Baltimore County Business Advisory Council

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Mission: The Baltimore County Business Advisory Council allows members to participate in a regionally-focused approach toward business climate issues, by engaging with local business, institutional, and government leaders.. The BCBAC also gives members an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the business community to local and state elected officials and key figures. The council also promotes economic development opportunities and quality of life in the county.

Chair: This committee is chaired by John B. Chessare, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.H.E., President and CEO of the GBMC HealthCare system. The Greater Baltimore Medical Health Care System includes the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), a 270-bed acute care not-for-profit hospital, as well as a group of multi-specialty physician practices across the region.

Membership: The Baltimore County Business Advisory Council include the following member companies: GBMC, Mackenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC, Comcast, Merritt Properties, LifeBridge Health, Trane, EMR, PSA Insurance, KOFA Public Affairs, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, and Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association.

What does the committee do? The council provides the GBC with regional input, on issues related to strengthening Maryland’s business climate. In addition, the council often invites speakers to meetings in order to keep informed about developments in key areas, such as, higher education developments, including four year universities as well as community colleges, mega economic development projects in the county, public safety, transportation and workforce.

Contact: Sophia Silbergeld at 410-727-2820


2017 Baltimore County Business Advisory Council News:

Baltimore County Business Advisory Council Chair Dr. John Chessare, President of Greater Baltimore Medical Center, opened the council’s May 3, 2017 meeting by introducing Baltimore County Council President Tom Quirk. Quirk then discussed his thoughts on the current state of Baltimore County and the direction the county is headed. He described Baltimore County as having “a lot of opportunity—and exceptional challenge.”

Quirk discussed the opportunities that the county enjoys, particularly in the areas of private and government investment. Baltimore County government is investing $1.3 billion to update and replace aging infrastructure, including schools and roads. Private real estate investment, such as the Towson Row project and others, are injecting millions more into the county.

Quirk also recognized the challenges that the county faces, including an increase in residents who live at or below the poverty line, which means an increased need for county services such as free and reduced-price school lunches. Quirk said Baltimore County must keep expanding its tax base in order to continue to meet all of the service and infrastructure needs of its residents while remaining fiscally sound. The next county executive, Quirk said, will most likely need to raise taxes, which have not been increased in Baltimore County in more than a generation.

Councilman Quirk also discussed the need for individuals with a background or current experience in business to run for and hold elected office in Baltimore County and said there is opportunity for pro-business candidates to pick up at least the open District 3 seat, which is being vacated in 2018 by Councilman Wade Kach.

Goucher College President Dr. Jose Antonio Bowen, Director, PhD, FRSA, presented to the Baltimore County Business Advisory Council at its February 28, 2017 meeting.

Dr. Bowen provided an overview of the new teaching and curriculum approach he is launching at the Towson institution to adequately prepare students for jobs and the workforce needs of employers.

He noted that the focus of the college’s academic programs are to ensure that no matter what field of study a student chooses, he or she will learn the “three Rs.” Dr. Bowen said they are:

  • Relationships, so students learn to build strong social networks and develop mentors to guide them. This skill is essential in the rapidly evolving economy to ensure success finding and obtaining jobs, as well as working in team environments.
  • Resilience, so they can overcome and learn from failure and setbacks. This skill helps build persistence, a valuable skill for success in taking on challenges in the workplace.
  • Reflection, so students learn to take the time to think about their personal cognitive styles and can become adept at learning in the workplace and adapting to change and challenges.

Dr. Bowen said he views these as core skills for success in the workplace. He outlined other changes in the college’s academic programs, such as requiring that all students take three years of writing courses and are exposed to analyzing data as these skills are now essential in many jobs.

He said the college is also committed to working with the community and others to ensuring Towson is an attractive place for students and parents since location is one of the many assets prospective students and their parents consider when choosing a school.

Several advisory council members at the meeting raised concerns about public school systems not adequately preparing students for the needs of today’s employers and workforce. Dr. Bowen noted that Goucher is trying to address this issue by teaching students to be able to work in teams that have a diversity of backgrounds, think for themselves and become “change management experts.”

In addition, Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the GBC, provided the advisory council with an overview of recent GBC activities, including the effort to dissuade the Baltimore City Council from passing a bill that would raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 per hour. Fry also provided highlights from a February 27, 2017 GBC event that featured experts on a new study detailing estimated costs to renovate Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and their perspective on efforts to keep the Preakness from potentially being moved from Pimlico to Laurel Park.


Baltimore County Business Advisory Council meetings

Meetings are from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), 6701 N. Charles St., Towson, MD 21204, unless otherwise noted. Directions and a campus map can be found here.

Upcoming 2017 Meeting Dates:

September 29, 2017 – Speaker Verletta White, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools

November 29, 2017