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February 2018 Newsletter

Quote of the Month: 
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates

Our Mission 
To protect, enhance and promote local business by providing a voice for business at local, county and state levels.

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Corporate Partners

-BGE an Exelon Company

-Bowie Baysox


-St. John Properties

-Todd Turner, Councilman- District 4


-Berman Enterprises

-O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.

-Sherman Ragland, Realinvestors, LLC

-Sommerset Construction Company

-W.F. Chesley Real Estate, LLC

-Widmann Financial Services

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New & Renewing Members!

- Industrial Security Locking Systems, LLC


- Bormel Grice & Huyett, P.A.

- Jones, Maresca & McQuade, P.A.

- Elm Street Development

- Bowie Golf Club

- Bowie Community Media Corp.

- Elite Orthodontics

- The Realinvestors Academy, LLC

- Byrd & Byrd, LLC

- Weichert Realtors

- Cardigan Tile and Plumbing, Inc.

- Bowie Home Improvement

- Dependable Payroll, LLC

- Belair Engineering & Service Co., Inc. 

- Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Clinic 

- Sebenza, LLC

- Walker Insurance Agency - Nationwide

- Old Line Bank

- KQ Williams & Associates 

- Chesapeake Grill & Deli

- Helen's Accounting Services, LLC

- Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School

- Robert E. Evans Funeral Home

- Bowie BIC

- Beall Funeral Home 

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Upcoming Events

State of the City

February 07, 2018

8:00 am- 10:00 am

Bowie Senior Center 
14900 Health Center Drive 
Bowie, MD 20715

$30 Members; $35 Non Member & Walk-ins

- Hot Breakfast 
- Valuable Connections 
- Information from Bowie's Mayor 

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After Hours Mixer

February 8, 2018

5:30pm - 8:30pm

Helen's Accounting Services, LLC - Maryland Office
CPA Tax and Accounting Services
6000 Laurel Bowie Road, Suite 201
Bowie, MD 20715

$20 Member; $25 Non Member & Walk-ins

- Valuable Connections
- Hors D'oeuvres
- Beverages

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Be Your Authentic SELF: Lessons from a Business Owner

February 13, 2018

8:00 am - 9:30 am

GBCC Office
2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117
Bowie, MD 20715

Members & Non-Members $20 

Lessons from business owner Crystal Richards, FHFMA, PMP. Come join us for this opportunity to learn about the trials and tribulations of a successful female business owner! Great chance for new business owners and soon-to-be owners to get some super helpful tips and tricks. 

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State of the County

March 8, 2018

8:00 am - 10:00 am

Country Club at Woodmore
12320 Pleasant Prospect
Mitchellville, MD 20721

$50 Prepaid
$60 All Walk-Ins

- County Executive, Rushern Baker
- Valuable Connections
- Delicious Breakfast Catered by Chesapeake Grille & Deli
- Prince George's County Info

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After Hours Mixer

April 12, 2018

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Hope Connections for Cancer Support
Metroplex I
8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Landover, MD 20785

$20 Members; $25 Non-Members & All Walk-Ins

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Unless otherwise noted above, register online 
call 301-262-0920
or email

48-Hour notice 
is required on cancellations. 

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Business Development 
Promotes business development for chamber members through seminars and best practices. Works on attracting businesses to Greater Bowie.

Membership Development
Works on expanding the Chamber membership base as well as retaining existing members.

Corporate & Community Relations 
Provides opportunities to give back to the community, both in volunteer time and financial and in-kind contributions.

Advocates on behalf of the Chamber before the City Council, County Council and General Assembly. Informs the Board and membership of pending issues before those bodies of interest to Greater Bowie businesses.

Women In Business 
To offer useful information and networking opportunities focused on helping women to successfully meet the challenges they face in today's business world and learn how to find and maintain balance within. Sponsor events to raise funds for the Women in Business scholarship fund.
Bowie Food Pantry
Peanut Butter Shelf

GBCC has adopted the Peanut Butter Shelf in the Bowie Interfaith Pantry. Each month the Bowie Food Pantry goes through approximately 350 jars of peanut butter. 

You can drop off your donation at the Chamber office or directly to the Bowie Food Pantry, located at 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 134. (GBCC Office is Suite 117.)

Pick up a "reminder bag" at the Chamber office!

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Guide 2018 available for pick up at the Chamber office.

If your business has reached a milestone or received an award, please email the Chamber at We look forward to giving kudos in Tradeline!
Thank You

Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce can't thank our members enough for all you do ... and of course, we would love to see even more NEW members, so everyone, please try to make it part of your mission to bring in at least one new member!

New members can join by clicking here!
January 2018 Events

Youth Leadership Bowie (YLB) City Hall/Police Station Trip

Legislative Happy Hour

Orioles (Former Bowie Baysox Players) Meet n' Greet  

(For more photos of the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, 
click here or check out our Facebook page.)
Member Spotlight

Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with an investment grade balance sheet, leveraging its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S.

Washington Prime Group was formed in May 2014 following a spin-off from Simon Property Group and acquired Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE: GRT) in January 2015.

Today the company operates out of headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, and an additional office in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Washington Prime Group is focused on the experience we create at each of our centers. By providing a mix of things to do and things to buy, our properties deliver the right combination of tenants, activities and events to keep shoppers engaged and returning often.

We are proud to have Washington Prime Group, Bowie Town Center representatives Gary Chavez and Deonna Davis as members of the GBCC. 

Gary Chavez, General Manager

Deonna Davis, Marketing Director

Message from the President
Greetings and Happy New Year:
Thank you for supporting the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce this past year! We are grateful for your continued support as a proud member in helping us and our partners as we work to make the city the best place to live, work, and grow.
You can be confident that the Chamber is a broad-based organization that strives to improve the commercial climate, to promote planned economic and community development, and to make the greater Bowie community a place of prosperity.
The heartbeat of the Chamber is its growing, diverse membership. Members hold common interests, goals, and concerns related to the business environment in the Greater Bowie area. The aims of the organization are accomplished through the hard work of outstanding individuals who take on volunteer positions on the Board and standing committees. Together we give life to the only professional trade organization in the Greater Bowie area with a mission to protect, enhance, and promote local business by providing a voice for you at local, county, and state levels. We are the organization of choice for business advocacy in the Greater Bowie area.
In this past year of membership, you have helped strengthen us to be the leading voice for business in Bowie. We need your voice again in the coming year. You have been a valued member of the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, and we look forward to continuing that mutually beneficial partnership.
Please know that you may pay your bills electronically at with your unique login username and password. Should you have questions, please contact the Chamber office by phone
(301-262-0920) or email (
Invest in your business and in Bowie's future by renewing your membership today!
Kind regards,
David Wolf
President, GBCC 2017-2018



January 9, 2018

Michael Platt, a 12-year-old from Bowie, recently appeared on the "Kids Baking Championship" on the Food Network. He has started his own business, Michael's Desserts, and is working on a web site to promote his enterprise. (John McNamara / Capital Gazette )
For Bowie youth, baking business is a piece of cakeMichael Platt is one sharp cookie.

The Bowie 12-year-old recently appeared on The Food Network's "Kids Baking Championship," has started his own business - he calls it Michaels' Desserts, naturally - and is working on a web site to promote his culinary enterprise.

"I like to experiment with flavors and I just like baking, period," said Michael. "People tasted (my food) and liked it. And I liked the applause."

Michael's interest in baking caught fire (though not literally) about three years ago. He kept bugging his mother, Danita, to help him bake.

She wasn't too keen on the idea at first.

"He was asking me to bake and all I could see was flour everywhere," she said. "He likes to eat sweets, of course, so it's nice when you can supply your own."

Undeterred, Michael started baking on occasion with his two grandmothers - and all of a sudden his interest took off.

"He was not baking, and then he was baking," Danita said. "And then he was baking everything under the sun."

Nowadays, he makes cookies, cupcakes, birthday cakes and beignets, to name just a few of his confections. He says he's still trying to master making pies, but Danita raves about his lemon meringue. "It's delicious," she said.

At Christmas, he got a special culinary torch that he can use to toast marshmallows and prepare crème brulee - under Danita's watchful eye.

"We keep it up high in the cupboard and told him he's not allowed to use it unless mom's nearby ... with a fire extinguisher," she quipped.

Last spring is when things really started cooking for Michael. At the annual Community Day held at Bowie High School, Michael and Danita set up a vendor table and sold some of Michael's baked goods, which were a big hit. Danita took some photos of his creations and posted them on Instagram, where representatives from the Food Network saw them and wanted to learn more.

They reached out to Michael and asked to see more photos of his work. He also had to sit for a couple of Skype interviews with officials from the show. He must have made a good impression, because he was asked to fly to New Orleans in July to compete in the youth bake-off.

In the competition, Michael wound up having to make a peanut butter cookie cake - something he'd never done before - and failed to make the cut for the next round.

"They said it was good, but too sweet," he said.

Despite the verdict, Michael got a lot out of the trip, he said. He made a lot of friends during the competition and had his eyes (and taste buds) opened to all kinds of exotic dishes during his time in New Orleans.

And, he was back in the kitchen on the second day after he got back. Despite the disappointment, he remained undaunted and even cooked up a batch of goodies for the watch party (the episode aired New Year's Day) over at his uncle's house.

"It was really cool being on TV," he said. "Everyone was clapping when I came on."
He continues to fill the orders that come in on-line (the web site will help with that) and his culinary pursuits have taken an altruistic turn as well. Michael has hosted a couple of charity bake sales - one during the fall at the Belair Swim & Racquet Club - that raised almost $600 for a Washington, D.C. initiative called "No Kid Hungry."

And, for every cupcake and cookie he bakes for profit, he makes another to donate to the hungry. He and his parents recently filled up their car with Michael's baked goods, took them down the McPherson Square in downtown Washington and passed them out to the hungry and homeless in the park there. According to Danita, Michael has always asked a lot of questions about civil rights and was particularly interested in the recent film "Selma" about Martin Luther King's protest for voting rights in Alabama.

Consequently, Michael became interested in using his rolling pin as a force for good.
"He realized that there is not just race inequality, but there's food inequality," said Danita, who herself used to cook up food for the area's homeless and hungry. "He thought he could do something about that."

John McNamara, Contact Reporter


January 19, 2018

Bowie Selects La Plata Town Manager Daniel Mears as Assistant City Manager

After an exhaustive search, the City of Bowie has selected a new Assistant
City Manager to replace John Fitzwater, who retired earlier this month after
28 years in the position. Daniel Mears, who is currently the Town Manager of
La Plata, Maryland, will join the City's management team on February 19,

Mr. Mears is a 20-year veteran of municipal government, with management
expertise in many of the areas he will oversee in Bowie. La Plata, a town of
9,000 residents in Charles County, has grown in size and complexity over the
last several years. During his ten years there, Daniel Mears has
standardized operations and managed other challenges associated with rapid
growth. He has introduced new fiscal and management practices and overseen
the formulation of the town's first Recreation Plan and the first
Transportation Plan. He has also been successful in taking advantage of
grant opportunities, in expanding the use of technology in various aspects
of municipal government, and in involving residents and other stakeholders
in their government.

Prior to his time in La Plata, Mears was Assistant City Manager/Economic
Developer for Hazelwood, Missouri and City Manager of Ellisville, Missouri.
He is a graduate of Shippensburg University and holds a Master of Public
Policy Administration from the University of Missouri. Since 2007, he has
been recognized as a Credentialed Manager by the International City
Management Association.

The Assistant City Manager is the second in charge of the City. He serves in
the City Manager's absence and the role is critical to successfully managing
the seven departments that make up the City of Bowie government.

City Manager Alfred Lott, who has been at the helm of Bowie's government
since December 2016, said, "I was very fortunate to have Assistant City
Manager John Fitzwater here when I arrived. I am grateful for the support
and guidance he provided, but after 28 years, I think he has earned a bit of

"Daniel Mears will be an excellent replacement for John. He is experienced
in many facets of municipal government and he has tackled complex issues and
been a problem solver throughout his career. I look forward to having him
join our management team."

Press Contacts:
Alfred Lott, City Manager or 301-809-3030 

Una Cooper, Communications Manager

State of Maryland Metrics

Number of Businesses:
(Net Change 2015 vs. 2014; 137K establishments in 2015)

Business Starts:
(Number of businesses opened in 2015)

Unemployment Rate:
(October 2017)

Poverty Rate:

Population Estimates:

Sales Tax Revenue:

Although Maryland's unemployment rate improved slightly in May, the state lost 1,600 jobs, about a 0.1 percent decrease.

Many of the May job losses, 1,300 jobs out of 1,600, came in the private sector, in industries like education, manufacturing, financial and leisure and hospitality.

The Maryland Chamber of Commerce works to expand and improve private sector jobs, strengthening the state's economy.
Unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent in May, down from 4.3 percent in April.

Overall, Maryland has added 43,100 jobs since May 2016.

Bowie Estimated Demographics 2017


Households: 20,687

Median Household Income: $110,636 
Bowie Business Journal
In conjunction with the GBCC, Bowie Business Journal (BBJ) is a cable television program designed to help Bowie business owners start and grow their business. The 30-minute show features GBCC members and is hosted by me, Pauline K. Markward, Executive Director of GBCC. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email me.

This month's show features Derrick Williams, LUTCF of Total Access Insurance, giving us tips and tricks on, a sometimes hard topic, insurance. If you would like to contact Derrick, please feel free to contact him by calling his office at (301) 850-3640 or check him out online at  
BBJ  airs at 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day except Sunday and Wednesday on Comcast channel 77 and Verizon channel 11.

Corporate Partner Program
The Chamber offers opportunities throughout the year for companies to participate and receive recognition. Sometimes companies are very generous with their support throughout the year and discover at the end of the year that their total participation could have afforded them much more recognition had they identified the events in their marketing strategy during their annual budget preparation.
Annual Investment: $5000

Annual Investment: $2500

Annual Investment $1000

Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117, Bowie, MD 20715
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