Our Leadership team
David ShusterChief Executive Officer
Sharon AhrensChief Business Officer
Brooke GrossmanChief Mission Officer
Chris KackleyDirector of Retail
Brandon MarksDirector of Business Services
Debra CarbaughDirector of Training and Development
Lance CrossmanDirector of Operations and Compliance
Johnathon HarrellDirector of Information Systems
Mekayla Plotner, SHRM-CPDirector of Human Resources
Angie EngleExecutive Project Administrator
Craig FosterMarketing and Public Relations Manager
2021-2022 Board Officers
Ron Bowers, ChairRead More
Ronald L. Bowers graduated from Boonsboro High School and resides in Maugansville with his wife Jen Bowers. Ron served five consecutive four-year terms as Washington County Commissioner; President of the Board for eight years with active memberships on County Planning and Transportation Commission, Commission on Aging, Maryland Association of Counties BOD’s. He retired from Mack after 40 years and proudly served 20 years in the National Guard and the U.S. Army, earning rank of Major. He also served Historic Maryland Theatre, Mason-Dixon Council Boy Scouts of America, Salem Lodge 196, Ali Ghan Shrine, American Legion Post 42, Vice Chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County EDC, and Chair of the Site Development and Infrastructure Committees. Appointed In 2001 a six-year term by Governor Glendening as Administrator the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Boards for twenty-three counties and Baltimore City. This is his 8th year on the board for Horizon Goodwill, 3 years being Chairman.
Dustin Watson, Vice Chair
Sarah Barnes, SecretaryRead More
Sarah Barnes is a native of, and current resident of Franklin County Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the American Banking Association School of Bank Marketing and Management and has over 15 years of financial service and management experience. Presently Sarah is the Branch Manager of United Bank and owner of The Razor's Edge barber shop in Hagerstown Maryland. Sarah has a true passion for cultivating relationships through education and positive reinforcement. She is driven to motivate colleagues, affiliates, and the communities we serve. In addition to Board Member Secretary for Horizon Goodwill, she is a member of the Boys & Girls Club for Washington County, Executive Vice President on the board for Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, and a current member of Washington County Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Zampelli, Treasurer
F. Christian Wright, Immediate Past ChairRead More
Christian is a 3rd generation owner of Wright-Gardner Insurance, Inc. – a regional, independent insurance agency with over 6,000 clients. Christian’s clients represent a cross-section of industries, including non-profits, manufacturing, construction, distribution, health care, service, and retail. He has earned the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor and the coveted Certified Risk Manager. Christian has developed successful loss control, safety & dividend programs that have returned over $2.5 million to his clients. Christian graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992. He lives in Hagerstown with his wife, Julie, and two children (son, Christian) (daughter, Laura). In his spare time, he likes to play golf, tennis, fish, boat, and enjoy the outdoors.
2021-2022 Board Members
Mike BardRead More
I was born in McConnellsburg PA in 1963. I was raised on a dairy farm in Needmore PA where I learned the value of hard work. I graduated first in my class from the JGR Enterprises Machinist program from Southern Fulton Jr/Sr High School in 1981. Afterward, I started my machine shop and auto repair business. Over time I phased out the machine shop and concentrated on auto repair, auto sales, and collision repair which I still own and operate with my wife Jonie. I began buying residential rental properties in 1988 and transitioned into commercial properties. In 2007, I formed Buchanan Commercial Properties, LLC to own and manage my real estate holdings. My brother and I own Bardona Farms, LLC which manages our 830-acre farming operation. I serve as Sunday School Superintendent and as a Trustee for my local Methodist Church. I'm a member of the Mid Atlantic Independent Auto Dealers Association, Automotive Service Providers Association, and Fulton County Chamber of Commerce.
Sila Alegret-BartelRead More
Sila Alegret-Bartel is originally from Cuba and has lived in United States since 1966. She is the Founder and President of International Corporate Training and Marketing, LLC (ICTM). Prior to founding ICTM in Frederick, Sila worked in banking, marketing and non-profit organizations in the DC area including Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). While living in Frederick, MD, Sila served as Chairwoman of the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Frederick), United Way of Frederick County, and American Red Cross-Frederick County Chapter. Currently, Sila is the Chair of the Western Region Chapter of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Mission and Outreach Committee Chair of Horizon Goodwill Industries, Board Member of San Mar Family and Community Services, Patriot Federal Credit Union (Chambersburg, PA), and Keystone Health (Chambersburg, PA).
Paul FreyRead More
Paul Frey, IOM, joined the Washington County Chamber of Commerce as President and CEO in September 2014. Paul previously worked for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce for over four years, first as Vice President and then as Acting President. After graduating college in 1983, Paul worked for 20 years operating Roy Rogers Restaurants for The Plamondon Companies. In 2001, Paul founded Clear Path Organization Consulting, a management consulting firm specializing in helping organizations get results. Paul assisted business, community organizations, and nonprofit entities in getting results through innovation and accountability. Paul earned his BS degree from Towson University, his MBA from Mount Saint Mary's University, and his MS in Organization Development from The Johns Hopkins University. He graduated from the U.S. Chamber's Institute for Organization Management (IOM) program in 2015.
Bill GaertnerRead More
Bill Gaertner is the founder and Executive Director of Gatekeepers in Washington County, a program that helps ex-offenders transition back into their communities after serving time in prison. Mr. Gaertner coached at the college level, including a stint at Towson University. He coached with the legendary Jim Valvano at Johns Hopkins, the University of Connecticut and Iona. He was the head coach at Norwich University in Vermont. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 in the Pathfinders Category for people with New England roots who left the region and earned great distinction in basketball and/or society. He also serves on the board of directors of Lasting Change of Hagerstown (a residential and outpatient community substance agency for women). He’s also a member of Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Advisory Board. In 2021, Mr. Gaertner will be presented the Nationals St Dismas Award, at the Baltimore Basilica.
Sandra HamiltonRead More
Sandy Hamilton is a member of the Horizon Goodwill Industries Board of Directors. She is a lifelong resident of Berkeley County, West Virginia. She graduated from Musselman High School and Shepherd University. She also has a West Virginia Real Estate License. She worked for numerous West Virginia state agencies throughout her career, including Workforce West Virginia and the State Tax Department. She also worked for 15 years for Potomac Edison. She joined the Berkeley County Development Authority eight years ago and serves as the Executive Director. She serves on numerous county and non-profit boards and committees, as well as the West Virginia School Building Authority. She was recently selected as a 2020 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital and the West Virginia Executive Magazine’s 2020 Sharp Shooter.
Dolores HarmonRead More
Ms. Harmon has been a Board Member with Horizon Goodwill since 2016. She most recently was a Regional Manager with the Maryland State Department Of Education (MSDE) in Hagerstown, MD. Prior to that role, she was a Child Care Licensing Specialist and Social Worker with MSDE from 1976 to 1998. She earned a Bachelors's degree in Social Work from Bowie State College in Bowie Maryland.
Dr. Heather HurstRead More
Heather Hurst, Ph.D., is an associate professor and director of the Educational Doctoral program in educational leadership at Frostburg State University. A former high school English teacher, Heather earned her Ph.D. in Reading, Writing, and Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. She has published in Methodological Innovations, Academic Advising Today, the English Journal, English Education, and Research in the Teaching of English. In addition, she serves as a member of the American Educational Research Association, the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate, the National Council of Teachers of English, English Language Arts Teacher Educators, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Dr. John KrowkaRead More
Dr. Krowka is a native of New York City and has lived for over 20 years in Boonsboro. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Alberta and spent over 20 years doing HIV/AIDS research in addition to working in biotechnology and industry before retiring from the Personal Care Products Council as its Senior Microbiologist in 2016. He owns Kensho Farms in Boonsboro which sells certified organic produce. Dr. Krowka is a passionate advocate for education, workforce development, and social justice and serves on the Board of Directors of OnTrack Washington County, the Robert W. Johnson Community Center, and the Education Foundation of the WCPS.
Laura LowryRead More
Laura has served on the board of directors for Horizon Goodwill for six years, in 2019 holding the Board Chair position. Currently, she serves on the Finance and Operations Committee, where previously she held the committee chair position for a 3 year period. In addition, she participates in the Mission Outreach and Governance/Compliance committees and finds her experiences with Horizon Goodwill truly rewarding and fulfilling. She has been an active participant in the Washington County Chamber of Commerce previously serving as a Chamber Ambassador for several years. Laura also serves on the board of directors for Tabitha’s Table a local food pantry in Smithsburg Maryland as well as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Hagerstown. Laura has 35 years of financial banking experience with various local financial institutions and resides in Washington County Maryland.
Marion MitchellRead More
Marion Mitchell is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. She is a graduate of California University in Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. In her professional career, she has accrued over 30 years of experience in teaching and child care management. She has served on various committees and currently serves on the Deaconess Board at Zions Baptist Church. Marion has been married to her husband for 47 years. They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Aaron PeteraneczRead More
Mr. Peteranecz founded Design Method Group in 2008 and it has developed into the fields of Marketing and Design, Architecture, Commercial Lending, Real Estate Development, Construction and Renovation, and Property Management. He holds a BFA in environmental design from The Maryland Institute College of Art, and a Master of Architecture degree from The Catholic University of America. Aaron is also the founder of Studio Novum Architects and a Principal of Ridgecrest Investments. Mr. Peteranecz is active in the community. He is a Past President of the Hagerstown Rotary Club and serves on several non-profit boards of directors.
Josh RepacRead More
Josh Repac is Vice President, Revenue Cycle and Clinical Support Services at Meritus Health. He previously served as executive director of revenue cycle and reimbursement for the organization. Prior to coming to Meritus health, he served as director of the Berkeley Research Group and manager advisory of KPMG, LLP, both health care reimbursement companies located in the Baltimore region. He is a certified public accountant and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore/Towson University and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.