CSM Foundation Welcomes Natalie Cotton and Joanne Yakaitis as Board Directors

October 27, 2021

CSM Foundation Welcomes Natalie Cotton and Joanne Yakaitis as Board Directors

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation announces that Natalie Cotton and Joanne Yakaitis have joined the Foundation’s board as its newest directors. 

The CSM Foundation, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 charitable organization established in 1970, helps increase access to higher education at CSM through scholarship funding and assures the excellence of that education by raising and managing funds for college projects and objectives – including workforce development in Southern Maryland. The CSM Foundation is comprised of a tri-county, all-volunteer board of directors. 

“The CSM Foundation is so fortunate to have Natalie and Joanne join our board,” said CSM Foundation Executive Director Chelsea Clute. “Both of these regional leaders have strong ties and deep commitments to our community and as alumnae of community colleges – they both know first-hand the value that CSM brings to our students. We are thrilled they are joining our efforts to make college affordable and accessible to all.”

Cotton is the government affairs and community relations director for the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), where she has worked for 19 years.  She received her associate degree in Management Development from CSM, and her bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Southern Maryland. 

natalie-cotton.jpgCotton, a Charles County resident, has served in numerous volunteer roles in the community over the last decade, including as a board member and chair of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce; a board member for the Charles County Juvenile Drug Court Committee; a board member for the Zonta Club of Charles County; and a board member for LifeStyles of Maryland, Inc. 

“CSM is a pillar of Southern Maryland, and I am thrilled to partner with them in a new way,” Cotton said.  “I am eager to put my experience in building relationships, planning events, and serving our community to use to benefit my alma mater. Education is a passion of mine and I am excited to tell my CSM story.” 

Yakaitis is currently an executive at Fortune 500 firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she serves as the lead of the Chief Growth Office Proposal Team and is responsible for leading the Contract Proposal Management team.  She has previously worked at the Computer Science Corporation in Lanham, Md., Navigant International and GlaxoSmithKline, and co-owned a video production and multimedia company. 

yakaitis-headshot.jpgYakaitis is a graduate of Northern Virginia Community College, where she received her associate degree in Speech Communications. She earned her bachelor’s in Communications from George Mason University and her MBA from Eastern University. A Calvert County native, she previously served on the Board of Governors for the Calvert Marine Museum. 

 “As a proud community college graduate, I’ve always held community colleges near and dear,” Yakaitis said. “CSM is a valuable source of innovation in our community and a place where everyone can pursue a lifelong journey of learning. I look forward to taking any opportunities I have to speak to others about the great leaders coming out of CSM.” 

For information about the CSM Foundation, visit https://csmd.edu/foundation/

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