top community-building organizations, demonstrating the connection between social, economic, and environmental vitality and sustainability.

”Kai leaves the organization in a strong position because he continually championed the importance of engaged citizens,” said Elizabeth Bauer, chair, Envision Frederick County Board of Directors.

“The board is extremely grateful for all that Kai has brought to Frederick County through his role as a public servant and his leadership in Envision Frederick County.”

Following Kai’s leadership, Linda will bring decades of involvement in the civic life of Frederick County, starting as a reporter for the Frederick News Post, serving as a Public Information Officer for the Frederick County Government, and as Recycling Program Manager for Frederick County Recycling Office. She is now the Advocacy and Chapter Relations Director for the U.S. Composting Council.  Linda is an expert on recycling, waste diversion and composting. 

Like Kai, Linda has a longtime connection to many local green and civic leaders, not only through her work with the County Recycling Office but as a member of the 1990s Monocacy River Conservancy, the Sierra Club Catoctin Group, Green Drinks, and the Frederick Compost Working Group, and the Frederick County League of Women Voters. 

In her spare time Linda established Green Frederick as a hub for events, information and discussion of waste reduction, energy conservation, natural and local food and cooking and “tread lightly” recreation and green space conservation.  Linda’s passion and experience are a perfect union with the mission of Envision Frederick County. 

Kai’s strong leadership built a solid foundation for an organization celebrating its tenth anniversary in January. And the board of Envision Frederick County is looking forward to working with Linda to build on that foundation in the years ahead, as our community faces important local and global challenges and opportunities.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Bauer

(Chair, Envision Frederick County Board of Directors)