Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Montgomery Business Development Corporation Delivers Report

The Montgomery Business Development Corporation (MBDC) delivered its first year’s report, saying the County must work to encourage the growth of for-profit businesses, advocate for increased transportation options and work collaboratively with educational institutions to develop needed workforce. In delivering its report, the corporation, whose board includes members of some of the County’s most prominent businesses and representatives of businesses of all sizes, pledged to work with us to achieve those goals.

I introduced the legislation which formed the MBDC last year and established the overall goal to promote practices that will help sustain current businesses and encourage new businesses to relocate to the County. From its origin, the MBDC has sought to engage executive level business leaders to establish a vision for the County’s long-term economic future; to develop and articulate strategies to achieve that vision; to advocate for strategic changes in practices and policies; and to set performance metrics and report on their achievement.

We are currently in an economic era unprecedented in our lifetimes, so we are grateful that key people in some of the County’s most significant business enterprises have volunteered to serve on this corporation, with the singular goal of helping Montgomery County remain as one of the nation’s economic engines. We have asked the MBDC how we can better send out the word that we are open for business, and now they have delivered the outline of a plan that can help do that.

MBDC board members who presented the report to the Council included Brian Gragnolati, president and CEO of Suburban Hospital (and chair of the MBDC board of directors); Robert Brewer, principal, Lerch, Early & Brewer Chartered; Deborah Marriott Harrison, senior vice president for government affairs of Marriott International; Brett McMahon, vice president of business development, Miller & Long; Mathew Mohebbi, vice president/general manager of Mobile Satellite, Hughes Network Systems; Susan Nemes, president and CEO, Social Solutions International, Inc.; and Lawrence Shulman, president, Shulman Rogers.

Other members of the board include Bryant Foulger of Foulger-Pratt; Douglas Liu of Qiagen Sciences, Inc.; Ron Paul of Eaglebank; and Daisy Wallace of Computer Technology Services, Inc. Ex officio members of the board are DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College; Steve Silverman, director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development; Rollin Stanley, planning director of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; and Joshua Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.

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