The Greater Baltimore Committee named Howard County Executive Ken Ulman the recipient of the GBC’s 2011 Regional Visionary Award on May 25.
GBC president and CEO Donald C. Fry and GBC chair Charles O. Monk II presented the award to Ulman during the GBC’s 2011 Annual Meeting at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. The award recognizes individuals who, in their work, recognize the importance of strengthening and unifying the Baltimore metropolitan region. The GBC honored Ulman for his role as a change agent and for his leadership in a groundbreaking initiative.
Since taking office at age 32, Ulman “has harnessed his energy, enthusiasm and willingness to tackle big ideas to advance his core priorities: public safety, education, government efficiency, environmental protection, and creating a healthier and more vibrant community, said Fry.”
Last year, the federal government awarded Maryland more than $115 million in stimulus money through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. It is the only grant of its kind in the country, because it will connect an entire state, from Garrett County to Worcester County, and everyplace in between.
“Much of the heavy lifting was done in Howard County, under the leadership of Ken Ulman,” said Fry.
Under Ulman’s direction, Howard County’s information technology team brought together 10 jurisdictions in central Maryland, including Baltimore City and Baltimore County, as well as Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, for an unparalleled partnership. As a result, Howard County is managing the bulk of the funding, $72 million in all, to build a fiber network in the heart of Maryland, Fry noted.
When finished, the Inter-County Broadband Network will connect hundreds of public schools, libraries, public safety agencies, community colleges, and other government institutions. That means the technology will be in place for better emergency management, enhanced education and improved health care. And all that adds up to a better business climate in Maryland. Maryland’s workforce will be better connected, better trained and more nimble. And the state will become an even more attractive place to do business, said Fry.
The GBC has presented Regional Visionary Awards since 1997. Recent recipients include Willard Hackerman, Walter Sondheim, Robert Embry, former Speaker of the House Cas Taylor, Chip Mason, George Roche, and Governor Martin O’Malley.