Til­gh­man named eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment direc­tor

Record Observer - - News - BY HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers re­cently an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Paige Til­gh­man as the direc­tor for the Of­fice of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment. Til­gh­man’s pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be to man­age the busi­ness re­ten­tion, ex­pan­sion and at­trac­tion ac­tiv­i­ties for the Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers un­der the di­rec­tion of County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Gregg Todd.

Com­mis­sioner Robert Buckey said, “I am very pleased to wel­come Paige Til­gh­man as the new eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment direc­tor for Queen Anne’s County. And as the Com­mis­sion­ers’ eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment li­ai­son I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with her.”

Til­gh­man will join the county in sup­port­ing busi­ness growth and op­por­tu­nity, work­ing to­ward bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture and en­hanc­ing the qual­ity of life in Queen Anne’s County. Til­gh­man said she and the com­mis­sion­ers have some goals they hope to ac­com­plish be­fore year end, in­clud­ing re­view­ing the work plan and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy Plan. Once a work plan is fully de­vel­oped, said Til­gh­man, they will then de­velop a mar­ket­ing plan.

As direc­tor, Til­gh­man will con­tinue to work with Jean Fabi as the Queen Anne’s County busi­ness de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor. Fabi served as in­terim direc­tor when Jamie Gil­bert stepped down.

“She [Fabi] pro­vides a wealth of in­for­ma­tion and ex­per­tise in both the busi­ness re­ten­tion and ex­pan­sion dis­ci­plines and as an in­ter­face with the Plan­ning Depart­ment,” said Til­gh­man.

There are six ar­eas the county has cho­sen to fo­cus on adapted from the Queen Anne’s Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment 10-Year Strate­gic Plan, Til­gh­man said. They in­clude Driv­ing Strat­egy 1: Fo­cus­ing on High Po­ten­tial Eco­nomic Ac­tiv­ity Sec­tors; Driv­ing Strat­egy 2: Sup­port­ing Ed­u­ca­tion and Work­force De­vel­op­ment; Driv­ing Strat­egy 3: En­hanc­ing In­fra­struc­ture; Driv­ing Strat­egy 4: Pro­mo­tion and Pub­lic Aware­ness; Driv­ing Strat­egy 5: En­cour­age Af­ford­able and Work­force Hous­ing; and Driv­ing Strat­egy 6: En­hanc­ing Qual­ity of Life.

Ac­cord­ing to Til­gh­man’s bi­og­ra­phy, she has in­vested the ma­jor­ity of her ca­reer in state and county eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment po­si­tions and has de­vel­oped an ex­ten­sive net­work of gov­ern­ment, pri­vate sec­tor and non­profit pro­fes­sion­als to sup­port de­vel­op­ment ef­forts. She most re­cently served as the direc­tor for the Tal­bot County Of­fice of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment where she suc­cess­fully com­pleted sev­eral busi­ness ex­pan­sion and re­ten­tion pro­jects for lo­cal com­pa­nies.

Serv­ing with the Mary­land Depart­ment of Com­merce (formerly the Of­fice of Busi­ness and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment), Til­gh­man was re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing Re­gional Of­fices in­clud­ing the eight coun­ties of the East­ern Shore and the South­ern and Mid-Mary­land Re­gional Of­fices. Her work in­cluded over­sight for the re­ten­tion of the re­gional busi­ness base and the bro­ker­ing of state and fed­eral re­sources to im­pact job growth and in­vest­ment.

Tighlman said one as­pect of EDC’s plan looks at the re­ten­tion of the ex­ist­ing busi­ness base and help­ing them ex­pand. The plan also looks at bring­ing in new busi­ness and what those busi­nesses can add to the county. There is sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in high tech man­u­fac­tur­ing and also marine tech­nol­ogy, as well as agri­cul­ture and agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion.

Agri­cul­ture is a pre­dom­i­nant busi­ness in the north­ern part of the county, said Til­gh­man, and the com­mis­sion­ers are in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing growth [of those agri­cul­ture busi­nesses] and sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ment. The need for in­fra­struc­ture will be a con­sid­er­a­tion also when look­ing at the north­ern part of the county, said Til­gh­man.

There will be some in­ter­nal house­keep­ing as well, she said, look­ing at how ex­ist­ing re­sources can be used more ef­fi­ciently.

Til­gh­man’s ex­pe­ri­ence early in her ca­reer was de­voted to work­force de­vel­op­ment and cor­po­rate train­ing pro­jects through­out the state. She com­pleted a Mas­ter’s of Sci­ence de­gree in Tech­nol­ogy Man­age­ment from the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Univer­sity Col­lege and a Bach­e­lor of A&S de­gree from Catholic Univer­sity of America in Wash­ing­ton DC. Til­gh­man re­sides with her hus­band Ben in Centreville.

Dur­ing Fabi’s ten­ure, Til­gh­man said, Fabi was able to suc­cess­fully sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions and re­ceive ap­proval for an En­ter­prise Zone des­ig­na­tion in Queen Anne’s County — a 1,300-acre area that ex­tends west from Nes­bit Road in Gra­sonville to Route 8 in Stevensville and in­cludes a ma­jor­ity of the com­mer­cial prop­er­ties in Gra­sonville, Ch­ester and Stevensville.

The En­ter­prise Zone en­ables busi­nesses to claim tax cred­its for hir­ing mem­bers of tar­geted groups and for con­duct­ing busi­ness in specif­i­cally des­ig­nated ar­eas. With this des­ig­na­tion, the county, in part­ner­ship with the state, will be able to pro­mote job cre­ation to in­crease the com­mer­cial tax base and re­de­velop un­der-used or va­cant com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial land in the county, she said.

Fabi also serves as the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment li­ai­son to the plan­ning depart­ment and is in­stru­men­tal in sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment process for ex­pand­ing busi­nesses or new com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment, Til­gh­man added.

Fabi and Til­gh­man are co­or­di­nat­ing their ef­forts to pro­vide a timely and uni­fied source of in­for­ma­tion, re­fer­rals and re­sources to sup­port the re­ten­tion and growth of the ex­ist­ing busi­ness base of the county. Both will work with the county’s Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, which ad­vises the com­mis­sion­ers on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment mat­ters.

The Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion meets on the first Wed­nes­day of the month at 8:30 a.m. at the Ch­e­sa­peake Her­itage Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, 425 Piney Nar­row Road in Ch­ester, and meet­ings are open to the pub­lic. There will be no meet­ing in July.

Til­gh­man and Fabi are avail­able to call on busi­nesses to dis­cuss re­ten­tion and ex­pan­sion strate­gies. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 410604-2013.

PAIGE TIL­GH­MAN

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