Today, as it has for many years, the BWI Business Partnership brings together many of the region’s leaders, from businesses, government and health care, to educational and cultural institutions and nonprofits. Chaired by Stephen Carroll of Miles & Stockbridge, its diverse board of directors includes leaders from the University of Maryland System, charter members like Northrop Grumman Corp., county and state government, leading property management companies and the community’s banks.
Centrally located in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, one of the nation’s largest combined metropolitan statistical areas, traffic congestion and transportation issues have been at the heart of the region’s challenges for decades. The Partnership’s central mission since its founding has been to advocate for transportation solutions that support access to the region’s significant employers, such as BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Fort Meade and the National Security Agency, major defense contractors and now the Arundel Mills commercial area.
Working with other transportation advocates, this year representatives from the Partnership spent time in Annapolis during the legislative session, supporting efforts to expand the state’s Commuter Tax benefit program and eliminate the Farebox recovery rate. The Partnership also worked closely with the Maryland Transit Administration to refine its BaltimoreLink initiative — the transit agency’s first comprehensive overhaul of the Baltimore region’s bus system in decades.
As one of the oldest transportation management associations in the country, the Partnership’s transportation activities are not limited to advocacy, but also extend to providing transportation opportunities for the area’s commuters. Serving the region’s major employers, the Partnership operates a shuttle sponsored by the Local Development Council that links the Arundel Mills Mall and Maryland Live! Casino to the Light Rail station. Another sponsored shuttle links a number of federal facilities in the Fort Meade and the BWI Business District to the BWI MARC and Light Rail stations.
As the longtime rideshare agency for Northern Anne Arundel County, the Partnership also promotes carpool and vanpool opportunities, especially for commuters traveling to BWI Marshall and to the Fort Meade area.
“Partnership” is more than just part of the organization’s name. It’s at the heart of its approach to supporting the region. Always mindful of its mission to support the region’s major economic engines, the Partnership was a founding member and active leader in the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council, working closely with the installation’s leadership and sister organizations to address the needs and concerns of the entire Fort Meade military community.
The Partnership also actively participates in Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, the area’s official destination marketing organization. With more than 11,000 hotel rooms located near BWI and Fort Meade, tourism plays a critical role in the region’s economic activity.
As The Business Monthly offers its annual salute to the BWI Business District, the BWI Business Partnership is proud to remain an active part of the region, and play an ongoing role it its development and future. Visit its website at www.bwipartner.org.
Greg Pecoraro is executive director of the BWI Business Partnership. He can be reached at [email protected].