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Maryland Regional Development Advocate and Historian Al Feldstein Receives 2015 DDAA John D. Whisman Vision Award

March 2015


WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015—Al Feldstein, retired ARC program manager for the State of Maryland, received the 2015 John D. Whisman Vision Award from the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) today at its annual conference in Arlington, Virginia. More than 250 local development officials representing 73 economic planning and development districts in Appalachia attended the March 22–24 conference.

The DDAA presents the John D. Whisman Vision Award each year to an individual who has provided exemplary service and leadership in Appalachia and demonstrated a commitment to the ideals of state and federal cooperation.

Feldstein served for several decades with the Maryland Department of Planning, retiring from his role as the state’s ARC program manager in December 2014. An award-winning historian, he has published numerous books and videos on the western Maryland counties of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington.

He was cited by the DDAA for an exemplary career as a champion for regional planning and development, during which he served as a teacher and government official as well as an author and historian. He was recognized for the strong leadership and vision he provided to western Maryland and its three Appalachian counties for more than 40 years.

In his remarks at the awards ceremony, Feldstein underscored the importance of partnerships in promoting economic development.

Established in 1976 by the executive directors of Appalachia's local development districts, the DDAA provides professional and technical training opportunities for local economic development officials and community leaders; directs an annual best-practices conference; and promotes improved communication and quality of service throughout the Appalachian Region.