About Max for Rockville
It’s a blog with two purposes: one is personal and one is public.
1. The first is that I believe everyone must contribute to the community in which they live or work, as time and skills allow. I’ve been a life-long volunteer (well, since junior high school) in a variety of civic, business, and cultural organizations and writing about the community in which I live continues that commitment. But I’m not just an observer and I do have a vision for Rockville, so yes, you’ll get a dose of my opinion from time to time.
2. It promotes thoughts, ideas, observations, reviews, and critiques on various issues to maximize the quality of life in Rockville, Maryland (and the surrounding region). It’s is a pretty interesting place, so if I encounter a wonderful restaurant, a cool building, a person with a remarkable story, or an overlooked issue, this provides me with a way to share it with others. The views and opinions are mine alone, however, I always welcome comments from others (whether you live in Rockville or not) as long as you keep it civil and thoughtful. Controversy and disagreement are acceptable, but I reserve the right to edit or delete comments that are obscene, disrespectful, or inappropriate. If you want to do those kinds of things, get your own blog at WordPress or Blogger.
About Max A. van Balgooy
I moved to Rockville, Maryland in 2001 with my wife Mary from California to accept a position with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC. After ten years as an in-house consultant to the National Trust Historic Sites, I now head my own firm, Engaging Places LLC, to consult with historic sites, museums, and non-profit organizations across the country. Mary is the Executive Director of Peerless Rockville, the historic preservation organization in town. We live in a 1960 split-level ranch in the Twinbrook Forest neighborhood of Rockville along with a dog, three cats, and occasional deer, foxes, and turtles. We recently completed a cool contemporary award-winning addition to our house, thanks to the design work of Jeff Broadhurst, AIA, and carpenter/housewright John Tessitore.
For seven years, I served on Rockville’s Historic District Commission and currently serve on the Historic Preservation Commission for Montgomery County. I have been actively engaged in community service for nearly twenty years, including on the board of Main Street Upland (a downtown business association); the Planning Commission for the City of Upland, California (where I helped develop ordinances for bed-and-breakfast inns and sidewalk cafes); and as the president of the Chaffey Communities Cultural Center, a regional non-profit organization based in Upland, California. Before coming to Maryland, I was the Associate Director of the Homestead Museum, a six-acre historic site in the City of Industry, California. Yes, I take history pretty seriously and received my M. A. in history from the University of Delaware (Hagley Fellow) and B. A. in history from Pomona College.