Best is the Standard resized.jpg

Challenges. Market Shifts. Strategies. Opportunities.

October 18, 8:30 - 12:00 pm | Chesapeake College | Todd Performing Arts Center


Shore Economic Development

A call-to-action to organize, harness, and mobilize the power and influence of high-level, senior level executives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.


Conference At A Glance

SED Talks_NB sized down for FB.png


Hear dynamic presentations with a mission and purpose. SED Talks covers ideas, issues, and curiosities that permeate the daily conversation and that affect our quality-of-life as measured environmentally, economically, and sustainably—presented to a highly influential audience from many different disciplines.

SED Talks_NB sized down for FB.png


Network with peers and industry leaders and collaborate on innovative ideas to expand businesses and the economic base in the region. Conference attendees will find the best political and business resources in the room to become real advocates for the region.

SED Talks_NB sized down for FB.png


No longer business as usual, we have assembled—and are creating—an alliance of the region’s leading citizen and business leaders.

October 18 , 2019 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Chesapeake College, Todd Performing Arts Center

2019 SED Talks | Schedule of Events

8:30 - 9:00 am: Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 11:30 am: Main Program

11:30 - 12:00 pm: Closing Remarks and Q&A


2019 SED Talks Speakers - Invited and Confirmed


Keasha Haythe, CEcD Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation

2019 SED Talk: Disruptive Economic Development. Keasha brings years of experience in economic growth, having served as Director of Dorchester County Economic Development before her current position with Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation.


Dick Willey, President, Perdue AgriBusiness

Dick Willey oversees a diverse group of agricultural businesses in the domestic and international food, feed, agricultural inputs and biofuel industries for this family business, with roots on the Eastern Shore, that pulled in over $6 billion in global sales last year. How have diversification and strategic opportunities altered Perdue's way of doing business in our region? Come and see.


Mike Thiekle, Executive Director, Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center

A lifelong entrepreneur, Mike is currently the executive director at the ESEC, a regional organization created after the closing of Black and Decker in Easton in 2002. As ED, Mike most recently launched F3 Tech, a nationwide initiative that aims to foster growth in the fields of agri-tech, aqua-tech, and enviro-tech. Hear Mike’s Talk as he discusses the transformational innovation that is occurring in the fields of agriculture and aquaculture industries.


Chris Hlubb, Principal, American Aquaculture Holdings

Chris Hlubb is pursuing one of the most significant aquaculture projects in North America—leading a team that is converting a former poultry processing plant in Cordova, MD into a state-of-the-art vertically integrated aquaculture operation. When complete, it will be one of the largest land-based aquaculture operations in the US. Come and learn about what it takes to build an efficient, technologically advanced aquaculture plant right here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

heather ersts.jpg

Heather Ersts, Outreach & Partnership Coordinator, MD Dept. of Tourism

Heather brings her expertise in her role at the MD Department of Commerce to highlight local Arts, Tourism, Museum, and Historical events and destinations that are financial simulators to our region. Her information on the economic impact(s) this sector provides is impressive.


Bob Greenlee, Senior Advisor, SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate

Bob Greenlee’s years of commercial real estate experience and business relationships in the region have formulated his ideas for the ultimate in collaborative efforts across both the private and public sectors. Similar to the Research Triangle in Raleigh Durham, the “Chesapeake Triangle “ embraces alliances between government, commercial, conservation and F3 Tech industries. The next growth hub is potentially right in our own backyard.

Ashey Colen.png

Ashley G. Colen, CEO, Hippocratic Growth

Ashley and her team believe in growing the medical cannabis industry in a safe, smart and responsible way. Hippocratic Growth’s goal is to properly educate patients, physicians, communities and members of the government and law enforcement on the history and science of medical cannabis, and shake the stigma associated with it.

2018 Program Highlights

Former Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary, Mike Gill, shares the “Formula For Greatness.” Watch full SED Talks by clicking “Watch Talk” below.


Formula For Greatness

Maryland Secretary of Commerce, Mike Gill, outlines the Formula For Greatness, emphasizing team building and building on our strengths. His enthusiasm is contagious!

The Millennial Influence

You think Millennials are the first generation of their kind? Guess again. Sam Shoge intricately outlines societies’ negative inclination on previous generations’ and the positives the Millennials bring to our workforce.


Agriculture Today

Today’s farmers face an intricate network of regulation and an unprecedented level of technological sophistication. Chad Nagel shows how today’s agricultural labor force must be highly skilled in systems management and farming futures.


Cambridge Success Stories

Small towns and economies can survive! Brett Summers of NOVO Corp talks about Cambridge’s success stories of the marriage of private and public capital to bring a sleepy town back to life.


Higher Education’s Impact

Bob Caret, Chancellor of USM outlines how higher education systems not only have an impact on our local economy, but how they work in tandem with local community colleges.


Healthcare And Our Communities

Ken Kozel, CEO OF Shore Regional Health, discusses Regional Health Centers’ expansion to meet the needs of our community.

What People Are Saying


“Excellent Speakers, perfect venue, and centrally located. Will be back next year!”


“Chad Nagel’s presentation was an ah-ha on how far farming has come and the issues facing our local farmers in particular. “

“Each speaker brought something
different to the table. It was all useful.”