Wendy Samet, Executive Director
Wendy has worked in the non-profit sector for almost 30 years, starting her professional life as a painting conservator. In 1996, Wendy led the multi-racial, economically diverse coalition that established Midtown Academy. She was a key participant in developing the program and structure that led to Midtown’s emergence as one of Baltimore’s most successful and sought-after public charter schools.
In 2003, Wendy became Vice President of the Goldsmith Family Foundation. Over ten years, she restructured and branded the Foundation’s giving program, which donates up to $1,000,000 annually to education programs for underserved youth in Baltimore City. She worked with the board on strategic planning, providing professional development for board members, increasing their engagement, and honing the Foundation’s grant-making program.
Wendy became Executive Director of Middle Grades Partnership in September of 2013.
Wendy attended Hampshire College and received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. She did graduate work in Art History and Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and received a MS in Art Conservation from the Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation where she later taught. Wendy continues to be a professional painting conservator and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation. She has worked at the Walters Art Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution where she was in charge of the conservation of Whistler’s Peacock Room.
Stephanie Felton, Director of Development
Stephanie Felton joined Middle Grades Partnership (MGP) on October 1, 2014 as Director of Development. Stephanie comes from Gilman School as the Director of Development Services. She spent the past 17 years in the Development Office at Gilman handling Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, Database Administration and administrative duties of all fundraising and event planning aspects of their office. Stephanie stepped into the Director of Annual Giving position part way through last year, while handing Database Administration, and was able to complete the fiscal year $140,000 over budget, raising over $2.3 million dollars. She attributes much of her success to her long tenure and the relationships she has built in her time at Gilman. Stephanie has experience working with the Board of Trustees as well as managing a 31 member Alumni Board.
Stephanie graduated from Shepherd College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. She lives in Ruxton with her husband Johnny and two daughters, Madison and Olivia, ages thirteen and nine, who attend Dumbarton Middle School and Riderwood Elementary.
Anita Walia, Office Manager
After graduating from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Anita Walia lived and worked in many different cities around the country. More than 10 years ago she moved from San Francisco to settle in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill. Anita brings a wide range of employment experience to her part-time work at MGP, including a clerkship in the Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and as the writer, producer and anchor of a news program at a start-up cable station. In Baltimore, Anita has worked in immigration law, property management and served on the Midtown Community Benefits District Board. Anita has a daughter who is a Senior at Friends School and another daughter who is a theater major at the Baltimore School for The Arts.
Renee Samuels, Communications Specialist
Renee Samuels is the Middle Grades Partnerships Communications Specialist. Prior to joining Middle Grades Partnership Ms. Samuels worked in the administrations of Mayors Sheila Dixon and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as a Special Assistant working with arts, culture and tourism programs and Director of International Affairs — overseeing the Sister Cities program. She began her professional career as a television reporter in Western Maryland and later as a gubernatorial speechwriter. Renee lives in Baltimore city with her husband and very small dog.