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CEDC Board adds Freas and Silka

June 7th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce that Dustin Freas and Jeffrey Silka have joined the Board of Directors. Dustin serves as Chief Development Officer of Care Ventures and Jeff is City Administrator for the City of Cumberland.

“We are pleased to have both Dustin and Jeff join our board of accomplished business leaders,” said Cumberland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Matt Miller. “Dustin’s experience in business development and acquisition and Jeff’s background in City management and economic development will be tremendous assets to our Board.”

Dustin Freas has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry and over five years of medical cannabis experience. Freas gained experience in direct patient management across three different skilled nursing facilities. At Flagship Rehabilitation, a home care facility focused on delivering person centered care with innovative solutions and exceptional care models across the Mid-Atlantic, Freas was responsible for the acquisition of over 400 employees, and he successfully implemented recruitment and retention programs, policies, and procedures, including providing cost effective staffing solutions. Freas worked closely with the COO to direct operations and the financial management of 50 facilities, overseeing the management of eight facilities and over 50 employees, maintaining over $6 Million in revenue per annum.

As Managing Partner for Care Ventures, a company that handles new business development and acquisition for several healthcare facilities, including Anchor Rehabilitation, Flagship Healthcare, Rehab 1st, and Crossroads. Since being there, Freas has established and signed 50 new contracts with 40 million in revenue. In addition to that, he founded and assisted in closing an $82,000,000 Mid-Atlantic Health Care nursing home purchase for five locations and 1200 beds in Philadelphia. In addition to his present role as Managing Partner, Freas acts as Division Head for both the Promotions and Marketing and Public Relations divisions, guiding all marketing campaigns and other media related efforts, including press releases. Freas is also the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner for Novus Pain Management, a multi-state subspecialty physician practice that focuses on effectively managing pain and reducing opioid use in senior populations. After decades of witnessing patients struggle with their qualifying conditions and searching for effective treatments, Freas entered the cannabis industry.

Freas is a founder of Grow West, a family-owned medical cannabis cultivation and dispensary located in Cumberland, MD with over 80 employees. In addition to that, since 2017, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Good Harvest Investments, an equity group that has invested in over 15 cannabis deals and ancillary medical markets since 2014. Through these businesses, Freas has overseen cannabis license application processes in over five states, led various capital raises and mergers and acquisitions, and has been involved in crafting opioid replacement legislation in MD and WV. Additionally, Freas has participated as an Anchor Investor and General Partner for Merida Capital Partners.

Jeff Silka grew up in Johnstown, PA and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a B.A. in Political Science.   He received a M.A. in Public Affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Jeff held the International Economic Development Council credential of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from 2009-2018.  He has served local government and economic development for the past twenty-seven years in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  He has previously served as manager of the cities of Johnstown PA, Shinnston, WV and North Huntingdon Township, PA.  He was the past executive director of the Somerset County Economic Development Council.  Currently he is serving as the City Administrator for Cumberland, Maryland.

Through his career he has served on and held leadership positions on Main Street boards various service clubs, chambers of commerce and municipal organizations.   He is currently the incoming Secretary of the Maryland City/County Management Association.

Jeff resides in Cumberland with his wife Carralee and one son.  His hobbies include fishing, hiking, kayaking, golfing and Civil War battlefields and history.