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Howard County Chamber of Commerce

The Howard County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) received an upbeat assessment from County Executive Allen Kittleman at the annual State of the County luncheon, which was held on Feb. 16 at the Turf Valley Resort, in Ellicott City.

With more than 450 chamber members and guests filling the main ballroom, Kittleman told the crowd that the “state of the county is strong.” He reviewed the major accomplishments and some of the challenges of 2016, including the 30 inches of snow, the tornado and the Ellicott City flood. However, he said the challenges were met by residents, businesses and county staff with resolve, showing the resilience and resourcefulness of the community. The county executive also outlined his priorities for 2017.

The chamber also hosted a special Women in Government Contracting Leadership Forum on March 8 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, in Columbia. The event was a salute to female entrepreneurship, including sessions that discussed procurement opportunities for small, local and minority businesses. The day-long event also reviewed recruitment and retention strategies.

The forum also included sessions on “Building Value” and “Building a Successful Advisory Board.” The Women in Government Contracting Leadership Forum is a “must attend” event. More information about it and future events can be found on www.howardchamber.com.

The forum was sponsored by the HCCC’s GovConnects program, which brings together business leaders and government officials to connect with top federal government contractors in the Central Maryland Region. GovConnects participants experience valuable dialogue with men and women who build, grow and sell companies. Executive level attendees establish and cultivate new and existing relationships while obtaining knowledge and exploring new business opportunities. One of these events included a meeting with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who outlined plans for modernizing state procurement.

The Legislative Affairs Committee held a special informational meeting Feb. 14 for HCCC members regarding various legislation pending in Annapolis that may impact Annual Leave laws throughout the state. Chamber members were able to learn more about the details of the bills and to offer their opinions about how their businesses would be impacted by the proposals. The Legislative Committee will be monitoring the progress of these proposals throughout the session.

Going to Italy

The HCCC also announced that it is leading a trip in October to Italy. This year, the chamber will be going to Amalfi, Pompeii and Rome from Oct. 23–31. The nine-day trip is open to all who would like to attend, but Chamber members receive a discounted price. So sign up soon by visiting www.howardchamber.com.

BWCC/West County Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming News

  • Launch Party
    Wednesday, March 8, 5–7 p.m.
    Live! Casino, Hanover
    Join us and celebrate the two chambers coming together, and get a detailed update on the merger and what it means for your business. Plus, be among the first to hear the organization’s new name. Registration required. Cost: Free for members, $30 for nonmembers.
  • The 2017–18 Directory
    The new chamber is putting together a regional business guide. All members will receive a free listing in the guide, which will be printed and distributed to 3,000 members and to key regional organizations. Join the chamber by April 30 to be included in the new regional guide. Ad space is also available. To learn more, call the chamber office at 410-672-3422.

Opportunities to Engage

  • March 9: Membership 101, 9–10:30 a.m.
    Membership 101 is a free program that teaches valuable networking skills, offers connections, and introduces potential members to the chamber benefits and resources that can help you grow your business. Free event. All are welcome.
  • March 15: Joint Networking Mixer
    With Leadership Anne Arundel and the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, 5–7 p.m., Maryland Live! Casino, Hanover. Sponsored by The Columbia Bank.
  • March 27: 2017 Spirit of Community Awards Dinner
    6–9 p.m. Presented by Live! Casino and hosted by The Hotel at Arundel Preserve,
    7795 Arundel Mills Boulevard, Hanover.
    Help the chamber recognize the accomplishments of West County citizens. This event recognizes public safety officers from the fire, police and sheriff’s departments, local educators, business partners and military service members. The chamber is seeking sponsors; individual tickets are available for $65 per person. For more information, call 410-672-3422 or email admin@westcountychamber.org.
  • April 5: Leadership Training
    The speaker will be Ron Nicodemus, Nicodemus Communications Group, one of the lead creative minds behind the Disney Institute. 8:30–10 a.m., Location to be announced. Learn how to implement a grand vision, one that empowers and stretches all members of the team (or co-workers) to perform at their highest level on that vision, including creating collaborations and partnerships.