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Planning Board Member Natali Fani-González Wins Rising Star Award

March 18, 2015

Montgomery Women honors community activism of Board’s first Hispanic member.

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is pleased to announce that Planning Board member Natali Fani-González has been chosen for the 2015 Rising Star Award. This annual prize is given by Montgomery Women, a non-partisan leadership and political action committee, to recognize the promise and achievements of a female community activist.

“We’re proud that Natali Fani-González has received the Rising Star award. I would say she already rose quite a while back – she is a great leader and a colleague with no ceiling on her future,” said Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson at the ceremony.

Fani-González received the award at Montgomery Women’s 11th annual Power Tea on March 15 at the Strathmore Mansion. “I am committed to improving Montgomery County and honored by this award and its celebration of community service,” she said.

The Rising Star Award honors the memory of Phyllis Campbell Newsome, a founder of Montgomery Women and a director of community advocacy for the Washington Council of Agencies, who died in 2002. In prior years, the recipients of the Rising Star Award have been Denise Young (2006), Amy Presley (2007), Kathy Lally (2008), Dr. Yvette Butler (2009), Theresa Testoni (2010), Rachel Glass (2011), Hannah McCann (2012), Wendy Howard (2013) and Hedieh Mirahmadi (2014).

About Natali Fani-González
Appointed to the Montgomery County Planning Board in October 2014, the Venezuelan-born Fani-González, 34, 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.

A human and civil rights activist and entrepreneur, Fani-Gonzalez was recognized in 2013 as a “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-González 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.