May 26, 2022
Press/Media contact: Mark Guidera, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-898-2320
Last night, at its annual meeting, the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) members formally approved its merger with the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB). The merger brings together two storied regional organizations to create a singular vision for how Baltimore will compete and thrive on regional, national, and global stages and the strategic role business will need to play.
The merged organization, which will operate in the near term as the Greater Baltimore Committee, will focus on collaboration and equity in all of the Greater Baltimore region’s communities. It will also enhance marketing the region’s dynamic assets.
The approval marks the next milestone in work that began months ago around how to leverage, combine and accelerate the important efforts of each organization. GBC improves the business climate of the Greater Baltimore region by organizing its corporate and civic leadership to develop solutions for the challenges affecting the region’s competitive position and viability. EAGB brings together business, government, education, and non-profit leaders to promote the region’s assets and opportunities. Leadership from both organizations recognized the opportunity was ripe to focus and align the business, civic, community, and marketing aspects that the GBC and EAGB individually pursue.
“With this merger, we open a new chapter and set a new direction,” said Calvin Butler, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Exelon, and Chair of GBC’s Board of Directors. “The Greater Baltimore region needs one, comprehensive organization with a clear, inclusive vision to increase economic opportunity, get people more engaged, and invest in lasting, equitable growth in our communities. By working together, and through public-private partnerships, we can optimize the region’s assets and collectively drive meaningful change.”
In addition to formalizing the merger, launching a CEO search committee, and selecting a search firm, the members of GBC have approved bringing the two organizations’ boards together to reflect the importance of their combined leadership, and the Board created a public sector advisory group to continue important public sector thought leadership and partnership with the newly merged organization.
Also announced at the annual meeting were plans for GBC and its business community to take on a greater role in ensuring Baltimore City aggressively addresses its continuing challenges with crime and the concerns about public safety among residents and the business community.
The organization plans to hire a Public Safety Advocate to track and assess the multiple public safety and law enforcement strategies already announced by Baltimore City government and the Baltimore Police Department. A key GBC goal will be to then assess how the business community can support these efforts and partner to drive crime down and improve public safety.
“When we announced our intent to merge in January, we promised that our approach and the role of business would be different and we would make consistent and important progress,” said Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, GBC Board member and former Chair of EAGB. “Over the last several months, we have demonstrated our commitment to that promise by successfully bringing new voices into the conversation and working in partnership with our region’s businesses, communities, and elected officials. There is much work still to be done, but we have shown that what we intended to, what we have done, and what we will continue to do will be demonstrably different and result in positive change and progress for the region.”
GBC’s current CEO, Donald Fry, plans to retire on June 1st after two decades of service to GBC. In his farewell speech, Mr. Fry said, “I have worked with six mayors of Baltimore, nine GBC Board chairs, more than 600 business CEOs that have served on the GBC Board of Directors, been a part of over 200 meetings of the Board of Directors, countless GBC policy committee meetings and have collaborated with leaders in business and government statewide and many committed community leaders throughout the region.
“It has been an amazing journey. I truly count myself blessed to have led an organization that is one of the most effective business advocacy groups in the State.”
After the CEO search concludes this fall, the merged GBC and its new CEO will evaluate a new mission, vision, governance, and build upon the important work already underway in the region.
In the interim, Sharon Markley Schreiber, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EAGB, will steer the organization as COO of the merged entity until the new CEO is named. Schreiber brings a strong operational mindset and a deep understanding of the transition work needed to bring GBC and EAGB work and teams together.
ABOUT THE GREATER BALTIMORE COMMITTEE
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) is a regional organization of business and civic leaders that includes businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational and civic institutions. It is the leading voice for the private sector in the Baltimore region on issues relating to equitable economic growth, racial inclusion, job creation, workforce development, transportation, the business climate and quality of life. The GBC’s membership includes more than 500 member organizations, including large, mid-size and small companies, nonprofits, foundations and educational and healthcare institutions in the Greater Baltimore region.