Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen and the Annapolis Heritage Commission presented the 2013 Mayor’s Living Landmarks Award for Sustained Commitment to Annapolis’ Cultural Heritage on Monday, September 30.
Ms. Peg Bednarsky was honored for more than 40 years of service to the residents and visitors of Annapolis as the innkeeper at the Historic Inns of Annapolis and as a leader in Maryland’s hospitality and tourism industries. In addition to serving as president of Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association for two terms, she was also a two- term president of the Maryland Tourism Council, a member of the Board of Directors for the Restaurant Association of Maryland and the Chairperson for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. She has received numerous proclamations and citations from governors, the Maryland Senate, and the Maryland House of Delegates, with some of the citations referring to her as the “unofficial house mother” of the General Assembly.
Mr. Richard Israel was honored for his 25 years of service to the citizens of Maryland as the Assistant Attorney General with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. He continued his public service career as a two-term Annapolis City Council Alderman, serving Ward One. During that time, he was the Chair of the Finance Committee with oversight of the City’s budget and was Chair of the Rules and City Government Committee with review of all proposed amendments to the City Charter and Zoning Code. Alderman Israel introduced bills establishing a citywide Heritage Commission and a Blue Ribbon Commission on City finances. The Council approved his Adequate Public Facilities legislation, a Bond Fund and the Citizens Committee to Review Alcoholic Beverage Laws (CCRABL). His legislation introduced First Sundays to Annapolis, March Madness, the Boat Shows, and the regulation of special events.
Mr. Israel was also honored for being a strong advocate for Heritage Preservation.
Ms. Thelma Sparks was honored for 50 years of service in education. She was the first African-American teacher to integrate the Anne Arundel County School System during desegregation. Later, she served as the supervisor of mathematics for the Anne Arundel County Board of Education and authored middle school math textbooks for more than twenty years. During her tenure in education, she was and continues to be involved with several professional organizations that promote education and community activism, often times being one of the first women to serve in the organization.
Mr. Lester Trott, a life-long Annapolitan, was honored for his career as a professional public relations and advertising executive, promoting Annapolis and Maryland as a boating and sailing destination. He helped launch the Annapolis boat shows and Chesapeake Appreciation Days. He also served the State of Maryland in the early days of its state-wide tourism initiatives.