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Businesses celebrated by Economic Development Commission

April 12, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

It was appropriate for a certificate celebrating Washington County's 230 years of existence to be awarded Tuesday night at the Economic Development Commission's Celebration of Business.

The two work hand in hand, said James E. Rzepkowski, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. One cannot exist without the other, he said,

Keynote speaker Dana D. Brooks - a Hagerstown native and dean of West Virginia University's School of Physical Education - said he owes his success to his mentors and community.

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"Mentors can make the difference," he said.

More than 200 people were expected to hear Brooks speak Tuesday at Fountain Head Country Club in Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission honored the local business and industrial community during the eighth annual ceremony.

"Because local businesses provide good jobs for our citizens and support important events and quality-of-life initiatives, we want to take this opportunity to say thank you for all they do to make Washington County a better place to live, work and play," said Timothy R. Troxell, ECD executive director.

Thirty-eight companies were honored for celebrating milestones of five-year increments, from five to 125 years. Recognized businesses were given a proclamation signed by Washington County Commissioners celebrating the businesses' dedication to the community.

Brooks focused his address on his dream and personal journey from Jonathan Street in Hagerstown to a dean at WVU. He said it was his mentors - teachers, counselors and coaches - who made it possible for him to accomplish all that he has.

Brooks is a 1971 graduate of Hagerstown Junior College and received a bachelor's degree in 1973 from Towson State University. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees from WVU.

Rzepkowski presented County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook with a governor's citation celebrating Washington County's 230-year anniversary.

"This is a government with a business-friendly community," Rzepkowski said. "It's fitting that this occur at a business event."

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