Executive Committee

Chairperson:  Chamber President John Gontrum, Esq., Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP

Nine members serve on the Executive Committee of the Chamber, which consists of all seven Chamber Officers—President, V.P of Administration, V.P. of Chamber Affairs, V.P. of Community Affairs, V.P. of Finance, Secretary and Treasurer—the Immediate Past President and the Executive Director.  The Executive Committee serves as the “nuts and bolts” group of the Chamber.  This creative body generates initiatives, evaluates programs and issues and develops policies which would accomplish the overall Chamber mission and goals.  Committee suggestions and recommendations are normally brought before the Board of Directors for final approval.  Half of the programming ideas generated go directly to standing committees for action.

Program Committee

Chairperson:  V.P. of Chamber Affairs Sophia Montgomery, Country Inn & Suites

The objective of the Program Committee is to develop monthly programs designed to satisfy the needs of the entire Chamber membership.  Programs should provide recognition of achievements as well as educational, networking and social opportunities.  Therefore, the mission of the committee is to identify timely topics, individuals and keynote speakers which have an impact on the Essex-Middle River-White Marsh business and residential communities.

Directions for programming come from many sources, including the Executive Committee, the general membership and other standing committees.  The economic climate and hot issues surrounding development, government, business health or the community greatly influence program selection.

Committee members are responsible for complete coordination of each program from topic development to selection and confirmation of speaker, scheduling, form of presentation, location and menu.  Examples of annual Chamber events include a business awards program, the Hometown Heroes banquet, a carnival, County Executive’s address and an economic development forum.

Membership Committee

Chairperson:  Past President Hal Ashman, Ultimate Watersports

The objective of the Membership Committee is to maintain a healthy growth pattern in our Chamber membership.  The Committee has a two-fold mission to accomplish this objective.

Membership Development:  Development initiatives are designed to increase the size of the Chamber membership.  Committee members target existing non-member businesses and new businesses in eastern Baltimore County, sending invitations and calling or visiting those prospective businesses.  The Committee also motivates the Chamber Board to approach larger employers and encourage their support of the Chamber through membership, advertising and sponsorship.

Membership Retention:  Retention initiatives are designed to maintain an overall attrition rate of less than twelve percent by improving membership communication and awareness.

The Ambassadors, who report to this Committee, welcome new members, encourage involvement and play an introductory role at Chamber programs.  The Committee identifies membership views, reviews membership benefits, contacts members about upcoming events and networking opportunities and listens to member concerns.

Workforce Development Committee

Chairperson:  Board Member Julie Gaynor, Baltimore County Public Schools

The Workforce Development Committee is the engine for the Chamber’s business/education partnership.  The Committee consists of an extensive group of educators and business people who share a special interest in the development of youth in eastern Baltimore County.

Through this partnership, the business and education communities interact and work together to strengthen the education/business ties in the area.  The goal of programs initiated and supported by the Committee and the Chamber are meant to achieve several objectives:

  1. Help students develop pride in themselves and their community
  2. Encourage a yearning for knowledge and scholastic achievement
  3. Instill a solid value system and work ethic
  4. Compel our youth to dream of a positive future

Initiatives include partnering with businesses to assist needy families, the annual Principals’ Breakfast and an Outstanding Teachers’ Awards program.  The Principals’ Breakfast is both an evaluation and a brainstorming session which addresses topics of mutual interest and concern to educational and organizational leaders.  The Outstanding Teachers’ Awards program recognizes the dedication and service that fantastic educators provide to our children on a daily basis.

Legislative Committee

Chairperson:  TBD

The Legislative Committee stimulates legislation at both the state and county levels that provides favorable conditions for businesses to prosper in eastern Baltimore County.  Committee members keep government officials and agencies apprised of Chamber members’ views on key issues throughout the year.

Members review government initiatives and proposed legislation during the Maryland General Assembly Session, then support or oppose bills which directly impact the business community.  They consistently monitor legislation of the Baltimore County Council.

Committee responsibilities include obtaining bills, attending and testifying at legislative hearings, preparing position papers and keeping lines of communication open with all elected officials.  This Committee also plans the Legislative Preview and Legislative Wrap-up meetings.

Office Committee

Chairperson:  TBD

The Office Committee manages the needs and expenses of the Chamber office, from furnishings, computers and equipment to utilities, insurance and security.  Committee members are experts in a variety of areas, including finance, technology, property management, etc. and lend their talents to ensure that the Chamber continues to operate smoothly.

Committee Members

Office Committee
James Merritt
Marc Czosnowski
Donna Rolnick

Program Committee
Sophia Montgomery
Bill Bafitis
Sharon Kihn

Legislative Committee
Robert Barrett
Rob Cancelliere

Membership Committee
Hal Ashman
Ceal Myrick
Wayne Miskiewicz
Sharon Kihn

Workforce Committee
Julie Gaynor
Jamie Alvarez
Bill Meiswinkel