HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland has successfully turned the corner from the COVID-19 crisis and can look forward to a strong economic rebound, according to Governor Hogan’s commerce secretary.

Kelley Schulz made a visit to Washington County on Wednesday. She is a former legislator who got to know Governor Larry Hogan well as a member of his transition team after the 2014 election. Schulz has a background in real estate, working with a defense contractor and is seen as a rising star in the Maryland GOP.

At the State House in Annapolis, she has worked closely with the governor and General Assembly to navigate the pandemic’s impact on Maryland’s economy. She’ll be the first to say that the economy could not move forward until the coronavirus was addressed.

“Being able to manage the health care crisis really led to the expansion of the economic recovery,” Schulz said.

Paul Frey is president & CEO of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and is counting on Hogan administration policies to give a lift to business here locally. He is upbeat about the road ahead.

“As of July 1 all the restrictions are off,” Frey said, “and we’re happy to see that and Secretary Schulz has worked really really hard with the business community.”

What Frey sees regionally, Secretary Schulz is seeing all across the state.

“Maryland is seeing the seventh fastest growing economy in the nation right now and I think much of that is due to the fact that we’re able to manage the health care crisis,” Schultz explained.

Numerous business leaders from the region were on hand to hear the secretary’s Rotary Club address.

Gearing up for the Republican gubernatorial nomination to succeed Larry Hogan, who is term-limited, the audience at the Rotary Club in Hagerstown paid careful attention to the secretary’s upbeat message. She is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates from Frederick County and served on the Economic Matters Committee.