State of the County: Feb. 18

Get ready for the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s (HCCC) annual State of the County Luncheon, at which County Executive Allan Kittleman will recap activities and accomplishments in the county and discuss his priorities for the coming months. Don’t miss one of the biggest networking events of 2016. Register now.

Business After Business: Feb: 23

Make a resolution that’s easy to keep. Join us at Champps at The Mall in Columbia for relaxed networking with business friends and colleagues. Bring a friend.

Fulfilling the Dream

Almost 100 people from around the region came to hear C. David Moody share his journey of entrepreneurship and his advice for others who either own their own businesses or are thinking about striking out on their own.

Although growing up in Michigan and Illinois, Moody moved to Atlanta for a fantastic job opportunity at a company, which shortly after he joined, went bankrupt. He offered a great deal of good advice and knowledge that he shared about his own struggles and path to where he is. Here are just a few of his words of wisdom.

  • Your worst day can be your best day, as it opens your life to new directions.
  • Don’t focus on the money; focus on your passion.
  • Give, without expecting anything in return.
  • Many people have dreams, but get stuck in a routine job. Follow your dreams, follow your passion.
  • You have to know, inside and out, the product/service that you’re selling.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and positive energy. Get rid of the negative energy in your life.
  • Be good at what you do, save money — and you’ll have money.
  • Listen to others, but trust your gut.
  • Everything you admire started with someone dreaming. Why not you?

The second half of the program centered on small and minority business growth in Howard County and how best to find — and use — resources. Kittleman; Larry Twele, CEO, Howard County Economic Development Authority; and Jetheda Hernandez, Minority Business Development Agency; discussed initiatives and programs available to small companies and entrepreneurs, mentioning that more than 67% of the businesses in Howard County have less than 10 employees.

Since 2014, more than 250 minority-owned businesses have been recorded. Lou Hutt of The Hutt Company; and Kelly Mitchell, impactHR, discussed their own entrepreneurial paths, both stressing that getting involved in the community, the chamber and other business groups was essential to their success.

Thanks to Howard Community College, which is hosting the event, and to Vaughn Green Funeral Services, The Hutt Company and the DoubleTree for their support, in conjunction with the HCCC, to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. For more information and registration for these events, visit www.howardchamber.com or call 410-730-4111.

C-Level Event: Feb. 24, The King’s Contrivance

Join fellow federal contractors for an exclusive evening of networking with decision-makers representing federal contracting small, medium and primes working in the region focusing on federal customers in intelligence, national security, Department of Defense, aerospace, information and cybersecurity industries.

CFO Roundtable for Federal Contractors

Our series of 10 roundtable discussions started off strong in January with Jacqueline Hlass, regional audit manager at the Defense Contract Audit Agency, as the first speaker. This was the first in our CFO Roundtable series, where we gather a small group of government contracting CFOs to brainstorm and share insights and best practices in working with the federal government.

Lunch is provided, and meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month. A few spaces are still available.

Save the Date

  • Women in Federal Government Contracting Leadership Forum, Friday, March 18. Visit www.GovConnectsWIGC.com to register or sign up for updates.
  • Cyber 7.0: Critical Infrastructures, Wednesday, June 22. Visit www.GovConnectsCyber.com to register or sign up for conference updates.

For more information about GovConnects news and events, contact Maureen Thomas, executive director, at [email protected] or visit govconnects.com.


Inclement Weather Policy

Following our recent blizzard, it seems appropriate to remind everyone of the West County Chamber’s (WCC) inclement weather policy. The chamber follows Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) for decisions regarding all meetings and events. If AACPS is on an opening delay, all morning meetings and events are cancelled, if AACPS closes for the day, all meetings and events are cancelled.

If AACPS is on a weather-related early dismissal, all afternoon and evening meetings and events are cancelled. School opening status can be found at www.aacps.org and it is always atop the home page.

Annual Meeting & Small Business Awards

The WCC’s Annual Meeting is back, this year combined with an invigorated awards program. It will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Maryland Live! Casino’s Rams Head Center Stage, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Cost to attend is $45/person. Awards will be presented for Small Business, Start Up, Woman Owned Business, Minority Owned Business, Business Partner (large business who supports others), Developer and Volunteer of the Year. To R.S.V.P., visit www.westcountychamber.org/events or call the WCC office at 410-672-3422.

Following the Annual Meeting, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in the Arundel Mills Mall will be holding a fundraiser to support the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee. Stop by for a cup of yogurt before you leave.

The Next Mixer

The next West County Mixer is coming up on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and it’s an exciting one. We’ll be visiting Novus Odenton, the beautiful new apartment complex off Route 175, in the Core of the Odenton Town Center. Tour its luxury apartments and check out the beautiful common spaces, including a fantastic fitness area. The mixer will begin at 5 p.m., and (as usual) there is no cost for WCC members and their guests, and a $10 fee for future members.

Women Mean Business

The WCC’s monthly Women Mean Business luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 11:30 a.m. in the chamber conference room, 8379 Piney Orchard Parkway, Suite D. Be sure to register in advance, as we will be bringing in lunch from a local restaurant. Cost to attend is $20.

Master Plan Final Draft

The final draft of the Odenton Master Plan has been released by the Office of Planning and Zoning, and legislation to adopt it will be introduced this month by the Anne Arundel County Council. While the WCC’s review team is pleased that many of its suggestions were adopted, issues still remain regarding road right-of-way design requirements, grandfathering, open space requirements, creation of a fee-in-lieu system for open space and signage outside the Core.

If any of these affect your business or development plans, contact Claire Louder at the chamber office at 410-672-3422 or e-mail [email protected], so we can ensure your concerns are addressed.


188 People Will Impact Your Business in 2106

The Maryland General Assembly, which convened on Wednesday, Jan. 13, has 188 members, including 47 senators and 141 delegates. As this column is written, more than 1,600 requests have been made to the Department of Legislative Services for bill drafting, with 208 proposed bills already filed in the Senate and 154 filed in the House.

Fortunately for our members, we have a process and team assembled to review these proposals, assess the impact on business and engage to advance or defeat the proposals.

The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber’s (BWCC) Legislative Committee, chaired by J. Barnaby Hughes of M&T Bank, works in concert with the Maryland Chamber Legislative Committee and the Maryland Chamber Action Network (CAN) to review and assess proposed legislation in the Maryland General Assembly. The BWCC Legislative Committee then meets (usually virtually) and reviews the proposed positions, either concurring or taking a variant position.

The bills reviewed and the final positions taken by the committee are provided on an ongoing basis and accessible to BWCC members. Do you want to receive this information? If so, send an e-mail to [email protected]. BWCC President and CEO Walt Townshend serves on the Maryland Chamber Legislative Committee and is happy to discuss any issues you may have on proposed legislation or matters you believe should be considered by our legislators.

Watch, too, for special alerts and briefings on various issues — alerting you to crucial times to contact your legislators.

Do you want to get a head start so you know more about the people who impact your business?  A Guide to the Maryland General Assembly may be found on the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) web site. In addition, if you want to see the information about likely issues that each legislator has already received, Issues Papers, 2016 Legislative Session, you may view the 305-page document on the MGA web site, as well.

Working for You

As you plan for 2016, make certain you follow the BWCC web site for news about Women In Business Events, Talent Seekers, Small Business Advisory Group, our “Awkward to Awesome” and Membership 101 programs, and our special events.

In fact, make certain you plan now to attend the Annual Gala, to be held at Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville, on March 10, which will feature the hilarious ventriloquism of Taylor Mason. Mason wows audiences across the country with his cast of dummies including his latest, Donald Trump, who interacts with Mason and comes with “talking hair.” The evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, a silent and live auction, and Mason’s show.

What’s more, proceeds are used to support the BWCC Foundation’s Scholarship program, which last year awarded nearly $19,000 in scholarships to area students for their post-secondary education.

Lastly, here’s your money-saving tip for 2016. If you own and reside in a home in Maryland, are you registered for the Homestead Tax Credit? If not, you are missing out on savings on your property tax bill. Need to know more? Call the BWCC for more information or look on the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation web site.

Save Money

For more information about the BWCC, visit www.bwcc.org, or call 301-725-4000 or 410-792-9714. Founded in 1947, we are Maryland’s only regional chamber and dedicated to serving your business, nonprofit, institution or agency.