Keasha Haythe has served as Dorchester County’s Economic Development Director since 2008. She has developed a track record of initiating sound policies and innovative strategies to foster economic growth. Partnering with private and public stakeholders, she has championed education, entrepreneurism and expansion of existing businesses as key economic drivers in the county.
Ms. Haythe manages a team of professionals focused on providing technical assistance, program resources and financial incentives to help attract and retain businesses. She recently unveiled a new countywide cooperative marketing initiative and is overseeing implementation of a multiplatform branding campaign entitled “water moves us.” She spearheaded the development of Dorchester’s 113-acre Regional Technology Park that will soon house the “Eastern Shore Innovation Center” the Mid-Shore’s first purpose built business incubator.
Ms. Haythe is a Certified Economic Developer, a national recognition of professional skill mastery that denotes the highest levels of professional attainment and a commitment to continued growth. She is a member of many professional organizations and serves on a number of public and nonprofit boards including the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center, Dorchester County Public Schools Superintendent Advisory Council and Minority Achievement Task Force. Ms. Haythe serves as President of the Maryland Economic Development Association Board of Directors.
In 2015 she was recognized by the Daily Record as one of their Top 100 Women and in 2012 she was recognized by the Daily Record as one of their leading women under 40.
An Eastern Shore native, Ms. Haythe is a member of TriLife Christian Center in Easton where she serves on the Ministerial Team as an Ordained Evangelist. She is married to Marcus L. Haythe Sr., and they have three children.
Kimberly A. “Kim” Clark
Kim Clark is the Executive Vice President of the City of Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). In her capacity as EVP she oversees neighborhood development, downtown development, capital budgeting, commercial revitalization, and urban design and planning.
Among her achievements at BDC, Kim helped structure public private partnership financing for several major redevelopment projects, including several Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects; the redevelopment of Belvedere Square, all parcels at Inner Harbor East, Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTS) for several major developments, including the Westside and the several grocery store projects. She was instrumental in retaining several businesses of all sizes and assisted smaller businesses with expansions and in the development of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.
Kim is the Secretary of the Maryland Economic Development Association, Treasurer of the Urban Land Institute Baltimore Council, Board member and Committee Chair of the Star Spangled Flag House, Board member of the Emerging Technology Centers, Leadership Maryland and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts and is a member of the International Economic Development Council. Kim graduated Leadership MD in 2009 and is a Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Class of 2007 graduate.
Sean Looney is Vice President, State Government Affairs for Comcast NBC Universal. He represents the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services before the General Assembly, Governor’s Office and state agencies in Maryland and Delaware. Sean joined Comcast in December, 2003 after retiring from a 19-year career at Verizon, Bell Atlantic and New Jersey Bell. He is also the Treasurer of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Maryland Leadership Workshops (MLW), and on the Board of Directors and Legislative Committee of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Sean has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, where he also was Chair of Maryland Hall’s Arts Alive Gala for several years He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leadership Maryland (LMD), and graduated from LMD’s Class of 1996. He has also served as President of the Maryland Government Relations Association (MGRA), on the Advisory Committee for Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG), President of the Board of Directors for the Maryland Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), President of the Smithsonian Institution’s Young Benefactors, and on the Catholic Charities of Baltimore Development Committee. He has done volunteer work for various organizations in the area since moving to MD in 1990, including the Annapolis Lighthouse Shelter and St. Anne’s Infant and Maternity Home in Washington, DC. Sean was honored with the 2008 CASA Light for Children Award and was Leadership Maryland’s State Leader of the Year in 2003. He lives with his wife and two children in Annapolis. Sean received a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.
11.08.12- BALTIMORE, MD- Heather Gramm, Business Development Specialist, Department of Economic Development for the City of Frederick. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)
Larry Twele is CEO of the HCEDA. Before joining the HCEDA, he was the Director of the Carroll County Department of Economic Development, where he spent over six years guiding business development, business retention, workforce development and tourism. Before that, Larry spent almost seven years with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, where he held several positions including managing the statewide regional office system.
Major accomplishments include launching a regional business retention program and playing a key role in coordinating and facilitating major expansion projects in the Baltimore Region. Larry also spent seven years in management in a Fortune Global 500 manufacturing firm and three years as a manager of a small business.
Larry holds a Master’s Degree of Business Administration from Loyola University, Maryland and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland. He earned Certified Economic Developer credentials in March 2009.
Vice President of Financial Services
In his current role as Vice President of Financial Services for the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, Steve is responsible for managing the Arundel Business Loan Fund, Arundel Community Reinvestment Fund, Anne Arundel Incentive Fund, and the VOLT Fund. Steve is responsible for managing financial services staff and developing the protocols and processes used to manage the flow of applications for all of the corporation’s lending programs, from origination and underwriting to the closing and servicing of loans. Steve oversees a portfolio of over 75 small business loans totaling approximately $7 million. Steve He also serves as a liaison to the AAEDC’s Finance Committee and Board of Directors where he regularly prepares and presents financial reports and updates on the corporation’s portfolio of loans.
Steve has more than a decade of finance and lending experience. Prior to arriving at AAEDC, he served as Vice President of Private Business Banking for BankAnnapolis. Previous to that, he was at the Harbor Bank of Maryland for four years as Vice President and Commercial Lending Officer.
Steve holds an MBA and a bachelors degree in marketing, both from Frostburg State University.
Lisa L. Webb, CEcD, Director of Economic Development, was appointed on February 13, 2012. Ms. Webb previously served as Business Development Director for Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation from 2007 – 2011, and Project & Policy Development Manager for Harford County Office of Economic Development from 2001 – 2007. She earned her designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) in May of 2007, holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, graduate of the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute. She serves on several Board of Directors, including Army Alliance, Northeastern Maryland Technology Council, Susquehanna Workforce Network, several economic development organizations including the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and has previously served on the board of directors for the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) and Habitat for Humanity.
Kiesha Haughton is currently the Managing Director of the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) an SBA certified women’s business center that provides business training and counseling services to women-owned enterprises, enabling them to start, sustain, and achieve scalable growth. Prior to heading up the MWBC, Kiesha gained over 15 years of non-profit and entrepreneurship experience in providing economic development solutions to small businesses, NGOs, and government agencies. She is also the business owner of Abeja International, LLC which focuses on providing management consulting and training services that assist in improving economic development opportunities for small businesses overseas. As the Director for the Central Region of the Maryland Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) Network, she was responsible for the business management and training services provided to small- and medium-sized companies in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties. Under her leadership, the Central Region succeeded in becoming one of the top performing regions in the State, which has led to national recognition and a number of awards.
Prior to her accepting the role of Regional Director, Kiesha’s range of services spanned every aspect of starting, operating, and expanding the companies of small business owners. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean and has done international development work with CARE Corps Peru.
Her educational background includes various business training certifications, an MBA from the University of Maryland with a concentration in international business, an MA in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration from the University of Denver, and a BA in Government & Politics and German from the University of Maryland. A Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) through the NASBITE International Certification Program and an active member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Kiesha is a member of a number of boards and currently lives in Montgomery County.
Mr. Griffin has served as Director of Economic Development for the City of Frederick, Maryland since 2002. An urban planner and economic developer with 25 years of experience, Richard has worked at the city, county, and regional level in Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina and Washington.
During his tenure in Frederick he has overseen several million in public and private revitalization including the design and development of award-winning Carroll Creek Park and million’s in renovations and new infill development delivering jobs tax base in downtown.
His previous assignments include serving as the executive director of the Downtown Frederick Partnership, Program Manager of Comprehensive Planning for Loudoun County, Virginia and Senior Regional Planner for the Appalachian Council of Governments , and on the district staff of US Representative James McClure Clarke (11th NC)..
Mr. Griffin holds degrees from Western Carolina University and Clemson University. He serves on the Board for the Downtown Frederick Partnership, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. and others.
lex began his economic development career in 2003, near his hometown in South Georgia. Prior to joining Garrett County’s economic development team in April 2015, Alex had served as the chief economic development official in three rural communities in Georgia and Florida.
Alex attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he received a B.B.A. in both Economics and Business Administration in 2002, and later his M.B.A in 2005. Alex completed the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute in 2009, earned the International Economic Development Council’s Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) status in 2012, and earned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management (IOM) certification in 2016. In 2012, Alex was named the inaugural Young Professional of the Year by the Florida Economic Development Council in part for his work to create a leadership and economic development training course for North Florida, which was adopted by the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University.
Some of Alex’s duties include: working with existing and potential new businesses seeking to expand or locate within Garrett County, implementing the Department’s program of work, developing and marketing the community’s business assets, overseeing local incentive programs, assisting with workforce development, crafting economic development related policies, and advising on legislative agendas.
In his free-time, Alex enjoys spending time with his family, college football, golf, and smoking barbeque on weekends.
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Maryland Technology Development Corporation
John M. Wasilisin has compiled an outstanding career in spanning business/government service over the last 37 years, 32 of which have been in the economic/workforce development field. This experience has included progressive positions at the state and local levels of government and has involved significant partnerships with the business community.
Mr. Wasilisin currently serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). In this capacity, John is responsible for assisting the President in developing policy and directing programs to further advance the mission/role of the Corporation. TEDCO’s mission is to facilitate the creation of businesses and foster their growth in all regions of the State through the commercialization of technology, and to be Maryland’s leading source of funding for technology transfer and development programs and entrepreneurial business assistance.
Mr. Wasilisin previously served as Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. In this capacity, he oversaw the day-to-day administration of the department, which includes operating budget analysis, personnel services and benefits, information technology, procurement and capital budgeting.
Prior to this position, Mr. Wasilisin served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In this capacity, he oversaw the day-to-day administration of the department, which included workforce development, unemployment insurance, financial regulation, labor and industry, safety inspection programs, apprenticeship and training, occupational licensing, and Maryland’s horse racing industry.
Prior to returning to state government in 2003, Mr. Wasilisin served as the Chief Administrative Officer to the Baltimore County Executive, the highest appointed official in Baltimore County Government. He served in this position from January 1999 to February 2003. As Chief Administrative Officer, John was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of County government, coordinating the efficient and effective delivery of County services to over 750,000 residents by supervising each of the department and agency heads in their charge to carry out and implement the policies and initiatives of the County Executive and the County Council. Under his administration as Chief Administrative Officer, Baltimore County government was recognized by Governing magazine as one of the four best-managed large counties in the United States. For fiscal year 2003, Baltimore County had a total budget of approximately $1.9 billion and over 8,000 employees.
Prior to his appointment as the County Administrative Officer, Mr. Wasilisin was the Director of the Baltimore County Office of Employment and Training, the agency responsible for administering the federal and state workforce development programs in Baltimore County. Under his leadership, the Office of Employment and Training received two Presidential Awards for outstanding employment and training programs. The Presidential Awards are the most prestigious in this field and have given the Office of Employment and Training a national reputation. In August of 1994, the agency opened the Baltimore County Reemployment Assistance Center, the first of its kind in Maryland. This center assists laid-off individuals in their search for new employment opportunities.
Mr. Wasilisin has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Administration from the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. He is also a graduate of the 1999 GBC Leadership program and the 2005 Leadership Maryland program.
Brian Darmody is Associate Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations, University of Maryland, and Special Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Development, University System of Maryland. He is responsible for developing overall university strategy for corporate and foundation relationships, and developing projects and policies to support these initiatives centrally and through the colleges and schools on campus. Previously, he was the University’s Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the Director of State and Federal Relations in the President’s Office, and served in the university’s legal counsel’s office. He serves on national and state boards, including Fraunhofer USA, the Maryland Venture Authority, and the Technology Council of Maryland, and is past President of the Association of University Research Parks. He holds a Juris Doctor and a baccalaureate degree.
Pamela J. Ruff has served as Executive Director of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) since 2000. MEDA is a statewide membership organization of nearly 500 public and private professionals dedicated to job growth and retention in Maryland. As Executive Director, Ms. Ruff is responsible for all aspects of management at MEDA and for their 501c3 entity, The MEDA Foundation, Inc.
Ms. Ruff has an extensive background in economic development marketing that began in 1981 when she joined the Baltimore Briefing Center (BBC) where she served in a number of capacities. The BBC expanded from a regional to a statewide focus and became the Maryland Communications Center (MCC) where Ms. Ruff served as Deputy Director. Both centers operated as the primary marketing support service for Maryland’s economic development professionals in both the public and private sectors.
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 and networking opportunities to nearly 500 public and private sector 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 on topics as diverse as manufacturing, technology, community development, workforce development, environmental issues, and business development shows her proven understanding of the general and broad-based effort known as economic development. At MEDA, Ms. Ruff also oversees the delivery of economic development professional development courses that instruct knowledge and skills to the organization’s community of members.
Ms. Ruff is a Past President of Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna and a former director of the Havre de Grace Economic Development Advisory Board. She was a member of the Maryland Board, an advisory board to Maryland Life magazine. She Chairs the Membership Committee and serves on the Program Committee at Leadership Maryland.
Ms. Ruff earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Mass Communications from Towson State University and her Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University. She is a 1998 graduate of Leadership Maryland and a 2006 graduate of the Harford Leadership Academy.
Ms. Ruff is a resident of Baltimore City.