Mayor Rawlings-Blake Creates Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425



Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake announced the creation of the Mayor’s Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. The advisory council, comprised of local business leaders and nationally-renowned experts, will recommend improvements to the City’s minority and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) program, examine best practices, and create a platform for the program’s future direction.

“A strong minority and women-owned business enterprise program benefits and strengthens our entire business community,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “The City of Baltimore must have a comprehensive strategy that institutionalizes MWBEs into the overall business equation.”

The advisory council will begin work immediately by holding meetings to discuss the effectiveness and challenges of current MWBE policies and programs.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake appointed businessman and author Robert L. Wallace of BITHGROUP Technologies to head the advisory council. Businesswoman Maria Welch Martinez, CEO of Respira Medical, has been appointed vice-chair. In addition to Wallace and Martinez, the advisory council will be comprised of 23 members from the business community, as well as representatives from the City Council and State legislature.

“The issues that small, minority, and women-owned businesses face are increasing in a challenging business environment,” added Wallace. “The mayor is to be commended for having the vision to face these problems head-on by creating a platform for future growth.”

“Until we rectify the problems and rethink our approaches to growing the economy, we will continue to have the same conversations years from now,” said Sharon R. Pinder, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development. “Through this advisory council, the mayor has provided the opportunity for us to positively shape the future of the program.”

The Advisory Council will submit its report to the mayor by January 15, 2013.

Mayor’s Advisory Council on Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises Membership

Chair: Robert L. Wallace, CEO, Bithgroup Technologies Vice-Chair: Y. Maria Martinez, CEO, Respira Medical, Inc.

1. Roger Campos, Executive Director, Minority Business Roundtable 2. Robert Fulton Dashiell, Esq,, Of Counsel, Harris Jones and Malone, LLC 3. Lamon Harris, Director, Small Business Development, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. 4. Lisa Harris Jones, Esq., Founder and Member, Harris Jones and Malone, LLC 5. Danielle Hardy, Vice President, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. 6. Anwer Hasan, Senior Vice President, Louis Berger Company 7. Bert Hash, President and CEO, MECU 8. Councilwoman Helen Holton 9. Larry E. Jennings, Jr., Senior Managing Director, ValStone Partners 10. Kevin Johnson, President, Commercial Interiors, Inc. 11. Eun “Ann” Kim, Founder and President, Korean Business Enterprise Association 12. Franklin Lee, Esq., Partner, Tydings and Rosenberg 13. Cidalia Luis-Akbar, President, M. Luis Construction Co. 14. Jeanette Partlow, President, Maryland Chemical Company 15. Henry Posko, CEO, Humanim 16. Delegate Barbara Robinson, Maryland General Assembly 17. Anthony Robinson, Esq, CEO, MBELDEF, Inc. 18. Donna Stevenson, President, Early Morning Software 19. Shelonda Stokes, President and CEO, greibo Media 20. Lt. Col (Ret.) Richard Sutton, Retired Military and Retired Corporate Executive from HP/EDS 21. Stanley Tucker, CEO, Meridian Management Group 22. Sharon R. Pinder, Director, Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development

Ex-Officio Members

• Theodore Atwood, Director, Baltimore City Department of General Services • Diane Bell-McKoy, President and CEO, Associated Black Charities • Harry Black, Director, Department of Finance • Kimberly Clark, Executive Vice President, Baltimore Development Corporation • Thomas Corey, Esq., Chief, Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office • Alfred Foxx, Director, Department of Public Works • Donald Fry, President and CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee • Paul Graziano, Commissioner, Department of Housing and Community Development • Zenita Wickham Hurley, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs • Timothy Krus, Acting City’s Purchasing Agent, Bureau of Purchases • Lance Lucas, Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce • George Nilson, City Solicitor, Department of Law • Charles Owens, Executive Director, Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce • Odette Ramos, Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce • Keith Scroggins, Chief Operating Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools • Thomas Stosur, Director, Department Planning • Paul Taylor, Executive Director, Small Business Resource Center • Kumasi Vines, Chief, Office of Boards and Commissions, Department of Public Works • William Vondrasek, Acting Director, Department of Recreation and Parks • Khalil Zaied, Director, Baltimore City Department of Transportation

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