Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Busch and Chancellor of the University System of Maryland Brit Kirwan received Regional Visionary Awards at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Annual Meeting on May 22 in Baltimore.
The award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the betterment of the Greater Baltimore region, was presented to Busch for his role as a champion of the economic power of revitalization in the Baltimore region. Twelve-year GBC board member Kirwan, who recently announced his decision to retire as chancellor, was recognized for his nurturing of the state’s university system to achieve nationally recognized excellence.
Busch has represented Anne Arundel County in the House of Delegates since 1987 and is the highest-ranking member of the General Assembly from the Baltimore region. Last year, he created the House Baltimore Regional Revitalization Workgroup to identify revitalization opportunities in the region, noted GBC President and CEO Don Fry. From the workgroup grew the Baltimore Neighborhoods Initiative that was created last fall and channeled almost $4 million in grants to two dozen private-sector home rehabilitations and energy retrofit projects in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
This year, Busch championed, along with Senate President Mike Miller, the passage of the first-ever joint legislative agenda for economic growth and job creation.
Kirwin’s aggressive advocacy to close workforce development gaps, transformational leadership as a higher educator and voice of knowledge and reason on the GBC Executive Committee and GBC Board of Directors were among the qualities mentioned by Fry.
“His extraordinary leadership, knowledge, communication and diplomatic skills and his relentless pursuit of quality enabled him to nurture the state’s university system to achieve nationally recognized excellence,” Fry said.
The GBC’s Regional Visionary Award was created in 1997. The 2013 recipient was Jan Houbolt, who retired last year after serving as the director for 25 years of The Leadership, the highly regarded year-long program for future business, civic and government leaders that nurtures awareness of the region’s strengths and challenges. Past recipients have included UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, Walter Sondheim, former Legg Mason CEO Chip Mason, Governor Martin O’Malley, and developer and philanthropist Willard Hackerman.