GBC honors O’Malley for regional vision, Michel for public service

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The Greater Baltimore Committee named Governor Martin O’Malley winner of its 2007 Regional Visionary Award, and presented Sally J. Michel, a long-time Baltimore area civic and cultural activist, with its inaugural Walter Sondheim Public Service Award. The awards were presented during the GBC’s Annual Meeting on May 17 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore.

O’Malley was recognized by GBC president, Donald C. Fry, for his strong efforts in public service and his advocacy for the ideals of unity and inclusiveness. “Governor O’Malley is a tireless proponent of regional approaches to problem solving and policy issues,” Fry said.

Throughout O’Malley’s tenure as mayor of Baltimore City, he has strongly supported community and business development, and was a contributing factor to the city’s redevelopment projects. He also revolutionized local government operations management through the CitiStat accountability system, Fry noted.

GBC presented its first Sondheim Public Service Award to Sally J. Michel, an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to volunteer service throughout her life and “a person who truly exemplifies the qualities of public service,” Fry said.

Michel helped develop programs that leveraged private support for education and parks and housing, including the Fund for Educational Excellence and Parks & People Foundation. She served on the city’s Planning Commission for 10 years, including an extended stint as its Chair. She was a founding board member of the Baltimore School for the Arts and has served on “countless boards, commissions, project teams and task forces,” Fry said.

Created in 1997, the GBC’s Regional Visionary Award is presented to individuals who, throughout their careers, have recognized the importance of strengthening and unifying the Baltimore metropolitan region.

Past winners of the Regional Visionary Award include: the late Clarence Blount and Howard “Pete” Rawlings, Robert C. Embry, Walter Sondheim, Casper R. Taylor, Jr., David Ramsay and Raymond A. Mason and George A. Roche. Last year’s recipients were Raymond A. Mason, chairman and CEO of Legg Mason, and George A. Roche, chairman and president of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

The Walter Sondheim Public Service Award was created in memory of the late Walter Sondheim, Jr. and will be presented each year to an individual who has shown outstanding dedication and commitment to volunteering and uncompensated public service.

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