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Washington County Leaders Participate in White House Business Council Forum

Leaders from Hagerstown and Washington County attended a day–long business forum at the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.

The forum, hosted by the White House Business Council, follows a series of meetings around the country in which members of the administration asked business leaders how their companies were doing and how the government can help.  Local business leaders participated in two of these earlier roundtables, in both Cumberland and Hagerstown.  Local topics included workforce development, regulations, and the creation of jobs with Maryland-based companies. According to Cinetic Landis’ Dan Pheil, who attended one of the local meetings, “We need to remove the disincentives and the uncertainties that get in the way of creating jobs.”

The White House Business Council’s forum included not only briefings from senior administration officials, but it also engaged local leaders in a conversation about the needs and opportunities in their communities. Topics included the following: innovation and open government; access to capital; employment and job creation; health care; energy; education; immigration; infrastructure; and the overall tax burden.

Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Brien Poffenberger said about the event, “The forum in Washington gave us an opportunity to reinforce to the White House a message that we hear every day in Washington County.”

Following a presentation from the Commerce Department’s Chief Economist Mark Doms, Clarence Horst of Coldwell Banker Innovations said, “There is not enough discretionary spending to find the savings we need to solve our economic problems.  Moreover, housing and job creation are linked.  If the government wants to focus on a problem, we should focus on that.”

Leaders that participated in the event are: 

William F. Fritts II - Smith Elliott Kearns & Company, LLC
Neal R. Glessner - Glessner Alarm & Communications
Brien J. Poffenberger - Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce
Elizabeth A. Thompson - Herald Mail Company
Patricia E. Young - First United Bank & Trust
Clarence E. Horst - Coldwell Banker Innovations
James F. Kercheval - Greater Hagerstown Committee, Inc.
Shelby H. Penn - Edward Jones, City Center Office
Timothy R. Troxell - Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission
Belinda M. Vinson - Volvo Powertrain
Tim Henry - BlueRidge Bank
Mary Pat Kelley - Photography by Dale
Dan Pheil - Cinetic Landis Group
Jeanne Singer - Law Offices of Jeanne Singer
Clayton Wilcox - Washington County Public Schools
John Williams - Jamison Door Company

For more information about the White House Business Council Forum, including an agenda and list of speakers, please visit


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