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Home > The Glover Report > The Glover Report: Maryland Is Open For Business: DGS, MDOT Produce Mega-Opportunity for MD Businesses

The Glover Report: Maryland Is Open For Business: DGS, MDOT Produce Mega-Opportunity for MD Businesses

If you are in business in Maryland, then get to know DGS Secretary C. Gail Bassette. She is very serious about business development in the state.

Unprecedented Dual-Agency Sponsored Event Attracts East Coast Business Owners from Several States

By Doni Glover, Publisher

(BALTIMORE – November 11, 2015) - A year ago, then-candidate Larry Hogan and his running mate, Boyd Rutherford were soaring. They had just won the Maryland General Election, the second Republican team of the past half-century, the other being Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

Today, the Hogan administration presented small business owners with an unprecedented opportunity: direct access to two of the major state agencies that deal with contracts with women, small, minority and veteran-owned businesses – along with prime contractors.

I must say that I very much appreciate seeing such efforts. No, government is not responsible for the success of one’s business. However, it sure is nice – speaking as a business owner – when the government finds common-sense ways to facilitate a better business environment where businesses are connecting with a plethora of business opportunities. 

Take, for example, C. Gail Bassette, Secretary of the Department of General Services (DGS); she shared her vision for the agency with several months ago. That’s where we first learned of some of her goals, including a successful youth summer program designed to be much for than just a job.

Spend five minutes with Madame Secretary and you, too, will find that she is strictly business, a straight shooter who does not mix words. She is not excuses-oriented by any stretch of the imagination. Au contraire, she is a highly-motivated, pro-active administrator charged with taking DGS to a higher level in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.

Today, Bassette and Pete Rahn, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) hosted some 458 business owners, entrepreneurs, executives and professionals from across the state at a procurement fair featuring key agency decision-makers. Once again, Bassette is showing that she is more about ‘walking the walk’ than anything else. Clearly, she loves results. Further, she appeared quite pleased to have a solid list of presenters, including luncheon keynote, Marc Weller. Weller is the President of Sagamore Development, the real estate arm of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. At present, Weller and Plank are heavily focused on developing their new site in Port Covington.

Dubbed the “First Annual Business Opportunities & Entrepreneurial Training Summit”, this event featured representatives from the Maryland Department of General Services’ Planning, Design and Construction Division, Energy Division, Real Estate Division, Facilities Operations & Maintenance Division, Statewide Commodities and Services, Maryland Aviation Administration (BWI-Thurgood Marshall), Maryland State Highway Administration, Maryland Transportation Authority, the Maryland Port Administration, and the Motor Vehicle Administration.    

Attendees had direct access to project managers and procurement officers and had the opportunity to learn how to submit winning bids.

Personally, this expo was so common-sense and so very needed. Further, I’m looking forward to the next event presented by Bassette, Rahn and the other agencies heads across Maryland.

According to Sean Stinnett, the summit not only attracted nearly 400 people from Maryland, but also drew attendees from Washington, DC, Delaware, North Carolina, six from Florida, nine from New York, eight from Pennsylvania and 17 people from Virginia.

Now, that’s impressive!

In an interview with Bmorenews, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said this event is proof-positive that “Maryland is open for business.”

Rutherford, who gave opening remarks, said, “This is more than a slogan.”

Those who know Rutherford know that just like Secretary Bassette, he is a straight-shooter who says what he means. He’s not the guy you have to guess what he’s thinking. He’ll tell you exactly what’s on his mind.

He is a man who believes in self-sufficiency, something that is seemingly rarely discussed in Maryland political circles, especially when it comes to the empowerment of the black and brown communities. Sure, he will help a person. More importantly, though, he’s more interested in helping a person help himself.

One idea he is big on is collaborations. And that’s why the dual-agency produced summit was very pleasing to him.

Victor Clark, Program Manager for Small Business Resources at the Maryland Department of Commerce, shared similar sentiments. Clark, who once ran for mayor of Baltimore, said, “This was a great first-time effort sponsored jointly by two of Maryland’s largest procuring agencies.”

He added, “The unique format of combing opportunities and training for entrepreneurs highlight the Hogan-Rutherford administration to support the Maryland business community.”

Meshelle Howard, Director of Civil Rights and Fair Practice, told Bmorenews, “This is the first of its kind for the State of Maryland in support of its small and minority businesses.” She continued, “From the Governor and Lt. Governor to the Transportation Secretary to the business owners in attendance, everyone was front and center in exhibiting that ‘Maryland is open for business.”   


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Tags: MDOT Produce Mega-Opportunity for MD Businesses, The Glover Report: Maryland Is Open For Business: DGS

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