The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber’s (BWCC) 69th Annual Meeting featured President/CEO Christopher Crane of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Exelon does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
Crane oversees a family of companies representing every stage of the energy value chain. Included in that family is Exelon Generation, one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with more than 32,700 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets; Constellation, which provides energy products and services to approximately 2 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100; and Exelon’s six utilities, which deliver electricity and natural gas to approximately 10 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania through its Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco subsidiaries.
Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine — the umbrella alliance of the Health System and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine — was presented the BWCC’s Freeman Hrabowski Visionary Leadership Award for his leadership.
In conferring the award, Hrabowski, president of UMBC and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” noted that “The Johns Hopkins Hospital, which Ron Peterson has led since 1996, has been the top-ranked facility nationally for 22 of the 26 years in which U.S. News & World Report has rated hospitals.”
Peterson is also vice chairman of The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and holds an appointment to the Notre Dame of Maryland University President’s Advisory Council. He serves as a member of the boards of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, the Living Classrooms Foundation, the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Center Club.
Hall of Fame
2016 Inductees into the BWCC Hall of Fame were The Berman Family, Major F. Riddick, Jr., and Robert Wallace.
The Berman Family
Three generations of Bermans have built a large real estate and investment holding enterprise under the corporate names of Berman Enterprises and its affiliate, BECO Management. The Rockville-based companies own and manage more than 9 million square feet of commercial office, retail, industrial/flex and residential properties in Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The first generation, Melvin and Wolford Berman, moved to the Baltimore-Washington area from their small Florida hometown in the midst of the Depression. They started with a dairy manufacturing business, then invested in real estate and developed suburban shopping centers. Melvin also was involved in the creation of the new town of Columbia.
Melvin’s son, Dennis, and Wolford’s son, Gary, joined with their fathers and also partnered on independent commercial development projects beginning in the 1970s. The third generation — Gary’s sons Kevin, Adam and Casey, and Dennis’s sons Brian, Jeffrey and Benjamin — now run the family’s business interests.
Major Riddick has excelled in both the public and private sectors. In the late 1970s he became a budget analyst for Prince George’s County and during the next 17 years rose to the top position of chief administrative officer.
In 1995, his boss, Parris Glendenning, became governor and appointed Riddick as the state’s first African-American chief of staff, running state government’s day-to-day operations.
Riddick left state government in 2001 and began a Landover-based business consulting firm, whose clients include universities, intergovernmental agencies, Fortune 500 companies and scientific research laboratories. He also is managing member of Great Foods LLC, which operates three restaurants at Baltimore-Washington International and Pittsburgh International airports.
Robert Wallace worked as a mechanical engineer for DuPont and IBM before creating his own information technology (IT) services company, BITHGROUP Technologies, in 1993. Based in Baltimore, it specializes in managed security services, health information systems, infrastructure IT services, wireless engineering and biometrics.
In 2009, Wallace created a second company, BITHENERGY, focusing on energy management information systems, energy consulting and renewable energy power generation systems.
In 2015, BITHENERGY installed more than 250,000 solar panels, making it that year’s eighth largest solar developer in the country.
Wallace’s third company, EntreTeach Learning Systems, provides instruction to minority and women entrepreneurs on keys to success. Wallace has written five books on entrepreneurship, with three more on the way, and has spoken nationally and internationally on that topic.