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Marketing executive sees rosy future for area

December 29, 2000

Marketing executive sees rosy future for area



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


WILLIAMSPORT - Williamsport native Cynthia D. Miller left Washington County more than 20 years ago to pursue her education and a career in high-tech communications and marketing.

But it was her lifelong dream to one day return and use her skills to help the community that nurtured her as a youth, she said.

"This community had always given so much to me," said Miller, 41. "The philanthropic side of me always wanted to come back and give back to the community I was raised in."

Miller left her job at MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., this summer to take the position of vice president of marketing and corporate communications at Bowman Group LLP in Williamsport. She started Aug. 1.

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Her new post gives Miller the chance she's been waiting for to help her hometown, she said.

She plans to use her job and her affiliations with the county Convention & Visitors Bureau, Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce and High Technology Council of Maryland to help "develop smart for progress while maintaining the charm of a small community," she said.

"I think the Washington County area is really at a crossroads right now," Miller said. "I only see good things for the future for the entire area."

Miller, who was president of the Williamsport High Class of '77 left the county after graduation because there were few industrial opportunities here, she said. She earned her bachelors degree in English and art from Towson State University near Baltimore and her masters in business administration from Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md.

The diverse degrees illustrate Miller's ability to be budget conscious and creative at the same time, she said.

"I guess I'm one of those unique people who is both right- and left-brained," Miller said.

During her 10-year career at Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, Md., Miller tackled tasks that ranged from communications to architecture and construction.

Seeking new challenges, she left the hospitality industry to become an independent communications consultant. She landed Disney as a client, and for six months created communications campaigns for several of the company's new employee compensation programs.

In 1995, Disney executives offered Miller a job as the multi-media manager at the new production studio that had recently opened on the grounds of Walt Disney World, she said.

During her tenure at Disney, Miller's job title changed four times and her responsibilities ranged from overseeing a group of graphic designers and producers who created such high-tech media as interactive CDs, TV series and "edutainment" videos to serving on Disney's Digital TV Migration Team.

Disney "was probably the most enjoyable company I've worked for but also the most encompassing," Miller said. "Your life is Disney when you work at Disney."

Throughout her time away from Washington County, Miller kept tabs on the pulse of the county's business community and patiently waited for an opportunity to return.

"It always irked me somewhat that we were always so close to progress and the technology corridor ... but nothing was happening here to allow me to come back," she said.

"I figured if I learned enough, there would be a place for me," Miller said.

On behalf of Disney, Miller traveled to Washington County last November to present the Chamber of Commerce with an offer to help market the county through high-tech video presentations, she said.

Miller got the call from D.M. Bowman Inc. Chairman Donald M. Bowman earlier this year. Bowman told Miller he felt his company was ready for someone like her to help move the business to the next level, she said.

"I'm very impressed that The Bowman Group realizes that there are new procedures, systems and technologies that can positively impact all of the company's operating divisions," Miller said in the company's September newsletter.

She is currently creating programs that will make Bowman's employees and their families feel more appreciated, she said. She is revamping the company's classified advertising campaign and helping develop and market the Holiday Inn Express hotel Bowman Development Corp. is building near Valley Mall.

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