We were pleased to work with the Charles County Commissioners to facilitate an economic development roundtable for Indian Head. Southern Maryland News reporter Rebecca Barnabi was on hand and delivered this report.

A business roundtable in Indian Head on Thursday morning brought together about two dozen hand-picked community members and local officials to discuss a shared concern: Stimulating the economy in the western side of Charles County. The roundtable was hosted by the Charles County commissioners and the Western Charles County Business Association.

“I really think it’s the start of something big,” Commissioner Debra M. Davis (D) said. “I’m excited about the quality of conversations.” Davis, working in conjunction with the Charles County Department of Economic Development and representatives from business organizations, selected panelists for the event. She said that when she called people to ask them to participate in the roundtable, the commitment expressed stood out to her.

The commitment at Thursday’s roundtable also stood out to facilitator Andrea Vernot, president of Choptank Communications. Vernot, who has more than 25 years of experience in economic development marketing,” said that the process of planning moves economic development forward “in a way that’s so much stronger and so much more efficient.” The communication of ideas spurs the economy, Vernot said. The participants in the roundtable learned from each other that they shared the same challenges and problems of the western side of the county. “This was a really important step,” said Vernot, who worked at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and was chief operations officer for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (before launching Choptank).