In our blog series, “Meet the EDD,” we regularly profile a member of our team. Through our interviews, we hope you get to know the hardworking members of our staff that are dedicated to the economic vitality of Charles County.
Marcia Keeth joined the EDD in 2002 and serves as the deputy director of the EDD. Along with supporting and assisting the director, she manages the day-to-day operations of the EDD, represents the director in the community, manages projects across all areas of operation, and oversees the EDD’s marketing program. Marcia has lived in Charles County for 27 years.
Charles County Economic Development Department (EDD): What is your favorite thing about working for the EDD?
Marcia Keeth (MK): The people. I work with people who I like personally and respect professionally. We each have very different personalities and come from a variety of backgrounds, but we get along very well. It’s a joy to come to work every day and spend my day with my economic development co-workers. We support each other and we challenge each other to do good work. Plus, they laugh at my goofy jokes.
EDD: What do people misunderstand about economic development?
MK: There is a lot of focus on who is coming to the community, what new businesses are going to open here. But most of the economic growth in any community comes from businesses that start here or are already here. Also, there’s a perception that things happen faster than they do. When an announcement of a project happens, chances are that the project has been in the works for years, sometimes many, many years.
EDD: Describe Charles County in three words.
MK: Urban, suburban, rural. Whichever you prefer, you can have it in Charles County.
EDD: How do you relax?
MK: I do yoga three times a week. I started a couple of years ago, and it’s been great for releasing decades of stored tension in muscles I never knew I had. And I like to just hang out at home with my husband and our dogs, Tess and Chewie, (standard schnauzer mix rescue mutts – though Chewie, as his name suggests, appears to be part Wookie.) My happiest times are when we are all four curled up together.
EDD: What was a turning point in your life?
MK: Being let go from my last radio job 15 years ago. I spent the first 23 years of my career in the radio business. I loved what I did. But the industry changed a lot in the 90s, and eventually I was forced to find a new direction. I had a strong marketing background and ended up landing a job as the marketing director for the economic development office in my local community, Charles County. That’s where it all started, and I’m still here.
EDD: What is the latest book that you read?
MK: I’m not a big reader of fiction. I like memoirs – especially women’s memoirs. I learn so much from strong, courageous women who overcome personal struggles to build a rewarding life – whatever that means to them. But having said that, my most recent read was Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” We were visiting Iceland, and since the characters’ journey begins in an Icelandic volcano, I thought it would be fun to read the book while I was there.