Search Committee Formed

The Board of Directors of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (WCC) has begun the search for a new president and CEO. They are seeking a full-time professional to lead the chamber in day-to-day operations and set goals for the future of the West Anne Arundel County community. The Search Committee will be led by past Board Chairman Steve Horne of Elm Street Development.

The president and CEO of the WCC is responsible to the board for a full range of activities, including coordination of the program of work, organizational structure and procedures; motivation of volunteers; managing income and expenditures; maintenance of membership; employment, training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy; execution of short-term plans; and development and execution of long-range planning.

Résumés can be submitted via regular mail to the below address.

CEO Search Committee
c/o West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce
8385 Piney Orchard Parkway
Odenton, MD 21113

Résumés can also be submitted to [email protected].

All submissions will be considered confidential. The Search Committee plans to solicit résumés through Aug. 19, with interviews beginning in early September. Its goal is to have a new CEO in place by the beginning of December.

Mixer at West 32

The WCC’s July mixer will be held at Odenton Town Center’s newest luxury apartment community, West 32 — A Broadstone Community, on Tuesday, July 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. West 32 is located in the heart of the Odenton Town Center, at 322 Baldwin Road, within easy walking distance of the Odenton MARC Station. Light appetizers and beverages will be provided, and tours of the complex will be provided. There is no cost to attend for members and prospective members of the WCC, $15 for non-members.

Join the Military Affairs Committee

Since 2008, the WCC’s Military Affairs Committee has sponsored family- and servicemember-focused events on Fort Meade, staffed tables to provide information on our area and local businesses, and raised funds for on-post organizations. All of its efforts are funded by members who choose to invest an additional $100 above their chamber membership to cover the costs of these activities.

With declining federal support, Fort Meade is asking the Military Affairs Committee to expand its sponsorship and participation, but it needs your help. In exchange for your contribution of $100 (payable annually), you will receive the following:

  • The opportunity to participate in events at Fort Meade sponsored by the Military Affairs Committee.
  • Annual pre-clearance onto Fort Meade for participation in Military Affairs Committee events for active committee members (subject to security vetting) — but pass can be used for legitimate business purposes as well.
  • Recognition in the WCC’s Military Affairs Brochure.
  • A Military Affairs Committee ribbon (red, white and blue, of course) to wear at WCC events; and
  • Opportunity (but not a requirement) to participate in Military Affairs Committee meetings planning events and support activities. A new, higher level sponsorship was recently added to better support our military and their families. For $250, you get all the benefits above, plus the following.
  • Invitation to special events at Fort Meade, including changes of command, covenant council signings and more.
  • Recognition in the WCC’s Military Affairs Brochure and on the WCC’s Military Affairs webpage as an Eagle Sponsor; and
  • Assistance in pre-clearing your staff for access to Fort Meade as a member of the Military Affairs Committee — the pass can be used for legitimate business purposes, as well.

For more information or to join the Military Affairs Committee, call the WCC office at 410-672-3422 or email [email protected].


We All Stand on Other’s Shoulders

On Aug. 1, I will retire from my career of the past 27 years as president and CEO of the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber (BWCC). In reality, it’s almost 30 years, as I served previously with the chamber for nearly two years as the assistant to the then‐president of the chamber, H. Joseph “Joe” Edwards.

I can “blame” Joe, now deceased, for starting my love affair with chamber work. In my initial interview, we talked for a bit, before he asked me to ride along and said, “Let’s go meet some business leaders in the community.” During the next three hours I met a senior bank executive (of a bank that’s now part of PNC Bank); the leader of a huge sand and gravel mining operation (now Konterra); a partner in an accounting firm (now Bormel, Grice & Huyett); and others.

Each of them greeted Joe like he was a family member, and accorded me that same graciousness. In a word, I was “hooked.” Over time, Joe included me in lots of meetings, gave me the chance to write about regional issues, write a script for a regional bus tour and work with his staff of delightful, committed professionals.

Rubbin’ Elbows

Joe was the epitome of a “people person” and is credited with launching nearly a score of organizations in the region, while also establishing and encouraging the incipient careers of many individuals. I was among them, and I count that as a great blessing in my life. In truth, I got to live the old adage: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Some people have told me that I should write a book on my experiences as a chamber exec. As I write this article, a wave of gratefulness comes over me as I think first about the thousands of phenomenal people I have been privileged to meet, and that I can call many of them friends. In an era of ever‐increasing use of technological devices, there is no replacement for the words, approval and counsel of a person. I have never called a “cell phone” or engaged “Google” for advice. I have used them to reach a person in whom I had great trust.

Permit me to share just a few experiences. Early in my chamber work, I was told that the National Security Agency (NSA) was very secretive and would not release any information about its importance to the regional community. However, then‐Director William “Bill” Studeman apparently had thoughts that were similar to mine: that “the agency” needed to garner local support and appreciation, as its influence was known globally more than it was locally.

Eventually, I met Steve Malley, who worked in NSA Corporate Affairs, who appeared one day in my office with a piece of paper that had on it a listing of incredible numbers. None were secrets, mind you, but were indications of a stupendous economic impact and support for communities, education, disabled persons and much more.

Studeman briefed our board, then spoke to our membership and guests in the first unclassified luncheon briefing for a community organization — which drew many employees from NSA just to hear what their director would say.

And Then …

Without my foreknowledge, another guest appeared for that luncheon: James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, a book about NSA that was not well‐received by the agency. Bamford listened to Studeman’s remarks, replete with facts and figures about the impact of NSA on the regional economy, and wrote an op‐ed piece for the Los Angeles Times.

I don’t believe that members of Congress initially appreciated Studeman’s message in an unclassified setting, but it set the stage for years to come in which the agency has been recognized for its participation in transportation initiatives (like the BWCC’s Corridor Transportation Corp.), procurement, language training, higher education, leading edge devices for persons with disabilities, and mathematics education, among many others.

Years later, the BWCC would host the first membership luncheon inside NSA and be addressed by then‐Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Deputy Director Chris Inglis. And in 1992, I was invited to the Agency’s 50th Anniversary celebration, which now included columnists from Time and Newsweek, along with Pittsburgh Steelers’ Owner Dan Rooney, a friend of Hayden.

Getting Things Done

In other years, I would help develop an electric purchasing cooperative that has saved millions of dollars for members; help plan a dinner party for the presumptive ambassador to the Netherlands; experience an arrested landing on the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and execute a tandem jump with the Army’s famed Golden Knights. I would work on opposing the stormwater management fees (the “Rain Tax”) and fly on Air Force II. I got to meet the director and directorate chiefs at the CIA in a day‐long briefing, and start a mathematics conference that is now in its 23rd year; last year, it drew 800 math educators from across Maryland.

Most importantly, I got to work with many hundreds of businesses, nonprofits and institutions across this great region, our economic bedrock. I am grateful for Joe Edwards getting me started in chamber work, and for the many others with whom I have worked shoulder‐to‐shoulder in service to our regional community.

After all, it is our service “to the people” that is the true calling of every chamber executive.

Soli Deo Gloria.

— Walt Townshend, president & CEO
Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber


Stormwater Solutions Work Group

On the heels of widespread debate about how the Howard County Government should pay for efforts in mitigating stormwater runoff, this past April, County Executive Allan Kittleman signed Executive Order 2016-02, creating the Commercial Stormwater Solutions Work Group. This work group is composed of local government officials, business leaders and nonprofit representatives who, collectively, will provide recommendations to the county executive and the county council on effective strategies to incentivize commercial property owners to better manage stormwater runoff.

The group’s ultimate goal is to assist the county in complying with its MS4 Permit. In obtaining this permit, the county has to treat 20% of its total impervious acreage not currently treated to the maximum extent practicable.

Of the 11-member work group, six members have a direct connection to the Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC), including President & CEO Leonardo McClarty, board members Cole Schnorf, Manekin LLC; and Pete Mangione, Turf Valley: and Dr. Mark Southerland (AKRF), chair of the group.

Luncheon Features BGE’s Butler

The next member luncheon will be held on July 14 and will offer an exciting opportunity to look behind the scenes at BGE with CEO Calvin Butler, Jr. Learn how BGE works with businesses to boost energy efficiency and help them work smarter to grow faster. The lunch will take place at Turf Valley, in Ellicott City, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Chamber Orientation Set for July 20

Curious about what the HCCC is all about? Come to our orientation, talk with staff, members and board members to get smart and get educated about how we get your business noticed. Thanks to Eggspectation, in Ellicott City, for hosting this event from 4–5:30 p.m.

Coffee With the President on July 21

Got an hour? Come chat and enjoy a light breakfast with HCCC President Leonardo McClarty from 8:30–9:30 a.m. Many thanks to our host HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, Ellicott City. Members (only, please) can R.S.V.P. to [email protected].

Save the Date: Oct. 7, Turf Valley

It’s official — we’ll be joined by critically acclaimed performer, monologist, humorist, musician and impressionist Roy Firestone as we celebrate and honor our Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) winners. If you didn’t see him in 2009 (or even if you did), you’ll be amazed and delighted by this talented performer. Details to come.

Join Us in Spain, Oct. 18–26

Yes, it’s summer, and it’s hot and humid, but you’ll be wanting warmer weather in October. Spain’s southern Costa del Sol stretches along 90 miles of the Malaga province, offering beautiful landscapes, delicious food, fabulous beaches, amazing architecture and charming villages. For $2,799 (non-members: $2,999), we’ll take you from Columbia to Spain and back again, worry free, and fill the nights with the sights, sounds and photos from your amazing vacation. Don’t wait any longer. We’re almost full. Contact Joanne Birdsong at [email protected] or 410-730-4111, ext.105.

For information and registration for these events, go to www.howardchamber.com or call 410-730-4111.

CFO Roundtable Set for July 21

GovConnects is hosting another in its series of CFO Roundtables for federal contractors. From noon–2 p.m. CFOs discuss best practices on topics such as DCAA audit checklists, business systems and challenges of growth. Contact [email protected] for additional information.