September 28, 2018
Greg Schwem Invites You to the 2018 Signature Event
Time is running out to get one of the few remaining tickets to the
2018 Signature Event next
Friday, October 5th at
Turf Valley Resort

Comedian Greg Schwem
will keep us laughing all night and you will be able to see all of our incredible Award for Chamber Excellence winners accept their awards live on stage including:
  • Dick Story
  • Creig Northrop, Northrop Realty
  • Pam Long, Pam Long Photography
  • Greg Fitchitt, Howard Hughes Corporation
  • Tino's Italian Bistro
  • Tower Federal Credit Union
  • Sparksoft Corporation

Spotlight on Hector Garcia, CEO and Executive Director of FIRN

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we have been spotlighting a member each week. This week, we asked Hector Garcia, CEO and Executive Director of the Foreign-born Information and Referral Network (FIRN) a few questions about his heritage. His responses are below.

#1 - How did you get involved with FIRN and did your heritage play any role in the decision?

I have been COO with American Red Cross for 19 years and Vice President of the American Cancer Society. The jobs required plenty of travel. My son was diagnosed with autism, and as a single dad I made the decision to look for a "local" job as he was and still is my priority. I applied to work for Firn; and it has been now 8 years.  Being Puerto Rican I was born an American Citizen, however, I was always treated like a "foreigner". I did not have to go through the very difficult path to citizenship that many go through, especially today. I just wanted to give back and simply help others. I was actually the first executive director at Firn, from a diverse cultural heritage (Hispanic). I fell in love with the passion of our staff and the ability to contribute locally.
#2 - As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, what would you like our other members and the public at large to know about FIRN and your mission?

Firn provides services, assistance and support to all foreign-born communities. But today there is a higher need for the Hispanic community to come together and be supported with some times the most basic needs; such as food and clothing.

#3 - Is there anything else you would like to mention as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month?

The are 19 Hispanic or Spanish speaking countries represented in Howard County.  They are all hard working people that contribute to our economy, they work the toughest jobs and usually have more than one job to make ends meet. Welcome them and appreciate all they do, be empathetic to what they have been through and learn a little Spanish. And of course donate to Firn!

We are so proud to welcome the following new Chamber members this week!
The following organizations joined the HCCC this week in history!
  • Day Financial Group, Inc. - 14 Years
  • Fiducial Business Centers, Inc. - 13 Years
  • The Alternative Board, Baltimore-Washington Corridor - 11 Years
  • Epoch, Inc. - 8 Years
  • The Ale House Columbia - 6 Years
  • Morrison Chiropractic PA - 4 Years
  • Extreme Fun & Fit Bootcamp - 3 Years
  • ComForCare Home Care - 2 Years
  • Elkridge Crossing by Elkridge Developers, LLC - 2 Years
  • MLT Career Services - 2 Years
  • Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) - 2 Years
  • Somerford Place Columbia - 2 Years
  • Bank of America - 1 Year
  • Embrace Home Loans - Columbia - 1 Year
  • GovRealm - 1 Year
  • Harvey-Cleary Builders - 1 Year
  • Inflection Point Systems, Inc. - 1 Year
  • RGS Title, LLC - 1 Year
Commercial Insurance Managers on BBJ's Largest Veteran-Owned Businesses List

Congratulations to Commercial Insurance Managers Inc. on their inclusion on the Baltimore Business Journal's 2017-2018 Largest Veteran-Owned Businesses list!

Howard Hughes Corporation Names New Regional President

Congratulations to Greg Fitchitt, who has just been named as the new Regional President, overseeing all of The Howard Hughes Corporation's operations in Maryland. Fitchitt will also be recognized at our 2018 Signature Event on October 5th as the Business Person of the Year.

impactHR's Kelly Mitchell for Annual Women's Leadership Award

Congratulations to impactHR's Kelly Mitchell, who has been named a "2018 Mid-Atlantic Women's Leadership Award" winner by CEO report.

KPMAS Health Plans Rated Among Top 1 Percent in Nation

Congratulations to Kaiser Permanente whose Mid-Atlantic States' Private and Medicare plans in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have just received the highest possible rating (5 out of 5) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Clarks Ace Hardware Grand Re-Opening Set

Join the Chamber and the team behind Clarks Ace Hardware for their Grand Re-Opening Weekend and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

September 29, 2018 - 9:30AM
Clarks Ace Hardware
10325 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042

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Chamber Energy Co-op Enrollment Deadline Approaching

At the Chamber we are all about providing benefits for our members, including the Chamber Energy Co-Op with CQI Associates. If you are interested in saving money on energy bills for your home or business, you're in luck because the fall enrollment period is here, but the deadline for applications is September 29th. Find out if the  Chamber's Energy Purchasing Cooperative Program  is right for your business or home today.

Ads Now Available for 50th Anniversary Edition of our Business Resource Guide & Member Directory

In 2019, we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary and you are invited to join in that celebration and promote your business too - in our annual Business Resource Guide & Member Directory. 

We have partnered with The Business Monthly again to produce this 50th Anniversary Edition of the Directory. A representative from The Business Monthly will be calling you to verify that we have the correct information for your business and offer you the opportunity to enhance your listing and publish an ad.

If you are interested in guaranteeing an advertising spot in the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Directory, contact The Business Monthly team at 410-740-5009 or  
Candidates to Focus on Preservation Issues at October 2 Public Forum

The Ellicott City Partnership, Howard County Historical Society, Patapsco Heritage Greenway, and Preservation Howard County will host a Candidates Forum on Preservation on October 2, 2018. This free forum will provide an important opportunity to hear each candidate's perspective on preservation.

October 2, 2018 - 6:30PM
VFW Post 7472
4225 VFW Lane
Ellicott City, MD

FREE Emergency Preparedness Workshop

Join the Ellicott City Partnership, Visit Howard County and Patapsco Heritage Greenway for a free public Emergency Preparedness Workshop to improve their readiness for future flooding and hazardous events.

October 10, 2018 - 10:30 AM
St. Paul's Church
3755 Saint Paul Street
Ellicott City, MD 21043

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Maryland Division of Labor & Industry Offering SHRM PDCs

The Maryland Division of Labor and Industry is offering workshops covering Wage and Hour Information and Laws, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act and Prevailing Wage and Worker Classification in Columbia next month.

October 10, 2018 - 10AM - 2:30PM
Columbia Workforce Center
HCEDA's Annual Meeting and 25th Anniversary Celebration!

Join our Strategic Alliance Partners, the Howard County Economic Development Authority for their Annual Meeting and celebration of 25 years as an organization!

October 15, 2018 - 4 - 7:30PM
Two Merriweather
10960 Grantchester Way
Columbia, MD 21044

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