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On the Road with
USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret

Snapshots from the October 2015 statewide listening tour

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October 15, 2015

Tour Stop: Ramada Inn (Cumberland, MD)

Attendees:
Allegany County and Garrett County business and education leaders, including David Sensabaugh, president of Queen City Business Systems, Frostburg State University Interim President Tom Bowling, Cynthia Bambara, president of Allegany College of Maryland, and former USM Regent Tom Finan
Highlights: The group thanked Chancellor Caret for visiting the region and hearing about the economic challenges in Western Maryland.

David Sensabaugh said, “We need you (the University System of Maryland) to be our economic engine.”

Chancellor Caret congratulated Frostburg State University on attaining an all-time high for fall enrollment this academic year.


Tour Stop: University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH) Regional Center (Hagerstown, MD)

Attendees: USMH External Advisory Board, including Jim Kercheval, executive director of the Greater Hagerstown Committee
Highlights: Jim Kercheval emphasized how important USMH is to downtown Hagerstown. “USMH is key to the revitalization of the city,” he said. “Anything to elevate our ‘brand’ in terms of a key program or two is helpful.”


Tour Stop: Black Ankle Vineyard Winery (Mt. Airy, MD)

Attendees:
Black Ankle Vineyard Winery co-owners Sarah O’Herron and Edward Boyce, Rob Deford, president of Boordy Vineyards, area leaders in the tourism, agriculture, and education sectors
Highlights: Leaders discussed tourism, agriculture, and education in Frederick County and Maryland.

Edward Boyce saluted the support of the University of Maryland Extension and other agricultural extension consultants from the other Mid-Atlantic States.

Rob Deford discussed the entrepreneurial challenges Maryland vineyards encounter. “What’s sadly lacking is the systemic approach to minimizing risk,” Deford said.

Edward Boyce and Sarah O’Herron stated that “What’s really important to us from the (USM) is the Extension – when the experts come out into the field.”


Tour Stop: Universities at Shady Grove (Rockville, MD)

Attendees:
USG Executive Director Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Holly Sears, president of the Montgomery Business Development Corporation, former USM Regent William Wood, Montgomery County business and community leaders
Highlights: Chancellor Caret and Dr. Edelstein co-hosted a roundtable discussion on USG’s impact on the Montgomery County/Interstate-270 corridor and the developing businesses and technology opportunities in this rapidly growing part of Maryland.

Attendees said that one persistent challenge in the region is retaining incubator companies as they mature. Created from technologies developed in the I-270 corridor, some of these companies have been leaving the state once their profitability is more firmly established.

 




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