by Kym Byrnes, photography by Nikola Tzenov

Douglas Velnoskey: A Legacy of Giving Back and Community Impact

A lifelong resident of Carroll County, Doug Velnoskey is humbled to be recognized for his philanthropic and community service efforts, but also adamant that he is just one link in the chain. He says any recognition belongs to his family, his work team, and the individuals in the community who are also working towards a greater good. Despite his humble demeanor, it is undeniable that Velnoskey’s impact transcends his modesty.

He stands out for his role in bringing forth transformative initiatives in recent years. His involvement in projects such as the Carroll County Women’s Conference, the Frederick County Girls Flag Football League and the Historical Society of Carroll County is shaping the foundation for lasting positive effects that will resonate across generations.

Doug’s commitment extends beyond mere financial contributions; he invests his time, expertise, and passion into these initiatives, ensuring a meaningful and lasting impact on the community. A risk-taker by nature, he wholeheartedly embraces projects, even when success is uncertain. His approach is characterized by a focus on relationships over transactions, emphasizing the importance of people in every endeavor.

We proudly recognize Doug Velnoskey as Carroll Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. His willingness to take risks, dedication to community initiatives, and prioritization of relationships make him a standout contributor to the betterment of Carroll County, leaving an indelible mark that will be felt for years to come.


The Velnoskey Family

The Velnoskey Family: Thomas, Audrey and Doug.

Doug describes his childhood in downtown Westminster as fairly idyllic, with two loving parents who were committed to family, community and church. He said that his mother had health issues that delayed her having kids, so she was 40 when he was born and 42 when his younger brother entered the world.

“My parents made sure one day each weekend was family day,” Doug said. “We’d go to state parks with a picnic, and swim and fish in the summer, and in the colder months we’d visit historic places or family and friends.”

While he was blessed with a loving family and middle-class life, Doug said that medical issues impacted his early years. He suffered from severe eczema that required him to see doctors regularly. He recalls the skin irritation being so bad at times he was unable to walk. Then in second grade a strep infection developed into nephritis which required a 30-day hospital stay.

He attended St. John’s Catholic School until eighth grade and then graduated from Westminster High School. He said his parents preached and modeled respect and tolerance.

“My mom and dad respected everyone, and I was probably exposed to more diversity than most of my peers growing up,” he said.

Doug attended Loyola College and took some classes at McDaniel College before taking a break from school to invest in a business partnership with a local jeweler. Around the age of 29, he changed course again — with a goal of becoming a financial advisor. He finished his degree at the University of Baltimore.

Now a Certified Financial PlannerTM practitioner, he is the executive vice president of wealth management and a financial advisor with the Velnoskey Wealth Management Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. He started his career providing financial and retirement planning and investment advice and management in 1987.

His wife, Pam, has been at his side for 42 years and they have a son, Devin. Devin and his wife, Jennifer, recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary, and while they live in Colorado, last year Devin started working with his father.

“I started working with my father in February of 2022 after an almost 15-year career in other areas of investment management/financial markets,” Devin said. “Besides marrying my wife, Jenn, it’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made.”


Doug amd Pam and Devin and Jennifer Velnoskey

Doug and Pam Velnoskey with son Devin and his wife, Jennifer.

Growing up, Doug said he watched his parents volunteer and give back in myriad ways. His mom, who worked at JCPenny, went door to door to raise money for the Red Cross, and she was treasurer for the Bond Street Light Association, collecting dues and paying the bill for the street lights on the unincorporated section of Bond Street. His dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Kiwanis and was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts and 4-H.

Pam says that volunteering and caring for community is in Doug’s blood.

“Doug’s grandfather (his father worked there as well) owned a shoe repair shop in downtown Westminster,” Pam said. “They gave their time and talent by putting soles on shoes for those who couldn’t afford new shoes. His father as well as his uncle worked at Rosewood School in Owings Mills. Doug saw his father give his time and talent to mentoring these young men. He developed some lasting relationships with his students.”

Devin said that he comes from a large extended family in the Westminster area and believes that his father was shaped by that strong family bond and commitment to community.

“My father shares his time and talents with as many people as he can. In my opinion, that is the true measure of generosity,” Devin said. “It’s a product of his upbringing in Westminster and his family’s approach to life in general. He is truly concerned with the well-being and impact he can have on his local community; knowing full well that from small things, big things one day come.”

Doug said his first board of directors service was for Junior Achievement and then he joined the Carroll Hospital Foundation board. Over the years he has served on other boards and committees and he has also given financially to support organizations and initiatives including the Historical Society of Carroll County, Boys and Girls Club, Exploration Commons at 50 West, Carroll Community College, Carroll Arts Council, Habitat for Humanity and the Marriage & Education Resource Center, to name a few. And he’s also not afraid to roll up his sleeves and, well, sew.

“Over the years we have participated in a lot of fun projects as an office as well as things that are going on in our community. If I ask Doug to roll up his sleeves and get involved, he is always willing,” said Doug’s colleague and friend of 18 years, Coleen Kramer Beal. “This includes making pillowcase dresses … We had adorable little dresses hanging on all the walls of our office. We also made vests from scratch for Runnymede Elementary’s chorus program and made no-sew blankets for children at Carroll Hospital. From cutting the fabric to sewing or tying, he did it all in rolled-up suit sleeves.”

She added that Doug encourages the office team to support local projects all year long, including putting together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, collecting food for The Shepherd’s Staff and Carroll Food Sunday, and collecting shoes for Soles of Love.

Devin said that in spite of his father having a lot of commitments as a small-business owner, he was active in coaching Devin’s sports teams and with his Boy Scout Troop 395 in Finksburg.

“He doesn’t do anything for the glory or credit of doing it,” Devin said of his father. “He does it because it is the right thing to do and it’s the way his father and grandfather would have done it. I believe he strives every day to find a way to make a positive impact in someone’s life; however big or small that might be.”

Doug’s work supports both preserving history and making history. He has been involved with the Historical Society of Carroll County for decades, and in recent years, has played a vital role in helping to solidify its future. Jason Illari is the executive director of the society. Hired in late 2021, he recalls that he met Doug, who was on the search committee, during his interview process. “We bonded instantly as we talked about leadership styles and the need to constantly evaluate how we lead.”

“[Volunteering and caring for community is in Doug’s blood.] Doug’s grandfather (his father worked there as well) owned a shoe repair shop in downtown Westminster. They gave their time and talent by putting sales on shoes for those who couldn’t afford new shoes. His father as well as his uncle worked at Rosewood School in Owings Mills. Doug saw his father give his time and talent to mentoring these young men. He developed some lasting relationships with his students.” – Pam Velnoskey

With a smile, Doug recalls Helen Shriver Riley chasing him down in a church parking lot to ask him to join the Historical Society board. He says he started serving in 1994.

“History has the power to educate and inspire,” Doug said. “Pam and I believe it’s very important for young people in our community to understand how communities like ours evolve and that ordinary people are responsible for the communities we have today in Carroll County.”

Illari describes Doug as “conscientious in the way he approaches his civic duties as a leader and philanthropist” and “extremely self-actualized in his life and work endeavors, strengthened by a deep commitment to active listening.”

The Historical Society has recently completed a strategic plan that will guide the organization through the next few years in their efforts to strengthen outreach initiatives, optimize and beautify its spaces, ensure financial stability, and expand care and access to collections and resources. According to Illari, Doug’s input and insights were instrumental in the process. Doug also chairs the organization’s Development Committee that has raised $100,000 to create an endowment for sustainable funding.

Doug Velnoskey with his father, Thomas.

Illari said that in the nonprofit world, board members should try to bring at least one or two of three commitments to an organization: wealth, wisdom and work.

“Doug brings all three consistently and humbly to the Historical Society, month after month, year after year. Why? Because he truly believes that an appreciation for history can strengthen a community and, bottom line, he and Pam have a selfless desire to strengthen the Carroll County community.”

History and education are important to Doug; he said he believes much of his philanthropy supports these areas in some way. But Doug also places himself squarely in the center of initiatives that are building the future.


Nearly five years ago, Nick Damoulakis’ daughter said she wanted to play football. The Frederick resident created a rec team with 10 girls, and they had a successful season playing against whoever they could — which turned out to be boys teams. Fast-forward a few years and the girls were in high school and they wanted to continue playing. While the interest was there — hundreds of girls were interested in playing — Damoulakis said they needed volunteers and money to build a program. A mutual friend introduced him to Doug, and the rest has been headline-worthy.

This past fall, girls flag football became a high school sport in Frederick County, with 10 high schools fielding teams. CEO of Orases in Frederick and co-founder of the Frederick County Girl’s Flag Football League, Damoulakis said that flag football came to fruition because of Doug’s financial support of the program in its infancy.

“Because of the seed money Doug put up last year, others were able to see the potential, the level of interest. Because of him, Under Armour, the Ravens, the NFL saw the potential and worked with Frederick County Public Schools to fast-track getting flag football into high schools. Without him, there is no doubt in my mind that there would not be girl’s flag football in Maryland high schools this year.”

No good deed lives in a vacuum, and Damoulakis said that giving girls this opportunity has far-reaching impacts. He said that in coaching these girls over the last five years, he has seen growing confidence in them. They are a part of something bigger than themselves, and they have learned to work hard for something they really want.

“I always thought that when you take money from someone it’s a transaction and they will expect something back for it,” Damoulakis said. “What is unique about Doug is, it’s not transactional, he’s relationship driven, and he’s willing to invest in things that are important, including young females getting an opportunity to play football, in turn creating future leaders.”

According to Damoulakis, other counties are showing an interest in fielding leagues now that Frederick County has had success.

Doug has also been instrumental in bringing the Carroll County Women’s Conference to life. Kramer Beal, his friend and co-worker, said they had talked about doing some women’s event for several years and it finally came to fruition two years ago. The second annual conference took place this past fall at Carroll Community College and it sold out in 11 days with 250 attendees. The event raised over $45,000 in scholarship funds for students at Carroll Community College, McDaniel College and the Chamber’s Leadership Carroll program.

“Our group, our firm, our profession had started to observe financial wellness as part of overall wellness and that women, who were the COO of most families and caregivers to most family members, were very underserved by the financial services profession and were eager for education in both financial and physical wellness.”

Doug gives credit to Kramer Beal for her exhaustive efforts in making the conference a reality. His firm continues to serve as the main sponsor for the event.

As the pages of Doug’s story unfold, it becomes evident that his impact extends far beyond the bottom line, reaching into the very fabric of the community he holds dear.

Doug’s dedication to fostering connections is not confined to the business world, though his role at Velnoskey Wealth Management Group has undoubtedly shaped his perspective. In every interaction, Doug emphasizes the importance of relationships, an ethos that extends seamlessly into his charitable endeavors.

A true advocate for preserving history, Doug has invested time and resources in supporting the Historical Society of Carroll County. By championing initiatives that safeguard our shared heritage, he ensures that the roots of the community remain firmly anchored for future generations to explore and appreciate.

Doug’s financial support isn’t limited to established programs. He also has a keen eye for recognizing potential in the early stages. His commitment to organizations such as the Carroll County Women’s Conference and the Girls Flag Football League in their infancy demonstrates his foresight, which goes beyond the immediate impact. By planting seeds of financial support early on, he invites others to recognize the potential for positive change and join the cause.

Doug and Pam Velnoskey

Doug and Pam Velnoskey at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament.

In the world of finance, Doug’s dedication to building relationships spans generations. As a business owner, he understands the value of not just transactions but the enduring connections that withstand the test of time. This same principle carries over into his charitable pursuits, where Doug engages with projects and organizations not as a distant benefactor but as a hands-on advocate, actively participating in the positive transformations he catalyzes.

As we reflect on Doug Velnoskey’s journey, it becomes clear that his legacy extends far beyond the accolade of Person of the Year. It is a legacy of relationships, of recognizing potential, and of actively contributing to the betterment of the community. In Doug’s world, every handshake, every contribution, and every commitment is a step toward a stronger, more connected, and more compassionate community — a legacy that will endure for years to come.