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April 17, 2005|By Laura Cadiz

Ian Kennedy

Occupation: Co-founder and president of the advocacy group Save Merriweather.

In the news: For two years, Kennedy and other group members fought to preserve Merriweather Post Pavilion -- a popular concert venue that was built in 1967 as one of Columbia's original amenities -- as an open-air facility. The pavilion's owner, General Growth Properties, had wanted to convert it into a smaller, enclosed theater in order to build on its parking area. Group members attended planning and zoning hearings, distributed information at Merriweather concerts and created a political action committee to support candidates who wanted to preserve the pavilion as an open-air venue.

Highlight: The group's efforts apparently have paid off. On Tuesday, General Growth Properties announced that it had abandoned its plans to enclose the pavilion and will instead let it remain an open-air venue.

Personal: Kennedy, 27, was born in Washington. He spent his early years in Crofton and at age 15 moved to Columbia, where he still lives. He attended Howard Community College as a Rouse Scholar and graduated in 1997. He graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2000 and then went to graduate school at the University of Maryland, graduating last year. He works for the state Department of Natural Resources on trail-related issues as part of the governor's policy fellows program. On May 7, he will marry Lena Quindlen, 29, of Columbia, who is the treasurer of Save Merriweather.

Philosophy: "Why I do what I do is inspired in many ways from what I know about [Columbia founder] Jim Rouse, from what I've read about him and his philosophy on community."

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