Joseph & Margaret bracewell

Joe was born and raised in Houston, Texas.  He attended Harvard College, where he majored in applied math and rowed on the varsity lightweight crew team; he then received an MBA from Stanford in 1971.  In 1980 he was appointed by President Carter to become president of the newly-created Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Bank, a short-lived assignment which brought Joe and his wife Peggy to Washington after nine years in Houston.  During the 1970s in Houston, Joe participated in the organization of three small community banks.  After his short tenure in government, Joe joined the  Century National Bank in Washington, DC, which he managed as CEO from its inception in 1982 through its sale in 2001.  Having obtained a law degree in 1991 from American University, Joe joined the law firm of McKee Nelson as a partner in 2002. Simultaneously, Joe served as non-executive chairman of WashingtonFirst Bank, which was organized in 2004 by former Century Bank colleagues.  After retiring from law in 2012, Joe continued as executive chairman of WashingtonFirst until its merger in 2018 with Sandy Spring Bank.  Joe remains a director of Sandy Spring, and is also a board member of Amalgamated Casualty Insurance Company, of which his son Patrick is CEO.  Joe serves on the Dean's Council of the Washington National Cathedral and is an active masters rower in the early morning hours on the Potomac River.

Peggy was born and raised in Bend, Oregon.  She attended Stanford University where she received a BA in English.  She and Joe met at Stanford and married when they both graduated in 1971. Peggy enjoys renovating old houses; so much of her energy in the 1970s and 1980s was devoted to several home renovation projects in Houston and Washington. At the same time she was raising three children: Clare (born in 1975), Patrick (1979), and Charles (1983).  Once all the children were in school full time, she furthered her own education by obtaining a Masters in library and information science from Catholic University. She went on to spend 20 years as the librarian of Horace Mann Elementary School, a DC Public School.  She retired from DCPS in 2005 and spent the next two years working with several of her former colleagues in a non-profit organization formed to train teachers in high-poverty DC elementary schools using methods developed by the Columbia University Teachers College.  Peggy enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren, looking at potential renovation projects, traveling, playing bridge, reading, and walking the streets of Manhattan.