Mid and Lower Shore

2022 Rural Economic Development Session

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Join the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) for the
2022 Rural Economic Development Session – Lower Shore Edition

December 7, 2022
8:00am – 1:30pm
Student Services Center, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 

Every community has a unique vibe with distinct commercial centers designed, organized, and promoted to create a sense of livability. Economic developers are charged with identifying and enhancing those unique features to help the community attract new businesses to locate and grow there. But how do you assess your community, strategically plan, and attract the right balance of business, workforce, entertainment, and services to meet your community’s needs?

Join us as we discuss how the region can leverage K-12 education, higher education, and talent assets to achieve maximum economic impact regarding workforce, tax base, and jobs.

This invitation is extended to MEDA members, elected and appointed officials or one representative and is non-transferable.

Parking: Lot S (walk across the bridge to the Student Services Center). Click here for a campus map.



8:00 AM    Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM    Welcome Remarks  

Danny Thompson, Director, Somerset County Economic Development Commission 

Dr. Heidi Anderson, President  University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, State Senator

8:45 AM    PNC Bank Welcome 

Franklin N. McNeil, Jr., Vice President, Community Consultant, Community Development Banking

9:00-9:30    Opening Keynote: Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

Kirkland Murray, President and CEO, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation

9:30-10:15    Our Future Workforce: College & Career Readiness  (Apprenticeships)

  • Moderator: David Ryan, Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development Corporation
    • Steve McGee, Chesapeake Shipbuilding 
    • ​​Chris Eccleston, Delmarva Veteran Builders
    • Mitzi Scott, Tidal Health
    • Maria Waller, President, Quality Staffing Services

10:15 – 10:30    BREAK

10:30- 11:15     Partnerships for Success: Community Schools 

  • Moderator: Danny Thompson, Executive Director, Somerset County Economic Development Commission 
    • Diane L. Stulz, CTE and Blended Learning Facilitator, Worcester County Public Schools – 
    • Karen L. Olmstead, Ph.D., Provost and Senior VP of Academic Affairs, Salisbury University 
    • Dr. Theresa Queenan, University of Maryland Eastern Shore 
    • Lori Smoot, Director of Career and Testing Services, Wor-Wic Community College

11:15 – 11:30     BREAK

11:30 – 12:15    Investment in Equity: Local Services Panel 

  • Moderator: Melanie Pursel, Director, Worcester County Office of Tourism & Economic Development
    • Dion Banks, Eastern Shore Network for Change 
    • Kisha Petticolas, Eastern Shore Network for Change 
    • Shawna N. Kearsley, Vehicles for Change 

12:15 – 1:00    LUNCH

1:00 – 1:15    The Future of Higher Education – Maryland Higher Education Commission


Wed, Dec 7, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 1:30 pm


University of Maryland Eastern Shore


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Conference Speakers

The 2022 Rural Economic Development Session Speakers


2022 Rural Economic Development Session