Maryland Competitiveness Coalition Announces Incoming Chairs and Holds Strategic Planning Meeting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – With an understanding there is still much to be done, the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition held its latest meeting and strategic planning session at Turf Valley in Ellicott City on July 29.

The Coalition, comprised of over 60 organizations, was formed by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce in 2012 to focus on making the State more competitive.  The Coalition has done much in the last three years, both in the policy realm and with a series of programs focused on how to improve the business climate.

Before this latest round of candid discussion got underway yesterday, the Coalition welcomed their incoming three co-chairs:

Calvin Butler, CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE).  Butler previously served as BGE’s senior vice president, regulatory and external affairs.  He was instrumental in helping to successfully navigate company and stakeholder relations during the merger between Exelon and Constellation Energy.  Prior to joining Exelon in 2008, Butler held leadership positions for eight years with RR Donnelley, a print, digital and supply chain solutions company.

Brit Kirwan, immediate past chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Serving as chancellor of USM for 12 years, Kirwan has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, spanning 50 years. Kirwan has served as president of two Association of American Universities institutions – University of Maryland College Park and The Ohio State University. USM’s strong partnerships with community colleges in Maryland, facilitating transfer of students to USM institutions is one of Kirwan’s many marks of leadership success.

Aris Melissaratos, Interim Dean of Stevenson University’s Brown School of Business and Leadership.  Melissaratos is probably best known as a former Maryland Secretary of Business and Economic Development, a position he held from 2003-2007.  He worked for more than 30 years at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, culminating as its Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Science and Technology.  Melissaratos was also a founding co-chair of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

With the vision of Inventing Jobs, Enriching Lives, Aris Melissaratos praised the Coalition’s progress in educating key stakeholders, including incoming and incumbent legislators, on the Coalition’s proposals and its mission of advancing Maryland as a national and global leader in private sector job creation.

Incoming co-chair Calvin Butler, who noted his service on the Business Climate Commission chaired by Norm Augustine, called on the Coalition to continue driving the conversation about competitiveness and follow policy recommendations through the process.  Sheela Murthy, chair of the Maryland Chamber’s Board, added that the strength of the Coalition is its ability to speak in a unified voice for business.

Maryland Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Brien Poffenberger commented that the vocabulary of ‘competitiveness’ and ‘business climate’ is now part of the conversation in Annapolis, and the Coalition helped advance this dialogue.  

Discussion was open and candid, reigniting the Coalition around three key areas: Job Creation/Retention, Workforce Education and Economic Diversity.  

Co-chair Aris Melissaratos closed the session, emphasizing that with purpose and direction, the Coalition will continue its work of advancing Maryland as a national and global leader in private sector job creation.

About the Maryland Chamber of Commerce: The Maryland Chamber is a membership organization representing businesses of all shapes and sizes from around the state. We are Maryland’s leading statewide business advocacy organization. Our 750 member companies employ more than 442,000 people in the State. Our mission is to support our members and advance the State of Maryland as a national and global competitive leader in economic growth and private sector job creation through effective advocacy, high level networking and timely communications.

Jessica Palmeri
VP, Programming and Communications
Maryland Chamber of Commerce
60 West Street, Suite 100
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 269-0642 x129 or (301) 261-2858 x129






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