Winner Announced! MACo Celebrates Leaders in Public Service with 2022 Praisner Award

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.

MACo and the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are pleased to announce our award winner, Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice. MACo will honor Council Member Rice during MACo’s Winter Conference.


Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County

An excerpt from the nomination materials:

“Craig Rice was elected in 2010 to the Montgomery County Council, after previously serving in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2006 until 2010, where he was on the legislative body’s Ways and Means Committee. Craig chairs the Council’s Education and Culture Committee and also serves on its Health and Human Services Committee. Craig serves as the Council’s representative to MACo; co-chairs MACo’s Education Sub-Committee; was president of the Diversity Caucus; and is a member of the Maryland Broadband Advisory Workgroup. He is on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors, where he chaired the Human Services and Education Steering Committee and co-chaired their National Broadband Task Force to Bridge the Digital Divide. Craig is the past chair and a current member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee and is vice-chair of their Food and Agriculture Regional Member (FARM) Policy Committee. He has also served on the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education as chair of the Early Care and Education Sub-Committee.

“Craig was destined to be a public official, his passion, dedication and commitment know no bounds. He is a true change agent, who takes on every issue and embraces every challenge in facilitating meaningful advancement. Craig’s commitment to service transcends all levels of government: county, regional, state, and national level. He embraces the challenge to make a difference and works tirelessly to ensure a purposeful outcome through his creative innovation and collaborative approach. While he is an exceptional and inspirational orator, he leads by action, always being the first to put himself out there take on the challenge and put the work in. There is not a meeting, event, council session, conference that Craig doesn’t put 100% of himself into and always feels there is an opportunity to make a difference. He is truly an inspiration to the community, his colleagues, and staff alike, having the courage to say what needs to be said and the dedication to back up those words. He makes everyone feel special and heard because he is present, he cares, and he is dedicated to making the world a better place – and making us want to be there and part of that exciting change.”

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3).

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: