The Board of Garrett County Commissioners is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Koch as the Director of the Garrett County Department of Economic Development. Mr. Koch will bring to Garrett County Government and the Department of Economic Development 22 years in housing finance executive management. During this career he was involved with the development, marketing, and support of customer-facing technologies to automate and streamline business interactions between the primary and secondary mortgage finance markets. Mr. Koch also worked in international public relations and advertising and has held various teaching and curriculum management positions. Mr. Koch is co-owner and board president of FireFly Farms, a nationally and internationally acclaimed manufacturer of artisan goat’s milk cheeses. The new director holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary and he serves on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations.
Mr. Koch stated that "I am thrilled to be joining the Economic Development team in Garrett County. We are fortunate to have such a vibrant and diverse community of existing businesses and business leaders - from those known nationally and internationally, to smaller county businesses, to the independent farmer. I am honored to commit my efforts to additional economic opportunities that will strengthen our collective future."
The process to appoint a director of the Department of Economic Development began in September when James Hinebaugh announced his intent to retire after 17 years in this position. An interview committee made up of members from public education, higher education, real estate, the Chamber of Commerce, banking industry, and municipal government was assembled and facilitated by County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt. The committee presented the recommendation of Mr. Koch to the Board of County Commissioners.
The Board of County Commissioners will introduce Mr. Koch as part of the January 8 Public Meeting.