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Beacon Newsletter

APRIL 2020

Beacon Event

Greetings from BEACON at Salisbury University –

Currently Operating in the "Cloud!"


What a difference a few short weeks make!

A good part of my work at BEACON involves trend forecasting. This entails looking at past trends and current indicators, and predicting likely future scenarios. The forecasts we have been making at BEACON throughout the past 30 years have been quite accurate. Yet, if you had told me earlier this year that a virus would practically shut down the economies of so many countries and push nearly 100% of my work to the "Cloud," I would have laughed at you.

The reality in which we find ourselves today is more incredible than any science fiction book I ever read. Nevertheless, the BEACON team, with little advance notice, was able to pivot – and pivot practically overnight – into a new virtual operations reality. Our productivity is just as high as before. In fact, due to time saved by not traveling across the bridge or from meeting to meeting locally, we seem to have improved our productivity. We are continuing our work on our many externally funded applied research  projects and on our community outreach initiatives without any disruption. We have been hosting two, three-part webinars on Post-Pandemic Scenarios for Businesses and on Post-Pandemic Strategic Thinking for Nonprofits. We have finalized agreements on four new externally funded applied research projects and we are in the final stages of developing agreements on four other new projects.

As the complex new normal continues to evolve, we will continue to adapt. We will also continue to provide advice, assistance and support to all our outreach partners, project sponsors and our various stakeholders. Together, we will go through these difficult times and emerge on the other side stronger and wiser.

Be well and stay safe!


Memo Sarah

Dr. Memo Diriker, Director                                           

BEACON Project News

Public Health

Health Department Project


BEACON is currently conducting strategic planning and data analysis projects for the Wicomico and Somerset county health departments. Recently, the Maryland Department of Health was awarded a three-year “Overdose Data to Action” cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This program is designed to support statewide and local strategies that will be deployed to build capacity for preventing morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdoses. The Wicomico and Somerset county health departments called on BEACON to conduct all the surveys, interviews and strategic planning sessions related to this program. Upon conclusion of this project, BEACON will provide the two health departments with comprehensive plans that will be supported by ongoing data analysis protocols. 


Maryland Nursery,

Landscape and Greenhouse Association Project


BEACON was contracted by the Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association to complete a comprehensive analysis of the growth and strength of the Maryland Horticulture Industry. To do this, BEACON administered the 2018 Maryland Horticulture Survey, which presented a numerical picture of the plant types grown and sold within the state, location grown and sold, number of individuals employed in the industry, tenure of operation, and total numerical value of the equipment, land and horticulture sales. The 2018 survey was sent to over 1,000 state-licensed operations and assisted in identifying key components that impact growth of the horticulture industry. Although the survey and report did not include all of the total economic activity, the 2018 Maryland Horticulture survey did provide a descriptive overview of statewide trends within the industry.


Student Spotlight: Gabby Winsky

Gabby Winsky

My name is Gabby Winsky and I am a senior research assistant with BEACON at Salisbury University. I am currently in my final semester of completing my Master of Business Administration from the Perdue School of Business. I graduated from Washington College in 2018 with a major in business administration, a concentration in finance and accounting, and minors in French and economics. While at Washington College, I played four years of collegiate basketball and was a peer tutor as well as a peer mentor. It has always been a goal of mine to attend graduate school, so I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at BEACON and earn my M.B.A. simultaneously.

Since starting at BEACON in July 2018, I have been fortunate enough to work with public, private and non-profit sector clients on a variety of different projects. Getting exposure to different sectors is a great learning opportunity, as each sector faces its own unique challenges. Though BEACON provides a wide range of services, including, but not limited to, economic impact studies, feasibility studies and program/grant evaluations, I have found that strategic planning is my favorite type of project. I love being able to learn the ins and outs of individual companies and organizations, to help identify their potential risks and opportunities, and to develop creative solutions that will guide the entity forward for the next five to ten years.

Upon graduation, I hope to take everything that I have learned from working at BEACON and continue to work in consulting, primarily focusing on business, economic and workforce development projects.

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Contact Information

1101 Camden Ave.

Perdue Hall, Suite 100

Salisbury, MD 21801


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SU is an Equal Opportunity/AA/Title IX university and provides reasonable accommodation given sufficient notice to the University office or staff sponsoring the event or program. For more information regarding SU’s policies and procedures, please visit .  


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