Get to Know Us
We're a Community Within a Community.
Our Market is more than just a bunch of people selling things. Like any other group project, it requires communication and coordination, and people willing to help each other out.
We also have ties outside the Market -- that's where we come from, after all!
Our Market Committee consists of six members:
Kelly Phipps, Market Manager
Dawn Bowling, Vendor Representative
Jessica Conjour, Community Representative
Craig Hower, Community Representative
Cindy Mullikin, Vendor Representative
Ron Waltemyer, Vendor Representative
All representatives were appointed by the Market Manager to review and update the Market rules, draw up Market bylaws and operating procedures, and review and approve vendor applications. In the case of the Vendor Representatives, the appointment was meant to be temporary until we could hold elections among the vendors in the first month of market. We met in January and February, put together our first drafts, and then…
All of the sudden, instead of revising and clarifying attendance policies and allowable products, we were trying to wrap our heads around a pandemic and possible complete shutdown. No doubt you remember the days when "unprecedented" and "uncertain" became part of our everyday speech.
When the public schools were closed for two weeks, we thought a two-week delay wouldn’t be too hard. Opening day was postponed, postponed again, and then finally just taken off the books. As businesses and organizations closed left and right – and all of our representatives were affected in one way or another – all we could do was wait, just like the rest of Maryland, and watch Governor Hogan’s latest press conference to see what was next.
As soon as things started opening up, even a little bit, we immediately started asking questions about when and how we could open. In meetings held via Facebook messenger, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams – plus rapid-fire email volleys, text messages, and phone calls -- we worked with the Town of La Plata to figure out how to address health and hygiene concerns. What guidelines affect us? Can we comply with federal, state, county, and municipal instructions? Can we keep the vendors and customers safe? How do we control the crowds? These were not questions we thought we'd have to answer in our first Committee. All of this was on top of trying to figure out how to live everyday life and keep businesses afloat in the midst of ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions.
We finally resolved the last concern and set a new opening date. After a rocky start, we started to recover, and we’re steadily working our way back. Not all of our vendors and regular customers came back, but week by week, we see more of our community coming out. We’re all still a little on edge and annoyed at having to wear masks everywhere, but we know it’s all worth it for the good of our families and our community. This, too, shall pass, and one day, we’ll have those elections. Maybe next year. Sorry, Cindy.