Welcome to Girl Crush, our way of spotlighting some of the most amazing women in and around the community. These ladies have something special. They enlighten us, inspire us and (we admit) give us cause for envy.
The first gal we’re crushing on is Michelle Kershner. She’s sassy, spunky and works to promote Frederick in the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development. (So fancy!)
Okay, girl. Give our readers a snapshot of your life…
I am a Frederick County native and grew up in Walkersville. I attended McDaniel College and earned a degree in history. However, all of my practical experience was in communications. I’ve been married to my husband, Zack, for nearly 15 years and together we have two boys, Liam (7) and Mason (11). About 10 years ago, we moved to Downtown Frederick, renovated an old house, and have enjoyed living, working, and raising a family in Downtown Frederick ever since.
I am the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development where I have the distinct privilege of working with local businesses and helping promote Frederick as a great business destination. Previously, I was the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Tourism Council of Frederick County. I managed social media outreach, public relations, marketing programs, and content development for various aspects of the Tourism Council of Frederick County. As a destination marketing professional, I was passionate about sharing the area’s best kept secrets with visitors. Prior to that, I was a Main Street Manager in Brunswick, Maryland and developed my love for historic city centers.
I can be caught cooking, working on the yard, snapping pictures, and shopping at farmer’s markets while not working. I enjoy running, biking, and exploring my hometown like a tourist on the weekends.
What do you love about your job or life?
Coming from a family who owns a small business, I love that I can assist other small business owners in my job. People we meet explain how they are going to take their passion and turn it into a business model. It’s rewarding to connect business owners with resources to make their business stronger or provide information to help them find a location or open.
I also love that I can be an advocate for Frederick in my job. It has a great quality of life, and the more others realize the opportunities here, the stronger our community will become.
Over a decade ago, my husband and I hatched a plan over a few pints to live and work in Downtown Frederick. It was this decision that has given us great satisfaction and fulfillment. We wanted walkability, no commute, an active lifestyle, and more time with our family. Downtown Frederick’s amenities such as the parks, restaurants, and cultural opportunities for us and our children were important. We moved. We changed jobs when positions opened. We have never regretted those decisions. Today, we live in one of the best downtowns in America. Looking back, I might have chosen a slightly different location in town. But I would do it again in a heartbeat.
One thing most people don’t know about you?
I’ve been to the top of Mt. Fuji. Not the tippy top, but far enough up to check it off the list.
Describe for us one thing on your bucket list…
A lot of travel destinations are on my bucket list. But I want to explore our National Parks with our kids while they’re still young, primarily Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.
When/where do you get your best ideas?
I usually get my best ideas when I’m drifting off to sleep. When I’ve had a chance to decompress, I’m alone, and nothing is interrupting my thoughts. Unfortunately, I rarely wake up fully to write down these fabulous ideas.
- Coffee in the morning.
- Family & friends.
Oddest thing on your desk right now?
I have a paperweight on my desk that has straw flowers and beetles encased in glass. Years ago, I went on a blind date. The guy gave me the paperweight at the end of the date as a gift. The beetles are actually scarab beetles, which are a type of dung beetle. I kept it, because no one would believe the story otherwise. It was the first and last date with him. Within the year, I met my husband. He did not give me dung beetles.
Current beauty obsession?
Coconut oil. I use it to remove make up, moisturize dry skin, make a sugar scrub, and heal chapped lips. We cook with it and I even put it in my coffee sometimes to “bullet proof” my coffee (and hopefully day).
In your life, who have been your biggest role models?
My parents have been great role models. They are calculated risk takers who aren’t afraid to pursue their dreams. My mom attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and was trained in fashion design in the 60’s. She stayed home with us when we were kids, but always had a part-time business from home selling floral arrangements and crafts at seasonal festivals. My dad had a full time job in engineering.
When I was in high school, they faced a difficult decision. My dad was looking for a new career path after 20+ years in the corporate world. Together, they became entrepreneurs. Using my mom’s design and retail management skills and my dad’s financial management abilities, they opened Country Accents on East Patrick Street in Downtown Frederick. That was in the 90’s. Today, the shop is known as Accents at Shab Row and they still run the business together at 122 N. East Street (and it’s where I get most of my jewelry and fresh herbs in the spring).
Only now that I have a family of my own, I fully understand the investment and risk that they took. Seeing their struggles and successes as small business owners in a historic Downtown has influenced me a great deal from my job to lifestyle choices.
Fav thing to do in Frederick County?
Walk and hike. We love being outside. I love walking or running in Baker Park, hiking at Monocacy Battlefield, or heading to Catoctin Mountain’s trails. We have a beautiful city surrounded by scenic countryside.
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