At Columbia Association (CA), we want to hear from everyone, and that includes the people to whom this publication is targeted.

CA is expanding its communication channels to hear more from residents, members, guests and other stakeholders. That includes commercial and industrial property owners and, in general, the business community. I acknowledge that these efforts haven’t been as strong in the past. Our plans are for us to step that up.

Jim Rouse recognized Columbia would need a sound economic base from business and industry in order for it to be a complete city. They bring jobs and stability to the community and add another reason why people continue to move to — and then stay in — Howard County. The business community also contributes significantly to Columbia in another manner, providing approximately 30% of CA’s annual charge revenue.

On that note, CA has long been a supporter of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. I serve on the board of directors for the Howard County Economic Development Authority, and CA is a member of the Downtown Columbia Partnership and also works extensively with Howard County Tourism. I’ve met with key community stakeholders in the public and private sectors and have given presentations to some members of the business community.

I’m looking forward to speaking with you and hearing from you more often. CA is an organization that was established for civic improvements and social welfare. Your voice will be appreciated as we continue to make Columbia the best place to live, work and play.

E-mail milton.matthews@columbiaassociation.org with questions/comments.