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EDC award announced at annual business gathering

April 27, 2003

More than 160 representatives of the local business and industrial community attended the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's Celebration of Business 2003 at Fountain Head Country Club on April 15.

Highlights of the event included an announcement by Douglas S. Wright Jr., EDC chairman, that the Hagerstown-Washington County EDC has been named one of the Top 10 economic development organizations in North America for 2002 by Site Selection magazine.

The award is based on many community criteria, including the number of new jobs created and retained during 2002; amount of private capital investment; amount of new industrial construction; organizational leadership; new, innovative programming designed to assist the business community; and overall community attractiveness for relocation and expansion projects.

Hagerstown-Washington County ranked fifth in the Top 10 list.

The keynote speaker for Celebration of Business 2003 was Mike Thomas, an award-winning producer, director and writer with more than 30 years experience in television production.

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Thomas, a Washington County native, began his television career as a camera operator with the Washington County Board of Education's Instructional TV studios in Hagerstown. He has worked with the White House and served as vice president and general manager with AOL-Time Warner.

Thomas has developed series for VH-1, Fox Television and Warner Brothers and produced specials for "Larry King Live," CNN, Turner Classic Movies and Turner Network Television.

Thomas holds a Cable Ace award for Turner Classic Movie's original documentary "Inside the Dream Factory" and a Peabody award for the CNN series "Cold War."

Thomas is president and chief executive officer of Production Avenue Inc., a television production company in Atlanta.

Thomas touched on what it meant to grow up in Hagerstown and the values and determination his childhood instilled in him. He thanked the business leaders for believing in Washington County and supporting the community's efforts to be prosperous through a dynamic economy.

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