MARK YOUR CALENDARS… “Old Time Jams” are coming soon! 

New Germany State Park is proud to announce the return of good old-fashioned toe-tappin’ fun, with the fifth season of “Old Time Jams” set to begin in May.  Old Time Jams are scheduled to take place at the New Germany Lake House on the following SATURDAYS in 2014

 - May 3 & 17
- June 7 & 21
- July 5 & 19
- August 2, 16, & 30 

These informal gatherings provide an opportunity for musicians and listeners of all ages to share and enjoy traditional folk, bluegrass, and other “old-time” Appalachian music.  The Jams will be held at the New Germany Lake House, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., with no charge for admission.

Food, refreshments, and gifts will be available for purchase at the Lake House.  For more information, please call the Ranger Station at 301-895-5453 or email park-new-germany@dnr.state.md.us.

Auto Electronics Class Offered By GC In Grantsville

Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division has scheduled a course titled Autotronics: Auto Electronics I, at the Northern Outreach Center (NOC) in Grantsville. The training will be held Thursdays, May 1 to 29, from 6 to 9:15 p.m.

Geared for those working in the auto mechanic industry, this course is designed to upgrade hands-on diagnostic skills through use of a digital volt-ohm meter (DVOM). It begins with a refresher in electrical/electronic principles and ends with an explanation of the internal workings of computers and sensors. Additional topics to be covered include the following: building and testing series-parallel circuits – wire repair, and microprocessors and sensors – how they work and how to test them.  

This course will assist the student the following issues: how to save diagnostic time and become more accurate with electrical problems; understanding of what goes on in that box that controls the vehicle’s functions; understanding of what keeps the smoke in side electrical components, since once it leaves, they don’t work.  

It is suggested that students bring to class a pocket calculator which may be helpful for Ohm’s law calculations. Any student who owns a DVOM and would like to become more familiar with it, is encouraged to bring it the class.

The instructor for this course will be Tony Marchetti who has over 45 years of auto service industry experience as a technician, employer, instructor and coordinator of the automotive technology department at a community college.

For additional information one may contact, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for these courses, one may contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development by calling 301-387-3069.

Michael To Speak At Garrett College Commencement

Garrett College has announced that Rob Michael will be the commencement speaker for this year’s graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 17. A Garrett County business leader, he was a 1974 graduate of GC majoring in business administration. During his student years at GC, he was involved in many of the school's activities including the publication of the first school newspaper and the first yearbook. In addition, he served as vice-president of the student government and president of his class. Nominated by Professor Joan Crawford Michael was selected as One of Americas Best Junior College Students.

Following his graduation from Garrett College Michael earned his bachelor degree at Davis and Elkins College in Davis W. Va., and his master of business administration degree from University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. He served on the Garrett College's first Foundation Board of Directors and later served as Chairman of the Garrett College Board of Trustees.

Michael is a nationally awarded agent for State Farm Insurance which he has represented for nearly 40 years. He is well known for his philanthropic activity within Garrett County as well as his volunteerism with many boards, clubs, and civic organizations.


New Germany State Park proudly offers OPERATION: CAMPOUT! 


The Maryland Park Service, in partnership with The North Face: Explore Your Parks, offers OPERATION: CAMPOUT!, at selected state parks throughout the summer. This program is specifically designed for military individuals and military families new to camping, or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area. OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting. Participants may choose from five Maryland State Parks, including Patapsco Valley State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, New Germany State Park or Swallow Falls State Park. The parks will lend participants camping gear free of charge (including a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). Campsites have picnic tables and campfire rings. Bathrooms and hot showers are within walking distance. It’s never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!  Those interested in participating in OPERATION: CAMPOUT! should contact the park office directly by phone to make a reservation.

Project For Cell Phone Recycling Marks Earth Day

Garrett College students in Professor Beth Luers Cultural Geography class have undertaken a project reflecting the theme of Replenish Earth's Resources to mark Earth Day 2014. They will collect broken or used cell phones and accessories to be recycled with the goal of gathering 1,000 cell phones. Collection boxes for these items will be in various locations throughout the area. These receptacles will be available April 14 – 28 at the following sites: Garrett College Library, Susquehanna Bank in Oakland and McHenry, First United Bank in Oakland, Western Maryland Health System Cancer Center and the Braddock Building in Cumberland, along with Frostburg State University.

Phones which are no longer operable will be sent to Cellular Alliance, a company that will pay for these items and use the reclaimed materials to build other products. Funds generated from this will be donated to the Cellphones for Soldiers organization along with the phones which are still in working order.

According to Midge Russell, one of the students participating in the project, they are targeting the phones and accessories because these items contain a large number of hazardous substances such as antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper and lead, which can linger in the environment for a long time and have adverse effects on human health.

“Recycling cell phones helps the environment in a number of ways. Rrecycling just one cell phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours. It also kkeeps useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators,” Russell said, adding that most of the materials recycled from cell phones and related products can be used to manufacture new products.

The project proposal prepared by these students states that through recycling one million cell phones 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium, and 35,274 pounds of copper can be recovered in addition to tin, zinc and platinum. They note that the mmetals recovered are used in many industries such as Jewelry making, electronics, and automotive manufacturing. In addition, the students

pointed out that recovered plastics can be recycled into other components for new electronic devices, plastic garden furniture, and plastic packaging and auto parts.

To learn more about this Earth Day project persons may contact Beth Luers by email at beth.luers@garrettcollege.edu  

Antique, Craft, Flea Market Scheduled At Garrett College


The Third Annual Antique, Craft & Flea Market at Garrett College is on the calendar of events for Friday, June 6, 1 – 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 7, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Plans are well underway and registrations are being accepted for the Market which will be set up in the Garrett College Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex (CARC) Gymnasium.


Members of the community and local organizations are invited to reserve vendor space and take part in this event. Registration fees will benefit the Garrett College Students in Need Group (SING). Non-profit organizations which would like to use this opportunity to raise funds for their organizations will be provided with a 10’ x 5’ space and one table at no cost. Fees would be assessed for additional spaces.


Ann Wellham, Dean of Marketing and Enrollment at GC and a member of SING, helps coordinate the Annual Antique, Gift and Flea Market. “Each year we have held the Market, participation has increased. That is why we have extended to a two-day event this year and are holding it in the CARC to accommodate more vendors and more shoppers. We are also expanding to include antique vendors this year to enable a wide mix of items available to the public,” she said.


More information and online registration is available at www.garrettcollege.edu/SING/vendor-registration one may also contact Ann Wellham at ann.wellham@garrettcollege.edu or 301-387-3045.



Mountain Maryland Energy Advisory Committee Seeks Public Solutions

Furthering dialogue about local energy production, the Mountain Maryland Energy Advisory Committee (MMEAC) solicited energetic ideas from the public at today’s meeting of the Garrett County Board of Commissioners. After giving a brief update on the committees work to date, the MMEAC enlisted the public’s help generating new, energy- focused initiatives.

Created in November 2013, the MMEAC advises the Garrett & Allegany County Commissioners on local and state policy, regulation, programs, and legislation issues. Together, they guide energy planning in an attempt to maximize positive effects and minimize potentially negative consequences of energy production. Representing a diversity of perspectives, the 12 committee members are private citizens, business owners, and leaders in economic development (Garrett & Allegany County representatives), health, education, and recreation.

Since their inception, the MMEAC has explored a range of energy topics, and generated numerous ideas on energy production. While three initiatives are slated for more focused review, the MMEAC seeks additional fresh ideas from the general public.

“Great ideas fuel our future,” said Committee Chairman Mike Koch, who also serves as Garrett County’s Executive Director of Community Planning & Development. “Energy development is an important part of our economic future, but we need to chart our course thoughtfully and responsibly. Public participation diversifies ideas and deepens this dialogue.”

Citizens may formally submit their ideas using the form available on the MMAEC website at: http://garrettcounty.org/energy/mountain-maryland-energy-advisory-committee or by completing a hard copy form at the Garrett County Office of Economic Development (Garrett County Courthouse, Room 208). All energy-related ideas are welcomed, such as ideas that address:

·   Energy finance, credits, and incentives
   Energy efficiency initiatives
   Alternative fuels
   Renewable energy
  Waste to energy  

New ideas generated by the committee and local citizens will be explored during monthly committee meetings, all of which are open to the public. Meetings, featuring presentations from energy professionals, are held the third Wednesday of every month from 3-5 pm in Room 103 of the Garrett Information Enterprise Center on the Garrett College campus. Viable solutions, in turn, will be reviewed by the MMEAC and committee recommendations will be forwarded on for consideration by the Board of County Commissioners.

The MMAEC will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, April 16. To explore all energy initiatives within Garrett County, visit http://garrettcounty.org/energy/.


Maryland Employers Join Forces to Give Garrett County Students Greater Chance for Workplace Success 

Two schools in Garrett County –Northern Garrett High School and Southern Garrett High School– have been identified as a Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) STEM Innovation Schools. These schools will have access to services and resources that transform the way schools and the workplace interact to strengthen student chances for success in college and careers. 

Recent research shows that the more students interact with workplace professionals throughout their education, the more they earn later in life. According to the study, students who recalled at least four school-mediated employer contacts between ages 14-19 earned 18% more three years out of high school than students who could not recall such interactions.1 

In an effort to ensure that more students have at least four opportunities to interact with and benefit from the expertise and advice of workplace professionals, 49 Maryland high schools have been designated as STEM Innovation Schools, representing every Maryland school district. Teachers and students at these schools will have unlimited access to: hundreds of trained and enthusiastic workplace volunteers who will co-teach STEM lessons and motivate students to achieve; a wide range of high quality STEM resources aligned to Maryland state standards; and real-world challenges posed by industry professionals for students to participate in proposing solutions. 

In partnership with Governor Martin O’Malley, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery, and local school superintendents, MBRT developed Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network (STEMnet) – an online platform that pulls together in one place the people, resources, tools and services that teachers and students can access to strengthen teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

More than one thousand Maryland teachers participated in the development of STEMnet programs and resources – from defining the help they need most and identifying STEM concepts and practices that stymie students to reviewing and creating resources to ensure alignment with new standards. As one teacher put it, “Our biggest challenge is identifying appropriate professionals who can help make relevant connections for our kids. I’ve been waiting my entire career for a resource like this.” Teachers at STEM Innovation Schools participate in training on how to use STEMnet resources to enhance STEM instruction. 

"Our goal is to provide richer learning experiences, vibrant sources of information, and robust opportunities for students to apply learning to solve real-world problems," says June Streckfus, MBRT executive director. "Maryland is fortunate to have strong leadership, impactful teachers, stellar institutions of higher learning, generous corporate commitment, and a caring, willing community of parents and volunteers, all of whom want the best for our students and our state." 

“The vision of the MBRT to partner in the development of the STEM Innovation Network (STEMnet) creates boundless opportunities through the coordination of rich resources including access to workplace professionals,” said Dr. Janet S. Wilson, Superintendent, Garrett County Public Schools. “The power of these resources, when effectively applied, assists our excellent teachers in guiding our students to acquire a vision and direction for their future. When we help students explore possibilities, we create an exciting future for all of us.” 

Northern Garrett High School and Southern Garrett High School were recognized at MBRT’s recent Annual Meeting as part of the state network of STEM Innovation Schools.

Garrett College Slates Computer Course At NOC

Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division has scheduled a hands-on computer course at the Northern Outreach Center (NOC) in Grantsville titled Computers: Getting to Know Them: Part II. The training will be held Tuesdays, April 15 to 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This course is designed for individuals who wish to obtain additional skills and knowledge of basic computer operations. Topics to be covered include: Window operations, files, folders, flash drives/CDs, accessing the Internet, web pages, and email. The course will be instructed by Teresa Walters, who holds a bachelor of science degree in Information Technology from Franklin University.  She was worked with computers throughout her career and presently works at Mountain Laurel Medical Center in Oakland as a Healthcare Data Analyst.

For additional information one may contact, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, at 301-895-4700 or terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for these courses, one may contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development by calling 301-387-3069.

“This Land…” Exhibit by Nancy Biggs at The Gallery Shop

The Gallery Shop in downtown Oakland is currently featuring the artwork of Nancy Biggs.  “This Land…” is a collection of watercolor paintings and woven textiles that represents the people and rural landscapes of our region.  A lot of the images of people were inspired by the Amish communities of Springs, PA,  and Pleasant Valley, outside of Oakland.

Biggs works in various mediums including the fiber arts and watercolor which make up this exhibit.  She was influenced by her talented grandmother in north central West Virginia where she was raised.  That stimulus led her to a lifelong interest in the basic arts and crafts of the mountains and the Appalachian region.  Nature is one of her favorite subjects.

Biggs has been a participating artist at The Gallery Shop since 2004.  She is also involved with Allegany Arts Council, Western Maryland Watercolor Society, and The Arts Place at Puccini.  She is retired from a career in social works and resides in Frostburg.

A public open house and reception honoring the artist will be held Saturday, April 5 from 5-7 pm at The Gallery Shop.  The work will be on display and available for purchase from now through April 25.  For more information, contact Garrett County Arts Council at 301-334-6580.

Workshops Celebrate Mountain Craft Tradition

As part of its mission to preserve the Appalachian craft heritage, Spruce Forest Artisan Village will offer classes and workshops in various crafts beginning in April. Workshops are typically one to three days and are open to all levels unless specified for more experienced artists.  Class sizes are small mimicking a guild-style craft education and allowing for much individual attention.

The 2014 workshop season begins with jewelry fabrication in April.  Offerings continue through Spring, Summer and Fall.  Discover precious metal clays, colored pencil drawing, feather carving, and paper quilling with master artists and teachers. Most workshops at Spruce Forest are unique in our region.  Says Reita Marks of her paper quilling workshops, “As far as I know, I am the only one in the area teaching quilling.  It is an opportunity to learn an art form that has great history back at least to the 10th century.  Both children and adults can enjoy quilling and it requires no expensive tools.”  Lenore Lancaster will teach two workshops for those wanting to celebrate their pets. “I find people are really attached to their pets and learning to draw their pictures gives them a chance to put that relationship on paper,” says Lancaster.  “Drawing your own pet you can put emotion into the picture through direct knowledge of the animal, even if the end result is not a perfect picture technically.”

This summer Spruce Forest has expanded programs for children and teens.  “Our goal is to introduce young people to fine crafts so they might develop a life-long love of both making and appreciating hand-made objects,” says Natalie Atherton a ceramics and printmaking instructor at Spruce Forest.  On June 14-15 Doug Salmon will offer a jewelry fabrication workshop for 13-18 year olds.  A one-week clay camp for 8-11 year olds will be offered July 21-25, as well as individually designed ceramics programs for youth.   Lenore Lancaster will arrange individualized instruction for teenagers in colored pencil drawing.  And teens are welcome in Reita Marks’ paper quilling classes.

The resident artists at Spruce Forest also offer advanced and special topics workshops for adult individuals and small groups.  Areas of study include pottery, hand-built ceramics, tile-making, carving, colored pencil drawing, print-making, metals, and weaving.   Visit the website www.spruceforest.org to arrange specially designed workshops directly with the artist instructor.

Detailed course information and registration forms are available on the new Spruce Forest website www.spruceforest.org or by calling the Village office 301-895-3332.

The Spruce Forest Artisan Village houses museums, classrooms, individual artist studios, and fine craft galleries.  The six permanent resident artists, potter, bird carver, wood turner, weaver, and two metal smiths, open their studios to visitors.  Guest artists in various media, including quilting, genealogy, photography, colored pencil, baskets, and paper quilling, will also share their crafts with visitors for one to two months this summer and fall.  Admission to the Artisan Village is free.  Programs are sponsored in part by the Maryland State and Garrett County Arts Councils.

Course On Dynamics Of Grief And Healing Slated In Grantsville

Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division has scheduled a course titled “The Dynamics of Grief: Healing from Life’s Losses” which will be offered at the Northern Outreach Center (NOC) in Grantsville on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning on April 9 from 6 to 9:15 p.m.

In this course, the stages of life and the normal phases of grief will be studied using a Judeo-Christian approach. The obstacles to normal grief-work will be examined, such as a sudden, unexpected loss, the impossibility to say "good-by," survivor's guilt, and divorce. The last class will focus on the way to remove these obstacles and to find healing.

 Instruction will be provided by Louise Maust, who was born and raised in Garrett County. A graduate of the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Frostburg State University with a BS degree in Psychology and a MEd in Interdisciplinary Education, she taught nursing for three years at the Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and for thirty-three years in the Nursing Department at Allegany College of Maryland, including Psychiatric Nursing.  

 Maust belongs to the American Association of Christian Counselors and has served for nine years since her retirement on the volunteer counseling team at Oak Dale Church in Salisbury, Pa., where she is a member.   She works under the mentorship of Arline Westmeier, PhD, who wrote a four volume series: Healing the Wounded Soul, and currently teaches as an online adjunct professor for Liberty University’s Center for Counseling and Family Studies department. A required reading for this course is Westmeier’s book, Healing the Wounded Soul, Volume IV.

  For additional information including cost, one may contact, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, by calling 301-895-4700 or via email at terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for this course, one may contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development by calling 301-387-3069.

Free Course On Holocaust Set In Grantsville

 Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division has scheduled a free course titled “Never Again: An Introduction to the Holocaust” at the Grantsville Senior Center. The course will be held for four consecutive Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. beginning on April 8.

Class instructor Beth Luers, Professor of Humanities at Garrett College who began studying the Holocaust at age eight, will focus on the personal experiences of Holocaust survivors. Two books will form the foundation of the class: Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe, by Leo Bretholz and Michael Oleskar and For Those I Love, by Martin Gray.  A limited number of copies of these books are available at the Garrett College library or may be purchased online. 

 Luers recommended reading these book before class starts, if possible. “These personal accounts will illuminate the fear and hatred, the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity, and bring the reader to a place of hope,” she said. 

 In addition to her studies of the Holocaust, Luers has visited Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, and traveled to Berlin and Paris to learn even more.  She is planning an educational trip in May, 2014 for students interested in this topic. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Information on events is available at neveragain.ushmm.org.  

  This free course is open to everyone; however space is limited so preregistration is necessary. For additional information one may contact, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, by calling 301-895-4700 or via email at terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for this course, one may contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development by calling 301-387-3069.


Students, Parents Invited To Attend GC Open House

Prospective students and their parents are invited to tour the Garrett College campus and learn about the admissions process, financial aid, scholarship opportunities and more an Open House on Saturday, April 5, and again on Friday, April 25. Interested students may RSVP online at www.garrettcollege.edu or call the Office of Admissions for more information.

The agenda for the Open House on Saturday, April 5, has been released. The day’s activities will get underway at 10:30 a.m. with check-in at Laker Café and a chance to meet members of the staff from Admissions, Financial Aid, and Residence Life as well as current Garrett College students.

Ann Wellham, Dean of Marketing and Enrollment Management, will address prospective students and parents and welcome them to Garrett College. Lunch will then be provided in Laker Café.

Rachelle Davis, Director of Admissions, and Cissy VanSickle, Director of Student Financial Aid, will provide an overview and tips for navigating the enrollment and financial aid processes.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet with the program representatives from several Garrett College programs of study. Those who will be available include  Andy Hershey from Adventure Sports Management; Kevin Dodge from Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology; Ron Skidmore from General Studies, Liberal Arts, Fine and Performing Arts, and Social/Behavioral Studies; Dr. Qing Yuan from Business and Information Technology, and Engineering; and Alex Tuel from Teacher Education.

Tuel also will provide information about math/science and pre allied health majors, such as nursing.

Garrett College Student Ambassadors will lead group tours of the campus followed by tours of both campus residences Garrett Hall and Laker Hall. In addition the Garrett College Store will be open from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. offering a 10% discount on GC gift items.

For further information or to schedule a campus tour at another time, one may contact the Office of Admissions at 301-387-3044, toll-free at 866-554-2773, extension 3044, or by email to admissions@garrettcollege.edu.

Class on Wills, Trusts Estate Planning Set At Grantsville NOC 

Estate Planning: The Importance of Wills and Trusts will be held at the Grantsville Senior Center on April 7 and 14 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.  An estate plan provides the legal mechanism for disposing of property upon death in a way that recognizes an individual’s wishes and the needs of the survivors, while minimizing taxes. For many, it can mean planning for the handling of affairs in case of disability, and the personal medical choices to be made as life nears its end.

This two-part course will address the common questions regarding wills and trusts. Part one (April 7) will center on wills and probate. The class will focus on such issues as:  What is a will and what does it do?  What does it take to draft a will?  How do I choose an executor and what percentage of my assets will be taken as a commission?  What is the probate process and is it necessary for my estate? Rita Watson, Register of Wills for Garrett County, will be instructing the course.

Part two (April 14) will provide an overview on some of the more noticeable legal and financial issues associated with growing old. Included in the discussion will be trust basics with a definition of terms and variations. Other topics will include preserving and managing assets for a safe and secure retirement; staying in and protecting one’s home; long-term care insurance; medical assistance and paying for nursing home care.

There will also be discussion of the legal documents all seniors may wish to consider such as a will, power of attorney, and advanced medical directives. This portion of the course will be instructed by Grantsville native Brandon James Hoover, who is an attorney in the Law Office of Donald S. Goldbloom and an assistant professor at Allegany College of Maryland.

Additional information is available by contacting, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, at 301-895-4700 or via email at terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu  To register for this course, one may contact the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division at 301-387-3069.

Basic Cake Decorating Set At SOC

Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development division has scheduled a hands-on cake decorating course titled, Cake Decorating I - Decorating Basics. The course will be held on Tuesdays, April 4 - 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Southern Outreach Center (SOC) located in Oakland.

Experienced Wilton cake decorator and instructor Bonnie Goebel will guide students through this cake decoration class for beginners teaching the basics of cake decorating: how to bake a cake, icing ingredients, preparing and filling the decorating bags, different decorating tips,  piping gel pattern transfer, star fill-in, curving line, tight zigzag, dimensional decorating, drop flower, rosette, shell border, pompom flower, leaves, filling and icing cupcakes, shaggy mum, writing and printing and the ribbon rose. 

Lesson one will be decorating cookies; lessons two and four will be decorating a cake; and lesson three will be filing and decorating cupcakes.  A supply list will be provided upon registration. Students who take the class will receive a free gift from Wilton during the final lesson

Successive courses, Cake Decorating II: Flowers and Cake Design, and Cake Decorating III: Gumpaste and Fondant, will follow in May and June respectively.

For additional information one may contact, Terry Beachy, Northern Outreach Center Coordinator, by calling 301-895-4700 or via email at terry.beachy@garrettcollege.edu. To register for this course, one may contact Continuing Education and Workforce Development by calling 301-387-3069.


Frank Vitez, President of Phenix Technologies, Inc., was honored with the World Trade Center Institute’s (WTCI’s) International Business Leadership Award on March 5 at the Jim Rouse Visionary Center in Baltimore.
The Maryland International Business Leadership Awards celebrate vision and excellence of leadership in Maryland-based businesses thriving globally. Convening the business elite of Maryland, this event honors innovators forging paths of profitability—locally, nationally, and worldwide.
Phenix Technologies develops, designs, manufactures, sells, and services high-voltage, high-current, and high-power test components and systems. The company began its journey as American HV Test Systems in 1975, and changed its name in 1989 during a buyout by the current owners. Pioneering cutting-edge technologies from its Accident, Maryland-based facility, Phenix ships its products to 113 countries worldwide.
“I am honored to receive this award, but we must also remember the efforts of the entire Phenix team that makes it possible,” said Frank Vitez.
Vitez and team have brought over 40 diverse products to market over the past 35 years. With offices located in Switzerland and Taiwan, and sales representatives located throughout the U.S. and in 50 countries around the globe, Phenix ensures that its customers receive outstanding support worldwide.
“Phenix Technologies is an industry icon worthy of our admiration. Their growth strategies and products are timely, tech-forward, and market-driven,” said Mike Koch, Executive Director of Garrett County’s Department of Community Planning and Development. “We salute Frank’s success as a Maryland International Business Leader—it’s an honor well-deserved.”


A three-day course entitled “Watercolor for Real Beginners” is being offered in April by the Garrett County Arts Council.  Local artist Sue Arnson will instruct the class that will be held Sunday through Tuesday, April 6-8.

Arnson has been painting for over a decade.  She and her husband moved to Garrett County in 1987.  Prior to the move, she was a teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland.  She has studied watercolor painting with Alexis Lavine, Jim McNeil, David Daniels, and Frederick Graff.  She has been involved with The Gallery Shop in Oakland since its beginning in 2000 and serves on the Board of Directors for Garrett County Arts Council.  She also belongs to Western Maryland Watercolor Society and Allegany Arts Council.  In addition to watercolor, Arnson creates monotypes, collage, and photography.

“Watercolor for Real Beginners” is a workshop designed for people who have never painted but want to give it a try.  Students should be 16 years or older.  Day One is an introduction to supplies and painting a color wheel.  Day Two is painting along with the instructor.  Day Three is using one of the student’s photos of choice to paint a picture. 

The workshop will be held at The Discovery Center of Deep Creek Lake State Park each day from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The cost of the course is $75.  Materials needed for the course can be purchased from the instructor for an additional $20 fee.  Class size is limited to a small group so the instructor may give individualized attention to each student.  Registrations are being accepted now.  The deadline to register is April 1.  For more information and to register, call the Arts Council at 301-334-6580.


Garrett County Launches New Brand: The Deep Creek Experience

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Garrett County Office of Economic Development, has launched a new county-wide brand for Garrett County, Maryland. The new brand, “The Deep Creek Experience”, created by Garrett-County based design firm, Eloqui, will be used county-wide with the goal of increasing people, jobs and investment in Garrett County.

Embracing a sense of nostalgia, the new brand “The Deep Creek Experience” includes the word “Authentic” with reference to all of the activities and items for which Garrett County is known.

“Based on our research, we needed a logo and messaging that would elicit feelings of nostalgia, while conveying the authenticity of our community and staying true to who we are, said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.  “The art and messaging needed to feature our most recognizable asset which communicates our geographic location while allowing for use county-wide. The entire County needs to leverage the equity of Deep Creek even if the business, town or organization is not in close proximity to the Lake. “

Mike Koch, Executive Director of Garrett County Community Planning and Development concurred, saying, "Good brands speak truthfully to their target audiences.  We spent a great deal of time and energy collecting input from our residents and visitors to ensure that our County brand was authentic, and was broad enough to help us grow as we move forward.  Current residents and visitors know fondly their ‘Deep Creek Experience’, we invite you to come find yours!"

The 18-month project included analysis and assessment, brand positioning and definition, content generation, brand launch and maintenance, and evaluation of the County’s Priority Funding Areas in relation to long-term economic development objectives.

An Advisory Committee, consisting of five area marketing professionals, was created to provide input and feedback throughout the process. The Advisory Committee met approximately every two weeks during the analysis/assessment phase and throughout the creation of the brand messaging and position.

Analysis and assessment was handled through both quantitative and qualitative research. Following a review of existing research and data previously collected new data collection tools were developed to be used for one-on-one interviews with key-stakeholders and focus groups within the County, along with an online survey tool to analyze responses from visitors, second-home owners from outside the County. Using these three different methods allowed for the collection of data from various audiences and to gain different perspectives. When determining a brand, it is more important to have external perspectives rather than internal perspectives. This tells you how others view you or your product and not just how you think you or your product is viewed.

“We were very pleased with the 2,243 responses to the survey and utterly impressed with the more than 800 detailed free-form responses,” said Ms. Christian. “We will be able to continue using this data for a long time and for a variety of purposes”

While the results were not overly surprising, they did provide statistical validity to what would transpire. It was very clear that Deep Creek Lake is the most widely known attraction in Garrett County identified by 72% of the respondents. It was also revealed that just as many people come to Garrett County to rest and relax as those who come to play and find adventure. A Lichert scale was used to determine reasons that people visit Garrett County. On a scale of one to 10 with 10 being most important, unplug and rest scored an 8.62 and variety of outdoor activities scored an 8.2. This was an important assessment because the brand must convey both of these sentiments.

Another key element of the findings was that Deep Creek/Garrett County sparks a sense of nostalgia, a reminder of simpler times for people and the area inspires a feeling more than just being a place.

The results also provided very good statistical information on the activities in which people participate, items of importance, views on business opportunities and attractiveness for new residents and entrepreneurs.

Other important data disclosed through the survey to be used in marketing with the new brand includes:

·         94% of visitors would recommend Deep Creek/Garrett County as a vacation destination

·         Visitation frequency is very high – 52% visit monthly, 18% visit weekly, 23% visit quarterly

·         75% of visitors travel more than two hours each way

·         Physical attributes that best describe Garrett County – Deep Creek Lake, mountains, natural beauty, quiet & tranquility, state parks

·         The county is not perceived as crowded, underdeveloped, backward or boring

“The results from both the qualitative and quantitative research also provided us with information on areas for improvement, some of which can be handled through public relations to transform some misconceptions about Garrett County’s business environment,” said Mr. Koch. “This is a very entrepreneurial community with a great foundation for business creation and development and we need to do a better job of telling that story. We also have quality jobs available, especially for those who seek a great quality of life where they work. Economic Developers know that people want to work where they play and Garrett County offers this lifestyle.”

The assessment and analysis clearly demonstrated that Garrett County’s brand is rooted in Deep Creek and there is considerable equity in Deep Creek that should be leveraged by all residents and businesses.

“Deep Creek communicates geographic location that is regional as well as specific. Utilizing “The Deep Creek Experience” unbinds the brand from the physical lake and it communicates that the area means different things to different people,” commented Ms. Christian.

As part of the messaging and to help communicate all that Deep Creek/Garrett County is, a series of badges were also created to reflect the primary categories of attractions and activities in Garrett County. The badges also create an opportunity for businesses, towns or organizations to customize the branding to better reflect their category/function.

As part of the implementation plan, all Garrett County businesses are encouraged to utilize the new branding design and logos. The primary Deep Creek Experience logo can even be customized to better reflect a business’ category/function.

“As with all brands, we recognize that it will take a few years for the brand to become pervasive and prevalent. We must be persistent with the implementation and work to continue to recruit new local partners to utilize the brand,” said Ms. Christian.

Local businesses and organizations can receive a copy of the Deep Creek Experience Style & User Kit, which includes all logos and badges by contacting the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce at 301.387.4386 or email branding@garrettchamber.com. All community partners utilizing the new brand must sign and return a partnership agreement to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

Phase II of Garrett County’s new brand implementation will begin in spring of 2014 and Phase III will begin in the summer of 2014. Phase II includes the redesign and launch of the Chamber’s and Economic Development’s websites featuring The Deep Creek Experience brand, inclusion in the 2014 Visitors Guide, inclusion in the 2014-15 Activities Guide and signage at the Visitors Center.  Phase III includes the creation and launch of the “Are We There Yet” mobile app (included in style guide) and the creation of merchandise.

For more information about the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, log onto visitdeepcreek.com or call 301.387.4386.

County's iLEGO Team Earns Maryland State Championship

Garrett County FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,Team) FLL (First LEGO League)  #7978, iLEGO won Champion’s Award at Maryland’s State Championship.  They competed against 72 teams from across the state at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Campus (UMBC).

            According to FIRST, the Champion’s Award is FLL’s most prestigious award that, “Celebrates the ultimate success of the FIRST mission in FLL Values.  It measures how the children inspire and motivate others about the excitement and wonders of science and technology, while demonstrating gracious professionalism.  The Champion’s Award is determined by giving equal weight to all four arenas and competition: technical design & programming, robot performance, project presentation, and teamwork- and additional consideration to the team demonstrating FLL values to all the judges.” 

            As a result of receiving the first place Champion’s Award, iLEGO has been extended an invitation to compete at the Northern American Open Championship in Carlsbad, California, May 16-18.

            The coaches, parents, team members of iLEGO are beginning a “Community Partner Campaign” to gain the support needed for the team to represent Garrett County and the state of Maryland at the North American Championship.

            iLEGO is a rookie team composed of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Route 40, Broad Ford Elementary, Yough Glades, and Southern Middle schools.  “Nature’s Fury” was this year’s theme and the students designed and programmed a robot to complete missions on the playing field while focusing their research on preparing for and surviving a natural disaster. 

            This young and enthusiastic group of students had three goals when they began this season:  #1 They wanted to make something that was useful and could actually help save lives in the case of a natural disaster, #2 They wanted to design a robot that would achieve at least 500 points on the game board, and #3 They wanted to make friends and have fun in the process.  Incredibly, they achieved these goals and more!

            When Hurricane Sandy hit Garrett County a large percentage of the county was without electricity, water, and basic necessities for more than a week. The team focused on what preparation and survival is necessary in the case of a disaster. They researched many types of disasters and determined that being prepared is the key to saving lives. They examined what emergency preparedness already exists in our area and found that Garrett County did not have one organized place to find emergency shelters, rescue squads and other places essential in an emergency situation.

 Dr. Wansoo Im, CEO of Vertices, LLC loved the students’ idea to create an asset map of the county.  Using his company’s existing GPS Mappler technology, the team divided the work and began the long process of mapping the emergency shelters, schools, hospitals, county roads buildings, rescue squads, fire departments, emergency shelters, and 24 Hour gas stations.  This involved exploring each location to drop a pin, finding the hours of operation, the contact person, phone number, and whether or not a generator is on the premises.

            The students visited the 911 Call Center, contacted MEMA, and sent many emails to various agencies and organizations.  They used this information to make an interactive asset map that really works! They now have a free app that can be downloaded to any apple or android device to give specific location and contact information. This took the kids months to complete, but is now ready to be used by emergency agencies, visitors, and the citizens of Garrett County.

            The team shared this project with state police, county sheriff, rescue squads, and fire departments.  They also presented their app to the County Commissioners and made a Public Service Announcement on WKHJ. Use the web browser on any smartphone or computer and upload the Mappler Asset Map the team put together.  http://www.mappler.net/garrett   

The students have applied for the Global Innovation Award to achieve their new goal of helping other counties.  They want to encourage other groups create an asset map for their areas.  Everyone should be prepared and know where emergency services can be found. 

            The judges’ made numerous comments about the students’ project: “Very well researched, we liked that the project met a real-world community need, great implementation, not only was this feasible solution, but you actually built it!” 

            These innovators   truly want to make a difference in their community.  They made thank you cards and gave candy bars to the fire and rescue squads and they also collected money for the Red Cross. “You all went above and beyond to embody Gracious Professionalism by doing for others in the community,” said the Core Value judge.

            Garrett County is a rural school district with approximately 50% of our students receiving free and reduced lunch.  With a population of less than 25,000 funding sources are limited.  School budget constraints have been significant.

            iLEGO is proud represent the state of Maryland at the North American Championship, but we need your help.  The expenses for each family to travel to the championship in California are daunting.  Please consider donating to the “Community Partner Campaign.”  We are reaching out to our corporate and small business friends, community members and families, and the students are also organizing various fundraisers.  All funds collected will used for team expenses and to defray the cost of travel.  Donations will be graciously accepted in the following non-profit account: iLEGO #7978, c/o Shane Grady, 317 East Oak Street, Suite One, Oakland, MD 21550.

World Championships Tickets Now On Sale

 Tickets for Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships which will be held at Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry, MD on September 18 – 21, 2014, are now on sale on www.deepcreek2014.com. Be the first to get tickets and merchandise for this exciting event.

Deep Creek 2014 is the event production company and host organization presenting the 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, the largest inbound sporting event to the United States in 2014, at Adventure Sports Center International in Garrett County, Maryland from September 17 – 21, 2014. The 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships will bring tremendous international focus to Maryland’s scenic western-most county with 300 athletes from over 35 international countries competing and over 21.5 million international broadcast television viewers around the world as well as post production airings on NBC Sports. Over 20,000 spectators are expected in Garrett County to watch the event and the events planned throughout the summer leading up to the competition. The teams and athletes will be arriving in the region during the Labor Day weekend and will be onsite through the end of the World Championships on September 21. A total of over $20 million dollars is anticipated in regional economic impact. The 2013 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships were held in Prague, Czech Republic, Deep Creek, MD hosts the 2014 World Championships and the 2015 Championships will be held in London, England.

For more information, about the Deep Creek 2014 event, please visit their website at www.deepcreek2014.com. For more information about Adventure Sports Center International, the host site of Deep Creek 2014, please visit www.adventuresportscenter.com.


The challenges and opportunities associated with the changing face of healthcare will be a topic of discussion at the Garrett County Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, April 12. The discussion will be led by Joseph DeMattos, Jr., President of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland.

“Driven by national and state policy and consumer need and demand, healthcare is changing. Going forward who delivers care, how care is integrated, and who pays for care will evolve. This presentation focuses on what consumers, advocates and providers need to know on the possible future of healthcare in Maryland, and across the nation,” explained DeMattos.

Joseph DeMattos Jr., MA, has led the Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) since April of 2009. As president, he is responsible for managing and leading the volunteer provider community association, which was chartered in 1948 as the Maryland Nursing Home Association. HFAM’s members include skilled nursing and sub-acute facilities, assisted living programs, and continuing care retirement communities. HFAM members provide quality care to more than 19,000 Maryland consumers in need of long-term care and employ more than 22,000 people.

This year’s Health Fair will be held at the CARC (Community Aquatic & Recreational Center) in McHenry with doors opening at 8:30 am. In addition to the speaking presentations at the Garrett County Health Fair, there will be free preventive health screenings, informational displays and demonstrations, and a food distribution by the Maryland Food Bank. The GC Health Fair is offered free to the community by the Garrett County Steps Committee. Health-oriented vendors are invited to apply for a booth at the event by contacting Maney Gale at 301-387-3086 or email maney.gale@garrettcollege.edu


The Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee has announced Saturday, April 12 as the date slated for the next annual Garrett County Health Fair. The 2014 Health Fair will be held from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Community Aquatic & Recreational Complex (CARC) on Mosser Road in McHenry adjacent to Garrett College.

“Since 2006, the Garrett County Steps to Better Health Committee has worked diligently to provide the Health Fair at no cost to participants. The Health Fair offers an opportunity for persons to learn about the wide array of health-related services and activities that our county and surrounding areas offer,” explained Bob Stephens, Chairman of the Steps Committee.  “We could not provide this type of event to our community without our many generous sponsors.”

One of the first organizations to accept a sponsorship role with a generous donation is Maryland Physicians Care, a hospital-owned Managed Care Organization that provides coordinated health care services for Maryland HealthChoice (Medicaid) members. “We provide free medical care and services to children, pregnant women and adults 19 and over who qualify for the Maryland HealthChoice program. We are pleased to once again be a sponsor of the Garrett County Health Fair which brings much needed health related information to the residents of Garrett County,” remarked Terry Hillegas, Marketing and Community Outreach Liaison for Maryland Physicians Care.

Stephens went on to explain that there will also be a food distribution by the Maryland Food Bank  at this year’s Health Fair and the Committee expects to reach over 1,200 persons. Anyone interested in obtaining a booth at this year’s fair should contact Maney Gale at 301-387-3086 or maney.gale@garrettcollege.edu.