Rona E. Kramer is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Baltimore School of Law. Secretary Kramer comes from a long career in commercial real estate development and management, as well as public service.
Secretary Kramer was elected to the Maryland Senate, representing District 14, Montgomery County in November 2002 and served for eight years. She sat on the Budget and Taxation Committee during her tenure, which included serving on the Capital Budget subcommittee, Pensions subcommittee, Joint Audit Committee, Executive Nominations Committee, and Spending Affordability Committee. She also chaired the Montgomery County Delegation. During her tenure she was a committed advocate for seniors. She was a lead sponsor for bills establishing the Silver Alert Program, reverse mortgage protection for seniors, and protection for seniors from financial exploitation by undue influence.
In January 2015, Secretary Kramer was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the position of Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging. This appointment allows her to continue to advocate for older persons in Maryland. She leads the Department’s efforts in protecting the rights and quality of life of our elder residents, most importantly to provide the services necessary to allow them to age at home and in their community.
Secretary Kramer’s community service extends to other areas as well. The following are some of the organizations in which she has been a leader:
- Member, Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission
- Board of Trustees, Holy Cross Health
- Real Estate Committee, Board of the Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital
- President, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
- Chair, Montgomery County Police and Fire/Rescue Awards
- Board of Trustees, Maryland College of Art and Design
- President, Shopping Center Management Association
- Board of Directors, Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad
- Precinct Chair and Area Coordinator, Montgomery County Democratic Party
- Member, Wheaton Revitalization Strategy Committee
- Board of Directors, Montgomery County Friends of the Library
Among Secretary Kramer’s recognitions are the following:
- Tavel Award for Outstanding Service to Business, Government, and Community in Montgomery County, 1997
- Legislator of the Year, Maryland State Chamber of Commerce, 2004
- Outstanding Leadership Award from the Maryland Association of Community Services for People with Developmental Disabilities, 2004
- Legislator of the Year, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, 2005
- Affordable Housing Advocacy Award, Maryland Affordable Housing Community, 2006
- Legislator of the Year, Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association, 2007
- Hall of Fame, Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association, 2007
- Outstanding Service Award, Damascus Volunteer Fire Department, 2007
- Certificate of Appreciation, Maryland Municipal League, 2008
- Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Daily Record, 2008
Bernice Hutchinson, Deputy Secretary
As Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging, Bernice Hutchinson leads the internal administration and management of the Department’s day-to-day operations. She oversees the Department’s programs and spending while developing essential partnerships to ensure a coordinated statewide delivery system that promotes choice, independence, and dignity for older Marylanders and their caregivers. She advocates to protect the rights and quality of life of older adults, most importantly to provide the services necessary to allow them to age at home and in their communities.
Prior to joining the Maryland Department of Aging, she dedicated more than three decades to the field of aging. As a senior policy advisor, she advised the nation’s state government leaders, educated Congress, administered two national resource centers and was a frequent guest speaker at national, state, and local conferences. She has crossed the country and appeared before groups in nearly every state. She has authored technical works and served as a consultant and contributor on many works, including Nora Jean Levin’s bestseller How to Care for Your Parents: A Handbook for Adult Children. She is a graduate of Williams College with a degree in psychology and honors in African American Studies. She has been married for more than 38 years and is the proud mother of a daughter who is a classical ballerina.