Meet Our New Executive Board Members!

New Officer Bios

Paul Grant  |   President

Paul Grant was the most recent Communications Director for the Penn Branch Community Association (2020-2022)  and he has previously served as Parliamentarian (2014-2015).  He is Chief Creative Officer and Senior Producer at Ascender Communications, Inc. (dba Ascender Films), a full-service, digital advertising and media production company, based in Washington, DC. He established the firm in 2005 and has over 20 years of professional experience with corporate branding and producing award-winning creative content for public awareness campaigns, non-profit advocacy groups, businesses, and federal agencies. He also produces interactive content, oral histories, and factual/interpretative documentaries and short films for museum exhibitions and digital and broadcast media. Paul is a member of the American Advertising Federation (AAF-DC), American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA DC), Women in Film and Video (WIFV-DC) and the Association of African American Museums (AAM). He studied filmmaking and graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Visual Arts.  He and his wife Tracey have lived in Penn Branch for 10 years.

Carmen Coles Tull |   2nd Vice President

Carmen is a public policy strategist, coalition builder, and advocate who is committed to addressing the world’s greatest global health challenges.  Carmen Coles Tull has over 20 years of experience managing and implementing global health programs worldwide. Ms. Tull currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) at USAID.  She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale University. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa.   She is married with two children living in the Penn Branch Neighborhood. She is on the Local School Advisory Team of the Capitol Hill Cluster School Community.

Kerry Neal  |  Treasurer

Kerryis a career member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and serves as Managing Director for Financial Policy, Reporting, and Analysis in the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services, U.S. Department of State.  Kerry has been a member of various non-profit executive boards, including the African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA) and the National Grants Management Association (NGMA). He is also a 2021 Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.  Kerry holds a B.S. in business from Long Island University, Southampton College; M.A. in business/legal administration from Marymount University; J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law; and an LL.M. in environmental and energy law and policy from Georgetown University Law Center; he is admitted to practice law in Maryland, District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court

Lori C. Palmer  |   Communications Director

Hello, I am a fellow Penn Branch homeowner seeking the Director of Communications position for the next two-year term. I have resided in the community for about a year with my dog, Jackson. Within this year, I have quickly come to appreciate my neighborly bonds and the beauty of the surrounding wooded areas with the conveniences of in town living.

Professionally, I work as the Director of Finance and Operations at Washington School for Girls in SE DC. My experience as a CPA and former business owner have developed my determination, mindset, and skills to take on a multifaceted leadership role at a small non-profit organization. As Director of Communications for the community association, I will rely on my attention to detail, time management skills, and business acumen to ensure that communications within the community and beyond are accurate, prompt, precise, and appropriate. I will always keep impartially top of mind and respect the judgement and guidance of the residents of our community.   Outside of work, homeownership and lawncare surely keep me busy!  I am also an avid runner so you may have seen me and Jackson (my dog) running through the neighborhood. I currently volunteer with Ward 8 Woods working to clean up wooded areas in SE and Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes serving as a sighted guide.

New Year, New Opportunities


Stan Benton, PresidentHopefully everybody’s enjoying the New Year so far. ‘New Year, new opportunities,’ as they say.  For PBCA, that means new officer positions that we need to fill on the board. Our First Vice President, Kyle Murphy, will not run for re-election, and our current Treasurer Moh Williams has decided to step down. I’d like to give some appreciation to Kyle and Moh for stepping up to the challenge.

The good news is that we’re finally holding our elections next week and we have some amazing candidates ready to go. This includes Secretary Marie Fritz, who is seeking to fill our vacant 2nd Vice-President chair and Parliamentarian, Natiya Curtis is also seeking another term in that seat. Please make sure your membership is up to date so that you can vote.

Finally, the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading fast. Please continue to be safe and practice social distancing.  To locate COVID test kits, go to https://coronavirus.dc.gov  Under Testing click on Test Yourself DC At-Home Kit then scroll to the bottom to see real-time test availability at the various Test Yourself Locations. Take note that experts advise to take at least two antigen tests over the course of about two days, if you have been exposed.

Please stay safe everyone and I’ll see you at the meeting.

Stan Benton,

PBCA President

Art All Night (2021)

Art All Night 2021 is back in person!  Enjoy an evening of art, live music, and food!  The festivities this year will feature five events across Ward 7 on Friday, September 24thThis will include two events near us at the Penn Branch Shopping Center and a youth-oriented event in Fairfax Village. Start time: 7:30PM

Let’s Restore Our Community Park

Join Us
Saturday, May 15th @ 9:00AM

On Saturday, May 15th at 9:00AM Penn Branch community members will meet to begin cleaning and restoration of 9-11 Memorial Park, located at the intersection of Carpenter Street and O Street SE.  In addition to cleaning, we will plant and install new shrubs and park signage purchased through a recent $1,000 grant from the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS). 

 If you plan to join us, please remember to bring your gardening tools, including rakes, shovels, shears, trimmers as well as lawn and leaf and trash bags.

Can’t Join Us?  Please Make a Donation

Sign At 9-11 Memorial Park

The PBCA board is also making plans to launch a community fundraiser next month. Your donation will help us to replace the deteriorating bench and install new pavers in the main walkways. If you can’t join us on Saturday, May 15th, please consider making a donation to help us restore and maintain the gateway to our community!  To make a donation online, please visit: https://pennbranchdc.org/donate/

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Gallery: One of our last major community restoration of 9-11 Memorial Park took place on October 18, 2014. Many Penn Branch residents came out to help groom plants, restore walkways and flower beds.

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