2020 Year of the Woman

In celebration of Maryland Governor Hogan’s designation of 2020 as the Year of the Woman, TGCC is pleased to honor the following women from across the tri-state region for their incredible contributions to the vibrancy and resiliency of our communities:

Nancy Adams

Nancy Adams, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse Executive began her career with UPMC Western Maryland as an EEG Technician at Sacred Heart Hospital. Nancy has been an integral part of the leadership team that has re-engineered the health system to deliver care under a value-based care delivery model, made significant progress is addressing population health initiatives, and led a successful partnership among three regional health systems. Since 2015, Nancy has been key to the health system’s efforts to establish a clinical affiliation with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that culminated in that organization’s first integration in Maryland with UPMC Western Maryland this year.

Barb Baker

For the past thirty-one years, Mrs. Barbara Baker has served the students of Garrett County Public Schools. She began her career as a German instructor at Southern Middle School in 1990. Since that time, she has continued in a variety of roles including elementary school teacher, principal, director, Assistant Superintendent and her current position as Superintendent. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing classroom instruction, building management, instructional leadership, school improvement, strategic planning, grant writing and management, and serving as a chairperson for many committees and teams. Her experience has led her to be involved in all facets of education. She has worked with all stakeholders from students to teachers to building administrators to community to central office. Beyond her involvement at the local level, Mrs. Baker has participated in regional and state level (MSDE) educational planning and implementation and is familiar with state initiatives and related legislation.

Mrs. Baker is a product of Garrett County Public Schools and a graduate of Northern Garrett High School. She continued her education at Ohio University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in German. Additionally, she has earned a Master’s Degree in School Guidance and Counseling and certification in Administration and Supervision. She is currently a student in the Frostburg State University Doctoral program in which she is working on her dissertation toward a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in P-12 Leadership.

Community service is a vital component of Mrs. Baker’s life. She is an active member of the Oakland Rotary Club, and served as the organization’s president in 2015. Upon the completion of her year as president, Mrs. Baker accepted the role of Coordinator of the annual Christmas project. Mrs. Baker sees this as another opportunity to serve the students and families of Garrett County. In addition to being a member of the Rotary Club, Mrs. Baker has supported numerous local service organizations including Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, Garrett Mentors, House of Hope, and Garrett County United Way. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of women educators whose mission is to promote professional and personal growth and excellence in education.

Mrs. Baker is a resident of Garrett County and the daughter of the late Robert and Ann Taylor of McHenry. She has two siblings who are also involved in education – Suzan Taylor-O’Brien (teacher) and David Taylor (Southern Garrett Wrestling Coach). She has one daughter, Nicole Ann Baker, a 2016 graduate of Southern Garrett High School.

Dr. Cynthia Bambara

Dr. Cynthia Bambara was appointed Allegany College of Maryland’s (ACM) fifth president in March of 2011 and the first woman to lead the Cumberland-based community college in its more than 50-year history. Dr. Bambara came to ACM from Virginia, where she was a veteran community college administrator. During her tenure, Dr. Bambara served as interim president at Central Virginia Community College and as vice president of student success at Lord Fairfax Community College. Dr. Bambara received her Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Colorado State University, her M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Alabama and her B.S. in Psychology from Juniata College.

Dr. Bambara serves the community in various capacities including the Cumberland Rotary Club (board member and past president), The Greater Cumberland Committee (Executive Committee and Education Workgroup chair), the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (board member), and the Western Maryland Health System Community Advisory Board. She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Allegany! Dr. Bambara is an Evaluation Team Chair for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She serves as the chair of the Maryland Council of Community College Presidents and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Bambara represents the State of Maryland as a board member for the Community Colleges of the Appalachia. She also serves at the Maryland Representative on the President’s Advisory Board of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Ashley Centofonti

Ashley Centofonti is 27 years old and is originally from Romney, WV. She’s a graduate of Potomac State College, West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Applied Science Business Management. 

Ashley has been with Mineral County Tourism for almost 2 years now. In this short time, she has worked hard to begin to get Mineral County on the map as a West Virginia destination. Ashley has made connections at regional and state level, meets regularly with these connections, and works hand in hand with them on projects and other various activities. Ashley is very passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to building tourism in Mineral County. Since Ashley began working in the county in 2016 (with the Mineral County Development Authority), she has strived to make it a better place to live. Now, 4 years later, Ashley continues to work daily to put Mineral County on the map and to help it prosper.

Ashley currently resides in Keyser, WV with her fiancé Nick Rotruck, and their two dogs Titan and Athena. 

Nicole Christian

Nicole Christian is the president & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce in western Maryland. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization for the County and manages the state certified Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area. Nicole is a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), one of only 450 in the country, and is a 25-year veteran of the chamber industry. She is also a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management (IOM). She has held senior level/CEO positions at three other Chambers and helped lead her Chamber of Commerce in Davenport, Iowa to the coveted designation of 2008 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

Throughout her career, Nicole has worked with many diverse populations from small businesses to international companies and from small rural communities to large metro areas. She has a special affinity for entrepreneurs and has helped many reach gazelle status. Much of her career has required a concentration on government affairs, which she enjoys immensely but her work in Florida and Garrett County have had a significant focus on tourism which has become a real passion for her.

Over the past 25 years she has earned many awards and accolades for her work in the Chamber profession and for her community service. In 2017, Nicole was named the Maryland Chamber Executive of the Year by the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE). In 2005, Nicole was designated as one of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty Under 40, recognition of the top young professionals under the age of 40 in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Nicole is an active member of ACCE and is the immediate past president for the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and serves on the Board of the Maryland Tourism Coalition. Nicole is a past ACCE board member and is also very active with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce serving on the Council on Small Business. She is often asked to speak about chamber and tourism related topics and is frequently a strategic planning facilitator for chambers throughout the country.

Nicole has a BA from the University of Kentucky where she studied Political Science and Advertising. She is a native of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky and an avid Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan but has called Garrett County, Maryland home for the last 10 years.

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins has served as Pennsylvania’s State Alternate to the Appalachia Regional Commission since 2015.  A tireless advocate for the betterment of Appalachian, Sheri testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies (Committee on Appropriations) to stress the importance of ARC and its impact on the 13 Appalachian states.  While Sheri’s contributions to ARC have had a positive impact, she credits her team and her partners for the many advancements made in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian counties.   

In addition to serving as the Pennsylvania State Alternate, this 34 year veteran of the commonwealth also serves as the Sr. Director of the Office of Corporate Relations at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and has held various positions in the department over the past 16 years, including serving as the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Technology & Innovation.

Kathy Condor

Kathy Condor is the Director of Health and Human Services for the Allegany College of Maryland's Center for Continuing Education & Workforce Development.  She oversees more than 300 board-accredited trainings annually and is currently managing a second grant from the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center to bring Mind-Body Skills to our community.   In addition to higher education, Condor’s professional experience includes finance, marketing, teaching and running her own successful business.  Kathy is certified in the LEAN Bronze body of knowledge and by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.  She has a strong calling to service leadership. 
Kathy is very active in her community and has held leadership positions with The Greater Cumberland Committee, The Allegany Arts Council, The City of Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission, The Western Maryland Heritage Association, The Community Resilience Collaborative, The Allegany County Woman’s Action Coalition, and the Power of 32. She serves on numerous college committees and is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Allegany!
Kathy now resides in LaVale with her husband Chuck.  Together they enjoy spending time with their three adult sons and taking advantage of the many cultural and recreational resources of beautiful Mountain Maryland.  

Thursa Crouse

Thursa Trent Crouse serves as Constituent Outreach Specialist for the Office of State Representative Matthew Dowling. There, she helps serves the people of Somerset County with individual, state-related issues as well as aiding small communities combat the on-going infrastructure problems they are forced to face. Through her work, she has been able to navigate through both state and federal government agencies to bring necessary resources to the people of Somerset County.

Born and raised in Somerset, Thursa holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Prior to her position with Representative Dowling’s office, Thursa was employed by the Westmoreland Library Network System, and she led the popular outreach Bookmobile program for the Somerset County Library.

Outside of the office, Thursa is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys biking, trail running, skiing, paddle boarding and gardening. As a lover of all things outdoors, tourism holds a special place in her heart. Through her work and hobbies, Thursa is an advocate for the Greater Allegheny Passage trail and the businesses built around it. On weekends in the wintertime, you can find Thursa at Seven Springs Mountain Resort where she serves as the Snow Sports Ski School supervisor. There, she shares her knowledge of and passion for skiing with all generations.

As a dedicated community volunteer, Thursa has served as a member of her hospital auxiliary, a member of a museum board of directors, the local recreational board, and coached youth soccer for more than a decade. She has also volunteered with the Special Olympics, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Somerset County Salvation Army Canteen. Most recently she stays involved with the Meyersdale Merchant Association and her passion in doing so stems from her commitment of strengthening economic development within and around Somerset County. Thursa is always eager to help others when she sees an opportunity and never hesitates to lend a hand wherever she can.

Colleen Dawson

Somerset County Commissioner Colleen R. Dawson is in her first year of service as commissioner.

Colleen is a paralegal and Notary Public previously employed for 34 years at Barbera Law, specializing in real estate. The law firm also serves as solicitor for the county.

Commissioner Dawson has served in numerous volunteer roles on county and local levels throughout the years. Chairman of the county’s Affordable Housing Board, president of Stoystown Borough Council, vice-president of the Somerset County Association of Boroughs, chairman of the Republican Committee of Somerset County and treasurer and board member of the Somerset Area Ambulance Association are just a few of the community service positions which satisfied her passion. She now dedicates her energies full time to the office of county commissioner.

Cheryl DeBerry

Garrett County government hired Cheryl DeBerry to be the Agriculture Marketing Specialist for the Department of Economic Development in September 2002. In 2009 her title changed to Natural Resources Business Specialist. Her B.S. in Business Marketing and M.S. in Agricultural Education as well as her extensive experience growing up on a beef cattle, sheep, hay, and timber farm in West Virginia have served her well.

She is charged with helping expand local markets for agricultural and natural resources products, helping entrepreneurs with marketing planning, writing grants for various projects, keeping local and state officials updated on agricultural & natural resources issues, working with local rural development organizations, and working to keep agriculture and natural resources as viable business options for young people.

Her duties also include working with the arts and energy sectors within Economic Development. She most recently was assigned to work with the County’s rural broadband expansion project, working with private providers to extend their networks to provide service to businesses and residents.

Cheryl is a certified grant writer and has successfully written, received, and/or managed public and private foundation, state, and federal grants throughout her career, ranging from $200 to $1.5 million.

Karen DeVore

Karen Kamauff DeVore is the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Administration for Garrett County Public Schools. She has been an educator in public schools in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia for more than 30 years. She began her career as a special education teacher and remains passionate about equitably serving all students. Prior to assuming her current administrative role, Mrs. DeVore was a special education facilitator, coordinator of gifted and talented programs, and a principal at both the elementary and middle school levels. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Frostburg State College, a Master of Arts degree from West Virginia University and a Master of Education degree from Frostburg State University.

Mrs. DeVore is a member of the TGCC Education and Workforce Development Work Group, through which she participated in Western Maryland’s Tackling the Opioid Crisis: A Community Resilience Approach grant opportunity. She is currently completing certification and serves in a leadership capacity and a liaison for education with the Center for Mind, Body Medicine. Her family battled addiction for many years and found recovery when her son learned about an ibogaine clinic in Mexico. Karen offers independent support to families going through addiction because none was available when her family needed it. She is passionate about helping others and paying it forward, traits she learned from her late mother, Sue Cerutti.

Kim Durst

Kim began her economic development career in January 2004. Originally hired to fill an administrative assistant position, Kim began assuming additional duties almost immediately and quickly became an indispensable member of Garrett County’s economic development team. She is currently the Manager of Business Development. Kim’s duties within the Department include office management/administration, data mining/analysis, GIS applications, business tax credit program administration, website and social media management, business retention services, business start-up services, legislative tracking, and special report projects, among others. 

A graduate of Southern Garrett Senior High School, Kim holds an AA Degree in Math/Science from Garrett College, McHenry, a Paralegal Certification with specialties in real estate law, civil litigation, wills and trusts, and corporate law from the Professional Career Development Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, and has received specialized training in GIS applications as they relate to economic development and federal statistics.

Kim is a member of the Western Maryland Workforce Development Board, Garrett County’s Workforce Development Board, Garrett County’s Workforce Development Council, the I-68 Regional Alliance Board, and an advisory member of the Garrett County Development Corporation. She is a past member of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA). She previously served on the Garrett County Development Corporation’s Workforce Development and Business Start-Up and Support Workgroups, as well as The Greater Cumberland Committee's Education Workgroup.

A long-time advocate for children with special needs, Kim served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Salem Children’s Trust, Inc., Grantsville, from 2009-2016. She has also served on the Garrett County Department of Social Services Advisory Board and the Garrett County Mental Health Advisory Committee.

Jennifer Ferrell

Jennifer Ferrell currently serves as the Director of the Community Advancement and Development (CAD) division in the West Virginia Development Office. The CAD division administers state and federal grant programs which are designed to improve the quality of life to the citizens in West Virginia. Through these grant programs, the division assists citizens with access to housing, help create and retain jobs, develop critical infrastructure, reduce poverty, help revitalize low-income communities, prevent homelessness, reduce energy costs to low-income families, and provide many other community and economic development initiatives. Jennifer serves as the State Alternate for the State of West Virginia.

Before joining the WVDO, Jennifer worked in the Governor’s Office. Serving under four Governors, she helped formulate, promote, and achieve initiatives for the administrations. As a member of the senior management team, she was responsible for all constituent related functions, including public relations, strategic planning, and crisis communication. Additionally, she worked to facilitate communications between citizens seeking assistance and various state agencies. Jennifer presently resides in Charleston. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Katherine Getty

Kathy is the Director of Business Relationships with First United Bank and Trust with over 39 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry specializing in retail branch management, commercial lending, special industry lending, and financial planning for consumers and businesses.

Kathy is a former Chair of the Greater Cumberland Committee and received “The Greater Good Award”. She was also a member of the Board of Education Curriculum Committee, the City of Cumberland Economic Development Commission - Former Chair, County United Way - Former Campaign Chair and was awarded the Volunteer of the Year and the Community Caring Awards, and March of Dimes - Former WalkAmerica Chair.

Shirley Giarritta

Shirley - a Chicago native - received a BS degree in Art Education from FSU and worked in Frederick County, Virginia as an art teacher and also developed the art education program for the public schools. She also studied for her Masters in Fine Arts degree at Madison University specializing in sculpture, painting and interior design. Shirley moved back to Cumberland and for the next thirty-three years ran an interior design business called Connoisseur Interiors. During that time she also served on the Maryland State Arts Council for three terms. Shirley has the distinct honor of being a founding member of the Cumberland Theatre and was also active in One Tree Productions, the Rotary Club of Cumberland and the Allegany Arts Council.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer

Kellie Goodman Shaffer, President-CEO of the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, manages and coordinates all organizational activities and resources of the Chamber, and identifies and meets all appropriate member and county service needs consistent with the organization’s mission. She also serves as the Executive Director of the 501-(c)(3) Bedford County Chamber (Education) Foundation.
Kellie works closely with all Chamber committees planning and executing the organization’s work plan including programs, initiatives and events central to the Chamber’s objectives: to be a catalyst for economic growth, a convener of leaders and influencers and a champion of the business community of the Bedford County region. She also oversees all marketing resources of the Chamber, including a print newsletter, e-mail newsletters, radio and television projects, social media platforms and website.
Kellie serves the Chamber industry as 2020-2021 Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Chamber Professionals (PACP.)

Additional responsibilities include serving as the Chamber liaison to a variety of community agencies, boards and organizations, including the Allegany College of Maryland Bedford County Campus Advisory Board, Bedford County Technical Center Advisory Board, Bedford Sunrise Rotary, Friends of Shawnee State Park, Special Olympics PA, Bedford County Pink Ribbon Fund and the Fall Foliage Festival, among others. She is an ex-officio member of the board of the Bedford County Visitors Bureau, Bedford County Farm Bureau, Downtown Bedford Inc. and the Everett Area Better Business Association.

Kellie was named to the chief executive post of the Chamber in February of 2010. Prior to that, she served as the Marketing Director of the Allegheny Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau and Game Director of the PSFCA East West All-Star Game as well as Administrator of the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA.)

Kellie also spent more than 20 years as a broadcast journalist in the Johnstown-Altoona-State College television market, most notably leading the award-winning sports department for WTAJ-TV (CBS) from 1998-2008 and serving as host/writer for the Emmy-Award Winning Penn State Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Shows for WPSU. She was the first woman to hold the post of Sports Director at a Pennsylvania television station.

After writing a sports column for the Altoona Mirror for more than a decade, she is now a regular contributor for Generations and Timeless Magazines.

Kellie’s professional honors include the Bedford County Athena Award, Bedford Honorary Chapter FFA Degree, and 10-year service award from the PACP.

Kellie is a graduate of Penn State University, where she captained the Lady Lion Varsity Softball Team. She resides in Osterburg with her husband, Jeff, two friendly chocolate labs and three silly cats.

Timi Hadra

Timi Hadra is a Partner at IBM in the Services business unit. She is IBM’s Senior State Executive for West Virginia and leads IBM’s cloud development teams and the regional IBM center in Rocket Center, West Virginia. Timi led the expansion of this strategic center, increasing the workforce by over 47% in just over three years.

Much of Timi’s work is focused on creating STEM and workforce development opportunities in under-served regions. In 2018, Timi led IBM’s launch of the first Application Developer Apprenticeship program in West Virginia.

In addition to workforce issues, Ms. Hadra is a transformational leader providing relevant and compelling solutions to government clients’ missions in the areas of agile transformations, application innovation, and cloud migration. She has over 18 years of experience serving our Federal Government clients in various capacities including contract management, program management and business development.

In support of regional economic development, Timi serves as the Chair on the Executive Committee of The Greater Cumberland Committee (TGCC). TGCC is a non-profit, business-based organization serving five counties in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. TGCC focuses on projects of regional relevance in the areas of economic development, transportation, education, energy and next generation leadership.

Timi also serves on the board of the Allegany County (MD) Chamber of Commerce, as well as the advisory councils for the Community Trust Foundation (Mineral County) and Western Maryland Health System.

Timi was born and raised in LaVale, Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Frostburg State University, a Master’s of Science in Regional Economics from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Masters of Contract Management from the American Graduate University. She and her husband currently reside in Mineral County, WV.

Beth Hill

Beth Hill is the Executive Director of the Maryland Forests Association. Incorporated in 1976, MFA is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization representing the forest community statewide. The Mission of the Maryland Forests Association is to conserve and enhance forests in Maryland by:

  • increasing awareness of the diverse, public benefits of forests;
  • supporting the sustainable use of forest resources;
  • promoting economic opportunity for forest landowners; and,
  • maintaining a viable local forest products industry.

Since joining the MFA in 2018, Ms. Hill has been successfully growing the organization and forming new partnerships while continuing to monitor and influence legislation and regulations.

Her background is in the forest products industry. For over 20 years, she was instrumental in the daily operation and management of one of the largest sawmills on the Eastern Shore and its landholdings. She feels that sustainable forestry is commonly misunderstood and enjoys sharing her knowledge and perspective to enlighten others. Ms. Hill also serves on the Maryland Agricultural Commission, Sustainable Forestry Council, MD-DE Master Logger Steering Committee, Dorchester County Board of Zoning Appeals, Dorchester County Forestry Board, and the MALPF Board of Trustees. She is the voice of forestry in Maryland.

Carmen Jackson

Carmen was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is a graduate of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill where she earned an undergraduate degree in Comprehensive Social Science in Secondary Education and a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling. In 1975 she began working at Frostburg State University in the Residence Life Office as Assistant Director. After eight years she was promoted to Director of Residence Life and served in that capacity for 15 years. In 1998 she was promoted to Assistant to the Vice President of Student and Educational Services and Director of the Diversity Center. She served in that capacity until her retirement after 30 years of service.

Carmen was a member of professional organizations such as the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers; the Association of College and University Housing Officers; the National Association of Black Social Workers and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Dr. Kim Kalbaugh

Dr. Kim Kalbaugh is the Chief Academic Officer for Allegany County Public Schools. Dr. Kalbaugh provides leadership, direction, and supervision in the development, implementation, evaluation, and coordination of curriculum and instruction. Dr. Kalbaugh is passionate about developing innovative programs and learning experiences for students. Dr. Kalbaugh has worked in the Allegany County Public Schools since 1988. She began her career as an English and journalism teacher at the Center for Career and Technical Education. She also served as an assistant principal at Fort Hill High School and as a principal at Washington Middle School.

Dr. Kalbaugh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education at Frostburg State University. She earned a Master of Education degree in Administration and Supervision at Frostburg State University. In 2012, she earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Higher Education Administration, with a minor in Technology, at West Virginia University.

Dr. Kalbaugh serves the community in various capacities including the Greater Cumberland Committee Education Workgroup, the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, the Bridges to Opportunity Steering Committee, the Local Management Board, the Allegany County Building Trades Foundation, and the Local CTE Advisory Council. She is the Co-Chair of the P-20 Education Committee, a Board Member for the Cumberland YMCA, and a Board Member for the Western Maryland Food Bank.

Donnelle Keech

Donnelle Keech is Forest Program Director for the MD/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a global science-based conservation organization that works in all 50 states and 79 countries to create a world where people and nature thrive together.  Donnelle has led The Nature Conservancy’s work in western Maryland since 2001, including initiatives to improve public land management and conserve forests for recreation, clean water and wildlife.  In addition to directing the Conservancy’s Forest Program in Maryland, Donnelle also leads multi-state projects to conserve forests for nature and people in the Appalachian region. 

Donnelle is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Allegany! and currently serves on the Steering Committee.  She is an active member of the state-wide Sustainable Forestry Council, the Allegany County Branch of the NAACP, and the Citizen Advisory Committee for Green Ridge State Forest.  Her past service includes Allegany County Forestry Board and Maryland Forests Association.  Donnelle lives in Cumberland with her husband and two sons.   

Patsy Koontz

Patsy is the Community and Government Relations Liaison responsible for helping to educate the community about the health care services at UPMC Western Maryland as well to build partnerships with community agencies and elected officials aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of the community. Patsy is a member of WMHS Foundation Board of Directors, UPMC Western Maryland Community Advisory Board, The Children's League Board of Directors, Mineral County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Mineral County Day Legislative Event (chair, 2016-2020), Rotary Club of Keyser, Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee, Mineral County Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, and Community Trust Foundation Advisory Board.

Julie Ann Kreger

Julie Ann Kreger graduated from Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School. While being a stay-at-home mom, she took classes at Allegany College of Maryland for Management & Finance. Upon raising her only child, Acacia, she started working for the Somerset Trust Company. Julie started as a Teller and advanced quickly to Branch Manager & Officer and graduated from the PA Advanced School of Banking. Currently, she serves the bank as a Business Development Officer.

Volunteering in the community and surrounding area is very important to her which is also important to her employer, in which, they encourage this involvement. Julie is a member to various county and community organizations while serving many as an officer. She is and will be a big advocate for Route 219, until it is Route 219 is finished. Julie received the Top 100 Business People of PA and the Laurel Highlands Council Boy Scouts of America Somerset County Salute to Women Award. She loved spending time with her three grandchildren, her family and her fiancé.

Brianna LaVorgna

Bri LaVorgna is VP of Strategic Development at Aeon Technologies, LLC. Aeon is a new biotechnology laboratory located in Frostburg, Maryland. Aeon will be providing COVID-19 diagnostic services to the region and hopes to expand to include analytical testing. In addition, Aeon hopes to continue to serve the region by connecting with both Frostburg State University and Allegany College of Maryland by creating a Center for Laboratory Excellence. The Center will be a working and teaching & learning center designed to bring hands-on learning opportunities and customized workforce development focusing on laboratory science.
Prior to this role, she served as VP of Strategic Development at Willetts Tech. In this role, Bri helped mental and behavioral health companies assess their current practices to see if technology solutions can make workflow more efficient and effective and/or safe and secure. Before this position, Bri served as Dean of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Easter WV Community & Technical College. There, she worked with industry and community organizations to assist with fulfilling the mission of the college which is to provide accessible and affordable educational opportunities for academic, technical, workforce training and life-long learning for the Potomac highlands regional community.
Bri’s professional origins, though diverse, are rooted in education, for she served as a Vice Principal at Central York High School in PA and a high school English teacher in Worcester County, Maryland. By using her leadership skills from VP and Dean as well as her assessing talent from being a teacher, Bri is able to provide strategic direction to different industries to help them not only thrive but also grow. Additionally, Bri holds a doctorate from Frostburg State University, a master’s degree from Wilmington University and a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University.

Marion Leonard

Since her retirement from the MBA department at FSU, Marion Leonard Professor Emerita has dedicated her life to serving on boards that enhance the quality of life and wellness in our community.

She serves as president of the Community Wellness Coalition that fosters wellness programs and was instrumental in bringing the world renown Center of Mind Body & Medicine's stress relief training to our community.

To improve literacy for children, Marion as founding chair helped to sponsor the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which delivers monthly a free book to Allegany County's prekindergarten Children.

As past president of the Allegany Arts Council she continues to serve on its board to enhance our quality of life through the arts in our community.

A strong supporter of education, Marion serves on the FSU Foundation board to increase funds available for student scholarships.

Marion is chair of the Community Trust Foundation board that helps build vibrant communities by connecting philanthropy for Community Good in Allegany, Garrett counties MD and Mineral County in WV.

Working together we can strengthen the quality of life and wellness in our community.

M. Kendall Ludwig

M. Kendall Ludwig, President and Principal Designer of CurlyRed, believes in good design for everyone. She began her company, CurlyRed, in Baltimore in 2007 with the desire to create usable art. Over the past 13 years, Kendall has provided creative and timeless branding, print and web solutions for companies and non-profits across the country.

In 2011, CurlyRed was officially certified as a MBE/WBE business by the State of Maryland. CurlyRed is a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and was recently certified as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) by the Small Business Administration (SBA). In 2016, Kendall and husband/CurlyRed Vice-President Mark relocated to historic Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County, MD with their two daughters. CurlyRed’s main office is now located in downtown Oakland, MD, and Kendall is honored to currently serve as the President of the Garrett County Arts Council.

Nan Mann
Robbie Matesic

Robbie Matesic currently serves Pennsylvania’s US Senator Bob Casey as his southwestern PA Regional Representative.  Robbie dedicates her 25-year expertise in transportation, energy, economic development and local government to help rural Appalachian communities successfully accomplish their vision.  During 2020 she has focused on Senator Casey’s years-long support for the US Route 219/Corridor N project completion in Somerset County.   This major transportation project advanced during 2020 to become a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation priority.  On behalf of the Senator, Robbie looks forward to working with the tri-state region’s elected officials, agencies and community organizations as the development opportunities along this PA-MD corridor come to fruition. 

Robbie was raised in the City of Pittsburgh, completed her civil engineering degree at West Virginia University, relocated and has dedicated her career to Pennsylvania’s rural communities ever since.  She has served as a board member for numerous civic organizations.  Robbie is the proud mom of three successful daughters, and their loving families.

Leanne Mazer

Leanne is the Executive Director at Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, the regional economic development and planning agency serving Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties. Prior to being appointed Executive Director in September 2000, she managed the Council’s business programs for 6 years. Leanne began her career in public administration as Director of Economic Development in Hampshire County, West Virginia.

Tri-County Council represents a working partnership of federal, state and local governments, and administers grant programs to provide critical “last dollars in” to implement projects that support a regional plan and are designed to create or retain full-time permanent jobs. Under Leanne’s direction, the Council has also been successful in growing a small business loan fund to over $11 million in assets. With the support of the board and the dedication and expertise of the lending team, the Council has provided $22 million in loans to small businesses across the region. Leanne received the District Director’s Unsung Hero Award from the Small Business Administration’s Baltimore District Office in 2012.

Leanne serves as a board member and past president of the National Association of Development Organizations. She also serves as a board member and past president of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Development District Association where she represents the State of Maryland. Leanne is a member of the Canal Place Development Authority Board, and is a member of the Board of the Rural Maryland Council, the Council of Peers of the South East Regional Directors Institute, a Partner in Progress of The Greater Cumberland Committee, and a board member of the Somerset County (PA) Planning Commission.

Leanne holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Frostburg State University.

Juli McCoy

Juli McCoy began her career in 2001 at The Greater Cumberland Committee. She holds administrative and technology associates degrees from Allegany College of Maryland, has attended Frostburg State University to further her education, and is currently finishing a bachelor's degree in business administration leadership at Liberty University.

She joined the staff of County United Way in 2014 as the finance manager and was appointed as Executive Director in 2017. She will transition to the position of Executive Director of the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce in January 2021. She is currently secretary of the Allegany County Homeless Advisory Committee, serves on the John Humbird School Advisory Committee, NAACP Community Relations Board, Bridges to Opportunity steering and transportation committees, is a partner in progress member of TGCC, and has served many years on the Leadership Allegany steering committee as a 2010 graduate of the program. From 2012 - 2015, Juli volunteered with a national police support organization, serving as a media liaison at the national level, successfully launching a viral support campaign on social media, and arranging for a CNN interview with the North Carolina chapter. She is a former member of the Western MD Jaycees, and has volunteered in various roles to support youth activities.

Juli and her husband live in the Frostburg area with their three daughters, Audrey, Amelia, and Abigail.

Jennifer Orlikoff

Jennifer E. Orlikoff is the 22 nd campus president of West Virginia University—Potomac State College. Prior to arriving on the Keyser campus, she served on the Morgantown campus as Director of the WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and as an Academic Leadership Fellow in the Provost’s office. She was also elected Chair of the Faculty Senate and served as the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. While a member of the French faculty, Orlikoff acted as the French Language Coordinator and led numerous study abroad programs to France and Quebec. She has also been a visiting faculty member at the Royal University for Women in Bahrain.

Orlikoff is graduated from Rutgers University where she earned her doctorate and Master of Arts in French Literature. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors, in French and Art History, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining WVU, Orlikoff taught at Rutgers University, the University of Memphis, and in public schools. Orlikoff’s background also includes over ten years of experience in business where she was the Vice President of International Services and Chief Communication Officer for Assist America, an international emergency medical travel assistance company.

As a campus leader, President Orlikoff is committed to ensuring a positive experience for students, faculty, and staff by focusing on fostering a united, inclusive, and welcoming campus community. She fully embraces the land grant mission of the institution and pursues opportunities for Potomac State College to make a difference to the community, region, and state. As an open access campus, Potomac State College welcomes all graduates from West Virginia schools and President Orlikoff is dedicated to helping each student succeed through a wide range of services and activities.

Since her arrival at Potomac State College, she has overseen the addition of several academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship, the Bachelor of Applied Science on-line in Criminal Justice, and more.

Wendi Peters

Wendi Peters was appointed Special Secretary of Smart Growth by Governor Larry Hogan on August 24, 2017. Prior to her appointment as Special Secretary, she served as Secretary (2016-2017) and as Deputy Secretary (2015-2016) of the Maryland Department of Planning. Special Secretary Peters serves as Governor Hogan’s representative to the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development agency that represents a partnership of state, federal and local governments. Wendi has been a community leader for more than two decades, including two terms as an elected Councilwoman for the Town of Mount Airy. She has served in volunteer roles on the
Board of Appeals, Planning Commission, Downtown Revitalization Committee as well as Committee Chair for the Maryland Municipal League and a mentor in the Business Volunteers Unlimited School and Business Partnership. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mount Airy Net, a cooperative of churches and civic organizations providing a safety net of support for those in need.

Wendi is a graduate of Villa Julie College, Loyola University Maryland and is a Fellow of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance, University of Maryland, College Park. Wendi was selected three times as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women for her leadership, community service and mentoring which has earned her recognition in the Circle of Excellence. She was also inducted into the Mount Airy Hall of Fame for her leadership and commitment to community.

Colleen Peterson

Colleen T Peterson has 40 years of experience as an administrator in higher education and not- for-profit management. Her career includes serving as Vice President for a University Advancement at Frostburg State University (Maryland) and Executive Director of The Greater Cumberland Committee. Currently, she provides consulting services to businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of strategic planning and capacity development. Her clients include Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, United Way, Frostburg State University, and the YMCA of Cumberland.

Ms. Peterson is an active member of her community and has served or is serving on a number of boards including the Allegany County Visitors Bureau (Chair, Board member), the Maryland State Chamber of Commerce (Board member), the Senator J. Glenn Beall Institute for Public Affairs (Secretary, Board member), Frostburg First Main Street Program (Board member), Allegany Arts Council (Board member), the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Communications Committee Chair, Board member), Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (Board member), Canal Place Authority (Board member), and the North/South Appalachian Highway Work Group (Chair).

Deidra Ritchie

Currently serves as Executive Director of the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority (CPPDA) and the Passages of the Western Potomac Heritage Area (PWPHA). I was born and raised in Frostburg, Maryland and have always been an avid outdoors person. I followed that love for the outdoors by attending Frostburg State University where I graduated with a Masters Degree in Education and Park and Recreation Resource Management. Continuing my interest in outdoor recreation I began a twenty-two-year career with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Program Open Space, where I worked in the field of land preservation, historic preservation, boating access, and park development.

In June of 2012 I accepted the position as Executive Director of the CPPDA where I continue to follow my passion for historical and cultural preservation as well as being committed to developing and supporting leisure opportunities through heritage tourism. As Executive Director, I believe that partnerships and collaboration are critical to the success of the quality of life, heritage tourism opportunities, and economic growth of Allegany County. Through these successful collaborations some of my major accomplishments with the CPPDA include the expansion of the existing heritage area boundaries, the re-development of the historic Footers Dye Works, the conversion of the Western Maryland Railway Station into an energy efficient building, and the initiation of the proposed River Park at Canal Place.

Carissa Rodeheaver

Carissa is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer for First United Bank and Trust, a $1.4 billion dollar publicly traded bank headquartered in Oakland, MD. First United has 25 branches located in Maryland and West Virginia.

Carissa is passionate about customizing financial solutions for customers and being a trusted advisor, having worked in the banking industry for over 28 years. During her tenure she has led teams in wealth management, credit underwriting and finance. She now leads over 325 associates in serving their local communities and fulfilling the bank’s vision of creating an uncommon commitment to service and solutions.

Pam Ruff

Pamela J. Ruff has served as Executive Director of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) since 2000. MEDA is a statewide membership and professional organization of nearly 500 public and private professionals dedicated to job growth and retention in Maryland.

As Executive Director of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Ms. Ruff has been responsible for the business operation of a statewide association providing programming, professional development, networking, and marketing opportunities to members throughout Maryland. She has built a portfolio of work that includes programs and partnerships bringing together regional, state, local, and private sector interests at all levels of economic development. Developing programs, providing professional skills development, ensuring opportunities that convene those from different but similar fields, and delivering a platform for marketing the profession, are unique talents that Ms. Ruff has honed over her years of providing customer service in this very diverse field of economic development.

Ms. Ruff is a Past President of Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna and a former member of the Havre de Grace Economic Development Advisory Board and the Homeless Persons Representation Project Board. She currently serves on the board of Leadership Maryland.

Rhonda Schwinabart

Rhonda Schwinabart is the Coordinator of External Affairs for the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). She holds a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in political science with minors in economics and American studies from Hood College and is a graduate of Northern Garrett High School. She has previously served as an AmeriCorps member and as a university service-learning and AmeriCorps VISTA director at Frostburg State University and has held positions in academic support at Allegany College of Maryland and Garrett College. She currently serves on the Allegany Center of Lifelong Learning Steering Committee and is a member of the Alpha Alpha chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma professional honor society for women educators.

Leah Shaffer

Leah Shaffer is the Executive Director of the Community Trust Foundation, (CTF) Inc. As a public charity, CTF grants to non-profits in Allegany & Garrett Counties in Maryland and Mineral County in West Virginia, helping them to increase their meaningful impact within the community.
Since joining the organization in 2017, Leah has successfully doubled its assets under management, increased name recognition, and helped many philanthropic donors realize their dreams for enhancing the quality of life in their community. 

Leah’s professional career has always been guided by her underlying passion for youth development and community wellness. She brings her strong professional experience in small business ownership, grant management, and non-profit work to help make a positive difference in our region.  Originally from Bedford, PA, Leah chose to return to the area after earning her Bachelor of Science in Communication and her Master of Arts in Public Policy and currently resides in Mineral County, WV.

Bette Slayton

Bette Slayton has served as the president of the Bedford County Development Association since 1990.

During her tenure, BCDA has built two new business parks and two business centers. New employers were recruited including REI, the Walmart Distribution Center, CaptiveAire, MDL, DMP/MEC, Green Leaf Medical, Rex Heat Treat, Lampire Biological Laboratories and others. The $120 million restoration of the Bedford Springs Resort was successfully completed.

Slayton is a recipient of the Athena Award and BCDA has won the PA Economic Development Agency of the Year. She works closely with the BCDA board, an active, visionary group of local leaders that leads the county’s economic development initiatives. She is a charter member of the Bedford County Pink Ribbon Fund.

Slayton is a Wisconsin native who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Agricultural Economics and completed graduate work at Montana State University. She worked in journalism and banking in Kansas City before moving to Pennsylvania.

Slayton and her husband, Paul, own a 320-acre purebred beef cattle farm, Slaytons’ BearDance, located in Dutch Corner, Bedford County.

Sandy Sponaugle

Sandy Dubay Sponaugle is the CEO and Founder of Platinum PR, a marketing and public relations firm supporting economic development and tourism organizations, higher education, various private sector industries, and non-profit organizations since 2002. Together with her team, Sandy has invigorated the identities of small businesses, associations, and educational institutions across the United States. With a passion for helping communities prosper, Sandy shares her expertise in communications, social media, marketing, economic development and tourism widely via coaching, consulting, teaching courses, writing articles, and 
speaking on the stage. She is an active member of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Leadership Maryland and her local Rotary Club. She has received rewards such as the WV Executive Young Guns Award and PR Professional of the Year by The American Advertising Federation – Greater Frederick.

Elizabeth Stahlman

Elizabeth Stahlman is the City Administrator for the City of Frostburg. She leads a staff of 50 people and manages the city’s operations with an annual budget of over $10 million. Prior to her appointment to the role of City Administrator in June 2019, she served as the city’s Director of Community Development for 7 years. She credits much of her success in accomplishing projects and initiatives to great teamwork within City Hall and strong partnerships with the community and outside agencies. Elizabeth started her career with Allegany County Government and served as the GIS Manager for 5 years.

Elizabeth received her MBA from Frostburg State University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degree in 2006. She was the recipient of the Western Maryland Jaycees Outstanding Young Professional Award in 2017 and named as one of the Daily Record's Leading Women in 2019. She currently serves on the Frostburg State University College of Business Advisory Board and the Mountain Maryland Trails board.

Angela Svonavec

Angela has been a self-employed business owner since 1995. She has obtained multiple degrees and certifications in an array of industries through the years, ranging from a Registered nurse license, Class A CDL’s, inspection mechanics license, and a Doctorate in Naturopathy.

Her education and experience are utilized in a variety of business endeavors that she owns and operates. Among these are Banshee Farm and Crane, Heritage Coal & Natural Resources, Fearless One, and Heritage House Coal Yard.

Angela’s family was active in coal mining. As a result, she is a 3rd generation miner. With a desire to promote and preserve the coal mining industry, she created Heritage in 2008. She is dedicated to responsibly mining and utilizing our mineral resources to supply clean, affordable energy for generations to come. Heritage is therefore committed to continued research and innovation in the coal industry. Like many others in the industry, she shares a vision to carry on the noble tradition of hard work and ingenuity that helped build this great nation.

Angela is a native of Somerset County, PA, and has a deep respect for the work ethic and integrity of the local residents. With a drive and desire to serve, it is a high priority for Angela that each of her companies be a valuable and positive contribution to her local community.

Courtney Thomas-Winterberg

Courtney Thomas-Winterberg is the Director of the Allegany County Department of Social Services. In this role she oversees the Department’s $38 million dollar budget, 170+ staff and programs to include Child Welfare, Family and Adult Services, Financial Assistance and Nutrition Assistance programs and Child Support. Prior to accepting this position, she served as the Executive Director of a $14 million non-profit Community Action Agency and Area Agency on Aging which she grew by more than 50% during her ten year tenure. Thomas-Winterberg holds Master's degrees in Community Economic Development and Communications Studies and in April 2018, she completed the Malcolm Baldrige Executive Fellows program through the National Institute for Standards and Technology at the United State’s Department of Commerce.

Thomas-Winterberg serves Allegany County in various capacities including the Allegany County Local Management Board (Chair), UPMC Western Maryland (Board Member), Bridges to Opportunity (Steering Committee), The PACE Planning Committee (Board Member), and The Greater Cumberland Committee (Partners in Progress). She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Maryland! and a 2018 graduate of the Maryland Department of Human Services Executive Leadership Program. Thomas-Winterberg represents the State of Maryland as a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission's Substance Abuse Advisory Council, the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) Local Council (Executive Committee) and the Maryland Financial Education and Capability Commission.

Professionally she has been recognized as a Top 100 Leading Women Under Forty by the Daily Record (2011), VIP under forty by the Daily Record (2012), The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce/Western Maryland Jaycee’s Outstanding Young Professional (2014), and Top 100 Women by the Daily Record (2017) (2020).

Linda Thomson

Linda R. Thomson has served as president and CEO of Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) since July 2000. She is currently responsible for managing a robust economic development organization in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with services extending into Cambria and Somerset Counties, and small business financing programs throughout the Southern Alleghenies region.

Core services include financing, site selection, business retention and recruitment, procurement technical assistance, small business technical assistance, and workforce development.

With 37 years of experience serving small cities and rural counties, Linda has emerged as a leader in economic development in Pennsylvania. She was awarded the “Economic Developer of the Year” from the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association in 1999. Linda serves on the ECAC Committee of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board, the North/South Highway Coalition, the I-68 Alliance, the Vison Together 2025 Steering and Executive Committees, and the Penn Highlands Community College Board of Trustees. She serves in advisory roles at Pitt-Johnstown, Mt. Aloysius College and St. Francis University. Linda is also a past recipient of the Johnstown YWCA’s Yellow Rose Award and recently received the Joyce Murtha Award for Community Service from Girl Scouts Western PA.

Linda is active in her profession, serving as the first president of the PA Economic Development Institute; past president and member of the PA Economic Development Association; past director and member of the Northeastern Economic Development Association; and member of the International Economic Development Council.

A graduate of Waynesburg (University) College (BA) and Lehigh University (MPA), Linda has also completed various programs in economic development and chamber of commerce management over the course of her career. Linda is active in the community as a member of the Session at Westmont Presbyterian Church and as a member of the Sunnehanna Country Club Board of Governors. She is married to David Thomson, has two adult daughters, Emma and Molly, and resides in Westmont.

Pamela Tokar-Ickes

Pamela Tokar-Ickes is the Secretary of the Somerset County Board of Commissioners. Appointed following the 2019 Spring Primary to fill a vacancy created by the death of the late John Vatavuk, she returned to public office after serving as Director of the Somerset County Endowments for the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. Tokar-Ickes served four consecutive terms as a Somerset County Commissioner from 2000 through 2015.

Throughout her professional career, Tokar-Ickes has served as a member of numerous boards and community organizations with missions ranging from substance abuse prevention, human services, economic development, library services and historic preservation.

She has received awards and recognition including the Governor’s Award for Excellence for her assistive role in creating Pennsylvania’s Human Services Block Grant and was named the Outstanding Commissioner of the Year in 2015 by the County Commissioners’ Association of Pennsylvania. During her long tenure as a member of CCAP’s Board of Directors, Tokar-Ickes was instrumental in creating a statewide leadership program for County Commissioners that will train emerging county leaders during the next decade.

A 1979 graduate of Somerset Area High School, Tokar-Ickes attended the University of Pittsburgh. She is a founding board member and past Chief Volunteer Officer of the nationally affiliated Boys and Girls Club of Somerset County, Inc. and currently serves as the Board Chair of the United Way of the Laurel Highlands and as the President of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County.

Julie Westendorff

Julie Westendorff serves as the Executive Director of the Allegany Arts Council, a position she has held since 2018. She leads the organization in providing access to and engagement in the arts through the development of programming, cultivation of partnerships, and fostering economic development through her leadership as Manager of the Arts & Entertainment District of Cumberland.

Since her move to the area in 2017, she has become involved in several local organizations, serving as Vice President of the WMHS Auxiliary, as a Board member with the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of Rotary International. She was named one of Allegany Magazine's 2019 "Women Who Mean Business" and is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Allegany!

Dr. Boyce Williams

Dr. Boyce C. Williams, the dean of the College of Education at Frostburg State University, is a nationally renowned educator in the field of public and teacher education.

Williams has a broad background in higher education and related fields. In addition to serving as dean and interim dean at Frostburg since 2017, she worked in teacher education programs at Elizabeth City State University, part of the University of North Carolina system, and at a university in the United Arab Emirates. She was a vice president for the teacher education accrediting body NCATE (now CAEP) and has experience on both sides of the accrediting process. She worked in education policy matters on Capitol Hill and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, was senior vice president and chief of staff at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education and president and CEO of the National Alliance for Learning, Inc., a higher education consulting agency. She also worked in public school administration in East Lansing, Mich.

In Williams’ time at Frostburg, she led the College of Education through a complex and successful accreditation process, inspired faculty to create new programs and partnered exceedingly well with the University System of Maryland and other USM schools on teacher education matters. She also brought significant attention to issues of diversity, inclusion and equity and forged strong relationships with colleagues, including other deans and faculty members.

A recipient of eight honorary doctorate degrees, Williams earned her bachelor’s in English education from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, a master’s in urban counseling from Michigan State University and her doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University.

Ashli Workman

Ashli Workman is the Director of Tourism for Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland, a sub-division within County Economic Development and the official Destination Marketing Organization for Allegany County, MD. Allegany County Tourism enhances the quality of life in Allegany County, Maryland, and strengthens destination awareness through promotion, development, and services that attract visitors to stay longer and spend more in our community. Under her leadership, the destination reemerged into the marketplace through a rebranding initiative, relaunched a new website – www.mdmountainside.com, garnered national media coverage in placements such as Southern Living, Travel Channel, Men’s Journal, and MSN Travel.

Ashli is a marketing professional with over 13 years of marketing and tourism experience. Ashli began her career in marketing and hospitality in 2006 with Wisp Resort in Garrett County, Maryland. In 2008, Ashli pursued an opportunity with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond property in Farmington, Pennsylvania. As the Director of Marketing and PR for the resort, Workman was a key driver in the successful effort to secure ABC’s 'The Bachelorette' to Nemacolin in 2016. This international public relations opportunity showcased the resort, developed and enhanced brand awareness for Nemacolin, and generated short and long-term financial gains for the enterprise.

Ashli graduated from Frostburg State University in 2008. She and her office were the recipient of two statewide awards including ‘Best New Website’ (2019) and ‘Best Cooperative Partnership’ (2020) awards. She was named one of Allegany Magazine's 2019 “Women Who Mean Business” and is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Allegany!