Town Center Boulevard: Progress

There are more signs of progress in Odenton Town Center, with work in progress on Town Center Boulevard. The artery will serve as the spine road through the heart of the Town Center, connecting Seven Oaks and Independence Park to the Odenton MARC Station.

An official groundbreaking ceremony was held on Thursday, July 28, though work actually began earlier this summer. Completion of the road will allow development to move forward in the largest undeveloped parcel in the Odenton Town Center, which encompasses 128 acres.

Needed: Membership Director

The West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (WCC) is seeking a motivated, self-directed individual to serve as the organization’s membership director. Responsibilities include identifying prospects, soliciting new members, following up with recruited members and working with the WCC’s Membership Growth Committee and board of directors. The candidate must have excellent written and oral communication skills and be highly organized. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, communications or a related field and three-to-four years of relevant experience is preferred. A knowledge of West County and its business community is highly beneficial; also, a driver’s license is required.

This position has flexible hours, with an expectation of 20–30 hours/week on average, with occasional evening and early morning meetings and events. The position is commission based (with a base salary). For more information, email [email protected].

Tour & Taste Time

The WAC continues to grow, spurred by growth at Fort Meade. Join the chamber for its annual development tour on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 1:30 p.m., followed by Taste West County from 4 to 7 p.m. The tour will start and end at Maryland Live! Casino, with the Taste West County hosted at Rams Head Center Stage, which is located in the casino.

Cost to attend the event is $65 and includes a full-color guide to local development and Fort Meade expansion. Tickets to Taste West County are $20 per individual, $15 if you register three or more attendees together. For more information, visit www.westcountychamber.org, or call 410-672-3422.

Mixer at The Village

Summer doldrums got you down? Come to the West County Mixer on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and check out Anne Arundel County’s first transit-oriented development, The Village at Odenton Station. Home to Baltimore Coffee and Tea, A Better You, and (soon) Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Village at Odenton Station offers convenient apartment living within an easy walk of the Odenton MARC Station. The mixer will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Beverages and appetizers will be provided.

Lunch With BWI’s Smith

One of our area’s key economic drivers is BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Join chambers from across Anne Arundel County at a luncheon with CEO Ricky Smith, who will be discussing the airport’s role and plans for continued success. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 11:30 a.m., at the Two Rivers Steak & Fish House, 4105 Mountain Road, Pasadena. Cost to attend is $25/chamber members, $35/non-members. Register in advance at www.westcountychamber.org/events or call 410-672-3422 for more information.

Back to School Fair

The WCC’s Back-to-School Fair, including Crofton, Gambrills and Odenton schools from the Arundel feeder system, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Waugh Chapel Community Center, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Vendor tables are available for $100/chamber members, $150/non-members. Attendance at the event is free. To reserve your table, call Kim Wirt at 410-672-3422.

End-of-Year Summer Bash

Join area chambers for a special End-of-Summer Bash on Thursday, Aug. 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the Walden Country Club. Cost to attend is $20/chamber members, $25/non-members, and includes a summer BBQ spread. It’s a great opportunity to network with businesses from throughout Anne Arundel County.


Before I get to the curious title of this column, I would remind all readers that want to promote their business, nonprofit or institution to attend one of the largest networking breakfasts of the year, hosted by 11 organizations under the leadership of the BWCC and held at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute of Technology, in Linthicum on Aug. 17, from 7:30–9:30 a.m.

Each year the event sells out, with more than 250 attendees. It provides the opportunity for all attendees to create an unpaid sales force while interacting with up to 50 other professionals in structured table rotations, and informally with scores more. Go to www.bwcc.org for details.

Now, on to the title. Each day we use words and symbols — often without thinking about their origins and backgrounds.

Thank the Babylonians for the time system employed on your wristwatch. The division of the day into hours, minutes and seconds is attributed to their system of “twelves,” known as “sexagesimal.” The Babylonians divided the portion of the day which was lit by the sun into 12 parts, and the dark interval into 12 more, yielding 24 divisions which we now call “hours.” Babylonian mathematicians divided a complete circle into 360 divisions, and each division into 60 parts.

You didn’t realize your watch was really that old, did you?

Reach into your pocket, and you’ll likely have loose change and some dollar bills. Collectively you refer to it as “money” — but where does that word come from? Actually, it’s the Latin surname of the Roman goddess Juno Moneta, in whose temple coins were made. As a tribute to Juno, Romans built a temple in her honor and kept their coinage here. She was known as the guardian of finances; her second name, “Moneta” — which means “warning” — evolved into one of our favorite words: money.

The word “dollar” is curious, too, the term being much older than the American unit of currency. It is an Anglicized form of “thaler” (pronounced taler, with a long “a”), the name given to coins first minted in 1519 from locally-mined silver in Joachimsthal, or Joachim’s “valley” (thal), in Bohemia.

You depend on money and dollars for your salary, and that word has a fascinating origin, too. The Latin word salarium, meaning “salt allowance,” is the origin of “salary.” Early Roman soldiers were reportedly given an allowance to buy salt as part of their income. In time, this word began to be applied more generally to the soldiers’ wages.

Of course, you develop a budget based on the money you make from your salary, but why a “budget”?  In the Middle Ages, French merchants carried their money in a bougette, or a “little bag”; within the bag, one’s fiscal resources were kept. Over time, the word came to mean the allocation of resources by an individual, business or country for specific purposes.

The professionals who study money, finances and fiscal policy are known as “economists.” Where does that word originate? It comes from the Greek term “oikonomia,”which means “house management.” It originally applied to persons who were good administrators within a community, business or home.

And now to the curious @ symbol, which was rescued from near obscurity to be prominently featured in your daily work.

In a fascinating Smithsonian Magazine article, it is related that “likely, medieval monks, looking for shortcuts while copying manuscripts, converted the Latin word for “toward” — ad — to “a,” with the back part of the “d” as a tail. Or it came from the French word for “at” — à — and scribes, striving for efficiency, swept the nib of the pen around the top and side. … The first documented use was in 1536, in a letter by Francesco Lapi, a Florentine merchant, who used @ to denote units of wine called amphorae, which were shipped in large clay jars.”

But it was a computer scientist named Ray Tomlinson who faced the problem of how to connect people who programmed computers with one another. Tomlinson worked for BBN Technologies, which was hired by the U.S. government to help develop a network called ARPANET, forerunner of the Internet.

The Smithsonian article states, “Tomlinson’s challenge was how to address a message created by one person and sent through ARPANET to someone at a different computer. The address needed an individual’s name, he reasoned, as well as the name of the computer, which might service many users. And the symbol separating those two address elements could not already be widely used in programs and operating systems, lest computers be confused.”

The solution? Tomlinson chose the little-used @ symbol. The rest, as is often said, is history.

— Walt Townshend, president & CEO


Scout Selects Parking Initiative for Eagle Project

Shayne Gray started as a Tiger cub in the first grade. Now a senior at Howard High School, he is working on his Eagle Scout project and hoping businesses will “step up to the plate” and start honoring our nation’s veterans — by dedicating reserved parking spots for them.

It’s a permanent, visual way to honor military service members, past and present. Although he is still waiting for final approval from his council, he will focus on grocery stores and other locally owned shops that have the flexibility to put reserved signs in their lots.

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) and the Howard County Veterans & Military Families Commission started this initiative in 2015, and Turf Valley Resort, Leidos, The Mall in Columbia, and other companies have enthusiastically supported this effort. Businesses may also create a personalized donor plate to honor a loved one or to let others know who purchased the sign.

Business Resource Fair: Aug. 10

Check out the HCCC and other business resources from around Maryland at the Howard County Economic Development Authority’s 2016 Business Resource Fair, to be held from 10 a.m –1 p.m. Held at Howard Community College, the chamber will be joined by other business groups and government agencies to engage with businesses, answer questions and help you grow. This is a free event.

BizBreakfast: NSA Programs, Aug. 25

GovConnects will welcome NSA representatives from the Small Business and other new industry programs, which have many benefits for local businesses: starting work without having to wait until the company and its personnel are granted security clearances; working in your own unclassified facilities; and using NSA as a technology accelerator for new and innovative technologies.

Learn about these programs at our upcoming BizBreakfast, which will be held on Aug. 25. To learn more, go to www.howardchamber.com.

Save the Date: Oct. 7 at Turf Valley

Each year, more than 500 business, community and political leaders descend upon Turf Valley for the HCCC’s Signature Event. Now entering its 10th year, this can’t-miss gala is one of Howard County’s most talked-about and highly anticipated events. In addition to a fabulous dinner, cocktails and socializing with friends, guests enjoy nationally-recognized entertainers.

Back by popular demand, the HCCC will 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.

On the Plane to Spain, Oct. 18–26

Yes, its summer, but you’ll be wanting warmer weather in October. On that note, know that 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, roundtrip, from Columbia to Spain — worry free, and filled with the sights, sounds and photos from an amazing vacation.

The passenger list is almost full. Contact Joanne Birdsong at [email protected] or 410-730-4111, ext., 105, for more information, or visit www.howardchamber.com.

Cyber 7.0 Conference

More than 200 attendees came to learn, network and get even smarter about trends, developments, and partnering opportunities at the Cyber 7.0 Critical Infrastructure, The Internet of Things conference, which was held in June at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Kossiakoff Center, Laurel.

For the seventh year, government, research, industry and academia were well-represented at the event. Sessions covering upcoming threats, protecting our critical infrastructure and our vulnerable health data (Fitbit, anyone?) were covered, as well as protecting our supply chain integrity and the increasing exposure by unsecured smartphones and related apps.

Renee Tarun, deputy director, NSA Cyber Task Force, was a keynote speaker, and she discussed the risks of interconnection and the proliferation of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) as a dramatic expansion of users’ and enterprises’ attack surfaces. Many are being developed without security; as we develop more smart devices, our vulnerabilities grow exponentially.

The conference garnered high marks from our survey respondents, with 82% saying the conference met or exceeded their expectations. Of the post-conference survey respondents, 98% plan to attend next year’s conference on June 21, 2017. Mark your calendars for Cyber 8.0 Data Protections: Confidentiality, Integrity & Access (CIA).