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Harford Chamber Hosts Legislative Wrap-Up; Announces FY2021 Board of Directors, Hall of Fame Award and Member of the Year

The Harford County Chamber of Commerce ends its fiscal year having recently hosted its Legislative Wrap-Up and Annual Meeting and Gavel Exchange. Taking place virtually on June 17th, the Legislative Wrap-Up featured a panel of local representatives who shared their takeaways from the unique 2020 Legislative Session. Harford County Executive Barry Glassman made remarks, highlighting Harford County’s ability to swiftly deliver CARES Act funding to small businesses, farms, and business owners through grants.

Important legislation discussed surrounded taxes, the Kirwan Commission, liquor bills, and adjustments made for COVID-19. Legislators expressed that they faced unprecedented changes this session as it ended early and working conditions were altered. They urged business owners to contact their local representatives with their stories and let their voices be heard as soon as possible.

Thank you to those who participated in the panel: Delegate Teresa Reilly, Senator J.B. Jennings, Senator Robert Cassilly, Senator Jason Gallion, Delegate Mike Griffith, Delegate Steve Johnson, Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti, and Delegate Susan McComas. We would also like to recognize those who were unable to participate due to other obligations: Delegate Lauren Arikan, Delegate Rick Impallaria, Delegate Kathy Szeliga.

On June 18th, members of the Harford business community gathered virtually for the Harford Chamber Annual Meeting and Gavel exchange. President and CEO of the Harford Chamber Angela Rose welcomed attendees, and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman gave an update on the County’s progress as businesses reopen.

Ms. Rose honored the 2020 Harford Chamber Member of the Year, the late Rick Staton of CMIT Solutions of Upper Chesapeake/Columbia. Mr. Staton was someone who joined the Chamber a few short years ago and jumped in with both feet. He quickly engaged with various committees, his company became a signature event sponsor, and he always touted Chamber benefits to prospective members. He was a truly unique person who had a heart of gold and would do anything to help support the Chamber’s initiatives. Unfortunately, Rick passed away unexpectedly in March. His death left the Chamber shocked and deeply saddened. Honoring Rick with the 2020 Member of the Year award is a small token of appreciation for his efforts of support and a very small way to honor his contributions.

The 2020 Hall of Fame Award recipient was Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library. Ms. Hastler is a true Chamber Champion, contributing in every sense of the word – with time, talent, and sponsorships. Recently, she has served on the Board of Directors and the Chamber’s Executive committee. Over the past few years, she has provided valuable guidance and insight in developing our values, strategic plan, and value proposition.

Outgoing Harford Chamber Board Chair Patrice Ricciardi reflected on the highlights of the past year. Throughout 2020, the Harford Chamber has provided its members with a voice in advocacy efforts, unparalleled opportunities to make meaningful connections, educational and professional development tools, and cost-savings programs. For statistics and more information, please view the Harford Chamber’s 2020 Annual Report.

Ms. Ricciardi continued with her own Chamber story. When she began working in Harford County, she knew no one and was advised by a colleague to join the Chamber. She attended events, sat at different tables to meet new people, and even stood at the door at Chamber functions to greet attendees. Through the Chamber, Patrice built a strong network of business connections.

Officers inducted included Board Chair Lee Tayson of Liberty Mutual Insurance; Immediate Past Chair Patrice Ricciardi of Freedom Federal Credit Union; Vice Chair of Finance Brianne Baccaro Norris of Weyrich, Cronin, and Sorra; and Vice Chair of Administration Mary Ann Bogarty of Harford Bank. Executive Committee members are Robin Luxon of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health; Josh Nelson of Chesapeake Environmental Management; Mike Ray of SURVICE Engineering; and Chris Stone of E-Moxie.

Nominated FY2021 Board of Directors are Dr. Sean Bulson of Harford County Public Schools; Terry Grant of Katz Abosch; Andy Guckert of M & T Bank; Mike Maxwell of Maxed Out Home Group; and Greg Pizzuto of Visit Harford.

In-Term Directors are Chad Arrington of The Kelly Group; Denise Dregier of Harford Community College; Linda Hawes of MedStar Health; Henry Omomah of Dunlop Protective Footwear; Len Parrish of Harford County Office of Economic Development; Eric Rebbert of Chesapeake Bank of Maryland; Chanel Rhoads-Reed of Baltimore Gas & Electric and Monica Worrell of APGFCU.

The Harford Chamber would like to express gratitude to our Out-going Directors: Bob Bloom of Visit Harford; Mary Hastler of Harford County Public Library; Jillian Lader of Harford County Public Schools; Jack Schammel of Leading Logic; and Debi Williams of APGFCU.

Incoming Board Chair Lee Tayson spoke about his goal for the Chamber to continue to be a strong connector in our business community. Lee joined the Chamber when he was just beginning his career, and championed educational initiatives and the Emerging Leaders Committee (formerly Young Professionals).

The Harford County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the 2020 Annual Meeting sponsor, Elite Home Entertainment. About the Harford County Chamber of Commerce: The Harford County Chamber of Commerce has worked continually as the recognized voice of business in Harford County since 1976. The Harford Chamber is the premier business advocate in the county, helping members connect and thrive to create a vibrant economy across all sectors. For more information, please contact Kate Rodriguez at Kate@HarfordChamber.org.

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