Biography of the Secretary
Secretary Wendi W. Peters
Wendi W. Peters was appointed Secretary for the Maryland Department of Planning by Governor Larry Hogan on July 6, 2016 and sworn in on July 26. She previously served as the department's deputy secretary since her appointment on March 12, 2015.
A Mt. Airy native, Secretary Peters has been active as a community leader and volunteer for more than two decades. Wendi began her public service as the chair of Mount Airy’s Recycling and Sanitation Commission from its inception in 1990 through 1996. Building on that experience, she served on the Town of Mt. Airy Board of Appeals (1997) and the Town of Mt. Airy Planning Commission (1998 – 2004), where she participated in drafting its Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. With a history of two successful family businesses on Mount Airy’s Main Street and an appreciation for the economic potential of a thriving downtown, Ms. Peters was eager to join other volunteers on the original Downtown Revitalization Committee. Together, they successfully worked to achieve the Maryland Main Street designation for Mount Airy in 2004, providing both the foundation and the catalyst for revitalization in and around the downtown. Ms. Peters continues to serve as a member of the Mount Airy Main Street Association and the Mount Airy Historical Society.
Elected to the Mount Airy Town Council in 2004, she has a proven record of asking tough questions, bringing vital issues to the forefront and solving difficult problems, all while remaining focused on fiscal issues. When Ms. Peters was re-elected to the Town Council in 2008, she became the first woman to serve two terms as a council member. Her proud accomplishments during her council tenure include: initiating a comprehensive inventory of development projects and available lots to enable implementation of growth management measures; overseeing installation of new water meters for a more efficient water system; saving tax dollars by establishing a single stream recycling program to reduce solid waste going to the landfill and developing a successful plan to retain, expand and recruit business investment in her community.
An active member of the Maryland Municipal League, Wendi served on the Communications Committee from 2006-2008. She chaired the committee from 2007-2008 working with other municipal leaders to promote municipal communication initiatives throughout the state.
The Daily Record selected Wendi as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2010 and 2012 for her leadership, community service and mentoring. In 2011, she was recognized for Extraordinary Achievement by the Maryland Recycling Network. Ms. Peters has also been inducted into the Mount Airy Hall of Fame in recognition of her service and volunteerism in the community.
A graduate of Villa Julie College and Loyola University Maryland, Ms. Peters is also a Fellow of the University of Maryland-Institute for Governmental Service and Research’s Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. She has worked for the law firm of Ober|Kaler in Baltimore as a paralegal since 1986 and she is an Associate Member of the Maryland State Bar Association.
“Wendi” and her husband, Gary, have been married for over 28 years and their son, Zach, is a recent graduate of her alma mater, Loyola University Maryland. Wendi credits her parents, Billy and Barbara Wagner, for her commitment to community service. While Billy and Barbara both worked long hours at the family butcher shop, Wagner Brothers, they remained active in their children’s lives and made it a priority to serve others in and around the community. Following their example, Wendi taught Sunday school, served as PTA board member and parent volunteer and was a member of the Mentoring Connections Team mentoring students at Mount Airy Middle School. Her commitment to youth and education extends beyond Mount Airy as she served several years as a mentor to Baltimore City students through the Business Volunteers Unlimited–School and Business Partnership Program and Community Law in Action.