2018 Upper Shore Rural Economic Development Session
The Upper Shore Region in Maryland is a unique combination of communities that complement one another in a way that can affect successful job creation and investment for our three counties and the people who call the region home. Together, we are shaping our future through regional understanding and cooperation. The Upper Shore Rural Economic Development Session is designed for attendees to hear more about new and innovative opportunities that include ways to reimagine our workforce, strengthen our infrastructure, and build partnerships among public and private sectors to retain and expand business.
Our speakers will highlight and accentuate the positives we have in our region, while taking a broad view of best practices currently underway in other communities around the state and country. Practices that we too can put into place to positively impact the future of our region.
Please join us!
Click here to download the draft agenda!
In Cooperation with: Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, and the Upper Shore Regional Council
The 2018 Upper Shore Rural Economic Development Session Speakers
Chris MacLarion began his career by serving for three years in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After leaving the Army, Chris spent 16 years working at the RG Steel plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland as a steelworker and the Vice President of the local union. When the RG Steel Corporation closed Chris attended the University of Baltimore, initially as a participant in the USDOL funded RG Steel National Emergency Grant, earning his Bachelor’s Degree and becoming an employee of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In the five years Chris has been with Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation he has managed numerous grants, including two USDOL National Dislocated Worker Grants and two State Apprenticeship Expansion Grants. Chris is currently the Director of the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program.
David R. Black is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator for Cecil County Government. With the County for over 17 years, his position allows him to interact with almost every County department or affiliated agency. From wastewater to emergency services to land use, GIS allows us to understand spatial patterns and how things relate, determine where and when things change, and develop the most appropriate response. One of Mr. Black’s current projects involves bringing broadband to unserved areas of Cecil County.
Heather Murphy has been the Director for the Office of Planning and Capital Programming, and before that the Deputy Director, at Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary’s Office (MDOT TSO) for the last eleven (11) years. As Director, Heather oversees the development of the Governor’s Capital Transportation Program, the long range transportation plan, and the annual Attainment Report, including the coordination of the annual fall tour meetings, where the Secretary and Cabinet leaders go out to all counties and Baltimore City to discuss the state of the Transportation Trust Fund and receive feedback on the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program (the annual budget).
Heather has oversight for the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), statewide bicycle and pedestrian planning, and statewide air quality conformity and climate change policy. Heather also helps to coordinate new and innovative technology development, including Electric Vehicle infrastructure, Connected and Automated Vehicle Strategic Planning and participates as a key member of the MDOT Public Private Partnership (P3) Steering Committee.
As both Director and Deputy Director, Heather has overseen the development and implementation of many discretionary grant programs, including those for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Program (previously known as TIGER grants) and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants (previously known as FASTLANE grants).
Previously, Heather spent 20 years at the MDOT State Highway Administration in their Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering in a variety of roles, including Assistant Division Chief, Project Manager, Travel Forecaster and Engineer overseeing the planning of major projects including MD 43 Extended, MD 210 upgrades to controlled access and MD 32 widening. She is actively involved in WTS and was their Women of the Year in 2011.
Roy McGrath, Director/CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Maryland Environmental Service previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Larry Hogan, and as Senior Advisor to the Governor and Liaison to the Maryland Board of Public Works. He provided oversight for many State departments, agencies and Governor’s offices, with a focus on business matters and public safety. He also served as a member of the Governor-elect’s Transition Team. Prior to his roles in the Hogan Administration, Mr. McGrath was Vice President of Business Development for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and served in the federal government, including on the staff of former Maryland Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest. Mr. McGrath is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and a member of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Board of Visitors. He also serves on the Boards of the State’s Housing Finance Review Committee, the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority, and the Executive Committee for Dredged Material Management Program. He is a lifelong Marylander.
Andy Fish serves as the Senior Director of Finance Programs at the Maryland Department of Commerce. At Commerce, Andy and his team are responsible for the delivery and management of the State’s economic development incentive and financing programs to support the attraction, retention and growth of businesses across Maryland. Projects typically involve extensive coordination among Commerce, other State Agencies and Local Government officials.
Prior to Commerce, he served M&T Bank over a 30 year career, supporting corporate and institutional clients in a variety of development and leadership capacities.
Andy is a graduate of the University of Richmond and Loyola University in Maryland. He is an Eagle Scout and past board member of the Maryland Family Network. He has been a Maryland resident for over 34 years.
Christopher (Chris) R. Rockey
Chris Rockey began his career with PNC bank in 1999. Today, he serves as Senior Vice President, Greater Maryland Market Manager, Community Development Banking for PNC Bank. Community Development Banking is committed to changing lives and transforming communities through economic development, affordable housing, community services and revitalization. He is responsible for leading a team that provides lending, investing, tax credits, technical assistance and financial literacy outreach for low to moderate income individuals and/or projects serving this demographic. In addition, Chris has educated thousands of people as well as facilitated train the trainer workshops through PNC Bank’s financial literacy curriculum.
Chris is committed to giving back to the community and has served(s) on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Community Lending, Volunteers of America Chesapeake, Associated Black Charities (Treasurer), Center For Urban Families, Neighborhood Housing Services, Baltimore Business Lending, Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation, Tri-County Housing Development Corporation (Past President), Tri County Community Action Commission (Past President), PA Downtown Center (Past Chairman of the Board), PA Community Development Bank (2008-2012 Gubernatorial appointment) , Community First Fund (Past Board & Senior Loan Committee 2008-2012), PA State Volunteers of America (Past), United Way of Pennsylvania (Past), Eureka Masonic Lodge (32nd Degree Master Mason), Lodge Council, Chapter, Consistory, Valley of Harrisburg and the Zembo Shriners of Harrisburg.
He is a twice decorated US Navy Combat Veteran and has been married for 29 years to his wife Christine. Chris and Christine have 3 children and twin grandchildren. Christian and Collin (US Navy) both grown, and a daughter Cassidy (8th grade).
Heather Gramm, CEcD 2019 – 2021, MEDA Immediate Past President
Heather Gramm joined the Maryland Department of Commerce as Senior Director of Strategic Industries and Entrepreneurship in June 2019. In this role, she oversees the development and implementation of the state’s efforts to grow the strategic industries of biohealth and life sciences, cybersecurity and aerospace, manufacturing, energy and agriculture. In addition, she oversees Commerce’s strategic initiatives for entrepreneurship, small business, and workforce development.
Prior to this role, she served as Deputy Director for the Frederick County Office of Economic Development overseeing the county’s business development efforts, including business attraction, retention and expansion, small and minority business development strategies, as well as industry-sector development in the county’s targeted sectors.
Heather has more than 17 years of experience in municipal, county and state economic development in a variety of roles including business development, community development and downtown revitalization. She earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Hood College and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification through IEDC. She serves as President of the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Board of Directors.
Raymond (Chick) Hamm
Chick Hamm is a life-long community banker with strong ties to Harford and Cecil Counties. He was CEO and President of Mercantile County Bank until the time of its acquisition by PNC Bank in 2006. Today, Mr. Hamm is an Executive Vice President for PNC Bank with leadership responsibilities for commercial and institutional banking activity in rural markets including the Eastern Shore, Southern Delaware and Southern Maryland.
With 38 years of experience in the field, Mr. Hamm has held bank leadership positions with final levels of responsibility for financial performance, strategic plan development, operating and capital budgets, regulatory compliance, asset quality assurance and special project management.
Mr. Hamm completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Loyola College of Maryland, receiving a Masters Degree in Business Administration in 1983. As an active community volunteer he has served on numerous boards supporting the economic, health care and educational needs of the community. Currently, he is a board member for Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, the Susquehanna Workforce Network, Cecil County Library Foundation, Union Hospital, Cecil College, and the Bainbridge Development Corporation. Mr. Hamm has also been elected to the board of the Maryland Bankers Association.
A native of Harford County, Mr. Hamm, age 55, and his wife, Anne, reside in the Elk Neck Area of Cecil County.
Dr. Alan McCarthy
Alan McCarthy was elected as Cecil County Executive in November 2016, having previously served as a Cecil County Councilman representing the First District, which includes Cecilton, Chesapeake City and Earleville. Dr. McCarthy was selected to serve as Vice President of the council in 2012 and reappointed in 2014.
Dr. McCarthy earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary medicine. Dr. McCarthy holds a current Veterinary license in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. His primary occupation was as an equine veterinarian for Winfield Farm and Woodstock Farm in Chesapeake City and several other horse farms in the area. During his career, he established and built five independent small animal practices in Maryland and Delaware with over sixty-five full time and part time employees. Additionally, he established an independent real estate company that sells and rents residential and commercial properties in Maryland and Delaware.
Executive McCarthy’s goals are to bring economic development, employment opportunities, and the placement of infrastructure in the growth corridor with balanced development that conserves the county’s rich resources.
Sergei V. Kuzmenchuk joined the Department as its Chief Financial Officer in June of 2015 after serving as Chief Financial Officer at the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (the “DCHFA”) since October 2008. Prior to joining the DCHFA, he served as the Department’s Deputy Director of Finance for the Administration from August 2000 until January 2006, and Director of Finance for the Administration from January 2006 until October of 2008. Prior to his work at the Department and DCHFA, Mr. Kuzmenchuk worked in various financial management and international trade and banking capacities, both domestically and overseas. Mr. Kuzmenchuk earned his M.B.A degree in Accounting in 2002 from the Joseph A. Sellinger, S.J., School of Business and Management, Loyola University, and in 1995 earned a Master of Public Management degree in Public Sector Financial Management from the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park. In 1993 Mr. Kuzmenchuk received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in English and French Interpretation from the Minsk State Linguistic University, Minsk, Belarus.
Tom Tuttle, Ph.D.
Thomas C. Tuttle, PhD, is president of Tuttle Group International, a strategic management consulting organization located in Annapolis, MD. He is also president of the World Academy of Productivity Science and a vice president of the World Confederation of Productivity Science. He was director of the University of Maryland Center for Quality and Productivity for 26 years, where he chaired the U.S. Senate Quality Award process and the Maryland Quality Award Program. He worked closely with the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development and led programs to support the competitiveness of Maryland manufacturing through productivity assessments and technical assistance to firms to accelerate their path to develop and achieve registration for their quality management systems. Tuttle assisted the Secretary of Economic Development in establishing the first Office of Technology Development within the department and served as its interim director. As a “boundary spanner,” he worked with the Maryland State Department of Education and six local school districts to develop and implement quality management systems in public education.
In 2011, Tuttle received the C.Jackson Grayson Distinguished Quality Pioneer Medal given by the American Productivity and Quality Center for his work as a “lifetime advocate of quality and productivity through strategic change.” He is a fellow of the World Confederation of Productivity Science, a lifetime member of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Dr.Tuttle has had extensive experience as a facilitator for strategic planning efforts and for facilitating large-scale organizational change initiatives. These have ranged from Community Total Quality Programs, to organizational strategic planning to policy development efforts. He facilitated learning networks involving 10-20 organizations, which meet for a period of a year or more. Topics have included the CEO’s Role in Total Quality, Enhancing Skills of Total Quality Directors, and Knowledge Management. He facilitated a learning network involving over 12 Maryland School Superintendents who share expertise with regard to leading City and County school districts through the utilization of integrated management systems. This network operated for three years.
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.
Nona Carroll serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve students’ achievement in Maryland. The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education creates and implements various programs aimed at engaging students in grades K-12 in science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies in order to provide opportunities in future job markets.
As the Chief Strategy Officer for the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, Nona is responsible for developing and monitoring a full-scale annual project plan for the Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs, impacting over 30,000 Maryland students each year. Nona works to establish relationships and develop strategy within each school system in the state and recruits and manages 1,000 volunteers to participate in the program statewide. In addition to managing the MBRT’s volunteer program, Nona also creates the tools used to evaluate the program and assess its effectiveness, and communicates those results to the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education’s Board of Directors, funders and stakeholders.
Nona, who earned her Bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University and Master’s degree at Webster University, started her career at T. Rowe Price as an associate and was soon moved into a supervisory role for the company. In this capacity, Nona provided career guidance to employees through goal-setting action planning, and partnered with business leaders to create a Diversity Specific Speakers series for associates. Nona was soon promoted to Senior Training Consultant at T. Rowe Price Associates and worked to deliver competency based training to various levels of employees. In this position, she also served as the Project Manager for Diversity and Inclusion Enrichment and Education Programs, developed diversity web-based training for associates globally, and provided additional resources to help reinforce diversity and inclusion for supervisors and managers to utilize upon completion of enrichment sessions.
Prior to joining the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education in 2011, Nona was promoted to Diversity and Inclusion Consultant at T. Rowe Price Associates. During this time, she was responsible for leading the organization’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy and integrating those strategies into work practices through partnering with diversity practitioners, HR, business leaders, and associates. Nona worked to build awareness of the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts in partnership with the Communication/Marketing teams, and enhance the firm’s image and commitment to the community through active participation in community events in/outside of the organization. In addition to these efforts, she partnered with the Recruitment Team to hire diverse talent and developed programs that supported the education and retention of the employees she helped to acquire.
Andrew Coston has been an educator for over 20 years. For the last 10 years he has served as the Director of Career Services at Cecil College in North East, MD. In that capacity he supervises the college career center and is the coordinator of experiential learning activities, career fairs, and online career services programs. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor at Cecil College, teaching career development, psychology and sociology courses.
Previously, Andrew also has been an academic and career advisor at Cecil College working with credit and non- credit students. Prior to his position at Cecil College, Andrew was a guidance counselor at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore.
He has also consistently worked with students outside the classroom, coaching boys basketball at Mount Saint Joseph for 5 years and was the Head Coach of the Cecil College Women’s Basketball Team for 15 years. He served as President of the Maryland Juco Coaches Association for 6 years.
Andrew received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Assumption College in Worcester, MA and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Education at Morgan State University.
He is a member of the Maryland Community College Career Consortium (MCCCC) as well as the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and National Resume Writers Association (NRWA). He is also on the Board of Directors of the Cecil County United Way.
Kenrick (Rick) Gordon, P.E. has over 30 years in engineering design and construction administration experience. His career began as a civil engineer working with municipalities on public works projects. He then moved into commercial, industrial development, ultimately managing a small development company.
Rick served at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a General Field Representative for the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program. In this role, he assisted small telephone companies and internet providers seeking federal funding for telecommunications improvements, including broadband expansion.
Now, as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband, Rick oversees the expansion of broadband capabilities statewide to bring access to households and businesses in Maryland’s rural areas. He works with agencies across county, state and federal governments and with independent provider stakeholders to establish and enact a plan to provide statewide access to high-speed internet.
Denise Christiansen began her career with Junior Achievement of Delaware in 2010 and has held several positions within the organization. Currently, as the Student Impact Manager, Denise is responsible for the work based learning programs JA Job Shadow® and JA Career Fusion®. In this role, Denise works with educators and business role models to help students explore careers and learn more about what it takes to find and keep a job. Through these programs, students are able to learn more about career opportunities within companies and see how businesses operate. Denise has grown the program from 17 students and one business in 2012, to more than 600 students and 16 businesses in 2017-2018.
With a BS in Biology from Marquette University Denise worked in the pharmaceutical and food safety industries prior to starting a family. She and her husband Allen recently celebrated 29 years of marriage and are the proud parents of two daughters.
Daniel P. McDermott, Sr.
Daniel P. McDermott is the Executive Director of the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board serving Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has 29 years of experience in the employment and training industry. The Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board has a national profile as a result of the successful implementation of a Mobile One Stop, Maryland’s representative Workforce Investment Board to the United States Department of Labor Career Pathways Institute and the successful transition of workers impacted by large plant closings and layoffs. This is his 22nd year as Executive Director, overseeing an annual budget of $ 1.7 million and a staff of 9.
Mr. McDermott holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Quantitative Economics from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts Degree in Monetary Economics from West Virginia University.
The 2018 Upper Shore Rural Economic Development Session Sponsors
2018 Upper Shore Rural Economic Development Session