Maryland Chamber of Commerce Names Brien Poffenberger President & CEO

Annapolis, MD (April 29, 2014) – The Maryland Chamber of Commerce announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Brien Poffenberger as the organization’s next President and CEO. Poffenberger, who is currently President and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, will begin his tenure on June 16. He succeeds Kathy Snyder, who will retire in June after leading the organization for more than 14 years. 

“Brien is a well respected and effective leader, who has demonstrated the ability to build strong coalitions to achieve success.” said Maryland Chamber Chairman Thomas H. Graham, Vice President of People Strategy and Human Resources for Pepco Holdings, Inc. “His leadership and experience will serve the Maryland Chamber well as we continue to promote a vision to boost Maryland’s innovation economy, create jobs, and enrich the lives of all Marylanders.” 

Maryland Chamber Vice Chair Sheela Murthy, Founder and President of Murthy Law Firm, led the search committee, which selected Poffenberger after a national search that included more than 130 candidates. “We are excited to have Brien lead our organization,” Murthy said. “He brings a strong blend of management, communication and public policy skills that make him a perfect fit to continue our efforts to make Maryland a competitive leader in economic growth and job creation.” 

As President and CEO, Poffenberger will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Chamber, including its legislative advocacy program, membership development and retention, and managing its 12-person staff. Poffenberger said his top priority is to ensure seamless continuity for the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition, an alliance of 60 organizations working to create stronger partnerships between State government and the business community to make Maryland more competitive. Objectives of the coalition include:

Poffenberger has led the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber for the last ten years. Under his leadership, the organization tripled its annual non-dues revenue, built its membership base, strengthened member retention, bolstered its communications and outreach efforts and successfully advocated its public policy agenda before the Maryland General Assembly. Prior to leading the chamber, he served as director of the Small Business Development Center in Fauquier County, Virginia and worked in the private sector, including positions with General Electric and Scott Paper. In addition, he served as Legislative Assistant/Western Maryland Representative for U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. 

He is a graduate of Leadership Maryland’s class of 2000, and completed the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management in 2008. Poffenberger has served on the Maryland Chamber’s Legislative Committee since 2004, and he was one of the early partners in the Maryland Chamber’s Maryland Competitiveness Coalition.  He also serves on numerous boards, including the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Maryland Historical Society and the Maryland Historical Trust. 

Poffenberger earned an MBA from Georgetown University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary. He currently resides with his wife and two children in Sharpsburg, Maryland and plans to relocate to the Annapolis area later this year.

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About the Maryland Chamber 

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit coalition of 750 businesses who employ more than 442,000 people in the state. Its mission is to support its members and advance the State of Maryland as a national and global competitive leader in economic growth and private sector job creation. For more information about the Chamber, visit its website, or call (410) 269-0642 or (301) 261-2858.







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