Petula Caesar is a multi-talented all around artistic being. She is a writer, performer, creator, producer, recording artist, arts administrator and non-profit executive.
Petula has written for various publications like Baltimore’s former alternative weekly City Paper, The Afro-American Newspapers, and Baltimore Magazine. Petula is also a storyteller and performance poet who got her start at local open mics and shows at Creative Alliance and has been featured at signature Baltimore events like Artscape, Stoop Storytelling, The Baltimore Book Festival, and Charm City Kitty Club. After spending much time onstage in front of audiences of all kinds in many capacities, Petula moved into live theatrical production, event production and artist booking. She has curated, directed and produced events at most major venues in Baltimore, including The Creative Alliance, The Motor House, Arena Players, The Arch Social Club, The Reginald Lewis Museum and Metro Gallery. She also continued her work in the non-profit sector by working in fundraising, successfully several million dollars in her last decade of work, and teaching workshops for career professionals newly entering the non-profit sector.
Petula released her memoir “She’s Such A Bright Girl: An American Story” in June 2018, where she recounts an upbringing full of conflict and tension centered around colorism. The book won an Honorable Mention at the North Street Books Prize for creative non-fiction, and after it’s release Petula could often be found at branches of the Enoch Pratt Library and at other community events talking about her book and other themes related to race and color.
Petula became director of Community Engagement for the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) in 2019. In her role of finding ways for BROS to become more reflective of Baltimore’s demographic (majority African American) despite its very White origins and current leadership. She assisted with creating programming with that audience in mind by using Black creatives both onstage and behind the scenes to execute that programming.
Petula’s current role at Baltimore Unity Hall combines all of the hats she’s worn previously as a non-profit professional, as an event producer, as someone on the front lines of diversity and equity work, and as someone deeply embedded in Baltimore’s community who continues to do the work to make Baltimore better as a city through her leadership of BUH.
A co-founding principal of Somerset Development Company, Ms. Hooff leads the company in overseeing pre-development planning and budgeting, design, construction administration, asset management and resident services.
With a portfolio valued at $400 million with over 2,270 multi-family residential units, retail spaces and community buildings, the company specializes in revitalizing communities in underserved areas through the use of public-private financing, historic preservation and partnerships with tenant associations, local businesses, and non-profit entities.
Prior to starting Somerset, Ms. Hooff worked in the field of development economics, housing and community development, municipal finance and local government in the international arena for 15 years as a Foreign Service Officer and contractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Hooff managed USAID’s programs in local government, democracy, urban development and housing for Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union. This work included overseeing housing guarantee funds and the development of municipal finance systems.
She also served in Mauritania, Tunisia, Guatemala, and provided technical and program support services to other countries of Central America. Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Hooff was founder and principal of a business consulting firm in West Africa. She has a master’s degree, with a specialization in international development economics, from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. She was awarded an Honorary Degree of Social Entrepreneurship from Dickinson College in 2018.
A co-founding principal of Somerset Development, Mr. Campbell leads the company in identifying, analyzing, and packaging the financing of Somerset’s real estate development portfolio valued at $400 million with over 2,270 multi-family residential units with retail units and new community buildings. He has expertise in forging public-private partnerships and affordable housing development, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic and New Markets Tax Credits, and federal, state, and local housing finance.
Prior to starting Somerset, Mr. Campbell served for eight years at the AFL-CIO Investments Trusts, primarily as the Chief Investment Officer. The Investment Trusts consist of two co-mingled real estate investment funds: the Housing Investment Trust and the Building Investment Trust. Together the Trusts invested approximately $1 billion of pension capital per year in new housing and commercial real estate projects.
Prior to joining the Trusts, Mr. Campbell was Vice President for Development for Related Companies Northeast, a private developer of housing in the Boston area. Mr. Campbell has managed economic and housing developments for city and state governments; among them, the highly successful $1 billion, mixed-use redevelopment of the East Cambridge Riverfront. He has served as the executive Director of a non-profit community development corporation. Mr. Campbell has a master’s degree in city and Regional Planning from Harvard University.
Jacob Stern serves as Senior Project Manager, overseeing the development of and construction management of all major projects in Baltimore. He has overseen the redevelopment of Linden Park, The Jordan, Paca House and is taking the lead on The Baltimore Union Hall. Mr. Stern takes the lead in the identification of new opportunities in Baltimore. He has experience in both property management and compliance from prior work in affordable housing. He joined Somerset in 2012.
Mr. Stern has a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University where he studied sustainable urban development and earned degrees in both Environmental Studies and Spanish. He worked with the Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Ashiah Parker is committed to working to make her neighborhood and Baltimore City as a whole a better place. Ashiah works as the Executive Director of the No Boundaries Coalition. The No Boundaries Coalition is a resident-led advocacy organization building a unified and empowered Central West Baltimore. The Coalition mobilizes residents from seven different neighborhoods in 21217 to address racial and economic inequality in Baltimore City and improve the quality of life for Central West Baltimore residents.
Before becoming an executive at No Boundaries, Ms. Parker served as the President of the Board of Directors. Ashiah is also a partner at Tidemore Group, a public affairs firm, serves on various boards and organizations throughout Baltimore and is member of the Commission to Restore Trust in Policing. Ms. Parker holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore and lives with her two children, Aaliyah and Jeremiah, and her partner, Keith.
The Reverend Grey Maggiano is the Rector of Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill. He is on the board of
MAC and the Unity Hall Advisory Council. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of Samaritan Community in Baltimore. Prior to his service in Baltimore, The Rev. Maggiano was the Associate Rector of the Trinity Cathedral Miami, where he also served on the board of the Friends of the Biscayne Bay and the Housing First Alliance.
Grey has a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and a master’s in public policy from Georgetown University. Prior to his ordination, Grey was a program officer for the U.S. Dept of State focused on anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan. Grey lives in Center-West Baltimore with his wife Monica, two children and a new puppy.
Eric Stephenson is a resident homeowner in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. Eric works as a construction project manager with a Baltimore based construction firm. He is an active member of the West Baltimore community where he serves as a youth mentor and community advocate. Eric also serves on the Baltimore City Planning Commission as a community representative.
Anya Hooff Kamara serves as Director of Development, overseeing all aspects of Somerset's development portfolio, and its pipeline. She served as project manager for two award-winning projects:
Portner Flats which opened in 2018 and Channel Square whose renovations were completed in 2016.
Prior to joining Somerset Development in 2013, Ms. Kamara worked at Urban Edge in Boston, Massachusetts as the Community Building and Organizing Manager, where she worked on foreclosure prevention, resident services, and property management.
Ms. Kamara graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hunter College in New York City. Ms. Kamara also received a degree from the Navadisha Montessori Training Institute in Chennai, India and is an accredited Montessori Director.
Jernee Bramble is the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Professional Development at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. Miles & Stockbridge is a leading AmLaw 200 law firm with close to 200 lawyers representing a myriad of businesses, from national and global Fortune 500 companies to local and emerging corporations. Founded in 1932, the firm operates in seven offices throughout the mid-Atlantic region, with locations across Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.. Jernee was promoted to her current role in 2022, after serving as the Legal Recruiting Manager for the firm.
Prior to joining Miles, Jernee served as an Associate Director in the Law Career Development Office at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Among her many duties, she provided comprehensive one-on-one career counseling and advising to law students and alumni regarding legal careers in private practice, government, and public interest sectors, supported employer relations and development efforts, and served as the student and employer liaison for diversity and inclusion initiatives, programs, and activities.
Additional professional roles include Professional Development Coordinator at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Legal Training Coordinator at Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman LLP. In each role, she was in charge of managing the design, implementation, assessment, and communication of all training and development programs.
Jernee received an M.A. from the George Washington University, where she majored in Organizational Learning and Leadership, and a B.S. in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.