October 11, 2018
2018 Signature Event Recap

We laughed, we cried, and we had a great time! The 2018 Signature Event - Friday Night Live is in the books and we couldn't have asked for a better evening!

Damon Foreman started the cocktail hour off right with beautiful live music as attendees arrived and enjoyed some wine, hors' d'oeuvres and great networking. After everyone was seated in the beautifully decorated grand ball room as Turf Valley Resort, Chamber President Leonardo McClarty welcomed everyone and introduced the evening's emcee, Dave Bittner.
Attendees enjoyed a delicious crab cake and filet mignon dinner and personal apple pies. When everyone was finished eating, Bittner called McClarty, Chamber Board Chair David Anderson, M&T Bank's Charlie Camp and Turf Valley Resort's Pete Mangione to the stage to present the 2018 Awards for Chamber Excellence.

Tower Federal Credit Union and Tino's Italian Bistro were honored as Large and Small Business of the Year respectively. Then Sparksoft Corporation's Mike Finkel accepted the award for GovConnects Business of the Year. 
Greg Fitchitt, who was just named Regional President by the Howard Hughes Corporation won the ACE for Business Person of the Year and Creig Northrop, Founder of Northrop Realty, accepted the ACE for Entrepreneur of the Year.

Then it was time for the presentation of the newly created Community Impact Award. The winner of the first Community Impact Award, Pam Long, owner of Pam Long Photography, addressed the crowd, thanking everyone for their support and bringing many in the room to tears as she spoke passionately about her love and admiration for the people and businesses of Main Street in Ellicott City.
Last, but absolutely not least, one of Howard County's greatest business advocates, Dick Story, received the Exemplar Award. Story thanked the crowd as well, but ended his address with a nod to his fellow award recipient, saying simply, "When I grow up I want to be Pam Long!" It was a sweet and emotional moment that perfectly closed the awards portion of the evening.

With the ACE presentations behind us, Comedian Greg Schwem took to the stage! Schwem shared his hilarious take on the Chamber, our mission statement, and even poked some fun at our county, saying "no one ever had to say what happens in Howard County stays in Howard County." Schwem went on to joke about some of the absurdities of working as a "business comedian", but also spent some time talking about fatherhood and his daughters fondness for their phones over their father.
Once Schwem finished his set, Dave Bittner took the stage again and then handed the mic back over to Chamber President McClarty who thanked everyone again for attending, and singled out the Premier Sponsors of this year's Signature Event, M&T Bank and Turf Valley Resort. We truly couldn't have pulled off such a fun evening without the support of our generous sponsors, but we are also incredibly greatful for the volunteers on the Signature Event Committee who help plan every aspect of the event throughout the year.

You can check out all the amazing photos from the 2018 Signature Event at www.howardchamber.com/recent-events-photo-galleries/.
Welcome our New Events Manager, Lynn Song!

Even though the 2018 Signature Event is behind us, the Chamber has a full calendar of incredible events planned this fall, so we are incredibly happy to announce that Lynn Song has just joined the Chamber team as our new Events Manager!

Prior to joining the Chamber, Song served as a Military Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Army. Her previous roles include Platoon Leader, Logistics Officer and Security and Intelligence Officer. Song planned and managed military functions including a Military Intelligence Ball, Changes of Command and holiday parties so she is no stranger to executing big complicated events.

Song currently lives in Ellicott City with her two children and husband, Camero. You can learn more about Lynn and our entire Chamber team at www.howardchamber.com/staff/.
Chamber's Legislative Affairs Committee Meets with 3 More County Council Candidates

This week the Chamber's Legislative Affairs Committee got the chance to speak with three more candidates for County Council. 
Christiana Rigby (D) - District 3 was the first to meet with the committee. Rigby is running unopposed and feels that allows her to be freer with her thoughts on certain issues saying "if I had a magic wand, I would just erase all the current districts and redraw based on where people are now and what's coming down the pipeline."

Next up was Liz Walsh (D) - District 1 who decided to run to help guide the future of redevelopment in areas including Korean Way, the Route 1 corridor and Main Street in Ellicott City. Walsh is not in favor of the recent plan presented by current Councilmember Jon Weinstein and County Executive Allan Kittleman. Walsh says she feels the current plan needs much more vetting and public input.

Last, the committee was joined by China Williams (D) - District 5. Williams says schools are her number one priority. She would also like to see Route 70 widened to alleviate some through county commuter congestion. 

In addition to these meetings with the candidates, the Legislative Affairs Committee also created questionnaires that were sent to all candidates and returned by most. You can read questionnaire responses from Williams and Rigby  at www.howardchamber.com/election-2018-candidate-questionnaire-responses/.

We are so proud to welcome the following new Chamber members this week!
The following organizations joined the HCCC this week in history!
  • Historic Oakland - 16 Years
  • Allegra: Design + Print + Mail - 9 Years
  • Development Management Group, LLC - 8 Years
  • Giant Landover - 8 Years
  • Soldierfit - 4 Years
  • TransTechSol, LLC - 4 Years
  • HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, LLC - 3 Years
  • Sunrise of Columbia - 3 Years
  • Asian American Chamber of Commerce - 2 Years
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. - 2 Years
  • State of Wellness, Inc. - 1 Year
  • Stragistics Technology, Inc. - 1 Year
Mint Dental Care Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Join one of our newest members, Mint Dental Care, for their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony next week! Chamber President Leonardo McClarty and ambassadors from the Chamber will be on hand.

October 12, 2018 - 2-4PM
Ribbon cutting at 2:30
7190 Troy Hill Drive, Suite 200
Elkridge, MD 21075
Apprenticeship Career Fair

Join the Columbia Workforce Center for an Apprenticeship Career Fair!

October 12, 2018 - 10AM - 1PM
Columbia Workforce Center
7161 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite D
Columbia, MD 21046

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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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Registration Open for Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan Workshop

Registration is now open for the next public workshop regarding the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan.

October 25, 2018 - 7PM
Roger Carter Community Center

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