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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.