Garrett County Government - Department of Business Development
About Us




Kim Durst
Manager of Business Development
Business Tax Credit Administrator

Kim began her business development career in January 2004. Originally hired to fill an administrative assistant position, Kim began assuming additional duties almost immediately and quickly became an indispensable member of the county’s business development team.
A graduate of Southern Garrett Senior High School, Kim holds an AA Degree in Math/Science from Garrett College, McHenry, a Paralegal Certification with specialties in real estate law, civil litigation, wills and trusts, and corporate law from the Professional Career Development Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, and has received specialized training in GIS applications as they relate to economic development and federal statistics.
Kim’s duties within the department include office administration and management, data mining/analysis, GIS applications, business tax credit program administration, website and social media management, business retention and expansion services, business start-up services, legislative tracking, and special report projects, among others. She is also a Notary Public, providing services free of charge to the public.
Kim is a member of the Western Maryland Workforce Development Board, the Garrett County Workforce Development Board, the Garrett County Workforce Development Council, and the I-68 Regional Alliance Board, She is also a member of the Tri-Council Council for Western Maryland and the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), as well as a partner-in-progress of The Greater Cumberland Committee and an advisory member of the Garrett County Development Corporation. She previously served on the Garrett County Development Corporation’s Workforce Development and Business Start-Up and Support Workgroups, as well as The Greater Cumberland Committee's Education Workgroup.
A long-time advocate for children with special needs, Kim served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Salem Children’s Trust, Inc., Grantsville, from 2009-2016. She has also served on the Garrett County Department of Social Services Advisory Board and the Garrett County Mental Health Advisory Committee.
In her free time, Kim enjoys family gatherings, reading, genealogy research, and quilting.
Contact Kim at (301) 334-1992 or

Cheryl DeBerry
Natural Resources Business Specialist

Cheryl grew up on her family's farm in nearby Tucker County, West Virginia.  After working in education for six years, Cheryl got back to her roots when she was hired by Garrett County Economic Development as the Agriculture Marketing Specialist in 2002.  In 2009, her job title changed to Natural Resources Business Specialist, to reflect her expanded work with small business development in other sectors of Garrett County's economy, including forestry, energy and the arts. 
More recently, Cheryl began overseeing the County's rural broadband expansion project. Funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the County, the project seeks to provide high speed internet service wirelessly to residents and businesses in targeted unserved and underserved areas of the county.     
She is charged with helping expand local markets for agricultural and natural resources products and services, helping entrepreneurs with marketing planning, writing grants for various projects, keeping local and state officials updated on agricultural & natural resources issues, working with local rural development organizations, and working to keep agriculture and natural resources as viable business options for young people.
Cheryl has worked to expand the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market, where sales last year topped a quarter of a million dollars.  She created the local farm promotion campaign at the website, created the printed Local Foods & Farm Guide, assisted with the creation of the Garrett Growers Cooperative, aided in the creation of the Barn Quilt Tour and the "Visit Our Working Farms" agritourism brochure.  She was appointed by the governor to serve on the Maryland Agricultural Commission and the Governor's Intergovernmental Commission and is a former board member of the national Farmers Market Coalition.  
After graduating with a B.S. in Business Marketing from West Virginia Wesleyan College, Cheryl received her M.S. in Agricultural Education from West Virginia University.
In her free time, Cheryl assists her family with their 10-acre fresh produce farm, serves on the Tucker Community Foundation Board of Directors, and spends time with her family.
Contact Cheryl at (301) 334-6968 or

Joshua Hook
Business Development Specialist

Joshua Hook began working with Garrett County Business Development in January 2020 as the Business Development Specialist. Prior to joining the department, Joshua was an employee and department manager for Hunter Douglas for 13 years. Over that timeframe, Joshua earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Frostburg State University in Business Administration. While in manufacturing, Joshua earned his Green Belt Certification for Six Sigma and significant training on lean manufacturing. Joshua completed the Garrett College Paramedic Certification program. In 2014, Joshua joined Garrett County Emergency Services where he served as a Lieutenant Paramedic. Joshua completed his Master of Business Administration in 2019 from Frostburg State University, graduating with honors. He is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success and the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society.

Joshua’s role is as liaison between the department and Garrett County's municipalities, and he serves an elected term on the Garrett County Municipalities Board. Additional duties include the Garrett County's Arts & Entertainment Districts and Main Street Communities, as well as managing the department's business, retention, and expansion program to assist new and tenured businesses throughout Garrett County.

Joshua is also involved in the community and holds multiple leadership roles in many different organizations. He has served for 15 years and is the current acting President and Chairman for the Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company. Joshua is the president of the Swift Water Rescue Team for Garrett County, which formally organized in 2019. Finally, Joshua is a member of Southern Garrett County Rescue Squad and serves as a board of director for the organization.
Contact Josh at (301) 334-7281 or

Cindy Sharon
Project Manager

As of July 1, 2021, Cindy Sharon has been transferred to the Grants Management Division in Garrett County's Office of Financial Services.  Her telephone number and email remain the same.
Contact Cindy at (301) 334-1990 or