Celebrating Earth Day in Maryland

Maryland Business News - Thu, Apr 19, 2018

Earth Day is April 22, and we are looking at Maryland’s energy and sustainability industry and highlighting companies throughout the state that are working towards smarter energy use and greener living.

In Maryland, our more than 1,200 energy and sustainability firms generate an estimated $8 billion in gross state product. Through numerous state resources, we are looking to ensure that number keeps growing for years to come.

In the coming months, the Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards will honor local companies celebrating environmental successes. This annual event focuses on the achievements of Maryland Green Registry members that are committed to continuing sustainable practices. Businesses can become registry members for free and have until the end of the month to apply for a green leadership award.

Three-time award winner Thermo Fisher Scientific believes improving environmental sustainability is an ongoing process. With offices in Frederick and Walkersville, this biotechnology company has been a member of the Maryland Green Registry since 2011, with a strong focus on conserving resources, minimizing waste, and reducing greenhouse gases. The company has also been recognized by Frederick County, The National Conference on Citizenship, and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for its impact on the community.

Newer to the program is Hamilton Associates, an Owings Mills-based parent company of three manufacturers. Hamilton pulls the three businesses together with one shared vision: to improve the world through responsibly manufactured products. The company received a leadership award last year for reducing its energy usage by 20 percent—upgrades to HVAC systems, fixing air leaks, and retrofitting LED lighting all helped the company become more energy efficient. Hamilton also encourages its employees to participate in reusing materials and hosted a demonstration on creating garden planters out of leftover wooden pallets.

Other registry members all throughout the state are working towards reducing their carbon footprint, including GM Baltimore, Habitat for Humanity, Linganore Winecellars, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and various hotels, government agencies, universities, and state parks. Read the full list of members by clicking here.

Companies outside the registry are also looking to make eco-friendly changes in Maryland. Based out of Linthicum, The Wilburn Company is a commercial cleaning service dedicated to not only cleaning buildings and businesses, but also making sure they help keep the environment clean. The company recently received a new GS-42 certification from Green Seal®, which ensures that Wilburn’s services meet the certifier’s impressively high standards. The company must reduce chemical waste and solid waste, as well as continue workforce training for employees, to keep its certification.

“We are not just janitors, we are environmental hygienists,” said Robert Baldwin, vice president of The Wilburn Company. “We are impacting people’s lives by directly affecting their health, their economics, and their work performance all while protecting the environment.”

It’s not only up to the business community to help keep our planet clean. If you’re an individual looking to make an environmental difference outside of the workplace, check out these volunteer opportunities compiled by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Read more about energy and sustainability in Maryland.

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Categories: Maryland News

Perdue celebrates 50 years of legendary brand

Maryland Business News - Thu, Apr 19, 2018

It was 50 years ago that Perdue purchased its Salisbury, Md. plant, kicking off a product that we now know as the number one fresh chicken brand in the nation.

After renovating its newly-acquired Route 50 facility in 1967, the company processed its first PERDUE® branded chicken right here in Maryland. Perdue’s successful venture officially disrupted the chicken industry, and today has continued that tradition by eliminating antibiotics, advancing animal welfare, and increasing organic production. The family-owned company, now in its third generation, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill joined Perdue representatives and Salisbury Mayor Jake Day earlier this month to commemorate the occasion, and celebrate the company’s economic impact in Maryland and success as the country’s fourth-largest poultry company.

Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill and Chairman Jim Perdue. Photo courtesy of Perdue.

“With a strong commitment to quality and customer service, Perdue is one of Maryland’s most valued corporate partners, and we thank them for continuing to invest in our state,” said Secretary Mike Gill.

“Perdue Farms has a long and proud history with the Eastern Shore and the State of Maryland,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement. “Our administration recognizes the importance of this iconic, family-owned business to Maryland’s economy, and I am proud to congratulate the Perdue family on the 50th anniversary of PERDUE® branded chicken.”

Also honored at the event were a number of employees celebrating more than 40 years at the Salisbury plant. Together, the workers total more than 300 years of service in Wicomico County.

Perdue Farms celebrates the contributions of the associates working at the Salisbury, Md., plant, where the brand started. From left to right are Curtis Jones, Laverne Garrison, Cheryl Ballard, Lorenzo Beach, Diane Jenkins and Andre Jones. Photo courtesy of Perdue.

“The Salisbury plant is successful because of the experience of our associates,” said chairman Jim Perdue. “So many people have made a tremendous impact on the growth of our brand and success of our company.”

As the city’s largest employer, Perdue is committed to the Salisbury community and the entire Eastern Shore. Just this month, the Perdue Foundation donated $20,000 to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and earlier this year the foundation funded an early learning center in Berlin and presented a record amount to the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, with help from Perdue associates.

Learn more about the company and its responsibility to food and agriculture at perduefarms.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

Paint the town on the Eastern Shore

Maryland Business News - Tue, Apr 17, 2018

Guest feature: Barbara Vann is with the Kent County Office of Tourism Development. Follow Kent County on Facebook and Twitter.

After a brutally cold winter, what better way to savor the warmth and beauty of spring than the RiverArts 9th Annual “Paint the Town,” April 26-29, where more than 50 talented artists will paint Chestertown and the surrounding countryside and waterways.

Artists come from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Washington, D.C. and New York. In fact, Chestertown has been voted the “best place to escape” in Maryland. Many artists paint scenes of historic Chestertown and the surrounding small towns and countryside, while some arrive a day early to scout out Kent County, looking for something special. The result is a wonderful range of paintings that include historic buildings and street scenes, gardens, rural expanses, seascapes, nautical views, and more.

The artists will paint for three days: on Thursday and Friday they will paint throughout Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties, and on Saturday, artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown while one of Maryland’s most popular Farmers’ Markets is in town.

The paintings are framed and will be available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts, 315 High Street. The artists will have their own say by voting “Best in Show” and “Best Body of Work.” Sales tend to be brisk so visitors are encouraged to make their choices during the reception. However, if more time is needed, the paintings can be viewed on Sunday morning.

On Sunday there will be a “Quick Draw” where artists have two hours to paint a scene. These paintings will also be for sale 11am-12pm and will be shown in Fountain Park. In case of inclement weather, the paintings will be moved to the breezeway near RiverArts.

Click here for more information.

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Categories: Maryland News

Tech company of the week: Trinity Cyber

Maryland Business News - Mon, Apr 16, 2018

Last May, Governor Hogan announced the Excel Maryland Initiative at the inaugural Maryland Business Summit in front of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders in the state. The initiative’s goal is lofty – to launch a comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy focused on developing new collaborative techniques to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries.

With more than 35 incubators and research parks and a number one ranking in STEM job concentration, Maryland is fertile ground for entrepreneurs in life sciences and cybersecurity, industries where Maryland already leads. Excel Maryland, the latest tool in the state’s toolbox, is designed to propel these industries to even greater heights.

MDBizNews sat down with a few local businesses that are thriving in the state’s cybersecurity sector and giving the Commerce team plenty to brag about at the upcoming RSA Conference.

Trinity Cyber, based in Bowie, operates a business-to-business cybersecurity service for clients based on a three-pronged approach of being proactive, adaptive, and invisible when it comes to securing valuable networks.

Founders Steve Ryan and Neill Sciarrone come from top-level government security backgrounds – Ryan previously served as Director of the National Security Agency’s Threat Operations Center and Sciarrone was Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director of Cybersecurity at the White House. Steve Wagner, Trinity’s director of external affairs, said Maryland was a natural fit for starting an-up-and-coming cybersecurity business.

“Maryland has a great reputation for supporting both small and local businesses, from state representatives to the governor’s office to county and city officials, all of whom have exceeded our high expectations,” said Wagner. “Additionally, as an education-rich environment with several top-tier institutions offering degrees in digital security, Maryland offers access a rich pipeline of talent in the cybersecurity field.”

Trinity’s approach to security utilizes their patented Proactive Threat InterferenceTM service that works with a client’s existing cyber defense infrastructure to prevent malicious Internet traffic from reaching corporate networks. Wagner says that the proactive nature of Trinity’s cybersecurity service breaks the mold of most reactive defense services.

“Cybersecurity products and services tend to focus internally on the corporate network, helping to identify malicious traffic, investigate potential events, and minimize damage from incursions,” Wagner said. “While these functions are very important to securing networks, they are also inherently reactive to events that have already occurred. Trinity Cyber’s service complements these existing functions by operating outside the corporate network, between our customers and cyber adversaries, to stop attacks before they even reach our clients.”

As Trinity grows rapidly in this ever-expanding industry, the company plans to tap into talent pipelines from the University System of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and Maryland’s other leading higher education institutions to expand their team and meet demand.

“As a growing business, we are constantly searching for top cybersecurity talent,” Wagner said. “Proximity to Maryland’s strong educational institutions provides us with a strategic advantage as we continue to scale our operations and execute on our mission.”

For more information visit trinitycyber.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

Port of Baltimore breaks nearly 40 year record

Maryland Business News - Thu, Apr 12, 2018

Guest feature: Richard Scher is the director of communications for the Maryland Port Administration. Follow the Port on Facebook and Twitter.

The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s public and private marine terminals handled 38.4 million tons of cargo in 2017, the most since 1979 and the third-highest tonnage in its history. This record comes on the heels of a record 2017 year for the Port’s state-owned public marine terminals.

“The Port of Baltimore continues to be a leading economic engine for our state, supported by tens of thousands of hard-working Marylanders,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The Port is a great example of our Administration’s commitment to ensuring that Maryland remains Open for Business.”

The 38.4 million tons of cargo handled last year was valued at $53.9 billion. The cargo tonnage fell just behind the record of 40.9 million tons in 1974 and 38.5 million tons in 1979.

The Hogan Administration recently announced that last year the Port’s public marine terminals, managed by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration, had a record year by handling 10.7 million tons of general cargo. It was the second consecutive year for more than 10 million tons of general cargo from the public terminals. General cargo includes autos and light trucks, containers, roll on/roll off (farm, mining and construction equipment), forest products (rolled paper and wood pulp) and breakbulk cargo. Included in the general cargo number was a record 596,972 containers, an 11 percent jump from the previous record set in 2016.

Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while about 127,600 jobs in Maryland are linked to Port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local tax revenues. Learn more.

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Categories: Maryland News

Tech company of the week: Contrast Security

Maryland Business News - Wed, Apr 11, 2018

Last May, Governor Hogan announced the Excel Maryland Initiative at the inaugural Maryland Business Summit in front of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders in the state. The initiative’s goal is lofty – to launch a comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy focused on developing new collaborative techniques to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries.

With more than 35 incubators and research parks and a number one ranking in STEM job concentration, Maryland is fertile ground for entrepreneurs in life sciences and cybersecurity, industries where Maryland already leads. Excel Maryland, the latest tool in the state’s toolbox, is designed to propel these industries to even greater heights.

MDBizNews sat down with a few local businesses that are thriving in the state’s cybersecurity sector and giving the Commerce team plenty to brag about at the upcoming RSA Conference.

Contrast Security, based in Baltimore City’s Canton neighborhood, provides software protection for businesses by making their existing programs “self-protecting,” so they can defend themselves against vulnerabilities and attacks. Founders Arshan Dabirsiaghi and Jeff Williams launched the company as a spin-off of Williams’ successful consulting firm in Columbia, knowing that they wanted to stay in Maryland for this new venture.

“From a business side, Silicon Valley is where a technology company is ‘supposed’ to be,” said Dabirsiaghi. “Culture is so important for a company and we have a very balanced technology culture here in Baltimore.”

Contrast Security’s technology is different from the traditional software protection products on the market because it is tailor-made for every customer’s program. Dabirsiaghi compared it to getting an MRI instead of having a doctor simply ask questions. One allows you to get an inside view of what’s really going on, while the other makes educated guesses from an external perspective.

“In the same way, our agent technology analyzes and protects from within our customers’ software, rather than just scanning its code,” said Dabirsiaghi.

For Contrast Security, pioneering the field of software protection is the end goal. With high-profile hacks like Equifax, the company feels they are in a position to vastly improve how businesses maintain security for their customers.

“The sky is the limit. We’re hiring all the time, so tell your friends,” said Dabirsiaghi. “Companies continue to invest more and more into software. We hope to fundamentally change the way software is built, and secure the next generation of technology.”

For more information visit contrastsecurity.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

Spring Showcase: Made in Maryland Festival

Maryland Business News - Mon, Apr 9, 2018

From Chesapeake Bay seafood, to Smith Island Cake, to many of the home brews and wines crafted by the state’s local breweries and wineries, it would seem impossible to be able to sample Maryland’s vast food and drink options all in one day. But the Made in Maryland Festival is making it easy to sip on some Layton’s Chance wine from Dorchester County while indulging in Baltimore’s favorite crab cuisine from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, at one convenient location.

In its second year, the Made in Maryland Festival is building off the huge success of last year’s debut, with even more vendors and entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy on Sunday, May 6, at Kurtz’s Beach in Pasadena.

This completely Maryland-themed festival will feature artisans, crafters, live jousting, food vendors, local wineries and breweries, live music, and children’s activities. The event supports The Chesapeake Bay Trust, a 501c(3) nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Coastal Bays, and Youghiogheny River.

Event coordinator, Hayley Bowerman, said the scale of this year’s event is directly a result of 2017’s success.

“Last year’s inaugural event was met with an overwhelming response. The number of attendees that showed up at the gate needing tickets on the day-of was more than double what we anticipated,” Bowerman said. “We’re most excited for our overall lineup of entertainment and activities this year. This is really an all-ages festival that offers something for everyone, whether you’re planning to attend with small children, your significant other, or a group of friends.”

From the entertainment headlined by local 80’s tribute band The Reagan Years, to beverages from Baltimore-based Patapsco Distilling Company and Ocean City’s own Hoop Tea, as well as local authors and artists, appearances by Natty Boh and the Baltimore Hon Hive, and a fresh plant market just in time for Mother’s Day, every aspect of the festivals highlights its Maryland roots.

Even the Kurtz’s Beach location is a Maryland staple that has been family-owned and operated in Anne Arundel County for nearly 85 years. Owner John Mason says the festival is a perfect way to celebrate that anniversary.

“This festival is kind of bringing everything together because we’re a Maryland institution that has relied on the bay and its health as part of our business,” said Mason. “We always wanted to do something to really celebrate the state. My family and I are simply stewards of this magical place among nature and we’re honored to invite everyone here to see what Anne Arundel County has to offer.”

Bowerman says this collaboration of Maryland-based businesses is what fuels this unique festival.

“Our ultimate goal is to create an event that perfectly incorporates all the things that ‘Maryland’ brings to mind,” said Bowerman. “We already have a great combination of offerings and eventually we’d love to bring in all the businesses, brands, sporting teams, and more from all corners of our state.”

“For now, our immediate goal is simply to create a fun atmosphere that celebrates all the great aspects of our state, while also promoting The Chesapeake Bay Trust.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit madeinmarylandfest.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

Tech company of the week: Immuta

Maryland Business News - Fri, Apr 6, 2018

Last May, Governor Hogan announced the Excel Maryland Initiative at the inaugural Maryland Business Summit in front of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders in the state. The initiative’s goal is lofty – to launch a comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy focused on developing new collaborative techniques to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries.

With more than 35 incubators and research parks and a number one ranking in STEM job concentration, Maryland is fertile ground for entrepreneurs in life sciences and cybersecurity, industries where Maryland already leads. Excel Maryland, the latest tool in the state’s toolbox, is designed to propel these industries to even greater heights.

MDBizNews sat down with a few local businesses that are thriving in the state’s cybersecurity sector and giving the Commerce team plenty to brag about at the upcoming RSA Conference.

College Park-based Immuta serves algorithm-driven enterprises in order to accelerate their development and control machine learning, as well as other advanced analytics. They are, in essence, a data management company that can provide fast and personalized data access to clients that will improve creation, deployment, and auditability of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Immuta’s team has deep Maryland roots – many built their IT careers in the state and a number are proud Terp alumni. Steve Touw, chief technology officer for Immuta, said the company has found immense value in the resources here in Maryland.

“With proximity to the nation’s capital, Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland’s full of amazing opportunities, which is why we’re so excited to call the ‘Old Line State’ our home,” said Touw. “We’ve found an incredible talent pool here with deep experience in technology and a real passion for data privacy.”

Customers can use Immuta’s software platform to connect to any information storage technology, using any tool, while enforcing the strictest privacy controls. This allows data science programs to easily and quickly turn their data into insight. According to the company, this is a groundbreaking platform that has gone untapped by their competitors.

“We’re made up of data scientists, software developers and lawyers with combined decades of experience helping large organizations move at the speed of A.I.,” said Touw. “By drawing on our incredibly unique backgrounds, our team has built a platform like no other — allowing for the fastest, most reliable access to data and data policy enforcement, all in one intuitive product.”

The future looks bright for Immuta as more and more organizations invest in powerful data science tools while governments continue to enact stricter regulations, a challenge that the company is eager to take on.

“Data science is becoming more important, but also much harder in practice,” said Touw. “Immuta allows companies to easily adapt to both of these major trends — making better use of their data while complying with any data regulation.”

For more information visit immuta.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

ID Agent moves to Maryland

Maryland Business News - Thu, Apr 5, 2018

ID Agent, a provider of Dark Web monitoring and identity theft protection solutions, recently opened its headquarters in Maryland.

The company relocated from Washington, D.C. to Bowie and selected a 3,000 square-foot space in the Melford Business Park that it plans to expand within the next two months. With this move, the company will bring 10 jobs to Maryland and anticipates doubling its workforce in the coming year.

After operating for 14 years as part of Winvale, located in Washington, D.C., ID Agent strategically moved to Maryland for its direct access to a specialized and talented workforce, affordable cost of living, and central location.

“This move made critical sense to our growth plan and recruitment efforts. There are thousands of commuters who travel along Route 50, and we can attract the best of the best of those seeking a 20- minute drive, as opposed to an hour on a good day,” said Kevin Lancaster, chief executive officer. “Maryland is a great place to be, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.”

ID Agent has experienced exponential growth over the past year, which Lancaster said was another determining factor in making the move to Maryland.

“With a strong cybersecurity industry supported by 115,000 technology warriors and an array of business-friendly tax credits and programs, our administration continues to ensure that companies have the resources they need to grow and thrive in Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

READ MORE.

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Categories: Maryland News

Maryland’s again represented in RSA’s Innovation Sandbox finalists

Maryland Business News - Wed, Apr 4, 2018

Maryland entrepreneurs are keeping their streak alive in RSA’s Innovation Sandbox competition. For the fifth time since 2014, one of Maryland’s cybersecurity start-ups has placed among the contest’s 10 finalists, beating out competitors from across the globe. In recent years, in fact, the Innovation Sandbox has attracted applications from more than 700 emerging U.S. and international companies.

RSA recently announced the finalists for this year’s competition and ReFirm Labs, located in Fulton, Md., is among them. The company was founded just last year by Terry Dunlap and Peter Eacmen, each of whom is an elite NSA offensive cyber operator with nation-state levels of expertise in firmware security.

If you drive a car, use a digital camera, have a cell phone, or use an ATM, ReFirm can play an integral role in your daily activities. The company protects the underlying firmware (the “guts”) that runs the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices, ensuring that the firmware is secure from hackers and nation-state actors. With more than eight billion IoT-connected devices in existence today – and with the number of these devices expected to reach 34 billion by 2020 – the need for such security is great.

ReFirm’s Centrifuge security platform exposes vulnerabilities in the firmware that, if left unaddressed, could cause significant damage. Centrifuge bridges the gap between firmware protection and IoT security – and it does so quickly and efficiently, allowing companies to respond in time to thwart intrusions.

“Each of us comes from the National Security Agency,” said Dunlap, who serves as CEO of the company. “We know how to find vulnerabilities.”

ReFirm got its start in an unlikely manner. Speaking at a tech breakfast event in Baltimore, Dunlap was approached by Franz Henggeler, entrepreneur-in-residence at DataTribe, a start-up studio in Fulton, Md. At the suggestion of Henggeler – and with the encouragement of cyber guru Ron Gula – Dunlap met with DataTribe’s leadership and was sold. He spun off ReFirm from Tactical Network Solutions, which he’d founded in 2007 after leaving NSA, and set up shop in DataTribe.

“So far, I haven’t regretted it!” said Dunlap.

Already, ReFirm is supporting IoT devices of Disney and AT&T. The company received $1.5 million in funding from DataTribe and expects to raise a Series A funding round late this summer. Over the next two weeks, though, Dunlap’s focus will be on RSA and the Innovation Sandbox.

He credits DataTribe execs with encouraging him to submit an application to enter the competition. “They saw the vision in a much broader light than I did,” said Dunlap. And on Monday, April 16, he’ll face a packed house and an expert panel of judges to make the pitch that ReFirm is the conference’s Most Innovated Company.

Our money’s on ReFirm.

Previous Maryland companies in the Innovation Sandbox finals include:
Sourcefire – 2005 winner
Light Point Security – 2013 finalist
RedOwl (now Forcepoint) – 2014 winner
SecurityDo (now Fluency Security) – 2015 finalist
EnVeil – 2017 finalist and 1st runner-up

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Categories: Maryland News

Celebrate baseball season with the Orioles

Maryland Business News - Mon, Apr 2, 2018

Maryland’s favorite springtime activity is officially here – baseball! Opening Day showed us that the Baltimore Orioles are back in action, bringing in more than 45,000 fans to watch a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Twins. With plenty of home games scheduled at the yard, plan a trip to the country’s second best ballpark in the coming months and celebrate America’s pastime with some Orioles history and local fan favorites.

1. Tour Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Learn the history behind the stadium that changed the landscape of baseball forever, and why OPACY is continuously named one of the top baseball stadiums in the nation year after year. While you’re there, take a photo with one of our legendary player’s sculptures.

2. Dine with former O’s players

Spot some former players while grabbing a bite to eat! Head to the ballpark and decide if you’re in the mood for a pit beef sandwich from Boog’s BBQ stand or a sit-down meal at Dempsey’s Brew Pub, operated by former Orioles Boog Powell and Rick Dempsey.

3. Babe Ruth’s a Baltimorean

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum celebrated Opening Day with a block party and is ready to greet fans all throughout baseball season. Schedule a visit and learn about the Baltimore native’s life and how he became the American sports hero known as the greatest figure in baseball.

4. Brews and Baseball

The largest brewery in the city, Peabody Heights, is located at the Old Oriole Park site. Stop in for a brewery tour and hear owner Richard O’Keefe recap the history of the site and facility, while tasting one of the 15 available beers on draft.

5. Bert Simmons’ Museum

Just a short metro ride away, the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball is located at the Owings Mills branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. A former Baltimore Elite Giants player, Bert Simmons dreamed about opening a museum to honor those who played in the Negro Leagues. He achieved his dream – with the first museum officially opening in 2009 – two months before his passing.

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Categories: Maryland News

Tech company of the week: Convergence Technology

Maryland Business News - Fri, Mar 30, 2018

Last May, Governor Hogan announced the Excel Maryland Initiative at the inaugural Maryland Business Summit in front of more than 700 business, education, and community leaders in the state. The initiative’s goal is lofty – to launch a comprehensive, statewide economic development strategy focused on developing new collaborative techniques to accelerate growth in the life sciences and cybersecurity industries.

With more than 35 incubators and research parks and a number one ranking in STEM job concentration, Maryland is fertile ground for entrepreneurs in life sciences and cybersecurity, industries where Maryland already leads. Excel Maryland, the latest tool in the state’s toolbox, is designed to propel these industries to even greater heights.

MDBizNews sat down with a few local businesses that are thriving in the state’s cybersecurity sector and giving the Commerce team plenty to brag about at the upcoming RSA Conference.

Convergence Technology Consulting in Columbia, Md., is a leader in managing, moving, and securing data. The company prides itself on being able to not only secure their clients data, but also still make it accessible to the people who need it, from anywhere in the world.

Founded in 2012, Convergence has been on the cutting edge of data management since the dot.com bubble. CEO and President Larry Letow, who has more than thirty years of sales, operations and finance experience in the IT industry, says the company has enjoyed tremendous growth in Maryland.

“Maryland has a lot of great resources,” said Letow, “one being the biggest client in the country – the U.S. Government – and that trickles down to a high percentage of our companies and supporting businesses. There is no other place (that I know of) where a technology company should be situated.”

Convergence Technology’s clients include the Armed Forces, the intelligence community, civilian agencies, the nation’s largest defense contractors, and major companies in the healthcare and financial services industries. The earned trust of these heavy hitters is something Convergence doesn’t take lightly.

“There are very few companies around the country that have our expertise from endpoint to endpoint,” said Letow. “We have the ability to successfully deliver and secure your data from the time it’s developed to the time it’s delivered to any endpoint anywhere in the world.”

Convergence believes that the data security industry is only at the beginning when it comes to its role in every facet of society. As software integration increases for industries across the board, so will the threats against it, and that’s where Convergence comes in.

“Data security is on every CISO’s and CIO’s mind,” said Letow. “It’s a line item in every budget. The future of our industry is strong and at the beginning of the bell curve.”

For more information visit www.convergencetech.us

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Categories: Maryland News

Small Businesses, Find Out How to Protect Your Data

Maryland Business News - Wed, Mar 28, 2018

CNN described 2017 as “the year nothing seemed safe”. With data breaches at Equifax, school districts across the country, and even the National Security Agency, cyber attacks impacted untold millions of people in 2017 alone. The trend is on track to continue in 2018 – already, the Identity Theft Resource Center reports that there have been 228 data breaches that exposed the data of nearly 4.1 million users.

Cyber intrusions at large corporations are often the ones making national news. Yet according to the National Cyber Alliance, more than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses. Nearly 50 percent of small businesses have been hacked and of those, as many as 60 percent go out of business after six months.

If you’re a small business owner, how do you keep your company safe?

Start by registering for Cybersecurity for SMBs: Protecting Your Business. This free seminar – presented by the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) – will take place on Wednesday, April 25, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the National Cyber Center of Excellence in Rockville, Md. Speakers include:

  • Sen. Susan Lee – Co-chair, Law, Policy & Legislation Subcommittee, Maryland Cybersecurity Council
  • Dave Baggett – Founder & CEO, ITA Software
  • Ellen Cornelius – Senior Law & Policy Analyst, University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security
  • Christopher Caruso – U.S. Secret Service, Baltimore Field Office
  • Tom Quinn – Chief Information Security Officer, Global Technology, Enterprise Security, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
  • Ola Sage – CEO, CyberRx, e-Management
  • Mary Ellen – Seale CEO & Founder, National Cybersecurity Society

Click here for more information or to register. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Categories: Maryland News

10 Ways to Celebrate Maryland Agriculture

Maryland Business News - Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Guest feature: Jason Schellhardt is the Director of Communications for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Follow along with MDA @MdAgDept and Maryland’s Best @MdsBest.

Did you know that most of life’s necessities – food, fiber, clothing and shelter – start with agriculture?

March 20 is National Agriculture Day, which recognizes the contributions of agriculture to American society. To coincide with this national celebration, Governor Larry Hogan has declared March 18-24 as “Maryland Agriculture Week.” From the mountains of Western Maryland with its dairy farms and hay, to Central Maryland with its greenhouse and livestock industries, to the Eastern Shore’s acres of corn and poultry – Maryland truly grows something for everyone.

“Maryland is incredibly fortunate to be home to a rich and diverse agriculture industry,” said Governor Hogan. “I am proud to recognize and celebrate this week with our hardworking farmers and producers, who continue to show their commitment to this vital industry, their communities, and our statewide efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay.”

In Maryland, one-third of the land mass – over 2 million acres – is farmland. In 2017, the top commodity sectors were poultry (broilers), grain, greenhouse and nursery, and dairy. For more interesting facts about Maryland agriculture, see the AgBrief.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture shares 10 suggestions to help citizens recognize National and Maryland Agriculture Week:

    1. Watch Maryland Farm and Harvest on Maryland Public Television or online. The hit series, now in production for a sixth season, puts a human face on farming by showcasing personal stories about farmers, their work with the land and resources, production of food and fiber for our society, challenges, hopes and dreams, and their future.
    2. Take It from Maryland Farmers: Backyard Actions for a Cleaner Chesapeake Bay. This helpful education campaign provides homeowners with information and tips from farmers that they can use to do their part to help improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The initiative offers a series of fact sheets that can be helpful.
    3. Plan your garden and repair lawns with certified seeds. Spring is almost here and now is the time to plan for your gardens and lawns. Be sure to get a soil test before fertilizing and check out the University of Maryland Extension’s Grow it Eat it website.
    4. Visit a winery. Maryland has ten wine trails and 70 wineries that offer more than 400 different wines. Touring a winery or a vineyard in the countryside, tasting some of Maryland’s fine wines, and enjoying the company of friends are wonderful ways to spend a springtime day.

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Categories: Maryland News

State of Maryland Supports Paragon Bioservices’ Expansion

Maryland Business News - Tue, Mar 20, 2018

The state of Maryland and the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) announced today their support of Paragon Bioservices’ new commercial manufacturing facility under development in Anne Arundel County and the addition of 200 new jobs over the next four years.

Earlier this year, Paragon, a leading biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with expertise in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines, announced plans to lease 150,000 square feet in the BW Gateway development on Harmans Road.

The new facility will enable the company to expand its manufacturing operations, as well as house some of its administrative and business development activities which will move from the University of Maryland BioPark. The company is planning to retain its Baltimore City operations in the BioPark, as well as its 200 employees at that location.

“The expansion of our biopharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities via our new site, including the ability for commercial manufacturing, is a key strategic initiative for Paragon,” said Pete Buzy, Paragon’s president and CEO.

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Categories: Maryland News

Maryland cybersecurity companies, is RSA 2018 on your radar?

Maryland Business News - Wed, Mar 7, 2018

Maryland Commerce is headed to San Francisco for the 2018 RSA Conference, April 16-20, and we hope you’ll be part of the Maryland delegation. For the first time, Commerce Secretary Mike Gill will lead the delegation and he’s looking forward to experiencing the conference firsthand. To join the delegation, contact Mark Miraglia.

Here’s an overview of what we have planned:

Commerce Breakfast
On Tuesday, April 17, Commerce will host Maryland: Where Cyber Works, a breakfast event showcasing Maryland’s strengths in the cyber sector, including venture capital opportunities. The event, which features Bob Ackerman and Dave DeWalt of AllegisCyber, is designed to encourage out-of-state and international companies to consider a Maryland location.

We’ve reserved a few spots for Maryland companies. If you’d like to attend, email Maureen Kilcullen. Space is limited – we’ll do our best to accommodate all requests. Invitations will go out in mid-March, and admission is by invitation only.

Business Meetings
Commerce will hold meetings with companies that may be interested in or are actively considering a Maryland location. If you’d like to participate in meetings – or if you’d like Secretary Gill and other Commerce staff to participate in business meetings you’re hosting during RSA – contact Mark Miraglia.

Maryland Booth
Our booth, #1838 in the Moscone Center’s South Hall, will be open for business! We’ll have a small seating area for informal meetings – for more information or to schedule a meeting in the booth, contact Mark Miraglia. For free EXPO passes that provide access to the exhibition halls, visit https://www.rsaconference.com/events/us18/register and use code X8ECYBERMD. While you’re in the Moscone Center, be sure to stop by our booth!

P.R., Marketing, Social Media
Leading up to and during RSA 2018, we’ll publish a series of blog posts to promote Maryland’s cyber strengths, including news and announcements from cyber companies, events hosted by members of the Maryland delegation during RSA, and other activities. Throughout the conference, we’ll push out news via social media, using the hashtags #mdCyber and #RSAC. We’d be happy to include your news releases in press kits distributed to media attending RSA. To share your news, announcements, events, or activities – before and during the conference contact Maureen Kilcullen.

We’re looking forward to seeing you – and working with you – in San Francisco!

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Categories: Maryland News

Bank of America Continues Expansion in Baltimore County

Maryland Business News - Mon, Mar 5, 2018

Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions and the largest bank in the Baltimore region, is planning to add about 600 new jobs at its Hunt Valley complex by 2020, significantly expanding its Baltimore County operations.

The anticipated increase follows the addition of nearly 300 jobs in 2017, which would raise total employment at the location to about 1,500 by the end of the decade. The new jobs primarily will comprise call center and staff support positions. Individuals interested in applying for an open role may visit http://careers.bankofamerica.com/.

“We are pleased to expand our base of operations in Baltimore County and the great state of Maryland, and we are appreciative of our public servants who work tirelessly on behalf of the community we are proud to serve,” said Bank of America Greater Maryland Market President Sabina Kelly.

Hunt Valley is one of Baltimore County’s most vibrant employment centers, with McCormick’s new global headquarters opening next door, convenient light rail, and the amenities of Hunt Valley Towne Centre across the street from the two-building Bank of America complex, which includes a Merrill Lynch office.

Bank of America has added space, upgraded interiors, and increased parking at the site. The Maryland Department of Commerce worked closely with other state agencies, including the Maryland Transit Administration and Baltimore County, on permitting and stormwater management issues.

“It is tremendous to have a financial leader like Bank of America grow its operations and add hundreds of new jobs to our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland offers an extremely competitive and attractive location for global companies, and this expansion is further proof that Maryland is Open for Business.”

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Categories: Maryland News

Amazon HQ2 – Projected Impact in Maryland

Maryland Business News - Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Amazon’s second headquarters project (HQ2) would contribute $17 billion per year in additional activity to Maryland’s economy and $7.7 billion in annual wages when fully operational, according to a new economic impact study commissioned by the Maryland Department of Commerce and Montgomery County.

Furthermore, the project would support 101,000 total jobs and would produce $280 million in additional county tax receipts each year and $483 million in annual state tax receipts according to the analysis, which was conducted by Baltimore-based Sage Policy Group, Inc.

“Amazon’s HQ2 is the greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and this study confirms just how transformative this project could be for Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “From the construction phase, to when the headquarters is fully operational, Maryland would reap unprecedented benefits. We are fully committed to bringing this project home, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Montgomery County to show Amazon that Maryland is truly Open for Business.”

Montgomery County is one of 20 finalists Amazon is considering to be the home of its second headquarters. The company plans to invest $5 billion in the project, which will ultimately create 50,000 new direct, high-paying jobs.

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Categories: Maryland News

Q&A with Maryland manufacturer Phelps Industrial Products

Maryland Business News - Mon, Feb 26, 2018

The Maryland-grown company Phelps Industrial Products has been serving the global market since 1945.

From their new location in Laurel, the manufacturer of industrial gaskets, compression packing, and fluid sealing devices has a team of experts with the talent to craft a custom product for a vast range of industries. Through die, laser, waterjet, knife cutting, and hand-cut services, Phelps has been successful in producing innovative designs for everything from water treatment, power and utility, petrochemical, marine, refining, to the pharmaceutical industry.

We sat down with Phelps CEO Gina Lehman to discuss their new expansion and the future of this 21st century manufacturer.

Tell us a little about the history of Phelps.
Phelps was started in 1945, and stayed in the family for two generations. We have grown based on our exemplary customer service. We strive really hard to cater to our customers’ fluid sealing needs.

What are some examples of the gaskets and other products Phelps makes and where are they applicable?
Gaskets and rubber products have a very wide range of mission-critical applications in Refining, Oil & Gas Production, Petrochemical Manufacturing, Power Plants, etc. Gaskets are used in all kinds of fluid sealing applications such as waste water treatment, NEMA Boxes, Electronics, and much more.

What do you attribute to the company’s success?
First and foremost our team – our employees strive hard to provide the best-in-class service to our customers. Secondly, our customers truly recognize this attribute of Phelps which can be seen in the public feedback available on Google Reviews.

Tell us about the new location.
We are moving to a bigger, more spacious facility. We are buying brand new machines, training our employees, adding new employees to supercharge our technical capabilities, expand our geographical reach, and further enhance our customer service.

Why Maryland?
Maryland provides an ideal location with access to the defense industry, manufacturing industry, coastal/shipping industry, and pharmaceutical industry. There’s a manufacturing-friendly environment here that we’ve taken advantage of.

What does the future hold for Phelps?
We aspire to grow our customerbase domestically and globally by growing our team, adopting cutting-edge digital technologies, and expanding our products. We also seek ISO Quality approvals to become more appealing to newer customers. We hope to gain more acceptance and recognition by government contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE Systems and the like. It has been a challenge to gain access and entry into these organizations despite our capabilities and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certifications. The federal government has set-asides for MBE businesses, but making the appropriate contacts and landing those contracts is an uphill battle.

For more information about Phelps Industrial Products visit phelpsgaskets.com.

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Categories: Maryland News

Vision Technologies plans 100 new jobs in Maryland

Maryland Business News - Fri, Feb 23, 2018

Vision Technologies, Inc., a national and global systems integrator, is relocating its headquarters in Anne Arundel County and adding 100 new full-time jobs over the next five years to its local workforce. The company, located in Glen Burnie, is currently searching for a new facility in the county. Vision Technologies employs 247 workers in the county with more than 500 full-time employees nationally.

“We appreciate all of the support we have received from the Maryland Department of Commerce and Anne Arundel County as we continue to grow. Anne Arundel County has been a great place to start and grow our company and we are proud of what we have achieved,” said John Shetrone, president and CEO of Vision Technologies. “The support from Maryland Commerce has been proactive and effective in providing funding and support for our expansion. We look forward to the future, our continued growth, and being a great example of success here in Maryland.”

Vision Technologies offers an array of IP centric technologies to include AV, wireless, cyber and physical security, and network infrastructures. Vision currently has three offices throughout the country with annual revenues exceeding $120 million. The company was named one of the Top 50 Systems Integrators for 2017 by Systems Contractor News and has been recognized as one of INC. 5000’s fastest growing companies for eight consecutive years.

“Our administration is proud to support Vision Technologies as they move to a new location in Anne Arundel County and add 100 jobs to their growing workforce,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “More and more high-tech companies like Vision Technologies are expanding in Maryland, which is a testament to our talented workforce and our focus on advancing our innovation economy.”

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Categories: Maryland News

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