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WCBC’s 12 Most Compelling People of 2022

January 3rd, 2023 by WCBC Radio

Dr Peter Halmos/Shirley Girarritta (Allegany County lost two long time community leaders late in the year with the passings of Dr Halmos and Mrs Giarritta

James Furstenburg- A political newcomer, Jimmy Furstenburg joined the Cumberland City Council as he was  among the top vote getters in the primary and general elections.

Bill Atkinson- a veteran of working in government, Bill made the jump to elected office in November winning a seat on the Board of Allegany County Commissioners

Mikey Allen- dazzled as a true two sport star in Cumberland leading Bishop Walsh in Basketball before becoming a key member of the 2022 State Champion Fort Hill Sentinals Football team

FH Football Coach Zack Alkire- The Sentinals head coach led his team to a second consecutive state title with a dramatic last second field goal to best local rival Mountain Ridge in a game that became an instant classic

Jim Pyles- Appointed to the position of Allegany County Director of Emergency Services in 2019 following a scandal that led to the ouster of a number of department leaders- Pyles has reorganized the department, and it now ranks as among the most efficient and effective in the state.

Garrett Eagan/Chris Hendershot- two young and innovate businessmen, Eagan and Hendershot are helping to lead the way in revitalizing the downtown business climate by purchasing and renovating both the McMullen Building and the former M&T Bank.

William Valois- the Grow West CEO oversaw the company invest more than $30 million in the operation, including a major expansion project- playing a leading role in the county’s fasted growing industry

Barb Buehl- after years in the private sector, a stint as head of the chamber of commerce and having served as Allegany County’s tourism director- Barb Buehl  hit her stride as DelFest community liaison. Barb has played a key role in helping navigate the popular Festival during it’s growing pains when it first began, and through the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled the show in 2020

Pastor David Ziler- the director of the Union Rescue Mission, Pastor Ziler has worked to improve the lives of the county’s homeless population, culminating in the announcement this year that the Mission will be relocating to North Centre Street.

James Hinebaugh- A longtime economic development director and most recently a Garrett County Commissioner, Jim Hinebaugh advanced his political career in 2022, being elected to fill the House of Delegates seat being vacated by Wendell Beitzel

Bobby Smith (City Engineer)- Although seldom making headlines, the man behind the scenes moving any number of projects forward is city engineer Bobby Smith. His fingerprints can be found on projects ranging from Rolling Mill; to the Downtown Mall redesign; and improvements planned for the West Side bridges and the Baltimore Street/Casper Taylor bridge.