Member News & Announcements
Maryland Ranked 2nd In Nation In Emerging Technologies and Innovation
Center for Digital Government Raises State’s Overall Grade in 2018 Digital States Survey
ANNAPOLIS, MD - The Hogan administration today announced that Maryland is ranked second among all fifty states in emerging technologies and innovation by the Center for Digital Government. Additionally, Maryland’s overall grade in the Digital States Survey has improved from a B in 2016 to a B+ in 2018, reflecting an upward trend in many survey categories including streamlined operations, cost savings, and user experience.
"Our administration is committed to making state government services more accessible and efficient for Marylanders while saving millions of taxpayer dollars, and improving online services is an integral part of that effort,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This marked progress in our state’s overall grade demonstrates our continued commitment to innovation and investment in our digital resources and assets.”
This ranking confirms Maryland’s role as a leader in emerging technologies and innovation and highlights the state’s efforts to incorporate best technology practices, serving as a model across the nation. Recent achievements have included bridging the digital divide for citizens and businesses in rural regions of the state by delivering access to affordable internet service. This was achieved using innovative wired and wireless technologies and practices never before tried in the state, resulting in a 2018 public private partnership with Microsoft and Declaration Networks Group to bring access to approximately 30,000 Marylanders in underserved populations.
Maryland also received an overall grade of B+ in the Digital States Survey, up from B in 2016. Cited as a contributing factor in this year’s grade was the implementation of the Maryland OneStop Statewide Licensing Portal, which includes a modern, intuitive search engine and browsing options to quickly and accurately assess a customer’s needs and connect them with the right resources in the shortest amount of time. This portal, along with the consolidation of state agency data centers, save the state millions of dollars in maintenance of outdated systems.
"I congratulate our team and state partners for this achievement and successfully delivering innovative services, platforms, and solutions that benefit all Marylanders," said Maryland Secretary of Information Technology Michael Leahy. "We will continue working to ensure that Maryland is an innovation leader in the addressing challenges facing government.”
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Through its diverse and dynamic programs and services, the Center provides public and private sector leaders with decision support, knowledge, and opportunities to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.
The Digital States Survey is one of the most powerful market surveys and benchmarking tools for state, city and county government leaders. The survey assesses how the nation's jurisdictions are applying technologies to better serve their constituents.
Deep Creek Lake Property Owners' Association Receives Award from North American Lake Management Society
Last August the President and a Vice President of the Deep Creek Lake Property Owners’ Association (POA) collaborated on an article for the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) discussing the effectiveness of public/private partnerships for both the POA and the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation (DCWF). The POA was awarded the 2018 Lake Management Success Stories Award. This award "recognizes an individual or team with notable accomplishment of lake and reservoir management efforts that demonstrate improvements in lake/reservoir condition or watershed management in a cost-effective manner." Needless to say, the POA is very appreciative of this honor and recognition.
Paul Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners, commented on the award saying:
"This is well deserved recognition for a wonderful organization that provides resources, financial and otherwise, to entities responsible for caring for Deep Creek Lake. The Property Owners Association is a great conduit of information to the property owners around the lake, as well as other interested stake holders, through their newsletters that detail decisions and programs that the County and State make for the lake. The Watershed Foundation is a fantastic partner that works with both the County, State and private enterprises and the lake to bring private money to the table to help support programs for the Deep Creek Watershed that otherwise might not happen due to lack of funds. It's a great example of how public/private partnerships are designed to work."
The POA is proud to have been recognized for its efforts, and look forward to continuing to facilitate communications and programs that help protect and preserve the lake for its members and the entire watershed community.
Also noteworthy, the Friends of Deep Creek Lake received an award from NALMS: The Leadership and Service Award, Volunteer. Congratulations for this recognition!
Awards will be presented at the Annual NALMS Conference in November.
DCL Mountain Maids & Home Services Donating House Cleaning to Women With Cancer
Mountain Lake Park, Maryland – October 9, 2018 – For the past three years, DCL Mountain Maids & Home Services, a locally-owned professional cleaning company, has been partnered with Cleaning For A Reason, an international nonprofit serving women with cancer. The company is committed to making family life easier and cleaner by donating free house cleaning services to women cancer patients in the area.
“We are proud of our association with Cleaning For A Reason,” stated DCL Mountain Maids owner Pamela Trickett. “Sadly, Garrett County seems to have such a high rate of cancer. Everyone on our staff knows a woman who is fighting cancer. We can help these women by focusing on the dust bunnies and the germs so that these brave women can concentrate their energy on this personal battle. I remember getting to know a wonderful, spirited, generous woman, Sue Beckman, who loved to clean and had done so for years. Sue had to give up her cleaning job to fight her battle. About the same time she lost her battle I met the founder of Cleaning for a Reason and signed our company up! This October, also known as “Pinktober” and Breast Cancer Awareness month, we are challenging ourselves to double the number of women we can help for the next few months.”
Through the partnership with Cleaning For A Reason, DCL Mountain Maids & Home Services works with area families affected by cancer by cleaning two homes per month for three consecutive months free of charge. This is an ongoing service throughout the year to local residents in Garrett County by DCL Mountain Maids well-trained staff who are committed to complete satisfaction of their clients. For more information about this maid service, go to their Facebook page.
Cleaning For A Reason is a nonprofit that partners with residential cleaners throughout the United States and Canada to offer free house cleaning to women who are battling cancer. Since its founding in 2006, the nonprofit and its partners have donated more than $10 million in free services, helping more than 30,200 women. In 2017, Cleaning For A Reason was adopted by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. It is now positioned to achieve its long-desired goal of outreach expansion. Based in Lewisville, TX, Cleaning For A Reason works with more than 1,200 professional cleaning companies and continues to grow and gain support. To learn more about Cleaning For A Reason and to apply for free house cleaning, see www.cleaningforareason.org.
2018 People’s Choice Challenge a Success
Deep Creek Times announced today that the inaugural 2018 People’s Choice Challenge is now complete and both the competition and reception were deemed a great success.
“Mike and I couldn’t be happier about this first year of the Challenge. From a simple brainstorm session in early-July to the October 25th reception, we have been thrilled with the response of the citizens and organizations in the area. People really jumped on the bandwagon and the word-of-mouth and online buzz was incredible,” stated co-owner Sarah Myers.
The 2018 People’s Choice Challenge had 40 individual nominating categories in four major groupings: experiences, services, products and professionals, with wide-ranging categories. According to co-owner Mike Tumbarello, “We were really impressed with the pride and passion of the 2,000-plus nominees along with our readers, citizens and visitors that together cast over 175,000 votes in the six-week voting window.”
The Challenge culminated in a reception on September 25th, with top category (Diamond) winners, and second place (Platinum) winners receiving framed certificates as well as window decals and the top overall (across all categories) receiving a trophy. The reception, held at the Garrett County Transportation Museum in Oakland drew over 80 individuals and the spirits were high as the names were read and the awards given (see below for a list of People’s Choice winners).
“We would like to thank all of the nominees, voters and the community that supported this celebration of the institutions, people and experiences that make the Deep Creek Lake area and all of Garrett County such a great place to live and visit. A special thanks goes to Bob Boal and the folks at the Transportation Museum for serving as a wonderful venue for the reception. Mike and I are thrilled and we can’t wait until next year’s challenge and event,” stated Myers.
For more information about the Challenge, deepcreektimes.com, advertising programs and event posting policy, please contact Sarah Myers (email@example.com or via phone at 240.321.9925) or Mike Tumbarello ( firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 410.707.7725).
2018 People’s Choice Challenge: The People Have Spoken!
Deep Creek Times announced today that voting is complete for the 2018 People’s Choice Challenge. After two weeks of open nominations in 40 categories and six weeks of voting, the contest closed to new votes on September 8th. Votes in each of the categories have been tabulated, with winners to be announced at the Challenge Reception scheduled for September 25th from 4:30pm – 6:00pm at the Transportation Museum in Oakland.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the level of support and involvement of the community and nominated companies. We received over 2,500 nominees and 100,000 votes during this inaugural challenge” stated co-owner Sarah Myers. “We really had no idea what type of response we would receive when we launched the Challenge.”
The 2018 People’s Choice Challenge had 40 individual nominating categories in four major groupings: experiences, services, products and professionals, with wide-ranging categories including best cheese pizza, best locally made product, best area medical professional and best lake view. According to co-owner Mike Tumbarello, “our goal has always been to make this a fun celebration of all the things that make the Deep Creek Lake area such a great place to live, work and visit. We really got some passionate involvement and some friendly competition going among the nominees. Category winners get some nice online exposure, a sense of pride and a year’s worth of bragging rights.”
Winners will also be recognized at the Challenge Celebration on September 25th, with top category (Diamond) winners, and second place (Platinum) winners receiving frameable certificates as well as window decals and the top overall (across categories) receiving a trophy. The top finalists in every category will be contacted and encouraged to send a representative to the event. All winners will be announced and receive their awards and have a photo taken at the event, which will be held in the Deep Creek Lake Room on the second floor of the Transportation Museum.
All nominees are invited to attend the celebration and light refreshments will be served as winners are announced. A winners list will also be published on the deepcreektimes.com site, with those winners that advertise and that are listed on the site’s Business Directory and Guides also receiving a notation next to their names. Invitees should RSVP to email@example.com or click “going” on the Facebook event by September 22nd, as space is limited at the Transportation Museum.
For more information about the Challenge or deepcreektimes.com please contact Sarah Myers (firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 240.321.9925) or Mike Tumbarello ( email@example.com or via phone at 410.707.7725)
The Belle Soirée: A Fancy Affair at Chanteclaire Makes Donation
Celebration Showcases County Wedding Industry and Empowering Females
OAKLAND, MD, August 27, 2018 — A first of its kind, semi-formal event, The Belle Soirée, was held May 30, 2018 at Chanteclaire Farm. At this social event of the season, Garrett County Wedding Professionals and TheDeepCreekWedding.com shared the details of Garrett County wedding industry with over 175 attendees.
Since the special event and hospitality industry is dominated by women, many of whom are also local business owners, Garrett County Wedding Professionals saw an opportunity to potentially inspire future industry leaders by partnering with the young women's mentorship program GEMS.
A project of Garrett County's American Association of University Women (AAUW) Garrett Branch, Girls Empowerment Middle School pairs volunteers with middle school students in weekly one-on-one sessions throughout the school year.
Before the main Belle Soiree event there was an informal reception for the middle school GEMS participants and their mentors. The ladies were invited to get hair and makeup accents and talk directly with local entrepreneurs and business owners.
Also, a portion of the proceeds from The Belle Soirée event ticket sales were donated to GEMS.
Garrett County Wedding Professionals (GCWP) committee member Elizabeth Williams shared, “Beyond a financial contribution, inviting GEMS to The Belle Soirée also provided an opportunity for the mentors and mentees to interact outside of the classroom, and engage female business leaders in their community.”
The AAUW-Garrett Branch received a check for $500.00 presented to GEMS organizer Linda Carr by Sarah Myers of The Deep Creek Wedding.
“An empowering role model is important in our world today and we are thrilled to support this initiative in Garrett County,” said GCWP committee member Marcia Warnick.
“We appreciate these local female role models partnering with our organization. GEMS is important as a component of the AAUW organization and topics covered with mentees are self-image, their role as a young woman in our society and how to keep herself healthy, whole and safe,” said Carr.
For more information about GEMS or to volunteer, contact Linda Carr at 301.746.4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NeuBeam Internet Collaborates with Microsoft and Connect Americans Now for Project
OAKLAND, MD - NeuBeam Internet has collaborated with Microsoft and Connect Americans Now (CAN) on a recent video project which features several of NeuBeam’s Garrett County customers. The video illustrates the importance of high-speed broadband and how significant this is for healthcare, agriculture, and business in general in the County. You can view the video HERE.
NeuBeam’s Computer & Internet Skills Seminar Series
Sessions will Strengthen Computer Skills in Garrett County
OAKLAND, MD and VIENNA, VA – August 21, 2018 – Garrett County Internet Service Provider NeuBeam, a service of Declaration Networks Group, will conduct a series of enrichment courses focused on bolstering computer skills in the County. The sessions are aimed at residents who may be reluctant to use a computer, need some help getting started, or would like to learn about topics such as social media, effective internet searches, computer security, and more. Courses will last one hour each and will be conducted at the Garrett County Community Action Conference Room at 104 E. Center Street, Oakland.
The first class, Introduction to Computers and the Internet, will be held September 12 at 11:30 AM. This class will also be repeated on September 14 and 15. During the week of September 17, courses will focus on Effective Internet Searches/Learn “How-To” With YouTube. The following week, NeuBeam’s classes will spotlight Facebook/Social Media/Chat with Friends & Family via the Internet. A full schedule of the sessions can be found at neubeam.com/skills.
Classes cost $10 (due at entry) for the first class attended and subsequent classes are free. Classes are free to NeuBeam customers. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices though NeuBeam will have a few devices on-hand to lend to those who do not have one. Refreshments will be served. Participants must RSVP to attend and may do so by calling 240-449-3360 or emailing email@example.com.
"Declaration Networks is committed to closing the digital divide with our NeuBeam high speed Internet service, including offering the community with a resource to acquire the digital skills that allows them to 'connect to what matters'," said Bob Nichols, CEO Declaration Networks Group, Inc. "Providing access to affordable broadband is creating new opportunities for the residents of Garrett County by enabling innovation for families, students, farmers, healthcare professionals, educators, business leaders and others in the community."
About Declaration Networks & NeuBeam
Declaration Networks Group is an award-winning company that designs, builds and operates local broadband networks which connect residential and business customers with its NeuBeamTM high-speed internet, voice, and other services.
Steelers Great Rocky Bleier Releases Special Edition of Classic Book "Fighting Back" and Launches Fighting Back for Veterans Campaign
First 10,000 Copies of Book to Be Personally Autographed by Four-Time Super Bowl Champion and Vietnam War Hero
PITTSBURGH, PA (July 31, 2018) -- In conjunction with Leadership League, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rocky Bleier announced today that he is releasing a special edition of his classic book Fighting Back. He also announced that proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit three military veterans groups -- Veterans Leadership, Joint Training Facility and Legacies Alive -- through a new campaign called Fighting Back for Veterans.
Originally published in 1975 and written by Bleier with Terry O’Neil, Fighting Back chronicles one of the great comebacks in sports history. The story is told by Bleier who, after being seriously wounded during the Vietnam War in 1969, was described by the United States Army as 40 percent disabled. However, against tremendous odds, the former Notre Dame star fought his way back from debilitating injuries and became a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers.
For decades, Fighting Back has served as a shining example of courage, determination, and overcoming life’s toughest challenges. The new, special edition of the book -- officially titled Fighting Back: The Inspirational Journey of American Hero Rocky Bleier -- is now available at FightingBackforVeterans.com and will be available at Steelers Pro Shops and via partner vendors at the start of the NFL season. It will not be available onAmazon.com. The first 10,000 copies will be signed by Bleier -- personally autographed, not stamped or printed on the book. In addition, the dust jacket for the special edition is a rich, soft-touch cover with embossed, gold foil detail.
Fighting Back: The Inspirational Journey of American Hero Rocky Bleier contains two new chapters that were written by longtime Pittsburgh sports columnist Gene Collier. The foreword for the new edition was written by Alejandro Villanueva, a captain in the U.S. Army who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan before pursuing a career in the NFL as an offensive lineman. He achieved that goal when he made the Steelers’ roster in 2015, and he was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2017.
Bleier, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, has actively supported causes related to military veterans for many years. The Fighting Back for Veterans campaign is the latest example.
"Being able to share my story with new generations and have proceeds from the sale of the book benefit veterans of the military is a perfect combination," said Bleier, who found out last weekend that he will be added to the Steelers’ Hall of Honor this year. “I’m delighted that the book still resonates more than 40 years after it was first published. Terry O’Neil did a great job helping me tell my story back in 1975, and Gene Collier and Alejandro Villanueva have made the new edition even better than the original.”
Leadership League is partnering with Bleier to publish, promote and distribute the book and to oversee the Fighting Back for Veterans campaign. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Leadership League is a growth development firm that specializes in helping leaders to achieve success and significance. Areas of emphasis include venture development, strategic planning, marketing and communications, event management, and travel management.
“Rocky Bleier is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary story, and Leadership League is honored to join him in this endeavor,” said Damian Williams, the founder and CEO of Leadership League. “This inspirational book is a must-have for everyone -- those who don’t know Rocky’s full story yet and those who want to relive the incredible journey that made him a beloved figure in American sports. It is important to Rocky that proceeds from the sale of the book benefit military veterans. That’s another example of the character of this man, who was a hero on the battlefield and the football field.”
“Legacies Alive is honored to be chosen as a beneficiary of the Fighting Back for Veterans campaign,” said Mark Faldowski, one of the founders of Legacies Alive. “As a leader on the battlefield, gridiron and in life, Rocky knows that the strongest attribute to any organization is people. Our organization stands with Rocky and this monumental campaign to support our heroes and their families who have given so much for our country.”
For more information about Fighting Back: The Inspirational Journey of American Hero Rocky Bleier and the Fighting Back for Veterans campaign, or to arrange an interview with Rocky, members of the media should contact Jim Lachimia at (412) 708-9301 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The official website for the Fighting Back for Veterans campaign is FightingBackForVeterans.com.
Deep Creek Times People’s Choice Challenge voting to continue through 9/8/18
Deep Creek Times, an online curated e-zine and web portal dedicated to serving the citizens and visitors of the Deep Creek Lake area and Garrett County, today provided an update on the 2018 Deep Creek Times People’s Choice Awards. The challenge, which had a two-week nomination period starting in July, and which has been open for voting since August 8th, has seen significant interest from the community and received over 2,500 nominations and over 55,000 votes to-date.
“The purpose of the People’s Choice Challenge is to celebrate and recognize the Deep Creek Lake area’s favorite experiences, services, products and professionals in a fun, open, engaging way,” stated Sarah Myers, co-owner of Deep Creek Times. The completely online project was conceived by Myers and co-owner Mike Tumbarello as a way to engage the community in celebrating the people, places, experiences and organizations that help make Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County so special to citizens and visitors alike.
After considerable discussion, debate and consultation with others, it was decided to hold nominations in four broad categories that included a total of 40 individual experiences, services, products and professionals that all could nominate in and vote for. “We tried to include some “obvious” categories, such as favorite pizza, locally made product, lodging company and doctor as well as some that were a bit “different,” including best service experience, best historical site and best lake view, said Tumbarello. Added Myers, “There is no cost to participate and nominations and voting are open to all. We intentionally let the people choose the nominees and the categories they chose to nominate them in. Plus, the voting process is fast, easy, transparent and very inclusive.”
The plan is to tabulate votes via the web voting application on the deepcreektimes.com site through September 8th and to then announce and celebrate the winning organizations with award certificates, window stickers and a fun, casual get together. Regardless of the winners in each category, the overall community benefits via enhanced engagement, excitement and recognition. The winning entity with the most overall votes in the challenge will also win a special grand award and have ultimate bragging rights until next year’s challenge.
To make the challenge more fun and to increase “competitive spirit,” the voting counts for each nominee (as currently displayed upon a vote submission) will “go dark” some time in the last week so no one will know the final winners until announced. Voting is open on www.deepcreektimes.com until midnight September 8th.
Deep Creek Times Announces Deep Creek Times People’s Choice Challenge
DeepCreekTimes.com today announced the launch of the Deep Creek Times People’s Choice Challenge a new “competition” designed to celebrate and recognize the Deep Creek lake area’s favorite experiences, services, products and professionals.
The People’s Choice Challenge is designed to allow local businesses and individuals to celebrate all that makes the Deep Creek Lake area special and memorable. The four categories will include 40 individual experiences, services, products and professionals that locals and visitors can nominate and vote for as their favorites.
“We believe the Deep Creek Lake area is a very special place with some very special attributes that deserve recognition” stated Sarah Myers, co-owner of Deep Creek Times.
“We used our own experiences and asked others what would be the best categories to have people vote for their favorites. We wanted to transcend businesses and their offerings and include some of the other things that make Garrett County and the lake special. That’s why we have categories for such things as favorite lake view, favorite local secret and favorite historical attraction.”
Anyone can nominate an entrant in any of the categories by going to the Deep Creek Times website (www.deepcreektimes.com) from July 25th through August 8th. The Deep Creek Times team will then gather and list all of the nominations on their website for voting by members of the public from August 9th through September 8th. Voters are limited to one vote (for as many nominees as they wish) per device, per day.
According to Mike Tumbarello, co-owner of Deep Creek Times, “The Challenge is designed to be open, fun and to instill pride and friendly competition among the area’s nominees. We hope to make this an annual event and refine it as time passes. This first year is a bit of an experiment and is noteworthy for its inclusiveness and simple rules and voting protocols. We will even accept votes by “snail mail” to our PO box in McHenry. It’s all about celebration, pride and community engagement.”
All nominations for entrants must be received by midnight, August 8th. All votes must be received by midnight, September 8th. First place Diamond winners and runner-up Platinum winners will be notified within one week of the “polls” closing. Winners will receive a wall plaque, recognition on deepcreektimes.com and bragging rights for a year!
For more information about the Challenge or deepcreektimes.com please contact Sarah Myers (email@example.com or via phone at 240.321.9925) or Mike Tumbarello ( firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 410.707.7725)
GRMC sponsoring Superhero 5K for Cindy’s Fund
Calling all superheroes, Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is sponsoring a Superhero 5K to benefit Cindy’s Fund, a local charity that provides support for cancer patients and their families. The event will be held on Saturday, September 8, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. at Broadford Park in Oakland, Md.
“Cindy’s Fund supports our efforts to provide the best care and support to cancer patients in our community,” said Kendra Thayer, Senior Vice President of Patient Services at GRMC. “A great deal of stress accompanies a cancer diagnosis; not only does the patient and family have to deal with the disease, they also have to deal with a lot of ancillary issues. Financial pressures, getting the patient to their numerous medical appointments, nutritional struggles – it is often overwhelming. Cindy’s Fund is there to help Garrett County families through what is a very, very difficult time. GRMC is happy to help support the organization through our Super Hero 5K. It’s something we hope to do every year.”
Participants in the 5K – both runners and those walking the course - are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero. All ages are invited to join the race, and families are welcome. In addition to the race itself, a variety of children’s activities will be on site that morning, including a bouncy house, face painting, balloon characters, and a cotton candy station.
“We’re excited to partner with Cindy’s Fund on what promises to be a fun-filled event for our community,” Thayer added. “We hope to see a lot of families come out in their super hero costumes ready to make a difference.”
Race registration is $20 in advance and $25 on race day. The registration includes a t-shirt; participants are encouraged to register before August 23 to guarantee their shirt size. Forms are available on GRMC’s website at www.grmc-wvumedicine.org and can be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to GRMC 5K at 251 N. Fourth Street, Oakland, MD 21550. For more information, please call 301-533-4366.
About Cindy’s Fund
Cindy’s Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance for Garrett County citizens who have been diagnosed with cancer. Proceeds from Cindy’s Fund covers miscellaneous expenses not covered by insurance which may include gas cards for transportation costs, hotel stays and medical/nutritional supplies. For more information, visit http://cindysfund.org.
Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC)
Garrett Regional Medical Center is an award winning, progressive, Joint Commission accredited acute care facility with 55 inpatient beds in Oakland, Maryland. The hospital serves a population of 46,000 within Garrett County and surrounding communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Originally established in 1950, the hospital has continuously evolved to advance the health and wellness needs of the region. Through its clinical affiliation with WVU Medicine, GRMC offers comprehensive health care services unique to a rural location. GRMC is one of the county’s largest employers with more than 450 team members, who are each dedicated to our mission of striving to treat every patient like family. Learn more at https://www.grmc-wvumedicine.org/
Contact: For more information, contact Miranda Kessel, Marketing Coordinator, at 301-533-4178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Wins Communications Excellence Award
McHenry, Maryland (July 5, 2018) — The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has been named an “Award of Excellence” winner in the Communications Excellence awards program presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). ACCE, an Alexandria, Va.-based association, represents more than 8,000 chamber of commerce professionals, and 1,300 chambers of commerce, around the world.
ACCE’s annual Awards for Communications Excellence is designed to showcase top communications and marketing work of chambers of commerce and similar organizations. Several thousand award entries have been submitted since the launch of the organization’s Awards for Communications Excellence, which is now in its thirty-fourth year.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce received an Award of Excellence for its Digital Deep Creek Virtual Reality Experience.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce launched a 360° virtual reality experience of Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County on their website, visitdeepcreek.com, in September 2017. The experience, a result of the Chamber’s partnership with virtual reality company, YouVisit, includes 360° video and photos shot at 22 locations throughout Garrett County. Many of the locations include “living video scenes” where people come to life – either participating in the activity (golfing, whitewater rafting, kayaking) or speaking directly to the visitor telling them about the location they are viewing. Not only is the experience available for anyone who visits the Chamber’s website, visitdeepcreek.com, via desktop or mobile devices, the experience is compatible with virtual reality headsets which the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce will be taking to travel and consumer shows so prospective visitors can view the beauty and activities of the area.
“We are honored to accept the ACCE Award of Excellence for our 360° Garrett County virtual reality experience,” said Nicole Christian, president & CEO at the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “Our 360° experience allows us to showcase all that Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake area have to offer to our visitors in an innovative and unique way and to be recognized by our chamber industry peers with this award is particularly gratifying.”
A panel of communications and marketing professionals from five U.S.-based chambers of commerce evaluated entries, which were organized by category — based on the chamber’s annual budget — and entry type: advertising and marketing, campaigns, digital and publications. With more than 150 entries submitted in 2018, judges recognized 13 entries as Grand Award winners and 41 as Award of Excellence winners. Three Best in Show awards were announced July 18 at the ACCE Annual Convention in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. For more information about the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, log onto visitdeepcreek.com.
First United Bank & Trust Helps Save Lives
First United Bank & Trust will host a community blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, July 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The drive will be held at the First United Operations Center at 12892 Garrett Highway, Oakland, MD.
Following a tough Fourth of July week for blood donations, the American Red Cross is now facing an EMERGENCY BLOOD SHORTAGE and has issued an urgent call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and help save lives. Blood donations are currently being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, and more donations are needed now to prevent delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. By donating just one pint of blood, you have the potential to save up to three lives.
Anyone who is at least 17 years old, weighs a minimum of 110 lbs. and is in generally good health can donate blood. The entire process takes about an hour and all blood types are needed. Donors should bring a photo ID.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter: FirstUnitedOakland in the Find a Drive search box. Walk-ins are welcome at this drive. If you have any questions you may also contact Maureen Brewer at First United at 1-301-533-2430 or email mbrewer@MyBank.com.
Warrior to Soul Mate Workshop
A Warrior to Soulmate (Couple Relationship: Renew Reconnect) Workshop is coming to Garrett College July 20-21, 2018. The primary purpose of the Warrior to Soulmate Program is to strengthen a Veteran’s relationship with his/her significant other. For registration, or more information please contact Chaplain Hardy at 304-263-0811 ext. 3302.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is trying this new path to caring for and healing the nation's wounded Veterans. Now, in addition to repairing their damaged bodies and minds, VA is going one step further and helping to repair their crumbling intimate relationships. The W2SM program is a national Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program designed to assist Veterans and their significant other develop relationship skills in order to better communicate and create greater intimacy. This effort is related to the stress and trauma that is a product of deployments and combat experience by the Veteran as well as the stress experienced by family members who seek to support our nation's warriors.
VAMC Martinsburg’s Chaplain Service competed with more than 500 applicants in the 2018 VA Innovators Network Spark-Seed-Spread Innovation Investment Program for funding the project with the vision to reach out into the rural communities with the Warrior 2 Soul Mate Workshops and Retreats. Garrett County was selected as the first rural community outreach.
First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union Named One of America’s Best In-State Credit Unions by Forbes
Preeminent business publication compiles national ranking of 145 highly regarded credit unions.
CUMBERLAND, MD- First Peoples Community Federal Credit Union was recently named one of the Best In-State Credit Unions for 2018 by Forbes. First Peoples ranked 1st within their charter area, 2nd in Maryland, and 20th among the 145 institutions featured on the list, translating to the top 2.5% of Credit Unions across the nation.
“We’re honored to be recognized by Forbes. We have always worked to provide our membership with not only a superior customer experience, but also a superior product offering. We see this recognition as a direct reflection of that commitment,” said Mr. Stacey Bingaman, President & CEO of First Peoples. “Sometimes being headquartered in rural America comes with the assumption that our services aren’t top notch. We want our membership to know that their credit union can not only compete regionally, but also on a national level. We have a full product offering and exceptional employees that have led us to this point. We couldn’t be happier with this recognition and are honored to continue providing our members with the high quality financial services they deserve.”
To determine an accurate ranking, Forbes Media partnered with Statista, an online statistics provider, to conduct a survey asking more than 25,000 participants to rate credit unions on various criteria including trustworthiness, digital services, financial advice, branch services and general satisfaction.
For a complete list of America’s Best In-State Credit Unions, visit Forbes.com.