Fourteen Baltimore businesses were recognized for engaging in specific activities or projects that have significantly benefitted the Baltimore community and are outside of the business’s regular mission or day-to-day activities at the 41st Annual Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards.
“The Mayor’s Business Recognition Award honors those for their leadership and for recognizing it is equally important for businesses to leverage its financial and human resources to positively impact challenges that affect the citizens of Baltimore City,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. “Those before you today and the companies and organizations they represent are exemplary corporate and business citizens. They have made community service a part of the fabric of their company or organization.
“This year has been a challenging year for Baltimore City,” Fry said. “The positive attributes of the city were often overlooked because of the unrest that occurred in late April. The resilience of the business community and its leaders emerged stronger than ever. Businesses demonstrated their dedication and devotion to the City of Baltimore.”
This year the GBC and the Baltimore Development Corporation received dozens of strong nominations because of the number of businesses that stepped up following the unrest, Fry said. As a result, the selection process was difficult.
“Perhaps more than anything else, the companies and their CEOs and employees took on an additional responsibility and demonstrated civic commitment because they saw an opportunity to make a difference in the future of our city and in many cases the young people in our community,” Fry said.
During luncheon ceremonies at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel on December 1, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake commended businesses for their support of the city.
“So many companies, large and small, understand that they have a broader responsibility,” the mayor said. “Today’s awardees exemplify that spirit.”
The annual awards event, which is presented by the GBC, the BDC and the Mayor’s Office, honors businesses for their outstanding corporate leadership, commitment to community and dedication to improving the quality of life in Baltimore City.
The 2015 Mayor’s Business Recognition Award winners are:
Arris, a Design Studio, Inc., for supporting The Baltimore Station and the Ulman Cancer Fund Adopt for Christmas. Arris historically spearheads The Baltimore Station’s annual art auction. In addition, Arris employees adopted a teenage girl with cancer for the 2014 Christmas holiday. Employees purchased gifts, the family’s Christmas tree and decorations for their home and yard.
Catholic Charities, for its biennial Dragon Boat Races. The event is the agency’s largest, with proceeds benefitting the 160,000 Marylanders Catholic Charities serves annually. Last year 32 companies and nonprofit organizations participated. A total of 800 individuals competed on the water and 200 people participated in spirit activities. The 2014 event raised $443,000 in sponsorships and $242,000 through the Paddler Challenge.
Comcast, for programs promoting digital literacy, community service and youth leadership. Since January Comcast has invested more than $250,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to support local Baltimore partners, including: Associated Black Charities; Digital Harbor Foundation; and the United Way of Central Maryland. In April more than 450 Comcast employees, their families and friends participated in the 14th Annual Comcast Cares Day and revitalized the grounds of Middle Branch Park.
Constellation, an Exelon Company, for partnering with numerous local initiatives, such as Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor initiative, Health Care for the Homeless, and numerous service projects focused on West Baltimore in response to April’s civil unrest.
FutureCare Health and Management, for its organization of an annual pumpkin patch and safe trick-or-treat event in Sandtown-Winchester. For the past 17 years FutureCare has held an annual pumpkin patch and safe trick-or-treat event for children. The event takes place in the FutureCare Sandtown-Winchester parking lot, which is transformed into a pumpkin patch. FutureCare staff decorates the facility and grounds.
Harbor BankShares Corporation, for its commitment to community development through programs such as the Emerging Developers Program, a 12-month instructional course for small businesses, and an advisory program for businesses affected by April’s civil unrest.
Legg Mason Global Asset Management, for its partnership with Boys Hope Girls Hope. Highlights from the partnership include: board and committee leadership; corporate philanthropy; workforce pipeline development; next generation leadership development; collaborative community service; and formal and informal mentoring.
Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc., for its contributions to the Baltimore Business Recovery Fund and encouraging other businesses to support the fund following April’s civil unrest.
Manna Café, for creating a scholarship program for neighborhood children. The owner of Manna Café helped create a program to reward students who have earned superior grades and maintained excellent school attendance.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, for its strong employee participation in its 2015 day of service, partnering with Kennedy Krieger, Marian House, The Baltimore Station, among other local nonprofit organizations. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were directly or indirectly positively impacted by PwC’s efforts in the one day program.
RSM, for forming a Community Outreach Committee within the company to promote awareness and support of local nonprofit organizations. Since the committee was formed in 2014, there have been more than 300 opportunities for employees to better Baltimore.
Tochterman’s Fishing Tackle, which has provided fishing bait, free of charge, for a Baltimore City youth fishing program to introduce city youths to fishing and watersheds. Tochterman’s has provided the bait at no cost and assisted with the program for 18 years, since the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks reinstituted its youth fishing program with a Youth Fishing Rodeo in Patterson Park in 1997.
Transamerica, for an onsite child mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake. Partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Transamerica hosts “Beyond School Walls,” a program with Commodore John Rodgers Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City for two years. Through “Beyond School Walls” Transamerica introduces third- and fifth-graders to the workplace at an early age.
Wells Fargo Bank, for its support of the Upton community in West Baltimore. Wells Fargo supports education in the community at Furman L. Templeton Elementary School through financial literacy training. This year, in addition to its normal community support, Wells Fargo provided additional support for Upton following the unrest in April. In an effort to help senior citizens without access to personal care items, Wells Fargo employees held a volunteer drive to collect and distribute the items.
Watch Don Fry deliver his remarks here.
Watch Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake deliver her remarks here.