Bridging the Gap Committee

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Chair: Phil E. Croskey, CEO & Co-Founder, MD Energy Advisors & PointClickSwitch.com

Staff: Don Fry and Kam Bridges, 410-727-2820

Description: The Bridging the Gap Committee is dedicated to evolving the business culture of Greater Baltimore by developing and fostering relationships between majority, minority, and women-owned businesses. In addition to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all organizations, the Bridging the Gap initiative provides targeted support and programming to help women and minority-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore succeed and grow.

Membership: Membership in the Bridging the Gap Committee is open to all GBC members.


Activities:

2020 Bridging the Gap Committee News

Wes Moore, BTG Awards 20202020 Bridging the Gap Achievement Award Winners announced

The 2020 Bridging the Gap Achievement Award winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on November 23.

“Minority and women-owned businesses are an integral part of our economy — at the national level, in our state and in our local communities,” said Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) President and CEO Donald C. Fry in his opening remarks. “Our regional economy operates much like a car engine — if all of the cylinders of the car are not working together, the car starts and stops and can sputter along. The same holds true if all segments of our economy — large and small businesses, majority and minority, women-owned businesses — are not working together, our economy starts and stops and sputters along.”

Before the winners were revealed, special guest speaker Wes Moore, author and Chief Executive Officer of the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood Foundation, discussed the important role all of the nominees play in the community.

“This is about the thousands of lives you are impacting every day. You’re our engine. You’re our fuel,” he said. “There is nothing short of remarkable that you’ve all been able to achieve this year and not only do we salute you, we’re thankful for you. We cannot have a strong community without your success, your resilience, your light. In fact they epitomize Baltimore.”

The 2020 winners are:

Community Impact: 

  • Division Street Landscaping
  • Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Inc.

Diversity in Leadership:       

  • East Baltimore Development, Inc.
  • Vehicles for Change

Innovative Partnership/Strategic Alliance:

  • HOPE Inside – Operation HOPE and M&T Bank
  • Turner Construction Company’s Three-Pronged Alliance with Morgan State University
  • Under Armour and NPower Maryland

Mentorship:

  • Andrew Parlock, Northrop Grumman

Successful Minority or Women-Owned:

  • BTST Services Inc.
  • Fearless
  • Mayson-Dixon Companies
  • Maryland Center for Hospitality Training

Elijah E. Cummings Diversity in Leadership:

  • Maryland Minority Contractors Association
  • Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association

 


BTG Achievement Awards logo

Greater Baltimore Committee announces nominees for Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards

More than 30 businesses and nonprofit organizations have been nominated for the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 2020 Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards.

Award winners will be announced at the GBC’s Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards, a virtual event to be held on November 23, 11 a.m.-noon.

The GBC presents the awards annually to recognize exceptional majority, minority and women-owned businesses, as well as executives who nurture the development of minority and women-owned businesses in the Greater Baltimore region and Maryland.

Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said the nominees represent a rich cross-section of the Baltimore region’s diversity and the exceptional work being done by minority and women-owned businesses and organizations, as well as majority-owned companies that support them.

“Minority and women-owned business enterprises are vital for our economy to thrive. The growth and vibrancy of minority and women-owned businesses are a testament to the overall health of a region’s economy and its outlook,” said Fry.

“They drive more than just jobs. They bring new ideas and perspectives and they create new generational wealth among women and minority communities.”

The Bridging the Gap Initiative, which is overseen by the GBC’s Bridging the Gap Committee, was launched in 2003 by Fry to nurture and expand minority and women-owned business opportunities.

Phil E. Croskey, chair of the committee and CEO and Co-Founder, MD Energy Advisors and PointClickSwitch.com, said the achievement awards help increase awareness and educate the public of the vital contributions made by minority and women-owned businesses.

“All of the award nominees serve as invaluable role models for others who have dreams of starting their own business or nonprofit one day,” said Croskey. “Each nominee is an inspirational success story.”

Read more and see the complete list of nominees here.


BTG webinarGBC’s Bridging the Gap Committee presents: Moving from Statements to Action

The Greater Baltimore Committee’s Bridging the Gap Committee hosted a webinar about “Moving from Statements to Action” on October 7, 2020.

The discussion illustrated how leading companies are taking action to advance racial equity and social justice within their organizations and in the community.

Topics covered included Under Armour’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts and the data-driven approach the company is taking to measure progress toward goals related to hiring, compensation and workplace culture; the recently launched Black Business & Startup Initiative at Miles & Stockbridge in which the company is providing pro-bono legal services to black-owned businesses; and the LyftUp Initiative in which Lyft has committed to providing access to 1.5 million rides to help those in underserved communities reach food, essential jobs and services.

Panelists included Jessica Rice, Global Head, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Under Armour, Inc.; Eleise Richards, Community Strategist, Lyft; and Robert Wells, Principal, Miles & Stockbridge, P.C. Phil Croskey, CEO of MD Energy Advisors and Chair of the GBC’s Bridging the Gap Committee, served as moderator.

In his introductions, Croskey said, “The Bridging the Gap Committee’s mission is to promote a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion here in the Baltimore region. …We’ve had a banner year as a Committee and we’ve been able to tackle some tough issues. It’s been a really challenging year in 2020, but it’s going to be a fruitful year for the rest of 2020 and going forward.”

Read more.


Bridging the Gap Achievement Award Winners2020 Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards nominations are now open:

The Bridging the Gap initiative is dedicated to evolving the business culture of Greater Baltimore by developing and fostering relationships between majority, minority, and women-owned businesses. In addition to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all organizations, the Bridging the Gap initiative provides targeted support and programming to help minority and women-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore succeed and grow.

Each year, through the Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards, the GBC recognizes exceptional minority, women-owned, majority businesses and executives who nurture the development of minority and women-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore and Maryland.

Deadline for submissions is October 23, 2020.

2020 Nomination Form


Starting the Conversation About Race:

Tony Hill and David HodnettThe Greater Baltimore Committee’s (GBC) Bridging the Gap Committee held a virtual roundtable discussion on “Starting the Conversation about Race” on July 14, 2020. The conversation was moderated by Bridging the Gap Committee members Tony Hill, Managing Partner of Edwards & Hill Furniture, and David Hodnett, Client Advisor with Brown Advisory.

“The GBC is strongly committed to advancing racial equity and justice in our businesses and in our communities. Eradicating racial inequities and injustice is the most significant issue in the workplace and our communities and needs prompt attention and action by the business community,” said GBC President and CEO Don Fry.

Bridging the Gap Business RoundtableBridging the Gap business roundtable explores the impact of COVID-19 on women and minority-owned businesses:

On June 3, 2020, the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Bridging the Gap Committee hosted a business roundtable to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and minority-owned businesses in the Greater Baltimore region. The discussion focused on the unique challenges that women and minority-owned businesses experience in accessing emergency capital designed to address the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through federal, state, and local funding programs. The roundtable discussion was facilitated by Phil Croskey, CEO of MD Energy Advisors and Co-Chair of the Bridging the Gap Committee. Guest panelists Stewart Lee, Executive Vice President, Howard Bank, and Rosa Scharf, Vice President, M&T Bank, discussed the best approaches to access emergency loans.

Watch the roundtable discussion here.

2019 Committee Wrap Up: The newly reconstituted Bridging the Gap Committee held several meetings throughout the year to prepare for the first-ever Bridging the Gap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit that was held in October 2019. The Committee also oversaw the outreach, nomination and selection processes for the Bridging the Gap Annual Achievement Awards program that was held in November.

Bridging the Gap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit: The Greater Baltimore Committee’s first-ever Bridging the Gap Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit took place on October 21, 2019.

The half-day event was designed to bring together majority, minority and women-owned businesses and civic organizations to discuss strategies for transforming culture within businesses and institutions and across the broader community to initiate or accelerate efforts to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Keynote speaker Dr. Steve Robbins had attendees laughing, crying and on their feet during his compelling discussion, titled, “Your Brain is Good at Inclusion … Except When It’s Not.”

Following Robbins’ address, attendees broke out into different thought-provoking sessions including The Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Leveraging Access to Financial and Social Capital; Breaking Gender Bias; and Embracing the Growing Hispanic and Latino Business Community.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit will be held annually.

View more videos from the Summit here.

2019 Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards: The Bridging the Gap initiative is dedicated to evolving the business culture of Greater Baltimore by developing and fostering relationships between majority, minority, and women-owned businesses. In addition to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all organizations, the Bridging the Gap initiative provides targeted support and programming to help women and minority-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore succeed and grow.

Each year, through the Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards, the GBC recognizes exceptional minority, women-owned, majority businesses and executives who nurture the development of minority and women-owned businesses in Greater Baltimore and Maryland.

This year, the GBC and the Bridging the Gap Committee announced new categories for recognition. Winners were announced at an awards ceremony on November 18 at the American Visionary Art Museum.  See the 2019 winners here.

2019 nominees: Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards Nominees Announced

Please contact Adrea Turner, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Senior Policy Advisor, at 410-727-2820 or adreat@gbc.org with any questions.