2 from Crossroads area named to Appalachian Leadership Institute


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two people from the Crossroads Business Journal region are among 40 fellows named to the inaugural class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute.

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced the roster in a news release. The class draws on each one of Appalachia’s 13 states and includes public policy, community development, education, investment, and other professionals who live and/or work in the Region.


Fellows from the Crossroads Business Journal region include Andrew Sargent, senior business development representative for the Western Region, Maryland Department of Commerce; and Jennifer Walsh, executive director of The Greater Columbia Committee in Frostburg, Md.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is an extensive nine-month program focusing on skill-building seminars, best practice reviews, field visits, mentoring and networking. The curriculum will be anchored by six multi-day seminars around the region, followed by a capstone graduation in Washington, D.C. The first session was scheduled for Oct. 21-24 in Morehead, Ky.

“I am honored to represent Maryland and look forward to sharing ideas and best practices as we work to enhance the economic potential of the Appalachian region,” Sargent said in a news release. “Being a part of this Institute will also be important for the counties I work with every day — Washington, Allegany, and Garrett — as we discuss new ways to attract businesses to the area and support our existing ones.”

In a separate statement, Walsh said she was “delighted and honored to be selected.”

“As the leader of a regional economic development organization representing five counties and three states, all within the Appalachian Region, I look forward to the opportunity to create new relationships, learn best practices, and expand and strengthen my ability to lead TGCC and the region toward greater vitality and prosperity,” she said.