September 14, 2018
Kittleman and Ball Talk Future of Howard County at Chamber Member Lunch

We are less than two months away from election day now and the race for Howard County Executive is far from over. Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and Howard County Councilmember Calvin Ball took to the stage at Turf Valley Resort yesterday for a substantive and spirited discussion of their visions for our county. 

The forum, moderated by WJZ-TV Anchor Vic Carter, a Howard County resident himself, covered everything from the budget, to school overcrowding, to flood mitigation and public safety in front of a packed room of the county's business leaders.
The candidates each gave an opening statement, laying out their cases for why they should be elected the next Howard County Executive.

Ball criticized the current state of public transportation in the county, saying not enough has been done. Kittleman went on to describe the progress that has taken place during his term in office including several brand new buses and a push by the county to use electric buses as well. 

From talk of transportation, a conversation about road conditions and the rain tax led into questions about the candidates stances on what to do following another devastating flood this year in Ellicott City. Kittleman mentioned that there has been a lot of public input as well as transparency and collaboration with current County Councilmember Jon Weinstein that has led to a recently unveiled plan for flood mitigation. Ball stated that he believes that a lack of funding was partially to blame for the devastation of the floods, including the loss of potential food mitigation funds from the rain tax, commenting "if we don't invest, we're going to pay more on the backside."
The discussion was contentious at times, but one thing both candidates could agree on was their mutual respect for the school system's current Superintendent, Dr. Michael Martirano, who was also in attendance, and the importance of the school system to our county.

For more information on both candidates, you can visit where we have links to questionnaires filled out by both candidates ahead of the forum. There are also responses from candidates for County Council, the General Assembly and the Board of Education. And don't forget to join us for our 2019 Legislative Preview Breakfast on October 25th to find out which issues the Chamber will focus our advocacy efforts on in the coming legislative session.
Lisa Kim and David Yungmann Sit Down with Chamber Legislative Affairs Committee

As part of the Chamber's ongoing advocacy and educational efforts, our Legislative Affairs Committee has been meeting with each of the candidates running for Howard County Council. This week, the committee interviewed Lisa Kim (R), District 4 and David Yungmann (R), District 5. 

Both of the candidates spoke about everything from APFO, to the budget, to public transportation and how they would help foster a pro-business environment. 

You can read their responses to the questions along with all of the other candidates under the Advocacy tab at

Spotlight on Pablo Troncoso of the Troncoso Leadership Agency

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we have been spotlighting a member each week. This week, I spoke with Pablo Troncoso, founder of The Troncoso Leadership Agency and asked him a few questions. His responses are below.

How has your hispanic heritage impacted your professional life?

I was born in Argentina and I came to the US when I was 7 years old.  It was all due to my mother who always wanted a better life for me.  She taught me to dream, and that you can also chase dreams... but more importantly, she taught me if you connect with the right people, stay honest, and work hard, you can even make those dreams come true.  Anytime I see a Hispanic family, I see the essence of my mothers leadership quality of vision casting for the future possibilities.
Has your heritage played any role in your decision to become an entrepreneur?

I came to the U.S. in 1984 and became a citizen in Baltimore, MD in 1995. With my stepfather being in the U.S. Navy I had lived in four states, six countries and four continents by age 16. I had to learn to adapt or get left behind. This was always a part of me and now it's more important than ever as an entrepreneur. I know many Hispanics go through structural and generational change with language and culture and still have to keep their identity. My brother-in-law and his wife and two kids were forced to leave their embattled county of Venezuela to start life over in the U.S. Those types of shifts can define leaders through great lessons in business as budding entrepreneurs.

Is there anything else you would like fellow Chamber members to think about as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

Diversity, freedom, and inclusion has always been the fabric of the American way.  Hispanics represent an important part of that and they need a voice.  I ask that all businesses do your part to connect with the Hispanic community, through local chambers and economic development associations and continue to be a source of training, learning, equipping and workforce development so that we can maximize a hard-working, family-centered heritage that is the Latino people.
We are so proud to welcome the following new Chamber members this week!
The following organizations joined the HCCC this week in history!
  • The Mall in Columbia - General Growth Properties - 17 Years
  • Volunteer Center Serving Howard County - 15 Years
  • Consult Your CFO, Inc. - 11 Years
  • WebMechanix, LLC - 9 Years
  • Complete Document Solutions, Maryland LLC - 5 Years
  • Troncoso Leadership Agency - 3 Years
  • Carroll Community Bank - 1 Year
Main Street Rugs Back Open On Main Street

Congratulations to Main Street Oriental Rugs in Ellicott City who has just reopened at 8290 Main Street. The business temporarily located to the Normandy Shopping Center following the devastating flood in May, but they are back on Main Street now and open for business!
Grand Re-Opening for Vantage House

Congratulations to Vantage House on their successful ribbon cutting ceremony this week to mark their grand re-opening following a $16 million renovation. Chamber President Leonardo McClarty, Director of Membership Ronny Nadiv, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and several other elected officials participated in the ceremony. 

Evolve Consulting Group Partnering with AssuredPartners

Congratulations to Evolve Consulting Group, Inc. on their new partnership with AssuredPartners, Inc. The firms released a statement saying they share common culture and values, emphasizing a dedication to exceptional client service. Evolve says their clients will continue to work with the same staff and systems they have in the past. 

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 President McClarty  Talks 'Future of Howard County' Alongside Members

Chamber President Leonardo McClarty sat alongside a panel of other distinguished members of Howard County's business community, who also happen to be members, at the Batimore Business Journal's 'Future of Howard County' event this week. Milton Matthews, President of Columbia Association, John Hermann, Vice President of Asset Management and Leasing at COPT and Greg Fitchitt, Senior Vice President of Development for Howard Hughes Corporation talked about their organizations and how they are helping to shape our county's future.
Chamber Energy Co-op Now Enrolling

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. 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  
Maryland Chamber Business Policy Conference

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Policy Conference is being held this September in Columbia. Attendees gain a greater understanding of the public policy issues that affect our business community through keynote speakers, expert panelists and networking.

September 20, 2018 - 9AM - 6:30PM
Sheraton Columbia Town Center
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
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