MEDA Announces 2017 Award Winners

Published Thursday, February 23, 2017

BALTIMORE, Md. – The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) announces the recipients of the 2017 MEDA Awards, which celebrate the people, projects, and programs that are transforming lives by creating opportunities, inspiring innovation, and enriching communities across the state.

Sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge P.C., the MEDA Awards showcase efforts to attract new businesses, assist existing businesses, redeveloped business districts, market communities and support economic development throughout the state.

The Smith Island Baking Company earned the Economic Development Project Award in the small community category due to its origins and expansion. The business opened in 2009, and since then has shipped tens of thousands of cakes to all 50 states and even seven countries. As demand continued to rise, the bakery opened an additional storefront in Crisfield in 2013. Today, the expanded operations have laid the foundation for continued growth in the retail, wholesale and foodservice industry in its jurisdiction. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development nominated the business for this award.

City Garage, an incubator and maker space for the entrepreneurial community was originally a maintenance facility for City vehicles. The creative re-use of the building has been selected to receive the Economic Development Project Award in the large community category. City Garage is an innovation hub with a variety of tenants, whose projects focus on events or maker spaces. It’s most notable resident is Under Armour’s process innovation center, which aims to create a new local manufacturing model. Baltimore Development Corporation nominated the project for the award.

Small, Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Account-Video Lottery Terminal Fund (VLT) a program created by the Maryland Department of Commerce, has been selected to receive the Economic Development Program Award for its support of small business for minority and women business owners. The program uses gaming revenue as a lending source to the targeted demographic, which makes it the only loan program of its kind in the state. Another unique element is the ability to deviate from traditional credit underwriting and repayment structures. This program allows fund managers to underwrite and structure loans to match local conditions.

Charles County Economic Development Department earned the MEDA Marketing Award in the small community category for their innovative use, design, and promotion of their Map Pen Campaign. The social media campaign encouraged residents to make the Map Pen part of their summer travels and submit photos to share on the Department’s social media channels. The pen featured the county’s branding, as well as a pull out tab with a map illustrating Charles County’s strategic location relative to the DC Metro Area. A clever conversation starter, the pen created brand ambassadors across the county. Their social media campaign proved that the pen made it much further than Charles County; it traveled the world from New York City to Australia.

Datastory Consulting created an interactive, data-driven presentation that was shared with the Marriott International team as a way to keep Marriott’s headquarters in Montgomery County.  Datastory’s innovative way of simplifying big data earned it the MEDA Marketing Award for a large community. The project presented Marriott’s leadership team with meaningful data that could reveal facts and insight that is difficult to understand in presentation materials such as lists, tables, and charts.

This year, MEDA will present its brand new Transformative Excellence Award. Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) will receive the recognition for its response to the Ellicott City flood. This award showcases economic development’s role and best practices during a crisis. Over a period of approximately four months, the HCEDA provided an estimated 5,000 hours of work toward the recovery of the business district. The office was involved in the efforts to revitalize 75 businesses and get over 450 people back to their place of work and livelihood.

James T. Brady has been selected for induction into the MEDA Hall of Fame. Brady will be recognized for his leadership skills and contributions that have excelled the practice of economic development throughout his career. In 1995, Brady made his mark on the field when he accepted the position of Secretary for the Maryland Department of Commerce, (formerly known as DBED). Brady’s many years in the workforce have demonstrated his career commitment to ensuring elected officials understand the importance of economic development and its impact on the future health of the state.

Arnold Williams, the managing director and founding partner of Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams PA has been selected as the MEDA Volunteer of the Year. The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) nominated Williams for the honor. A BDC board member for over 20 years, Williams has been a leader for a variety of different nonprofit organizations such as Associated Black Charities, Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, Greater Baltimore Committee and the United Way of Central Maryland.

The Awards Banquet will be held May 1 during the 2017 MEDA Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland. The conference is slated for April 30 through May 2.

Visit to learn more.

About MEDA

MEDA is a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals. Established in 1961, MEDA members promote the economic well-being of Maryland by working to improve the state’s business climate and the professionalism of those in the field of economic development.

MEDA’s membership includes economic development practitioners employed by government, businesses, and chamber of commerce and other professionals with interest in the economy of Maryland. Through its regular meetings, special programs, and projects, MEDA member address such diverse issues as local planning, workforce, transportation, international trade, tourism and finance.

MEDA members work diligently transforming lives by creating opportunities, inspiring innovation and enriching communities in Maryland. To learn more about MEDA, visit

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