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  • Power of Possibilities on April 28 to focus on Creating and Growing Local Opportunities

    McHenry, MD – The Power of Possibilities Spring Summit, Creating and Growing Local Opportunities, is slated for April 28, 2017 at Garrett College. This event will prove beneficial to anyone interested in entrepreneurship, small business management, business in general, building personal success and the impact they can have on community outlook and success here in mountain Maryland. 

    Dr. Memo Diriker is the Founder and Director of the Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University. Dr. Diriker has served as the principal investigator on over 400 sponsored and applied research projects, totaling over $10 million in awards.  He is a fifth generation entrepreneur with seven successful ventures. Diriker is the President of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Vice-Chair of Leadership Maryland, Inc. and Vice President of the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore. The recipient of many honors and awards, his keynote is titled, “Entrepreneurs: Are you a part of your community or apart from it?” 

    Kendall Ludwig is President and Principal Designer at CurlyRed, a company she founded in 2007 with the desire to create “usable art.”  Over the past 10 years, Ludwig and her company have provided creative and timeless branding, print and web solutions for companies and non-profits across the country. A Baltimore native, she met and married “Garrett County local” Mark Ludwig, and they recently settled in Mountain Lake Park with their two daughters. Ludwig serves on the board of B’More Creatives and just recently performed in Our Town Theater’s production of “Almost, Maine.” Her workshop is titled, “How to Create a Dynamic and Powerful Website.” 

    To register for the event, or for more information, contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Garrett College at 301-387-3069 or visit www.4ruralsuccess.com.

    Posted 4/25/2017

  • Power of Possibilities Competitors: Where are they now?

    McHenry, MD – The Power of Possibilities series at Garrett College began in 2014 and has engaged over 1,200 entrepreneurs, want-to-be entrepreneurs, business owners/managers and those in the region that support and enable small business formation and growth. Although the upcoming spring summit on April 28, 2017 is a learning, sharing and networking event for all those in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Garrett County and the region, the event is also a celebration of entrepreneurship and new entrepreneurs, and is anchored by the annual Power of Possibilities Business Plan and Innovation Competition. Winners receive cash awards and are recognized with the Daniel E. Offutt III Innovation Medal and certificate of recognition.

    Participants that entered this year’s competition are in the process of finalizing their business plan proposals in preparation for the April 28th event. Alice Blayne-Allard, winner of the previous year’s business plan competition, shared how being involved in the Power of Possibilities experience has impacted her life. “I had an idea I am working on turning into a reality. It’s been a continuous learning experience, and it’s exciting to see it all take shape. I’m honored to be a part of a program that promotes innovation and opportunity in Garrett County.” 

    Her winning business plan turned into a reality. The Power of Possibilities launched Free State Cooperage, serving the craft distillery, wine, and brewery industries with custom-crafted white oak barrels of the highest quality. Free State Cooperage is located in the Deep Creek Lake, Md. area. “The strongest component of the Power of Possibilities business plan competition is pairing participants with mentors. These individuals are a valuable resource, providing moral support, constructive feedback, and seeing the forest through the trees.” 

    In addition to mentors, she also attributes rigorous due diligence in conducting market analysis and preparing financials as factors that helped contribute to her success in building a solid business plan from the ground up. Regularly, scheduled meet-ups took place between competitors and mentors throughout the process, from start to finish. “Initially, I had my idea and decided to enter to see if my idea was feasible. Through the meet-ups, working with my mentors, and diving into the specifics I was able to see how my idea was not only feasible, but could be viable. “

    Her advice to others who may be thinking of starting a business, or have a new idea?  “Don’t give up. If you believe in your idea and it’s viable, you’ll figure out ways to get around road blocks and over the hurdles that arise. Enter the next Power of Possibilities competition.” 

    Halley Gillespie, second-place winner, to last year’s event, also provided a glimpse of her experience and where she is today. “After the competition, I have continued to put my ideas into action. There have also been things I realized I wanted to change as time went on. I think any entrepreneur has to be willing to embrace change and be sure that their plan of action aligns with your goals as those evolve and become clearer. I held a retreat earlier this year and have several more planned in the warmer months.”

    Upon entering the competition, Gillespie already had an idea for her business, Refresh Holistic Health & Fitness Retreat, to offer wellness vacations, including nutrition coaching, personal training, yoga, cooking classes and organic gardening. “I had come up with my business name, logo and even conducted a couple of small-scale retreats. Mike Tumbarello knew of my idea and had given me some advice previously, so it was he who encouraged me to join the competition,” she stated.

    Like Blayne-Allard, Gillespie also credits being paired up with a mentor as one of the factors that led to not only success in the competition, but their business plan. “I am neither a seasoned businessperson nor an analytical number cruncher, so I made a point to really focus on what I consider to be my strengths – writing style, and an ability to synthesize large volumes of information from multiple resources. I spent a great deal of time just gathering as much data and analysis as possible before I even started writing; Kim Durst from Garrett County Economic Development was very helpful. My mentor, Daniel Porter, gave me some great advice which was to tell the story behind my business and what led me to create the concept; that’s what would help set me apart from fellow competitors.”

    “Doing well in the Power of Possibilities gave me a great deal of confidence and sense of accomplishment. I was introduced to so many people who are committed to help businesses succeed in Garrett County and even made new friend in Alice. Having affirmation from the business community has made me feel far less isolated, which I think is something any entrepreneur can feel when starting out. Through the process of being a competitor, I was able to take a step back and find greater perspective for my business vision.”

    Registration is currently open for the upcoming Power of Possibilities spring entrepreneurship summit on April 28, 2017. Individuals can learn more and register online at www.4ruralsuccess.com or contact the front desk at Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069 or email Mike Tumbarello at mike.tumbarello@garrettcollege.edu.

    Posted 7/25/2017

  • Paul Edwards to Speak at Garrett College Commencement

    McHenry, MD – Paul Edwards, chair of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners, will serve as commencement speaker for Garrett College’s 45th annual graduation ceremony next month.

    Garrett’s commencement will take place on Saturday, May 20th starting at 10:30 a.m. at the   Community Aquatic & Recreation Center (CARC) Gymnasium on the McHenry campus.  That is the same facility that hosts both Garrett County public high school graduations each spring.

    “I couldn’t be more pleased that Commissioner Edwards has agreed to speak with this year’s graduates,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, who became Garrett College’s 13th president in January.  “Paul’s background and experience allow him to offer a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges our latest group of graduates will face.”

    In addition to nearly two decades in elective office, Edwards has made a career in public education.  He is currently director of middle and high schools, athletics and career and technology education for Garrett County Public Schools.

    Edwards, a member of Northern Garrett High School’s Class of 1993, graduated with honors from Frostburg State University in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Science.  He also earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from FSU in 2005.

    “I was blessed to have two great professors in college – one in history and one in political science – that really broadened my interest in those subjects and also served as my models for my teaching style,” said Edwards.  “Dr. Hagan (history) and Dr. [Stephen] Hartlaub (Political Science) at FSU both had a large influence on me in college.”

    Edwards taught social studies and coached a wide variety of sports at Northern High for 10 years before moving into administration as Northern High’s assistant principal.  He was head boys’ basketball coach for nine years, finishing second on the career coaching wins list in that sport, and guided the girls’ track team for a four-year period that produced 10 individual region championships.

    Edwards also spent four years on the Northern High football coaching staff, including the team’s undefeated regular season and region championship campaign in 2000.

    “I began coaching basketball right out of high school and really enjoyed working with kids,” said Edwards.  “I also really enjoyed history, so I thought it was a good match that I could teach history and coach sports.”

    Edwards served from 1999 to 2005 on the Grantsville Town Council before winning the 2005 mayoral election to become Grantsville’s youngest-ever mayor at 29.

    “My dad [State Senator George Edwards] is my role model and I grew up in a political family,” said Edwards.  “I’ve always had an interest in that world since I was a little kid because I grew up in it.”

    During his tenure as mayor, Grantsville was the fastest-growing community in the county.  Grantsville also became the county’s first Arts and Entertainment District.

    Edwards served as a director for Garrett County Municipalities, Inc. throughout his tenure as mayor.  He also served as president of the Garrett/Allegany chapter of the Maryland Municipal League from 2013 to 2014.

    After 10 years as mayor, Edwards was elected to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners in 2014, serving as chair of the commission since his election. 

    Edwards has been active in numerous local, regional and statewide organizations.  He served on the Governor’s Task Force to Study a Post Labor Day School Start as well as on the board of directors for Garrett/Allegany United Way, Mountain Laurel Medical Center, and the Western Maryland Consortium.

    Edwards is also an ex-officio member of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and an active member of the Grantsville Lion’s Club, Sons of the American Legion Post 214, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.  

    Edwards and his wife, Emily, reside in Grantsville and have two daughters, Samantha and Emma.  They are expecting a daughter, Stella, in June.

    Posted 4/25/2017

  • Garrett College’s 13th president feels truly fortunate

    McHenry, MD – Fortunately, the 13th president of Garrett College isn’t a bit superstitious.

    “I actually feel very lucky,” remarked Dr. Richard Midcap, who became the college’s 13th president in mid-January.  “I’m president of a college that’s been embraced by its community and enjoys tremendous support from both the county government and engaged donors.  I couldn’t be more pleased to be the president of Garrett College.”

    Midcap spent nearly 14 years as a vice president at Chesapeake College, including 13 years in student affairs and one year as the college’s interim vice president for academic affairs.  All told, he was at Chesapeake for 23 years in a variety of administrative roles, including dean of students.

    “It was a difficult decision to leave Chesapeake, but the opportunity at Garrett College was perfect for me,” said Midcap.  “I truly enjoy working at small, rural community colleges where I feel I can really make a difference.”

    Midcap said he has spent his early months at Garrett College on “an extended listening tour.”

    “No president should come into a college where he has never worked in a region where he has never lived and claim to have a vision for that institution,” said Midcap.  “It’s first important to understand the community’s needs and the college’s culture.  I’ve dedicated a considerable amount of time listening to political, education, business and community leaders to help me understand our educational and workforce development needs.”

    Midcap does have strong views on how Garrett College should meet the needs of the community.

    “We must be open, responsive and transparent,” said Midcap.  “We need to work closely with a county government that generously funds us and a public school system that provides a significant percent of our enrollment.”

    Midcap said the timing of his appointment and Barbara Baker’s selection as superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools created an opportunity for a strengthened partnership.

    “Superintendent Baker was the first Garrett County official I contacted after being selected president,” said Midcap.  “I feel it’s important for our respective institutions to have a close relationship and I was pleased to find out the superintendent feels the same way.”

    Midcap said partnerships with other regional colleges – including Frostburg State University, Allegany College of Maryland and Potomac State College of West Virginia University – is also critical.

    “The presidents at Frostburg [Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk], Allegany [Dr. Cynthia Bambara] and Potomac State [Dr. Jennifer Orlikoff] each extended warm welcomes to me,” noted Midcap.  “They are anxious to make sure we are partnering in a way that best serves the region, which is exactly how I feel.”

    Midcap said a review to determine how the college can better align its programs and services with community needs is being conducted by a newly charged Enrollment Management Committee.

    “We need to ensure our programs and services are providing our students with what they are seeking and preparing them for future careers,” said Midcap.

    Midcap holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education/history from Salisbury (Md.) University, a master’s degree in history from Washington (Md.) College, and a doctorate in education from Wilmington (Del.) University.  He moved to McHenry in January.

    “I heard so much about the snow in Garrett County that I decided to leave nothing to chance,” Midcap said with a laugh.  “I literally live on the same road as the college.”

    Posted 4/25/2017

  • Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development Launches Pilot Hospitality Program

    McHenry, MD – Garrett College, in cooperation with a number of area organizations involved in the local hospitality business, has created a new hospitality program within its Continuing Education and Workforce Development division. The first class will begin on April 17, 2017 and is open to all individuals, whether currently employed in the industry or seeking to gain skills and credentials to begin a career in hospitality.  

    The pilot program, with class sessions scheduled Monday and Wednesday evenings so as not to interfere with the late-week busy period experienced at many local establishments, is scheduled to run through June 26, 2017. That time frame will also allow graduates of the program to have completed the program before the summer season ‘kicks-off’ at the lake and at other area businesses.

    The program will provide a variety of skill-sets and experiences that area employers have indicated are critical for employee success. These include general soft-skills, as well as industry- and role-specific competencies designed to align well with the practical, documented needs of the industry. Courses given during the three-month part-time session will address workforce essentials, customer service and safe food handling, with separate tracks for catering, bartending, and wait staff. The program will also include content on embracing cultural diversity of guests and will include a familiarity tour of local attractions and hospitality businesses.

    “This pilot program will provide a sound, practical foundation from which students can begin or continue a rewarding career in the hospitality industry in the County or elsewhere. Our intent is to “raise the bar” relative to the full menu of competencies required by establishments that strive to provide excellent, sustainable experiences for their customers and guests. We expect our graduates to deliver superior value to our employers and to the general public,” stated Julie Yoder, Dean of Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development.
    The courses will be taught primarily by seasoned and successful owners, managers and employees of area restaurants, lodging and catering establishments. In addition to formal instruction, classes will include experiential exercises and discussions delivered by seasoned industry professionals. The goal is to deliver practical, real world competencies and experiences that are welcomed and valued by employers, citizens and visitors alike. 

    “I believe this program will deliver true ROI benefits to employers that sponsor employees and career enhancement to students that enroll,” stated Mike Tumbarello, Director of the Garrett College Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “This program will also further reinforce our County as a great destination that provides great consumer experiences to those that partake our offerings.”

    Upon successful completion of the program in June, students will receive a certificate of completion from Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development that specifically delineates areas of study. Certain industry-recognized components within the overall program will provide additional certification by the sponsoring organizations.  Students may take the whole course series or take individual components based on personal and career needs. For more information, including registration, persons may contact Garrett College Continuing Education & Workforce Development at 301-387-3069 or cewd@garrettcollege.edu.

    Posted 4/10/2017

  • Dorothy Andreas Walters to Speak at Power of Possibilities Spring Entrepreneurship Summit

    McHenry, MD – ‘Creating and Growing Local Opportunities’ is the theme of this year’s annual Power of Possibilities Spring Entrepreneurship Summit on April 28, 2017 at Garrett College beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the McHenry campus. Dorothy Andreas Walters, President and Founder of The Sewickley Spa, Inc. and Operating Partner of The Greene Turtle in Deep Creek Lake, will present, ‘Realizing Dreams and Making it Happen!’. She is one of several keynote speakers that are scheduled to present at the event.
    At the age of 19, Walters left college, sold her car, and used the funds to open a hair salon, the first of many businesses. She developed a successful business model and expanded to a second, then third location in 1986, offering spa services. At that time, most people in the region did not know what the term ‘day spa' meant. She educated the public, while developing a superior staff, hand training employees in both the technical and customer service aspects of her enterprise. The success of her businesses is built on outstanding service, loyal clients, and a staff who helped convey her gracious attitude toward giving back to the community as their successes grew. 

    Along with growing her company, and raising two young sons as a single mother, she knew she needed to give something back to her profession. She started "Yes, There is Enough Time" workshop, and "The Possibilities for Success"™ seminars. Andreas has been an advisory board member to beauty schools; guest teacher, lecturer, writer and mentor for over thirty-six years.

    Committed to superior products for her clients, she previously founded the North East Distribution Company, NEDCO, to import professional products, which were new to the United States. She also served as the international director of education for the company, based in Parma, Italy. In 2004 she founded SpaEdge Inc, which allowed business to sell gift cards directly from their websites. In 2005, she founded Egift Technologies, a general business gift card selling process. The Sewickley Spa, winner of over 60 Best Day Spa awards, and four-time winner of the "Fastest Growing Businesses" award by the Pittsburgh Business Times, is recognized nationally for outstanding business practices. 

    Walters has received numerous awards and recognitions for her successes and accomplishments over the years, which include: the 2017 Finkle Award from the Garrett Regional Medical Center Foundation, 2016 Outstanding Partner in Health Award, Garrett County, Md.; 2012 ‘Most Influential Women’ Award, Pittsburgh Region, Pittsburgh Business Times; 2006 Winners Circle, ‘Entrepreneurial Excellence Award’, Westmoreland County, Pa.’ 2003, Cover, Spa Management International Magazine; 1997 Founders Award, Art & Fashion Group International, Served as International President (first female); and 1995 Master of the Craft, Art & Fashion Group International Award. 

    Individually, she has raised over $2 million for the charities she serves. She is a current member of the Women’s Presidents Organization (Pittsburgh Chapter), Garrett County Steps to Better Health Member, Garrett County Memorial Hospital Foundation (Vice Chair), and Garrett Regional Medical Center, Cancer Care Capital Campaign Chair. In 2016, along with her husband, they raised an additional $1.9 million to build a Cancer Treatment Center at Garrett Regional Medical Center in western Maryland.  

    Registration is currently open for the spring entrepreneurship summit. The price of registration ($69 until April 7; $79 through April 28) includes breakfast, lunch, access to all sessions and additional material including business books. 

    Individuals can learn more and register online at www.4ruralsuccess.com or by calling the Garrett College Continuing Education and Workforce Development registration desk at 301-387-3069 or mike.tumbarello@garrettcollege.edu.

    Posted 4/10/2017

  • Smoke N Mirrors Announces Live Model Drawing Sessions

    Oakland, MD - Smoke N Mirrors Photography is pleased to announce the kick-off of monthly, live model drawing sessions. Artists are invited to participate in these two hour sessions schedule for the second Thursday of each month at Smoke N Mirrors Studio in downtown Oakland. These two hour drawing sessions will begin at 6 pm and will include a variety of both male and female models. These are mature modeling sessions intended for adults. Tabletop easels are available for artists but should be requested in advance. For more information or to RSVP for this event, go to www.SmokenPhoto.com, “Smokenphoto” on Facebook or call (304) 277-7700.

    Posted 4/5/2017

  • 2017 Garrett County Job Fair Open to All Job Seekers

    McHenry, MD – The Garrett County Job Fair has been bringing employment opportunities together to serve the Garrett County community for twenty-six years. Job seekers will be able to speak with employers seeking to hire now and in the near future at the upcoming Garrett County Job Fair, scheduled for Thursday, April 27, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Garrett College Gymnasium. The Job Fair is open to the entire Garrett County and surrounding community. Experienced and entry-level job seekers, including high school and college students, are encouraged to attend. “The Job Fair is the area’s largest scale annual employment event, and is a must for anyone seeking full-time, part-time, and/or seasonal employment in the area,” said Ashley Ruby, Coordinator of Advising and Academic Support at Garrett College and chair of the Job Fair planning committee.

    A collective of Job Fair information as well as names and descriptions of the businesses that will participate can be found online. Job seekers may visit www.garrettcollege.edu/jobfair to learn more about the opportunities available and the employers that will be in attendance. Job Fair posters throughout the community have a scannable QR code that when scanned with a smartphone, will direct viewers to the Job Fair website. 

    More than 50 businesses and organizations attend the Job Fair each year. Attending this year are some of Garrett County’s most well-known employers including Appalachian Parent Association, Inc., Aquatic Center Inc., Beitzel Corporation, Chanteclaire Farm/FarmhouseFete/Sounds Fun DJs, Everbright Pacific, LLC (Wisp Resort), First United Bank & Trust, Garrett Container Systems, Garrett Regional Medical Center, Humberson Homes LLC, Phenix Technologies, Pillar Innovations, LLC, Railey Mountain Lake Vacations, Smiley's Bar Grill and Fun Zone, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Lake Vacations, and Total Biz Fulfillment. New employers to Garrett County, such as Smoke N Mirrors Photography, will also be in attendance. Check the Job Fair website for a complete list of all employers, updated daily.
    Many of the companies registered to attend are seeking to fill jobs that include supervisors and managers, tellers and bank associates, office and data entry clerks, customer service representatives, hospitality staff members, outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, restaurant personnel, home health care workers, computer technicians, welders and machine operators, sales representatives, and more.  

    “If you are a Garrett County job seeker, this unique event is designed for you! Expand your job search through networking with local businesses and organizations at the annual Garrett County Job Fair on April 27. Prepare in advance by reviewing the list of employers online, creating and making copies of a professional resume, and taking mindful steps toward making a good first impression. The perfect job may be waiting for you!” Ruby said.

    The Garrett County Job Fair is being offered by a partnership of Garrett College, the Allegany County American One-Stop Job Center (serving both Garrett and Allegany Counties), Western Maryland Consortium, 104.5 'KHJ/92.3 The Train/95.9 WKTZ-FM/1050-AM WMSG, Country Roads Digital Media, and the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

    For additional information one may contact Ruby at 301-387-3715 or ashley.ruby@garrettcollege.edu or check the Job Fair website, www.garrettcollege.edu/jobfair.

    Posted 3/30/2017

  • Starry Nights Scholarship Benefit Features French Menu and Iron City Aerials

    McHenry, MD – Final preparations are being made for next week’s spring scholarship benefit, hosted by the Garrett College Foundation. The annual event is slated for Friday, April 7, 2017 beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception in The Lodge at Wisp Resort located in McHenry. All proceeds for the event will support scholarships for Garrett College students. 

    Starry Nights: Your Gift Can Make a Dream Come True is the theme for this year’s event. Guests in attendance will enjoy an assortment of French-inspired menu items, prepared by Chef Jimmy Walker and staff at Wisp Resort, beginning with the cocktail reception and ending with dessert. Along with a variety of cheeses, meats, olives, tapenades and breads, cocktail hour will feature: boursin, spinach and artichoke dip; veggies with dip; bacon wrapped figs; and sun dried tomato pesto palmiers. Main course entrées include: coq au vin; chicken roulade stuffed with Brussels sprout, walnuts and boursin cheese; beef bourguignon; sautéed mussels with fennel and leek basil cream; shrimp scampi with cognac beurre blanc; bacon and leek quiche, and roasted root vegetables. Crème brûlée; cream puffs and mini eclairs; mousse; baked brie with fruit; and macaroons will be the featured desserts for the evening.

    After dinner, a live auction will be held to benefit student scholarships. Additionally, a selection of works of the late Aza Stanton, a well-known artist of Garrett County, Md., will be up for bids. The evening will conclude with an incredible performance by Iron City Aerials, an acrobatic entertainment company based out of Pittsburgh, Pa. They provide breathtaking shows for festivals, galas, private events, and more. The company was founded by local aerial artist and former Cirque du Soleil performer Kelsey Keller. Her group has performed at scores of events around Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state area, including the Pittsburgh International Auto Show and the Wheeling Arts Festival. They promise to deliver that WOW-factor, with gravity-defying acrobats performed with elegance and grace from heights up to 30 feet in the air. They aim to leave guests feeling awe-inspired.
    Tickets for the event are still available. Tickets for the event are $100 per person which includes a $50 charitable, tax-deductible gift. Corporate sponsorships are also available. For more information about corporate sponsorships or to request tickets, interested parties may contact the Garrett College Foundation Office at 301-387-3131. 

    Photo Cutline: Kelsey Keller, of the Iron City Aerials.

    Posted 3/30/2017