Dear Members and Partners:

As I’m sure you’ve imagined, we are canceling our in-person meetings for the foreseeable future. As we re-envision how to bring our program of work to an online and virtual model, we are mindful of the need to balance connection with overwhelm. We are working to find new and innovative ways to engage with you as individual leaders as well as to create opportunities to connect as a regional business community to share updates, data, impacts, solutions, best practices, etc. We will communicate new dates/times and ways of working as that information becomes available.

As a regional organization, we believe our role is to continue to connect our regional partners and key stakeholders and to share regional updates as they become available. We are also here to help you connect with resources, including access to decisionmakers and other influencers, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you have a specific need or problem that needs attention.

While we are not able to meet in-person for our April member meeting, with the help of one of our founding members, Barry Ronan, President of UPMC Western Maryland, and his staff, we have the incredible opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Rameet Thappa, M.D., Board Certified Infectious Disease Physician. Topics of this discussion include:

  • Current Updates related to Prevention, Mitigation and Treatment of COVID-19
  • Coordination of Public and Private resources (Federal Government, State Government and UPMC)
  • Access to care for patients (both at UPMC Western Maryland and UPMC)
  • How UPMC Western Maryland has prepared/is preparing for possible disruptions caused by COVID-19 (i.e. ability for non-clinical employees to work from home, combatting misinformation about the Coronavirus and combatting supply chain issues)

This virtual meeting will take place on April 2nd at Noon. I will forward more information about how to access this presentation as soon as the details are available.

As we move into more sustained periods of social isolation, we know it will be important to find connection with each other and to lean on and into the relationships we’ve been developing with our regional partners. This is so big and so different than any of us expected and the impacts to our own personal lives and our business community are incredibly profound. Let’s remember all of the big and small ways we can help each other in this time of crisis. This is a test of our motto One Region, One Vision, One Future and I am confident that with our Appalachian tenacity and grit, we will continue to find that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Here are a few other updates/calls for action from our regional partners:

  • Senator Casey’s office forwarded this link regarding supplies that are in critical need. “We are hearing reports of testing sites that are closing because of lack of supplies. Let’s hope that all of our nation’s suppliers are able to coordinate to deliver to those in need and that this will help that effort.” The article linked below says the survey closed yesterday (March 18), but I just tried it and it still works. If you have a problem accessing the survey, please let me know and I will reach out to Senator Casey’s office for guidance.
  • Green Garden Products Company in Bedford, Pennsylvania is looking to make contact with chemical manufacturers to discuss a potential collaboration in response to virus mitigation. Since they build hose end sprayers that are capable of dispensing disinfectants such as bleach based products they may be able to couple up with some manufacturers that produce that product so it could be used to clean large areas. If you know of any manufacturers who might benefit from connecting with Green Garden, please have them reach out to Wayne Faupel at; 814-623-2735 X11.
  • Allegany County Tourism has developed a guest-facing COVID-19 Resource Page where the County will share up-to-date business and event information, including a list of restaurants offering carry-out and/or delivery services. We strongly encourage you to find creative ways to support our local dining establishments and other small business retailers.
  • The Mineral County Chamber of Commerce set up a page on its website where they are posting any business relevant information on Covid-19:
  • COVID-19 updates for the Allegany County business community is attached hereto.
  • The Maryland Department of Commerce is available to answer your questions. Email inquiries should be directed to A team of Commerce in Baltimore are handling the inquiries through this email address. Additionally, this website ( is updated constantly with the latest news and information and it includes a hefty FAQ section with lots of answers. Andrew Sargent, Senior Business Development Representative for Western Maryland is one of our partners and I can help connect you to Andrew if you need that introduction.

May we all find ease and grace and small moments of joy as we navigate these uncertain times.