Archives For May 2011

By: Margaret Perry for MDBizMedia

The Championship game for each age bracket will be played on Monday

Maryland-based Elite Tournaments will be running a youth soccer tournament in Columbia this weekend, which is expected to bring in close to $4 million in revenue for Howard County.

The Mt. Airy based company, which recently announced a partnership with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), hosts and manages sports tournaments both in Maryland and across the nation.

This summer and into next fall, Elite Tournaments will host 10 soccer tournaments throughout the state of Maryland for a variety of age groups ranging from U-9 to U-19. The first of these tournaments will be held in Columbia over Memorial Day Weekend. The games will be held at six different locations including fields in Howard County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, and at UMBC in Baltimore.

With 462 teams and their families attending the tournament, 10,000-18,000 people are expected. Some soccer teams will be arriving for the event from all along the East coast spanning from Massachusetts to South Carolina while others teams will be coming from as far west as Ohio. As a result, area hotels are completely booked for the weekend.

Each of the teams will play three scheduled games over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday then those advancing to the championship games will play again on Monday. Because of the down time between games, many Columbia restaurant owners are preparing for large crowds throughout the weekend as teams and families come in to eat.

With this influx of visitors to the area, Elite Tournaments president Michael Libber predicts that the Columbia Invitational

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the tournament.

Soccer Tournament will bring in around $4 million to Maryland businesses this weekend. That’s double the profits recorded from the event in 2005.

Elite Tournament’s ability to stimulate local economies will continue to grow as a result of their recent partnership with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). As a result, Elite Tournaments will host showcase tournaments that college coaches will attend for recruiting.

“Since announcing the partnership, the phones haven’t stopped ringing. Right now we have 26 cities across the country trying to convince us to host an event at their location.” One of these locations is the brand new The Premiere Sports Campus, where they will be hosting five events beginning in December.

Before then, however, Elite Tournaments will be hosting the Baltimore College Showcase, which will be held in Maryland this November over Thanksgiving weekend.

The newly renamed Elite Tournaments Field will now have lights thanks to Libber's donation.

This past week, it was announced that the UMBC Soccer Complex was renamed Elite Tournaments Field after a generous donation from Michael Libber. “It’s a pride and an honor to give back to the program…and help put them on the map” explains Libber who both played and coached at UMBC. He hopes that his donation “brings a better atmosphere for soccer in the community and at UMBC as their soccer program gets stronger and stronger each year.” The money Libber gave to UMBC was donated specifically for lights for the field providing a bright future for soccer in Maryland.

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

The Pride of Baltimore II sets sail this weekend to promote Maryland's important contributions to the War of 1812 and the penning of the Star Spangled Banner.

Maryland’s sailing ambassador, Pride of Baltimore II, will embark on a five month voyage to the East Coast, Canada and Great Lakes ports, stopping at over 25 ports promoting Maryland’s important contributions to the War of 1812 and the penning of the Star Spangled Banner.

Visitors can stop by the Inner Harbor to see the ship and the War of 1812/Star-Spangled 200 dockside exhibits.

Today and through Sunday, May 29, visitors can stop by the Inner Harbor to see the ship and the War of 1812/Star-Spangled 200 dockside exhibits, before it embarks on its journey inviting everyone to “Discover America in Maryland.”

“As we gear up to commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial, our maritime ambassador, The Pride II, will promote Maryland as a tourism destination around the nation and around the world,” said Secretary Johansson.

In March, Maryland officials unveiled a 7-foot scale model replica of The Pride of Baltimore II.  The replica will be on permanent display in the Baltimore Visitor Center while the schooner travels across the globe promoting Maryland and Baltimore as the destination for the Bicentennial Celebrations for the War of 1812.

The Pride of Baltimore II was launched and commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to the original Pride of Baltimore, which sunk in 1986 by a white squall off Puerto Rico. For 22 years, the 157 foot long schooner has traveled the globe, visiting more than 200 ports in 40 countries, logging over 250,000 nautical miles. In 2010 Pride II visited 26 ports, welcoming more than 91,000 visitors aboard.  Weighing in at 185.5 tons, the schooner is equipped with 12 crew members.

The Pride II sets sail this weekend and will visit more than 25 ports this summer.

Maryland has partnered with the U.S. Navy and others to launch the Pride Sail in 2011 and 2012 to send The Baltimore Pride II to port cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe to help promote the War of 1812 Bicentennial and the Star Spangled Banner celebrations.  The June 2012 national bicentennial launch in Maryland is expected to bring 1.5 million people to the Inner Harbor, generate more than $100 million in direct expenditures and generate approximately 2,100 jobs.

The Pride II will be offering daysails through May 29.  Tickets are $45 for adults and $30 for children.  More information on the Pride Sail II and its sailing schedule can be found on its website:

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

DBED Secretary Christian Johansson listens as roundtable experts weigh in on building Maryland's innovation economy.

Like many states across the country, Maryland recognizes that in order to compete and succeed in the global economy, it has to attract global talent, grow organically, invest in high performing companies and provide the necessary infrastructure for growth.  But developing a strategy on how Maryland can accomplish those goals is a daunting task.  On Friday, May 20, DBED Secretary Christian Johansson convened a dozen area thought leaders over lunch at the Silver Spring Civic Building to discuss the best directions in which Maryland can approach the new innovation economy for prosperous economic development.

Getting Great Output

Rob Atkinson, President of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a non-partisan research and educational think tank, believes that Maryland – and the country as a whole – should invest in government-funded university research and business-funded university research.

“No matter how good Maryland is – and Maryland is good: it has all the right assets and all the right pieces in place – it will be very hard for the state to thrive unless we have a robust national policy that gets it right,” Atkinson said.

His organization, which issued a report on the topic, aims to help policy makers at the federal and state levels better understand the nature of the new innovation economy. The think tank has a book coming out in January 2012 called The Race for Global Innovation Advantage and Why the U.S. is Falling Behind.

“Increasingly, what we’ve seen around the country is that lots of states are getting this and putting money into innovation based investments – up to $5 billion dollars – up from maybe a billion a decade ago,” Atkinson said.  “But one of the challenges for states is translating this into real results.  This is a particular challenge for Maryland.  Maryland has great inputs — but not so great outputs.”

Maryland ranks third in the State New Economy Index but 33rd in Entrepreneurial Activity.  The State also ranked second overall in the Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index, but 42nd in business starts.

Atkinson cited Utah as a U.S. example of how their investments are creating technological output.

“Utah is able to take their inputs and crank them out into new businesses and new entrepreneurs, licenses and patents.  This tells me this isn’t some magical thing – that you don’t have to be an M.I.T. or a Caltech to make this happen,” Atkinson said.

Rob Atkinson, President of The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, believes that Maryland - and the country as a whole - should invest in government-funded university research and business-funded university research.

Atkinson said that his think tank has also seen that states, like Michigan, are placing venture capitalists right in the universities.

“They are not somewhere in some office park, they are housed right in the university.  It’s too early to tell whether that model has worked, but it is an interesting new way of thinking,” he said.

Swedish-born Johansson was pleased to hear Atkinson cite Sweden as a model regarding incentives.  Sweden, Atkinson says, has begun tying a portion of their higher education funding to results. If a university doesn’t produce results, then the University gets less funding.  Canada, he said, has restructured their R&D tax credit to give a bonus credit of you’re doing collaborative research in a university or federal lab.  If you’re a small business in Canada, he said, and doing collaborative research in a university or federal lab, you’re eligible for a 55% tax credit.

Entrepreneurs Drive Economic Development Outcome

Erik Pages, President of EntreWorks Consulting, an Arlington, Virginia based economic development consulting and policy development firm, said that the way innovation and technology becomes economic development outcomes is through entrepreneurs and new companies.  He encourages states to provide resources to create more entrepreneurs, so that it also reaches out to the less populated areas.

“A lot of states have very sophisticated business help lines that help new businesses and entrepreneurs get through the process of a start-up,” he said.

Linking small businesses into corporate or government agency networks or supply chains has an almost immediate bang to the buck, Pages said.  He cited a survey done by an organization in New York that found that once a small firm gets linked in a corporate supply chain, after two years it gets a 250 percent growth rate on an annual basis.  Pages also said that most small businesses aren’t export ready – but if they get out to a trade show, or get involved in a national trade or regional network, they are much more likely to enter export markets.  “States that invest in their small businesses and entrepreneurs – and improve access to services – will drive their economic development further than those who don’t,” Pages added.

Kenneth Poole executive director of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and President of the Council for Community and Economic Research takes notes during the discussion.

Changing the Mindset

“We are the number one public education system in the country and we have held that for the last three years.  We are number one per capita in research, and number two in total research dollars.  A lot of things are here in Maryland– but it’s been mentioned a number of times that culturally, as a country, we are programmed not to be entrepreneurs.  How do we de-program ourselves from that way of thinking?” Secretary Johansson asked the roundtable.

Much to the delight of Secretary Johansson, Sweden was again cited as a model for how to change mindsets on entrepreneurship.  Pages suggested that in order to change the mindset of what an entrepreneur is and how to create an entrepreneur driven economy, the state has to approach as it if it were a public service campaign.

“In Maryland, the image of entrepreneurship is very technology heavy – it’s largely associated with the high-tech and biotechnology industries,” Pages said.

“I think you almost have to democratize the message for lack of a better term, and treat it as a public service campaign – and get it out on bus kiosks if you have to. Sweden has done a good job of this, in terms of messaging and strategizing to the general populace, in showing that they can be an entrepreneur.”

Steve Dubin, President & CEO of Martek Biosciences (Nasdaq: MATK), a start-up biotechnology company in Columbia, said that the State should publicize entrepreneurial success stories.

“Celebrating the success of innovation and entrepreneurship will naturally incentivize people to start something on their own,” he said.

His organization received an innovation of the year award, which helped his company obtain sponsors and ultimately helped him launch new products.  His company, which started out as an incubator in 1985, was recently acquired by DSM for $1.1 billion.

Atkinson suggested that the State create an innovation award to be granted to the entrepreneurs and start-up companies across Maryland to help publicize entrepreneurship in Maryland.

Investing in the Future

Thought leaders from the roundtable take notes on the discussion.

Kenneth Poole, executive director of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and President of the Council for Community and Economic Research, pointed out that the State should continue funding community colleges and offering courses for the biotechnology, information technology and healthcare industries.

Steve Silverman, Economic Development Director for Montgomery County agreed, also suggested state and local leaders shape higher education courses according to the needs of the key industries.

In the end, the group agreed that the State must learn to bolster its assets to create results.

“We all know that this can take a long time. The biggest charge for all States is not how successful you are at importing growth – even though that is important to everyone in economic development – it’s how successful how you are at providing an environment that grows the next big companies,” Johansson said.

MDBizMedia talks with space industry experts on the state’s plan to expand business opportunities in earth and space science in Maryland.

Video by Margaret Perry

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

Governor O'Malley outlines Maryland's competitiveness in the space industry in front of hundreds of professionals working in Maryland's space industry.

Just two years after his inaugural meeting with the Maryland Space Business Roundtable, Governor O’Malley today hailed Maryland’s space science assets and outlined a new initiative to increase business development and job growth before hundreds of scientists, engineers, astrophysicists, academics and business leaders where he unveiled Maryland: the Business of Science Space.

“We will pursue program policies to leverage our federal facilities and institutions of science and discovery to unlock the enormous economic and employment potential of Maryland’s space sector,” Governor O’Malley said.

Key components of the plan include creating a Space Development office within the Department of Business & Economic Development, establishing a space-related business incubator, advocating for a proposed National Center of Climate & Environmental Information and expanding manufacturing of satellite instruments and their components.

According to the The Space Report 2011, nearly 260,000 workers were employed in the space industry in 2009, with average salaries of $92,553, more than double the average private sector salary. Maryland ranks the third highest among the states, with an average space industry salary of $110,614.  Maryland’s space industry employment is estimated at 15,061 jobs and $1.6 billion in wages.

Governor O'Malley gets a presentation from a scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility.

The plan would also build on Maryland’s ties to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, located just five miles from the Maryland border on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  The flight facility generates 2,341 jobs for Maryland’s lower eastern shore region, and generated $188 million to the economy.

Christyl Johnson, deputy director for science and technology at NASA, was supportive of Governor O’Malley’s plan.

“I am really excited that our leadership is focusing on STEM technology and feeding the pipeline for the future. I look forward to the role that Goddard will play in the future of climate science,” Johnson said.

Governor O’Malley asked the Space Business Roundtable to work with his administration to build the area around NASA Goddard, NOAA’s Silver Spring and Suitland campuses, and University of Maryland as the “Climate Corridor” and outlined a four-point plan to exploit and enhance Maryland’s leadership in R&D in space and earth science; commercialize space technologies to create new products, new wealth and new employment; promote launch activity at Wallops and create jobs on the Eastern Shore; and educate and train Marylanders for the space and earth science sectors.


“The breakthroughs and innovations occurring in Maryland at NASA, NOAA, Johns Hopkins APL and other institutions represent new frontiers for commercialization and business development in areas like carbon monitoring, manufacturing and life sciences,” Governor O’Malley said.

DBED Secretary Christian Johansson with this year's Small Business Person of the Year winner, Ginny Williams.

The Maryland Small Business Association held its 26th Annual Small Business Awards Competition, recognizing some of Maryland’s top small business owners and advocates.  This year’s Small Business Person of the Year award went to Ginny Williams of archSCAN, LLC, an archival and scanning service company based in Annapolis, Md.

Other award winners include:

  • Veteran Champion:                                              Jerry Boden, MD Dept. of Veterans Affairs
  • Accountant Champion:                                       Tom Bowman, Bowman & Co., CPA PC
  • Entrepreneurial Success:                                   Warren Wiggins, W.W. Contractors, Inc.
  • Financial Services Champion:                          Annie Geiermann, The Columbia Bank
  • Woman in Business Champion:                        Alexander Loudon, Sonic Omnimedia, Inc.
  • Minority in Business Champion:                     Louis C. Fields, African American Tourism Council of MD
  • Small Business Exporter:                                   Lin Hwang, J & R Seafood, Inc.
  • District Director’s Unsung Hero:                    Eileen S. Buchannan, SCORE Chapter #3
  • Family Owned Small Business:                        Linda Sue “Susie” Comer, Comer Construction, Inc.
  • Young Entrepreneur:                                         Josh Notes, Jason Jannati & Matej Harangozo, GreNEWit

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

From left to right: DBED Secretary Christian Johansson, TCS CEO Maurice Tose, U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation CEO Robert Hannon cut the ribbon the TCS's new cybersecurity center in Hanover.

Over 100 were in attendance for the ribbon cutting of TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) (NASDAQ:TSYS) cyber intelligence center in Hanover yesterday.  The secure wireless communication technology company’s new 36,000 square foot facility will house its cybersecurity group, its satellite operations center and its East Coast Lab and data center, and is expected to hire an additional 100 employees.

“There’s not a day that goes by without a new story about a breach in cybersecurity, whether in government or in the private sector,” Maurice Tosé, CEO and Co-Founder of TCS, said.  “Of equal importance are the nation’s ongoing military operations at home and abroad – requiring secure satellite communications. These demands require immediate and intelligent action.  What we do at this facility has a profound impact on this country and our country’s safety and we take this responsibility very seriously.”

The company was founded in 1987 by Maurice Tosé and his wife, providing software development to the federal government.  In 1990, the company took off after winning a major contract with the U.S. Special Operations Command, allowing them to expand their company in the mid-90’s.

TCS CEO Maurice Tose shakes hands with Congressman Ruppersberger after they announce the opening of the new cybersecurity center.

By 2000, the company was delivering deployable communications equipment to the Secretary of State as well as the defense community.  The company was one of six vendors awarded a $5 billion Army Worldwide Satellite Systems contract for a five year period in 2006.

Today, the company processes over 40 percent of the nation’s text messages, develops wireless navigation applications, and holds more than 135 patents in the U.S. and abroad, with more than 300 patents pending.  TCS is also responsible for the nation’s first wireless 9-1-1 call, and now deploys wireless and VoIP 9-1-1 service to operators nationwide.  The company offers solutions for wireless applications, secure satellite communication systems, and cyber security.

Tosé said they chose to build their cybersecurity center in Maryland because of Maryland’s thriving IT and cybersecurity industries.

“Maryland is the ideal place to carry out our mission – its home to the best and the brightest of cyber professionals and has the infrastructure and commitment to grow in research, business and academics,” Tosé said.

“There really couldn’t be a better location for our cybersecurity center, where we will train the next generation of cyber defenders for the government and private sectors,” he said.

With locations in California, Florida, Washington, Maryland and overseas, TCS employs approximately 1,300 professionals, with plans to expand.  In 2010, the company reported $389 million annual revenue, marking six years of record revenue growth.  TCS’s first quarter results showed a 25% growth in services revenue.

“What TCS is doing here is very important and intersects with the State’s goals in a multitude of ways,” DBED Secretary Christian Johansson said.  “Maryland is home to unique cyber security assets and the opening of TeleCommunication Systems’ Cyber Intelligence Center is helping Maryland to thwart cyber attacks and make our world a safer, more secure place to live and work.”

“Our committee oversees cybersecurity and this is a serious threat – I think it’s one of the largest threats we have to deal with as a country,” U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, a ranking member on the House Committee on Intelligence, said.  “We have challenges out there – but with those challenges, we have opportunities. As long as government and the private sector continue to come together, we can tackle these challenges.”

Tosé, a member of the Maryland International Advisory Council, will be joining Governor O’Malley on a trade mission to Asia next week, and will work to help the State further develop relations with China.   The Governor is expected to travel to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and Tosé will also be joining him there.  TCS has satellite and communications equipment in the demilitarized zone.

“Our company has a presence in Asia and we do business in other countries in the region,” Tosé said. “My goal is to help the state in any way I can – and China is a very important economy to be in.”

2011 legislative business accomplishments include creation of cyber commission,  $8M for biotech tax credit

Guest Article by Karen Glenn Hood, Department of Business & Economic Development

Governor O'Malley signs HB173, InvestMaryland, the State's largest-ever venture capital investment initiative, into law.

Annapolis, MD (May 19, 2011) – Joined by Maryland business leaders and elected officials, Governor Martin O’Malley today signed into law InvestMaryland  – HB173 – an historic initiative which will infuse a minimum of $70 million into promising start-up and early stage companies in Maryland, creating the largest venture capital investment in the State’s history. The program, which will be rolled out over the next year and administered by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), was proposed by Governor O’Malley nearly a year ago and received widespread support from the business community, academicians and industry experts during the legislative session. Among its benefits, the program has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Innovation Economy sectors – life sciences and biotechnology, cyber security/IT and clean/green tech and attract billions of follow on capital, all with no immediate cost to taxpayers.

“This is an historic day for innovation and entrepreneurship in Maryland. This program will bring the maximum benefit for taxpayers, while investing in our Innovation Economy, fueling the jobs and companies of tomorrow and creating an economic climate where the most promising ideas and innovations have a chance to mature,” said Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary  Christian S. Johansson.

Supporters of the InvestMaryland bill, signed into law today by Governor Martin O'Malley, pose for a celebratory picture.

“Maryland values the contributions of small businesses to our economy. InvestMaryland will inject much needed funding into small technology and biotechnology startup companies,” said Kathy Snyder, President and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Maryland Economic Development Commission. “This will help spark Maryland’s Innovation Economy and create jobs.”

InvestMaryland sends a powerful message of support to entrepreneurs in Maryland,” said Steve Dubin, CEO, Martek Biosciences Corporation, Inc., who founded his company in Maryland more than two decades ago and recently sold it for more than $1 billion to a Dutch life sciences conglomerate. “The bill’s signing today also sends a broader message to venture funds and entrepreneurs around the country that Maryland will be a key player in the growth of our innovation  driven economy and a welcoming place for those seeking to start and grow businesses. “

Over the next year, key tenets of the program will be implemented, including the creation of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority,  a nine-member panel that will select third party consultants to manage the tax credit auction, as well as select three to four private venture capital firms that will invest 67 percent of the funds raised. Of the funds invested through private VC firms, 100 percent of the principle and 80 percent of the profits will be returned to the State’s general fund.

The remaining funds – 33 percent – will be deposited into the State’s 15-year-old Maryland Venture Fund (MVF). Over its life, the MVF has invested $25 million into hundreds of start up and early stage technology and life sciences companies, generating a $61 million return.  The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) will also receive a portion of funds for investment.  Returns on the funds invested through the MVF will be reinvested in the program.

In early 2012, the tax credit auction for insurance companies will take place, with a floor of $.70 on the dollar and a maximum of $100 million in tax credits as authorized by HB 173. Insurance companies will be able to claim tax credits beginning in 2015. Once the funds are raised, the private venture capital firms will be able to begin making investments by June 2012.

In addition to the passage of InvestMaryland, the 2011 General Assembly session included a number of important wins for Maryland’s business community.  DBED’s key incentive program – the Maryland Economic Development Authority and Fund – received an appropriation of $15 million for FY2012, an increase of $3 million from the previous fiscal year.  For a complete review of 2011 legislative business accomplishments, please click here.

In an effort to stimulate and create jobs in the State’s film industry, the Maryland Film Production Employment Act of 2011 was passed, helping to enhance the State’s reputation as the go-to state for film production.  The program replaces the existing Film Rebate Fund with a refundable film production tax credit and allows up to $7.5 million in tax credits to be issued annually for qualified productions.  Last month, HBO announced that it will be filming the movie, Game Change, in Maryland.

The Department’s Biotechnology Investor Tax Credit was held steady at $8 million in funding for the second consecutive year, and was also expanded to include biotechnology companies that have been in active business for 15 years.  This provision will sunset in 2013.

In addition to these bills, the General Assembly passed a bill that will create the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence, which will help the State further its efforts to establish Maryland as the nation’s epicenter of cybersecurity.

A Look at the 2011 Maryland General Assembly’s

Legislative Business Initiatives…

Organizers of Maryland 9/11 Memorial Reveal Renderings

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia 

Artist's rendering of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland that will be constructed in front of the World Trade Center.

A memorial for the 63 Maryland victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is under development by the State of Maryland which plans to complete installation by the 10th anniversary of this solemn occasion.  Today, Ziger/Snead the design firm retained by the Maryland 9/11 Memorial Advisory Committee released renderings for the project before the Baltimore Public Art Commission.

These twisted steel beams from the New York Twin Towers will serve as the focal point to the Memorial.

On September 11, 2011, a dedication ceremony will be held to unveil the memorial containing the steel beam artifact from the twin towers and limestone from the Pentagon crash site.  Situated in front of Baltimore’s World Trade Center – in solidarity and homage to the twin towers at New York’s World Trade Center – the Memorial will be viewed by the thousands of pedestrians who pass by or visit each day.

Rand Griffin, CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust and Chair of the 9/11 Memorial of Maryland Advisory Committee, was part of a small group who selected the artifact.  The Committee has been tasked by the Governor to spearhead the design, development and fundraising for the Maryland memorial.

Griffin explained how the members of the Commission selected the artifact and how the memorial came to be.

“Artifacts from the twin towers are stored in hangars at JFK airport in New York.  Maryland was the first after New York state to request an artifact,” he said.  “We were looking for something that showed the force of the event – something that was impactful and awe-inspiring.”

Steel beams from the New York Twin Towers were delivered to Maryland for a 9/11 Memorial site in November.

Delivered to the State in a ceremony held in November, the 22-feet long artifact is composed of three steel beams that are bound together and twisted.  The steel artifact will serve as the focal point of the Memorial.

“It’s a very significant memorial and extremely moving piece,” Griffin said.

Created by Ziger/Snead Architects, the Memorial not only honors the sacrifice, heroism and commitment of Maryland’s 9/11 victims, rescuers, first responders and their families, but also honors the passing of time and represents the milestone moments affiliated with the day.

“The challenge was to create an environment that allowed the power of the artifact to resonate. You feel the tragedy of that day through the surface of this twisted steel column and you see how transformed it is from its original position.  The strength of the artifact really lies in its transformation from the vertical to the horizontal. It literally changed it and changed us,” Steve Ziger, lead architect for the memorial, said.

The shadows created by the Baltimore World Trade Center will reflect the times of the events on the tragic day.

Using the shadows created by the World Trade Center and the artifacts obtained, the memorial will incorporate a sundial reflecting the times of the events that morning ten years ago.  The shadows of the World Trade Center will cross inscriptions, with the names of the victims of those tragedies, at the time the events occurred.

“The site is to the North of the World Trade Center in Baltimore and the building itself stands alone on the harbor and casts a solitary shadow that tracks along the plaza.  We placed the Memorial strategically in that shadow to mark the events of that day – from the first strike to the last event of the day,” Ziger said.

The 9/11 Memorial of Maryland will also include an exhibit within the Top of the World observation level on the 27th floor of the Trade Center and feature artifacts from all three sites.

Construction of the memorial is expected to begin in June.  The dedication ceremony is scheduled for September 11, 2011 at the Baltimore World Trade Center.  Details on the ceremony will be released at a later date.  Information on the memorial and how to donate can be found on the memorial website.

Federal Facilities Advisory Board Presents Interim Recommendations to Maryland Congressional Delegation

by Christine Hansen

DBED Secretary Christian Johansson and FFAB Chairman Kevin Kelly present their interim recommendations to the Maryland Congressional Delegation.

It’s been 16 months since Maryland’s Federal Facilities Advisory Board (FFAB) was appointed, and the group has been busy.  Chaired by Kevin Kelly, the group’s mission is to foster greater interaction and collaboration between the State of Maryland, federal facilities and private companies. The group presented its recommendations to the Maryland Congressional delegation yesterday in Washington, DC.

“We have looked at the impact of the federal government installations in the state of Maryland, and we found that the federal government has a huge economic impact on jobs – direct and indirect – in the State,” Kevin Kelly said.

In February, the group submitted an interim report to the Governor, which outlined a sustainable framework for the state’s business plan with federal facilities.  Maryland’s close proximity to Washington, DC, as well as its 60 non-military and 17 military facilities, has positioned Maryland as a flagship for federal R&D and advanced technological innovation.

The federal government and military installations employed over 200,000 Marylanders in 2009, representing 14 percent of Maryland’s total employment.  Together, federal facilities and military installations represented $16.6 billion in total wages, contributed $26 billion to Maryland total GDP, and spent $27.4 billion in procurement contracts with the State.

Since its formation, the Advisory Board has met with seven federal installations in the state so far, Kelly said.

“Our goal was to get to know the major installations in the State and to compile information on how we, as a State, could enhance and complement the major objectives that these agencies have,” Kelly said.

Congressman John Sarbanes and Senator Barbara Mikulski listen to recommendations of the FFAB on how the State can strengthen and grow partnerships between the State and federal government.

In its findings, the FFAB found that many of the agencies requested state assistance in accomplishing their key mission objectives in the following areas: workforce development, technology commercialization, infrastructure improvements, and federal contract procurement.  The Board is working to develop a strategy to meet the needs of those agencies.

In the upcoming months, the FFAB is scheduled to meet with Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Detrick, and other federal facilities located in Maryland.  It will release its final recommendations to the Governor and the Maryland Congressional Delegation by January 2012.

by Christine Hansen for MDBizMedia

Ocean City, Maryland is one of the state's premier vacation spots.

The month of May kicks off the start of summer travel and vacations, and with that means billions of dollars being spent.  A May 2010 Harris Poll found that 66 percent of Americans planned to take a summer vacation in 2010, and travel experts say that despite rising gas prices, more Americans are willing to travel this year than previous years.

This week marks National Tourism Week, a national recognition that promotes the power of travel. For many states, tourism is a major factor in its economic health. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism is one of America’s largest industries, generating $1.8 trillion in economic output.

The same is true on the state level – travel and tourism is one of the largest economic drivers for a state and plays a significant role in the state’s economic health.  Visitors to Maryland spend billions of dollars at hotels, restaurants and attractions, help support jobs and save taxpayers money.

Economic data for calendar year 2010 is due out soon, but in calendar year 2009, 29 million visitors came to Maryland, spending $13.6 billion at hotels, restaurants and attractions, generating approximately $1.6 billion in state and local taxes, and supporting 134,000 jobs for Marylanders.   Maryland has seen a 15 percent growth since 2007, outperforming national and international travel trends.

“Maryland’s tourism industry is showing solid signs of recovery.  Tourism industry tax collections statewide are up 9 percent from last year; they are growing twice as fast as all other sales taxes,” Margot Amelia, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development said.

A young girl enjoys the activities at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

With approximately 20.4 million visitors a year, Baltimore City is the number one attraction in Maryland.  Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor is the most well-known attraction in the State after the Chesapeake Bay, housing attractions like the National Aquarium, Harborplace, and the Maryland Science Center. The development of Harbor East has expanded the attractions for Inner Harbor visitors, with more shops and restaurants to visit.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore has been attracting visitors to Baltimore since 1981.

Since its opening in 1981, the National Aquarium has attracted an average of 1.5 million visitors per year.  The Aquarium showcases a number of exhibits, featuring more than 16,500 animals from land and sea. It will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this August, adding to its already long list of events and attractions.

“For thirty years, we really have been an active part of the tourism scene and we feel like we have done everything we could to contribute to the attractiveness and tourism community in Baltimore and in Maryland,” Kathleen Sher, Deputy Director of External Affairs for the Aquarium said.

“During our peak season – June, July and August – about 70 percent of visitors are coming from out of state,” she said.

Sher says the Aquarium contributes approximately $160 million tourism dollars a year to the State.

Ocean City, the second most popular tourist place in Maryland, sees 8 million visitors a year, with most coming in the summer months. The beach town is home to 193 restaurants, 15 golf courses, and a three-mile boardwalk.

Ocean City has been selected to host this year’s Dew Tour, which will be held July 21-24.  The event will be televised nationally and will bring in hoards of elite skateboarders and BMX bikers.  The beach town is also home to the White Marlin Open, the world’s largest fishing tournament.  This year, the tournament takes place August 8 through 12.

As head of the State Tourism Development Board, Greg Shockley, owner of Shenanigans Irish Pub in Ocean City, says that even with a slow economy, people are willing to travel.

Ocean City's Boardwalk draws in 8 million visitors a year.

“I have been on the Boardwalk for 24 years now and I have seen a lot of things change.  People used to come here for a week or two weeks, and would book their next year’s vacation before leaving.  But now it’s a bit more fluid, people are booking three to four days at a time,” Shockley said.

Maryland has bucked trends and has continued to see increases in tourism dollars, despite tough times, and experts say that there is a “pent-up need for travel after a rough economy in 2008 and 2009.”  In its most recent issue, Advertising Age reported that 95% of people still planned to travel as much or more in 2011 as they did in 2010.

“People are looking for deals, and are very conscious of price.  In the past three years, we have seen that people will still vacation no matter how bad the economy is. They may knock a day out of their stay or spend less on dining, but they are still going on vacations,” Shockley said.

The latest edition of Destination Maryland, Maryland’s official guide to travel in the State, features hundreds of things to do in Maryland.  Free copies of the book, as well as discount cards, can be ordered online at or by calling 1-877-333-4455.