MACo’s Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award was established to honor the legacy of former Montgomery County Council Member, Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Past President, and beloved public servant Marilyn J. Praisner.
The award recognizes those current or former elected county officials who have demonstrated outstanding service to a county, his or her constituents, and MACo. The award is a collaboration of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance and MACo, with support from the Local Government Insurance Trust.
Three current or former elected county officials were nominated for the 2020 Praisner Public Service Award, which is issued to one winner each year. All were impressive with long-standing careers in public service and innovative approaches to leading their respective communities. MACo and the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are pleased to announce our award winner, former Baltimore City Councilmember Rochelle “Rikki” Spector. MACo will honor former Councilmember Rochelle during the 2021 MACo Winter Conference.
Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, former Baltimore City Councilmember
Affectionately known as the Dean of the Baltimore City Council, Rikki served the constituents of the 5th councilmanic district for thirty-nine years. The secret to her success in serving the citizens of Baltimore was her in-depth knowledge of the city and the many stories and insights about people and neighborhoods that she could recall at the drop of a hat. Rikki put in the time to get to know her district’s neighborhoods, community leaders, and the schools that educate the city’s youth. Rikki served on several of the City Council’s committees such as: Land Use and Transportation, Health, Urban Affairs, Aging, Judiciary and legislative Investigations, and the Executive Appointments. Rikki’s knowledge of Baltimore’s rich history often made her the top go-to person for questions and insights about various neighborhoods.
Rikki has always had a passion and commitment for education and mentoring Baltimore City’s youth. That passion and commitment was on full display when, after she suffered a brutal attack by two teenagers attempting to rob her’ Rikki reached out to the two teens to become a mentor to help them realize the limitless potential they have to do good and make the world a better place. She is still actively serving on boards, and mentoring others who have an interest in public service.
Rikki has served with MACo in many capacities including as President and as a member of the Legislative Committee, the Conference Planning Committee, and Women of MACo.
The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.
Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: