Recently, the Howard County Economic Development Authority welcomed a new dynamic CEO, Jennifer Jones. 

While Jennifer is new to the HCEDA, she is a known commodity in Howard County, having grown up right here in Howard County, and is a Wilde Lake High School alum. She later went on to earn her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and both her J.D. and MBA from Pepperdine. After more than 20 years of business and leadership experience in the private sector, she returned to lend her expertise in Howard County.

Stepping into her new role as CEO, Jennifer is thrilled that HCEDA is celebrating 30 years in Howard County this year, stating “The organization has a long history in the community. I feel that we are well positioned with an experienced team to build upon previous decades of supporting our businesses and look forward to new and emerging opportunities.” 

Prior to this role, she served as Business Development Strategist for Howard County Government where she advised on economic development and implemented entrepreneurship and small business initiatives. Jennifer was also the Deputy Chief of Staff for Howard County Government and was an integral part of the Howard County business ecosystem, directly assisting and forging valuable relationships with thousands of businesses in the County.

Now, bringing her considerable experience in both the public and private to a public-private organization, HCEDA, Jennifer will lead its mission to promote economic growth and stability in the county. One of the most critical areas Jennifer plans to bolster in this new role is bridging the gap between education and industry.

Jennifer recently shared that “many businesses still do not know about the wealth of resources available through HCEDA. My goal is to communicate to businesses that we provide funding options, help with government processes, incentives, entrepreneurship programs, mentors and much more. I would like to provide a greater awareness of the assistance that we provide.”

We are excited for what lies ahead. Join me, Jennifer, and our entire business community for our annual celebration of local businesses — 2023 Howard County Business Appreciation Week. Taking place from Oct. 23 to 27, we will be celebrating all the small, local businesses who make our economy thrive. To learn more and sign up for this incredible event, please visit