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BWCC

Join us on May 11 at the BWI Airport Marriott for the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber’s (BWCC) 69th Annual Meeting, where we will celebrate Ron Peterson, of Johns Hopkins Hospital & Health Systems, as UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski presents him with the BWCC’s Hrabowski Visionary Leadership Award.

Also, we will induct into the BWCC Hall of Fame the Berman Family, for the three generations of developers whose properties and impact are found across the region and the eastern seaboard; Major Riddick, Jr., a leader in both government and business; and Robert Wallace, business leader, author, entrepreneur and mentor.

Our keynote speaker is Christopher Crane, CEO of Exelon Corp., whose company is transforming the energy landscape across the region, and who will be making his first public address in the Corridor following the merger of PEPCO (joining BGE) into Exelon Corp.

Also, the BWCC is hosting the 7th Annual Showcase & Tasting event at Michael’s Eighth Avenue, 7220 Grayburn Drive, Glen Burnie. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 8, from 5–8 p.m. for the main event, followed by a networking reception from 8–9:30 p.m.

This year, we have partnered with Mid-Atlantic Networking (MAN) to double the participation and to double the fun. There will be 10–12 local restaurants and caterers handing out samples of their food, as well as five or six local breweries and wineries that will be pouring samples.

There will be a Casino Night, a silent auction, an interactive photo booth and a DJ for entertainment. Tickets are just $20 in advance (two-for-one for tickets for members of the BWCC or the MAN) and $25 at the door. Admission includes access to up to 80 local exhibitor booths, food and drink samples, entertainment and the reception in Michael’s outdoor patio garden.

For more information about sponsorships and to make reservations for our events, visit www.bwcc.org or call the BWCC at 301-725-4000 or 410-792-9714.

WCC

Odenton Town Center Master Plan Update

The April 4 Anne Arundel County Council hearing regarding the Odenton Town Center Master Plan adoption went extremely well, from the perspective of the West County Chamber (WCC) and local development interests. While many of the issues the chamber’s work group had raised were incorporated into the final draft, 23 amendments were introduced at the council meeting, which solved the remaining concerns.

The WCC would like to thank all the Odenton Now Coalition members who spent countless hours reviewing the 2009 Master Plan and multiple drafts of the 2016 plan, as well as Bob Leib, of County Executive Steve Schuh’s office; Mary Burkholder, of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp.; and Dave Helmecki, Councilman Andrew Pruski’s aide; for participating in many lengthy review meetings.

Special thanks to Bernie Marczyk, the county executive’s government relations director, for working out a last-minute amendment protecting business interests on the edge of the historic district; and Pruski for allowing all 23 amendments to go through as a block.

Among the changes achieved by the WCC’s review team were the following.

  • Differentiate requirements between the more suburban areas of the Town Center (North and East Odenton, Industrial zone) and the more urban core. Urban requirements do not translate well to auto-oriented corridors. This encompasses signage, setbacks, building design and more.
  • Resolve conflicts between the Odenton Master Plan and other codes, including the Department of Public Works Design Manual, County Landscape Manual and State Highway Administration requirements.
  • Provide grandfathering for pre-existing development, including an on-off switch for compliance with the Master Plan, rather than requiring proportional changes.
  • Raise the threshold for triggering compliance with mixed-use development from three acres to five acres (it is 10 acres in county code).
  • Reassess road sections and right-of-way reservations to reflect impact on smaller lots and practicality of implementation, especially in the industrial area.
  • Develop a fee-in-lieu system to create a few higher quality public spaces, rather than many small, scattered spaces filled with benches and picnic tables.
  • Clarify the role of the Odenton Oversight Committee as advisory, and rename it the Odenton Town Center Advisory Committee.
  • Apply historic standards only to designated historic structures.

For more information about the Odenton Town Center Master Plan and recent changes, contact Claire Louder of the WCC at clouder@westcountychamber.org.

Post Access for Business

The WCC has been working with Fort Meade for a number of years to achieve expedited access for businesses, and they’ve finally succeeded. Effective immediately, businesses that have personnel with a reason to go on post regularly, including delivery drivers, service repairmen, transportation services and others, can apply for a one-year badge that gets them through the gates. It is non-transferable, so businesses may want to select multiple drivers to get cleared.

Process will be available soon, but basically the business will sponsor whomever it wants to have access to the gate and that person will undergo a background check (it’s thorough; if you have a criminal violation somewhere in your past, you will probably be denied) and as long as it comes back clean, s/he will be issued a pass.

This is even more important than in the past, because as of April 4, unbadged personnel have had to apply for a daily visitor pass at the Visitor Control Center (VCC) in order to gain access to the post. When the VCC is closed, including all weekends, unbadged personnel will have to be met at the gate by whomever they are visiting and escorted on post.

By getting your personnel badged, you not only expedite your time through the gate, which benefits your business, but you also reduce the lines at the VCC and increase Fort Meade security, both of which help our largest employer. So, please take advantage of this program. For more information about accessing Fort Meade and the procedural changes, visit www.ftmeade.army.mil and www.dvidshub.net/publication/issues/29026.

Mapes Gate Open

After nearly three years, Fort Meade has finally reopened the Mapes Gate into the Odenton Town Center as a regular entrance. While it allows entrance to DoD badged personnel only, which doesn’t help visitors, its location makes it much easier for Fort Meade personnel to access Odenton businesses.

The WCC has been working with Fort Meade to accomplish this, emphasizing the impact the gate closing has had on the local business community.

HCCC

BWI Busiest Airport

Handling 35% of its air traffic, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is the busiest airport in the region, said Ricky Smith, Sr., executive director and CEO, Maryland Aviation Administration, at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) luncheon on April 7. BWI Marshall traffic, especially international traffic, is continuing to rise, with new passenger records being set almost monthly.

Major capital projects include expansion and improvement of the international concourse to support airline growth, and additional security checkpoints to help shorten the lengthening lines at TSA checkpoints.

Come With Us to Spain

Spain’s southern Costa del Sol stretches along 90 miles of the Malaga province, offering beautiful landscapes, delicious food, fabulous beaches, amazing architecture and charming villages. For those who like lists, you’ll be able to check off at least two of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” locations. Plus, we’ll take side trips to Granada, Tangiers, Mijas, Ronda and the Rock of Gibraltar.

For $2,999, we’ll take you from Columbia and transport you to this Spanish paradise from Oct. 18–26, including all fees, most meals, first class lodging, sightseeing and admissions, professional tour guides — and nine days later return, worry free, after a terrific vacation.

For information and registration for these events, visit to www.howardchamber.com or call 410-730-4111.

Annual Meeting:May 19

On May 19, the HCCC will celebrate a year of successful events and programs at its annual meeting at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center. The luncheon also offers an opportunity to look ahead to exciting changes and new opportunities.

One of the most important things the chamber does at its annual meeting is vote on a slate of new board members. The organization is looking forward to adding new members from businesses small and large, and welcoming incoming Chair of the Board Jeff Agnor, of the law firm of Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny. Agnor will inherit the position from M&T Bank’s Miles Coffman, who led the chamber for the past two years and during its search for a new president and CEO.

The HCCC also will present its awards to outstanding volunteers who have dedicated time, energy and talent during this previous year. The event will conclude with three-minute presentations by the four winners of Howard Community College’s Pinnacle Entrepreneurial Prize for the past two semesters. The business community will vote for their favorite.

Cyber 7.0 — Critical Infrastructure: June 22

From home security alarms and personal medical devices to major installations at hospitals, utility companies and banks, key facilities and systems are exposed to major vulnerabilities. How do these need to change? How do we need to change our habits and practices? How does increasing use of mobile devices affect our security?

Delve into the methods and systems for how we guard our critical infrastructures as well as related wireless technologies. Cyber 7.0 breakout sessions include “The Internet of Things,” “Integrity of the Supply Chain — Treat the Weakest Link” and “Health — Privacy & Data Integrity.” Join regional experts from Leidos, AT&T Services, The PMC Group and others to discuss strategies, threats and the future of cybersecurity in the United States. Gib Sorebo, chief cybersecurity technologist at Leidos, will be the keynote speaker.

For details and registration, visit govconnectscyber.com. Sponsors and exhibitors are being sought. For further information, email govconnects@HowardChamber.com or call the HCCC at 410-430-4111.