Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard speaks during the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce State of the County Address at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster on Jan. 10, 2017.
Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard speaks during the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce State of the County Address at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster on Jan. 10, 2017. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

County Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, will be leaving his part-time role as coordinator for the entrepreneur resource center at Carroll Community College next month, the college announced in a press release issued Thursday afternoon.

Howard has been the part-time coordinator at Miller: Resources for Entrepreneurs, since September 2015. During that time, the program went through a rebranding and moved to a location on Main Street in Westminster along with the Small Business Development Center.

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Howard will be leaving the college Nov. 3 to "pursue other professional opportunities," according to the news release from the college.

In an interview with the Times, Howard said he has very much enjoyed his time working with the college and at Miller.

"I think it was a good opportunity — the timing was right," he said.

But now it's the right time for someone else to come in and take the program to the next level, he added.

Ken McCreedy, Doug Howard and Libby Trostle are pictured at the “Get Business Now!” seminar held at Carroll Community College.- Original Credit: Submitted Photo
Ken McCreedy, Doug Howard and Libby Trostle are pictured at the “Get Business Now!” seminar held at Carroll Community College.- Original Credit: Submitted Photo (/ HANDOUT)

Howard said with his extra time, he will continue to do business consulting. The additional time will allow an opportunity to ramp up his consulting work, both in his personal company as well as through contract work, he said.

"For me, I've always had a lot of things going on," Howard said, and he's working to find the right balance. "I think it's all on good terms and everybody [is] just looking to the next level."

Howard's decision to take employment with the community college was controversial because of his role as an elected member of the Board of County Commissioners, which creates a yearly budget for Carroll County Government that includes funding for the college. After taking the job, Howard abstained from voting on matters related to the college.

The commissioners approved $9.4 million for the community college in fiscal year 2018, which began July 1. That was a roughly 10 percent increase over the previous year, and included ongoing funding for salary adjustments.

In a prepared statement, Carroll Community College President Dr. James Ball said Howard was "instrumental in enhancing Miller's business offerings to entrepreneurs and small businesses in our community. We appreciate his efforts and wish him much success in his future endeavors."

The college will begin the search for a new coordinator effective immediately. Diana Petro, the Miller small-business specialist, will be coordinating services in the interim. Individuals interested in applying for the coordinator position should visit the college's website at www.carrcc.edu.

"Clients can expect the same level of outstanding service, and all of our classes and upcoming events will proceed as planned," Karen Merkle, vice president of continuing education and training, said in the new release.

Miller offers services and programs to support small-business startups and growing businesses in the county, including consulting services, educational courses, workshops, events and networking opportunities, according to the college.



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