Every day, Denise Beaver is working with business owners, big and small, to help them grow and succeed in Carroll County.
Beaver has been the county's deputy director of economic development since 2001, and she recently earned national economic developer recertification. There are currently only 1,200 active CEcD's in the United States.
The CEcD designation, according to a county news release, recognizes practitioners in the economic development field. For initial certification candidates must pass a comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, and management.
To earn recertification, individuals must demonstrate economic development leadership in their community and attend a requisite number of professional development courses.
Q&A with Denise Beaver
Patch wanted to see what makes Denise Beaver tick. Here are some insights into the economic development guru in her own words.
Patch: What is your history in Carroll County?
Beaver: I moved to Carroll County in 1993 with my husband Jim, who had a business opportunity in Maryland, and my two children, Christine and Ryan. We could have selected almost anywhere in MD but wanted to be central and after researching the state I found that Carroll County reminded my of my hometown of Williamsport, PA. I felt that it would be a great place to raise our children...and I was right; Carroll has good people, great schools, and a great quality of life. We love it!
Patch: Tell us a bit about your professional background.
Beaver: I started working at Carroll County Government in April, 1994 at the Business & Employment Resource Center (BERC). I was promoted to Deputy Director of Economic Development in 2001. Prior to moving to Carroll County I had extensive experience in a number of areas in a community hospital and rehabilitation center. I worked in volunteer management and developed a comprehensive occupational health program to serve business and industry.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Kutztown University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from Towson University.
Patch: What do you do for Carroll County in your current position?
Beaver: In my current position I provide support to administration, foster business retention working with county and municipal offices, business associations, resident industries, partners, and consultants to expand existing operations and develop new markets. I represent the department in business retention, workforce development, manufacturing and technology matters and I serve on Carroll Technology Council Board as Secretary. I oversee BERC - the workforce center and manage economic development marketing activities.
Patch: Why is the recertification relevant?
Beaver: I first earned my certification after attending all of the required coursework (from 2002 - 2009) and sitting for the test in March 2009.
To earn recertification, individuals must demonstrate economic development leadership in their community, attend a requisite number of professional development courses and participate in state and national economic development activities.
I am most honored that I was selected to be one of one hundred economic development practitioners deployed to the Gulf Coast in August 2010 to assess the Gulf Oil spill economic impact on coastal communities. I went with a team of three others to St. Tammany Parish, LA. We compiled a report of our findings and recommendations along with team members from the International Economic Development Council and sent it to the U.S. Economic Development Administration .
Patch: What do you like best about the work you do and doing it in Carroll County?
Beaver: The very best part of my job is meeting the small business owners and the managers in the larger corporations. Learning about each business is always fascinating. The people are genuinely nice and it is very satisfying to be able to connect them with resources that will help them to grow and expand in Carroll County.
Economic development is a long term process and since I have been here awhile I have seen some of the results of our work realized. That is what makes the job so special - we have real community impact in a very positive way - whether it is helping a resident to get training and a job through BERC, attracting new companies and new jobs to the county or helping an existing business to grow or even inviting visitors to enjoy our wonderful community events through our tourism efforts. There is always a lot going on and much work to do.
For more information on the Department of Economic Development programs, visit the department’s website at www.carrollbiz.org.