Jennifer Russel has been appointed by County Executive Ike Leggett to serve on the Montgomery County Office Working Group. This group has been tasked with making recommendations on immediate steps the County can take to stimulate the leasing of vacant space. The group was also directed to consider the viability of converting existing commercial structures into other uses, noting barriers and incentives that may be needed and to investigate how to best retrofit office environments in the County with large amounts of vacant office space into more attractive and lively communities. The Committee met several times during the winter and is preparing to submit its final report to The County Executive at the end of January. The Group’s draft recommendations encourage expansion of current economic development efforts, support of local business growth, enhancing the County’s built environment and continuing to invest in transit and alternative forms of transportation.