Natali Fani-Gonzalez Sworn in As Newest Planning Board Member (PHOTOS)
Natali Fani-Gonzalez was sworn in as the newest member of the Montgomery County Planning Board on Oct. 16.
Montgomery County Clerk of the Court Loretta Knight officiated at the ceremony held at the Planning Department’s headquarters in Silver Spring.
After the brief ceremony, Fani-Gonzalez took her seat behind the dais to preside with her colleagues over her first Planning Board meeting.
The official swearing-in ceremony follows the Montgomery County Council’s unanimous vote on October 7 to appoint Fani-Gonzalez to the vacant seat on the Planning Board.
“I’m honored to be appointed to the Montgomery County Planning Board and I’m excited to get started to continue to plan for a great future for Montgomery County,” said Fani-Gonzalez.
Born in Venezuela, Fani-Gonzalez, 33, is the founder and principal of the Rockville-based public relations firm, The Matea Group. She is the first Latino and millennial to serve on the five-member Planning Board, which reviews master plans and policies governing growth and development throughout Montgomery County.
In her letter requesting appointment, Fani-Gonzalez promoted her skills saying, “I will bring a pragmatic vision with a strong social conscience amplified by the use of technology.”
A human and civil rights activist and entrepreneur, Fani-Gonzalez has been recognized as a 2013 “Leading Women” honoree by The Daily Record for her numerous contributions to Maryland. She started her career as a lobbyist for CASA de Maryland, the largest Latino and immigrant organization in the state, and then joined the communications team of the Service Employee International Union Local 32BJ before starting her own public relations firm.
Fani-Gonzalez graduated from Goucher College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. She lives with her husband and their two children in Kensington.
Fani-Gonzalez was one of 25 applicants for the planning board vacancy and one of four interviewed for the position.
The vacancy now filled by Fani-Gonzalez was created when Planning Board Chair Françoise Carrier decided not to seek a second term. Casey Anderson, who was already serving on the board, was designated as the new chair in July 2014. Fani-Gonzalez will serve a four-year term.