Local Business Owner Who Hiked 500-mile Trail from France to Spain Hosts Moving Mountains Talk


Joanne McCoy, a local business owner who hiked more than 500 miles along the Camino de Santiago from France to Spain, will speak at Frederick Community College (FCC) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 as part of the Moving Mountains Speaker Series.
McCoy’s talk, “Walking Each Other Home: 40 Days on the Camino de Santiago,” will focus on the life lessons she learned while walking alone from Saint Jean Pied-de-Port, France to the city of Santiago de Compostela on the Galician coast of northwest Spain.
The event is the second of the 2019-2020 Moving Mountains series. The monthly series features inspiring professionals who share their life experiences and encourage teens and young adults to set the bar high in all areas of their lives.
McCoy was inspired to embark on the pilgrimage along the Camino after seeing the movie “The Way,” in which the lead character, played by Martin Sheen, hikes the same trail. While she had little hiking experience at the time, the movie’s message stuck with her, and she felt a strong pull to the Camino.
“At first I kept thinking of reasons why it would be crazy for me to do this, but the idea just wouldn’t leave me,” McCoy said. “It’s not just that I wanted to hike the Camino, I felt like I was supposed to do it. It’s been more than two years since my pilgrimage, and lessons from that experience continue to unfold and reveal themselves to me.”
She has spoken to numerous groups about her 40-day hike along the Camino. She often talks about the importance of living a mindful and intentional life, something that she thinks can be a helpful message for young people.

“You can always look at experiences and ask, ‘why did this happen to me?’” McCoy said. “Instead, I think it’s important to ask ‘what did this teach me and what did I gain from this experience?’ When you can make that shift, everything changes for the better.”

McCoy is the founder, president, and CEO of McCoy Media Group, which has provided clients with public relations, marketing, and communication services since 2002. She has been named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Entrepreneur Council of Frederick. 

McCoy has been an active community volunteer for 30 years. She has held numerous leadership positions in the Rotary Club of Frederick and was recently selected to lead the club as President from 2020 until 2021, when the club observes its 100th anniversary of service to the local and global community. McCoy is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle and the Frederick Memorial Hospital Order of the Good Samaritan, and is a former Trustee for the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

Moving Mountains speaker sessions are free and open to the public and take place in the JBK Theater, located inside the Visual & Performing Arts Center on the main campus. No registration is required to attend. Teens and young adults who attend and sign in for three of the six sessions in an academic year are eligible to receive a certificate of leadership and participation.

Other upcoming speakers for the 2019-2020 season include:

  • January 15 – Howard Burns, longtime jazz musician and FCC Jazz Band Director
  • February 19 – Ryan Morse, owner of Crucible Performance and personal trainer
  • March 18 – James Hatch, FCC Cybersecurity and Computer Science Program Manager
For more information, click here. If you have questions, contact Mike Pritchard at or 301-846-2417.

Frederick Community College makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities for College-sponsored events and programs. If you have accommodation needs, please call 301.846.2408. To request a sign language interpreter, please call 240.629.7819 or 301.846.2408 (Voice) or email interpreting. Sign language interpreters will not be automatically provided for College-sponsored events without a request for services. To guarantee accommodations, requests must be made at least five workdays in advance of a scheduled event.