Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Honors Public Safety Officials

Gaithersburg, MD – Thursday, August 22 – The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce honored 33 Upcounty Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics at their 18th Annual Public Safety Awards Event on Friday, August 9 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

Over 180 people were in attendance as several members of the Gaithersburg Police Department, Montgomery County Police 5th & 6th Districts & Montgomery County Fire & Rescue and National Institutes of Standards and Technology Rescue Services were recognized for their service. This annual awards program provides the business community with an opportunity to publicly thank those who help maintain the quality of life in the Gaithersburg and Germantown area.

The Chamber recognizes the heroic deeds of our local law enforcement and fire-rescue workers in four categories: Medal of Valor, Citation for Bravery, Distinguished Service Citation & Meritorious Service Citation. These men and women go above and beyond the call of duty to serve our local community and the GGCC wants them to know we appreciate them and their hard work.

“We are honored to have these heroes in our community, the very least we can do is to thank them for their service,” said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President.

Thirty-three Public Safety Officials were awarded in total in cases ranging from saving a fellow student from getting hit by a car to five firefighters saving the life of a two-year old with scalding burns and loss of consciousness. Thirteen public safety Officials were awarded the Citation of Bravery, five were awarded the Distinguished Service Citation, five were awarded the Meritorious Service Citation, five were awarded the highest honor – the Medal of Valor and new this year, five middle school students were awarded with the Safety Patrol Lifesaver Award. Each awardee received a citation from Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Rob Garagiola & Congressman John Delaney, as well as a token of our appreciation.

For the sixth year in a row, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling,, was the Title Sponsor of the event. For more than 40 years, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling craftsmanship and care has helped families and businesses overcome the devastating setbacks inflicted by fire, flood and wind.

“Every year we look forward to being part of the Chamber’s Public Safety Awards program. What greater service is there than to protect our families from harm? We at Paul Davis Restoration congratulate this year’s winners and we appreciate all of our first responders for keeping us safe,” said Tom Plant, Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling Managing Partner.

Other Public Safety sponsors include:

Shining Silver Sponsor

  •  Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union

Table Sponsors:

  •  Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP
  • City of Gaithersburg
  • Crime Solvers of Montgomery Co., MD Inc.
  • Gaithersburg Police Foundation
  • The Gazette
  • Hughes Network Systems, LLC
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kaplan University
  • Montgomery County EFCU
  • OBA Bank
  • Shady Grove Adventist Hospital  

Gift Sponsors:

  • BlackFinn Restaurant & Saloon
  • Buca di Beppo
  • Corner Bakery
  • Melting Pot Gaithersburg
  • Potomac Pizza
  • SportClips Gaithersburg Square

Public Safety Official Recipient Sponsors:

  • Anita & Eric Anderson    
  • A Cat Clinic    
  • Asbury Methodist Village     
  • Capital Bank N.A.
  • DCI Architects, LLC        
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Gaithersburg    
  • Strive Business Solutions    
  • Sugarloaf Photography by Fabrizio    
  • Thibadeau Mortuary Services      
  • Therrien Waddell, Inc.

Elected & public safety officials in attendance included:

  • Representing Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office Courtney Samuels, Special Assistant to the Senator  
  •  Representing Congressman John Delaney’s office Lisa Bianco, District Director
  • State Senator Nancy King – District 39
  • State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez – District 18
  • State Delegate Charles Barkley – District 39
  • State Delegate Kirill Reznik – District 39    
  • City of Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz
  • City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Jud Ashman
  • City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Cathy Drzyzgula
  • City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Henry Marraffa
  • City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Michael Sesma
  • City of Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel
  • City of Gaithersburg City Manager Tony Tomasello
  • Rebecca Smondroski, Montgomery County Board of Education
  • Montgomery County Chief of Police Thomas Manger Montgomery County Assistant
  • Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Darryl McSwain
  • Montgomery County Police Sheriff’s Darren Popkin
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology Fire Chief Stephen Shahan
  • Montgomery County Police, 5th District, Commander David Gillespie  
  • Montgomery County Police, 5th District, Lt. Michael Ward
  • Montgomery County Police, 5th District, Lt. Sheila Sugrue
  • Montgomery County Police, 6th District, Commander Willie Parker-Loan
  • Montgomery County Police, 6th District Lt. Sean Gagen
  • Montgomery County Police, 6th District Lt. James Humphries
  • Gaithersburg Police Department Police Chief Mark Sroka
  • Gaithersburg Police Department Commander Operations Bureau Robert Wilkes

 Anita Anderson, Board Member with the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy & GGCC Board Member, was the master of ceremonies.

Below: The GGCC President Marilyn Balcombe and GGCC Board Chair Ron Dimaranan (M&T Bank) presented City of Gaithersburg Police Department Captain Mark Sroka (center) with a plaque commemorating the departments 50 years of service. The Gaithersburg Police Department was established on April 1, 1963. (photo courtesy of Phil Fabrizio)

Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Honors Public Safety Officials

Contact Information:

Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce

Laura Rowles

(301) 840-1400 x14


The GGCC is active in providing business-to-business networking opportunities throughout the year: a collective voice in local, regional, and state legislative affairs, professional development opportunities and other services that enhance the business environment.

The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at

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