James Rada, Jr.
When Bob Black of Thurmont heard that he had been named the Maryland Economic Development Association’s (MEDA) Volunteer of the Year, he asked the woman who nominated him, “What did you tell them?”
Katie Albaugh with the Frederick County Office of Development told him, “You don’t realize how much you volunteer.”
Among the organizations that Black volunteers with are: Maryland Horticultural Society; Agricultural Business Council; Frederick County Farm Bureau; Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention; International Fruit Tree Association; Guardian Hose Company; Guardian Hose Company Fire Police; Thurmont Ambulance Company; Frederick County Tourism Council; Catoctin Tourism Council.
“I don’t think about the number,” Black said. “I volunteer out of habit.”
MEDA is a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals. Established in 1961, MEDA members promote the economic well-being of Maryland by working to improve the state’s business climate and the professionalism of those in the field of economic development.
The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) recently announced the recipients of the 2019 MEDA Awards, which celebrates the people, programs, and projects that are transforming lives across the State of Maryland.
MEDA Awards showcase efforts to attract new businesses, assist existing businesses, redevelop business districts, market communities, and support economic development throughout the state.
“We are pleased to recognize all of the MEDA Award winners,” said Pam Ruff, MEDA executive director. “We applaud these exceptional projects, programs, and campaigns— as well as the people behind them—that show how dedicated our members are to economic growth across the State of Maryland.”
The MEDA chose Black because: “As president and co-owner of Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Black has supported economic development throughout Maryland. Black’s volunteerism reaches back to the late 1970s: member and past president of the Agricultural Business Council; served on the Visit Frederick Board of Directors; member of Thurmont Economic Development Committee; longtime member of the Frederick County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Black was involved in the creation of Frederick Farm Guide. He has been at the forefront of pest research, and devotes his time to developing new apple varieties.
Black is the second generation farmer, with two more generations following behind him. His father bought the Kelbaugh Farm in 1961, and the Blacks have been working it since.
Black said he wouldn’t have been able to volunteer so much if his family hadn’t been there to support him. He knew he could depend on them to do the work that he should be doing but can’t because he’s volunteering or attending organization meetings.
To learn more about the awards and these outstanding projects, visit www.MEDAmd.com.
Bob Black is shown in Catoctin Mountain Orchard.