News Rodeheaver Is New Gcf Board Chair - Garrett College
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Campus News

July 19th, 2022

Rodeheaver is new GCF board chair

FUBT CEO, previously vice chair, replaces Crawford


Carissa Rodeheaver is the new chair of the Garrett College Foundation Board of Directors.

It's a pretty simple premise. Encouraging students to stay home to study at Garrett College greatly increases the chances they'll choose to make Garrett County home after college.

That premise is one reason Carissa Rodeheaver has dedicated nearly two decades of service to the Garrett College Foundation, which helps financially support Garrett College students.

"If we can get our students to start here in our own county at our own college, it provides a much better chance to bring them back after they graduate," said Rodeheaver, who was recently elected to succeed Susie Crawford as chair of the Garrett College Foundation's Board of Directors. "I really feel building the offerings we have for higher education, the arts and recreation in this county and having our students either stay or return to Garrett County is very important for our workforce and continued growth and prosperity in our community."

Rodeheaver – chief executive officer, president and board chair for First United Bank & Trust – said one of her roles as GCF board chair is to keep the Foundation focused on its mission.

"The Foundation exists to support the educational mission of Garrett College," said Rodeheaver. "Our most important duty is to provide the financial support the College needs to fulfill its mission."

The Foundation has had impressive success in that mission under Crawford's leadership, running its first two comprehensive capital campaigns in succession over the past six years while Rodeheaver served as board vice chair.

GCF raised nearly $2.5 million for an operational endowment to support the Offutt STEM Center, which opened in 2018. It followed up that success with a campaign to support the soon-to-open Performing Arts Center at Garrett College that is expected to exceed its $2.5 million goal.

"We live in a such a generous community," noted Rodeheaver. "Our residents support the College and other worthwhile causes because they know that support helps keep Garrett County such a wonderful place to live."

Rodeheaver's family moved to Garrett County when she was in the sixth grade. She graduated from Northern Garrett High School, earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland College Park, and attained the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

While Rodeheaver has spent the last 30 years at First United Bank & Trust (FUBT), she said she didn't "go to school to be a banker." She originally went into public accounting and worked in the private accounting field before accepting a position as a trust administrator with FUBT.

"I was really intrigued with the field of trusts and investments," recalled Rodeheaver. "It gave me an opportunity to use my accounting background in a very different way that was customer-facing and allowed me to help people achieve their financial and family goals."

Rodeheaver eventually earned her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) license as she moved into financial, investment and estate planning, with her accounting background proving to be extremely beneficial.

"There are just so many opportunities to use a finance and accounting background in banking," said Rodeheaver, who became FUBT's chief financial officer in 2004 and was promoted to CEO, president and board chair in 2016.

Rodeheaver has been heavily involved in both state and national banking trade associations and is widely recognized as a leader in the banking field.

She served as chair of the Maryland Bankers Association and as a board member for the American Bankers Association. In addition, Rodeheaver was selected to The Daily Record's 2021 Power 30 Banking & Finance List, which highlighted leaders who played a significant role in helping the financial services industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rodeheaver first became connected with the Garrett College Foundation through her role at FUBT, overseeing the Foundation's investment portfolio while working in the bank's trust department. After that, she accepted an invitation to join the GCF Board of Directors.

"I've developed a real passion for Garrett College," said Rodeheaver, "and what the Foundation can do to support the College."