FrostburgFirst has seen a lot of changes in the past four years. We’ve transitioned to a 501(c)3 nonprofit to better serve the community, moved offices, implemented new events and programs like Pig Out in the Park and the Pop-Up Frostburg program, and so much more. And then the pandemic switched everything up yet again! Through all of these upheavals, one of FrostburgFirst’s greatest assets has been the creativity and dedication to our mission of downtown revitalization demonstrated by Dana Bridges. After nearly four years of serving the organization in the pivotal role of Promotions and Events Coordinator, Dana is moving on to new opportunities within the community. Dana’s passion for downtown Frostburg, our small business community, local heritage and arts, and the ongoing economic development of Frostburg will continue in their new position as Associate Director of Folklore & Folklife Programming at Frostburg State University and in their new role on the FrostburgFirst Board of Directors.
We are delighted to welcome our new Promotions Coordinator, Katie Lesko, and are confident that she will bring new strengths and ideas to our organization. But in my role as Executive Director, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate Dana’s time on our staff.
There is no way to overstate Dana’s contributions to FrostburgFirst and to the ongoing downtown revitalization during their time at FrostburgFirst. From the first, I was impressed with their sincere passion for Frostburg – its history, culture, and people. It was quickly clear that Dana’s familiarity with the area and their existing connections to the community would be an invaluable resource, which has certainly proved true more times than I can count. More than that, Dana demonstrated an admirable work ethic, taking the vision and mission of FrostburgFirst to heart and ensuring it guided their every action on behalf of the organization. Dana so often put extra effort into their work that I regularly had to remind them to take a break! I was always impressed with Dana’s eagerness to learn new skills and ability to adapt to the situation. During the height of the pandemic, these abilities became essential to our efforts in assisting local businesses to find resources, sharing important updates, and coming up with creative ways to encourage community support of the small business community. There is no question that Dana’s impact, not just on FrostburgFirst, but on the community of Frostburg will be felt for years to come. I’m genuinely happy and relieved that Dana will still have a role on the FrostburgFirst Board of Directors and has committed to participating in future events – it’s hard to imagine a FrostburgFirst event without them!
On a more personal note, I have to mention that the past few years working together for the shared goal of the economic revitalization of the community we both love so much has been a pure joy. I have laughed every single day, been constantly inspired, and always felt supported as I took on more complicated projects and the organization continued to grow. It’s a wonderful thing to work so collaboratively with another creative mind, and I look forward to years of friendship and cooperative efforts in the years to come.
Thank you Dana for your years of hard work, creativity, and incredible character.
– Deirdre Robertson, Executive Director