July 2019 Newsletter
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Educate, Advocate... Connect!

"It doesn't matter whether you are pursuing success in business, sports, the arts, or life in general:
The bridge between wishing and accomplishing is discipline."
-Harvey Mackay
Businessman, Author and Syndicated Columnist with Universal Uclick

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

BGE an Exelon Company

Bowie Baysox

St. John Properties

Todd Turner, 
Councilman- District 4

NAI Michael

W.F. Chesley Real Estate, LLC

Berman Enterprises

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

Somerset Construction Company

Visiting Angels Homecare Agency

Widmann Financial Services

Maryland Secretarial
Services, Inc.
New & Renewing Members!

Systems Applications & Technologies, Inc.

Ourisman Hyundai
of Bowie

3rd Gen Painting & Remodeling of 
Annapolis, MD

Bowie Boys &
Girls Club, Inc.

Bowie Business
Innovation Center

Century 21
New Millennium

Sydian Systems, LLC

Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness

King Consulting, Inc.

Toth Distribution 
Service, Inc.

Vector Security

Save the Date!

Baysox Day Networking Mixer
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
7:05 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Prince George's Stadium
Bowie, MD

Multi Chamber Networking Breakfast
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
7:30 a.m - 9:30 a.m.
Maritime Conference Center
692 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum, MD

Check out the rest of our events on our website by clicking here!

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Contact the Chamber office at info@bowiechamber.org to secure your sponsorship today!
Unless otherwise noted above, register online www.BowieChamber.org

For additional information call 
301-262-0920 or email info@BowieChamber.org
72-Hour notice is required on cancellations

Business & Economic  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.
Social Action

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.)


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

***Youth Leadership Bowie Coat Drive***

Thank you for the contributions you made to the Youth Leadership Bowie Coat Drive! The response from the whole community was overwhelming.

If your business has reached a milestone or received an award, please email the Chamber at info@bowiechamber.org. 

We look forward to giving kudos in Tradeline!
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. If you would like to be a guest and showcase your business please email info@BowieChamber.org


We at the Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce
would like to thank those who helped make the
Annual Meeting and Election of Officers and Board Members
a successful evening! 

36th Annual Dinner Event Sponsors!

 Bowie Comfort Inn
& Conference Center, Cathy Martin
Century 21 New Millennium, Boyd Campbell
Money One Federal Credit Union, Cheryl Pyle
Youth Leadership Bowie

2019 - 2020 Board of Directors
Stephanie P. Anderson ~ O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.
Vice President
Terry Rogers ~ NAI Michael
Christopher Rizzi ~ Bohler Engineering
Cheryl Pyle ~ Money One Federal Credit Union
Past President
Andrew M. Roud ~ St. John Properties
General Counsel
Eddie Pounds ~ Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School
Laura George ~ Anne Arundel Medical Center
Craig Muckle ~ Archdiocese of Washington
Tom Zizos ~ Beall Funeral Home
Marvin Dunmeyer ~ BGE
R. Anthony Pasciuto ~ Byrd & Byrd, LLC
Cathy Martin ~ Bowie Comfort Inn & Conference Center
Michael Oleru ~ HOGAN
Pam Scott ~ M&T Bank
Sherman Ragland ~ Realinvestors Academy, LLC
Catherine Newman ~ Recorded Books, Inc.
Robert Waller ~ R.L. Waller & Associates
Diane M. Polangin ~ Total Tax Service
Vikki Kalitsi ~ Visiting Angels

Board Adviser:
Dr. Ron Watson ~ Watson Management Corporation

Executive Director:
Pauline K. Markward

R.P. Sowers invited the cream of Richmond's medical community to that first open house. It was 1981, the night before the doors would open at his urgent-care clinic on the outskirts of town, just beyond the site of a former drive-in movie theater and near a 7-Eleven.

Sowers had quit his job as an emergency room doctor at a Richmond hospital and struck out on his own with a concept that in those days was considered crazy: a walk-in clinic offering convenient care for minor health problems.

"All the big guys in town came out, and they were all saying, This will never work, said Sowers, Patient First's founder and chief executive. "Frankly, I worried about that myself.

"It was more of a novelty to a lot of people at the time.''
But Sowers's vision of storefront medical care, open late nights and weekends, has become a part of a sector almost as ubiquitous as fast-food chains.
The idea, once dismissed as "doc-in-a-box,'' is now an integral part of the regional health system in the Washington area.

Doctors may have turned up their noses in those early days, but amid rising health-care costs and an uninsured rate that's ticking back up, consumers are voting with their feet.
The concept Sowers planted on a patch of land on the outskirts of Richmond has burgeoned into a chain of 74 Patient First medical centers spread along the Mid-Atlantic region, making it among the top 10 largest urgent-care chains in the United States.

Patient First's distinctive green roofs and cookie-cutter designs sprout from shopping plaza parking lots from Pennsylvania to Virginia. Although none are within the District, 19 of the centers are sprinkled throughout the area, from Rockville, Md., to Waldorf, Md., to Fredericksburg, Va. The newest facility opened in December in Falls Church, Va.

Five more are planned in communities including Largo, Md., and Dale City, Va.
In an industry known for high burnout and turnover, many members of Patient First's clinical staff have longevity - the firm has a few hundred people with more than 20 years there. And that, company officials say, has been a key to its success.

Like other Top Workplaces employers, Patient First has found ways to keep its personnel happy. The company has generous benefits plus a lower-stress environment that's more akin to a family doctor's office than an emergency room.

"Patient First provides a safe, encouraging environment to be a nurse," said one employee in the survey. "I feel supported, encouraged and valued every day. I have multiple, accessible resources to utilize as needed. My current position has provided me with an incredible team, room for growth, and invaluable experience with providing patient care via telehealth/phone triage."

Care on Demand

Sowers, who goes by "Pete,'' is 75. In a sport jacket and tie, he maintains the bearing of a clinician and easily mingled among the white-coated doctors, physician assistants and nurses in the teeming medical center on Midlothian Turnpike. It was a Monday morning and the waiting room was about two-thirds full, mostly with adults.

The center hummed as providers shuttled between patients who waited in curtained cubicles arrayed on the perimeter of a large, brightly lit room. The caregivers communicated freely and entered patient data on centrally located computers. The center has an X-ray, a lab and a pharmacy.

One patient, Leroy Rainney, 69, a retired Phillip Morris worker, wandered back from the waiting room to greet the doctors. He said he has been treated at Patient First since it opened 38 years ago.

"To be honest, I believe Patient First has treated my whole family," he said. "It's better than going to the emergency room. I stay away from emergency rooms."

Indeed, Sowers posed a competitive threat to family doctors, not just with his promise of convenient, episodic care, but also because he later offered patients primary care: His clinics could be their medical home, not just a place for a quick strep test or a weekend X-ray.

Making Patient First's storefront centers the medical home base for patients was a prescient twist on urgent care and helped embed his centers into the regional health-care economy. Now more centers are offering those deeper primary-care relationships for patients, as insurance networks hunt for lower-cost settings for care, specialists say.

Millennials in particular see no reason they should have to wait for medical appointments and want medical care on demand - but they also want a steady medical relationship, said Tom Charland, chief executive of Merchant Medicine, an urgent-care consulting firm.
"Patient First figured it out way before anybody else,'' said Charland, a former executive at Minute Clinic.

"There are certain physicians in the urgent-care market who were great clinicians but also great visionaries and strategists and attuned to what consumers were wanting - which is not typical,'' he said.

The Urgent Care Association, the industry trade group, estimates there were 8,744 urgent-care centers in the United States as of November 2018, up 8 percent from 2017. Lower costs are a driver of interest from insurance companies. UnitedHealth Group said in a report this year that the average cost at free-standing emergency departments in Texas ($3,217) was 19 times more expensive than urgent-care centers ($167).

UnitedHealth also happens to own the largest urgent-care chain, MedExpress Urgent Care, which has 250 clinics in 22 states.

Hospitals increasingly are affiliating with urgent-care centers or launching their own. In Massachusetts, for instance, the number of centers and retail clinics shot from 20 to 150 in the past eight years, with a third of them affiliated with hospitals.

Also CVS, seeking a bigger slice of the market, recently merged with Aetna to expand its in-store clinic model.

Acquisitions are common, and Patient First, with a host of strong locations and brand identity, is seen as an especially juicy target in the Mid-Atlantic. But Sowers said he does not even entertain offers to sell to a larger chain.

Although he is working well beyond retirement age already, Sowers demurs when asked about his plan for succession at his company. He indicated he plans to be around well into the future: "I'm taking vitamins.''

Family Atmosphere

Sowers has kept his company tightly private. The company says it employs 4,000 people, about 600 of whom work in administration.

Being a closely held, long-standing operation also provides Patient First with another major advantage over some other chains that are exploding in size: employee retention.
"What you are trying to do is deliver very high-quality medicine fast, and to do that safely you need to have a high-performing team, and high-performing teams are really dependent on retentions,'' Charland said.

"The more privately held operators do a better job in building culture,'' he said, while some of the largest national and hospital-owned urgent-care chains are "struggling'' with high turnover.

As is the case across medical jobs, the potential for burnout among doctors, physician assistants and nurses is high in urgent care: Providers at urgent-care clinics can see six to eight patients per hour, according to industry statistics. Surveys consistently say emergency room doctors - who see high-intensity trauma cases and work brutal hours, including overnight shifts - have the highest levels of burnout among all physicians. Some switch to urgent care, looking for a respite.

But the vibe at urgent-care centers can vary widely, depending on leadership.

"Urgent care providers in particular - working in fast-paced practice environments that strive to maximize efficiency, emphasize patient throughput, and deliver speedy and efficient ambulatory care, on demand - find themselves at greater risk for burnout than ever before," the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine wrote in 2017.

To retain staff, Patient First offers competitive benefits, including perks such as tuition reimbursement. Clinical staff are eligible for recruitment bonuses, repeat patient bonuses, patient volume bonuses and weekend bonuses.

But employees said the positives of working there go beyond benefits. Loyal employees are rewarded with top jobs.

Sowers would not release patient visit data, so it was impossible to judge patient throughput. The company also said it does not have a rule of thumb for how long a patient should wait before seeing a provider.

"Our people know what they are doing and are generally pleasant, which helps create a positive work environment," Sowers said.

Sowers and his management team said they value the opinions and input of their staffs, who are focused on creating an overall positive experience for each patient, not just grinding through the cases. Sowers said his method has been to train his teams to continually practice the "basic blocking and tackling, staying on point for a long period of time."

And he said he cares about the people who work in his centers.

"We have a sort of family atmosphere," he said. "We have a certain element of protective feelings for our people."

The company recently invited hundreds of employees to a theater in Richmond to celebrate the workforce. Seventy-eight people at the event were celebrating their 20th, 25th or 30th year with Patient First. The company has 228 people with more than 20 years longevity.

A Novel Concept

Sowers's path from emergency room doctor to entrepreneur started in the late 1970s with a simple realization.

"I knew how long people were waiting in the emergency room,'' he said. "You were making them wait unnecessarily.''

Sowers visited a stand-alone emergency center in Warwick, R.I., and came back convinced he could make something similar work in Richmond. His colleagues in the medical field, he said, were "incredulous.'' But it struck Sowers as absurd that hospital emergency rooms filled with cut fingers, sprains and sore throats on nights and weekends. He determined that Patient First would be open late in the evenings, and seven days a week.

To build his first center, he chose a site on a freshly developing area on the opposite side of the James River from downtown Richmond. He also started his own computer medical records system, another novelty for the time. And he staffed it with about 20 medical professionals who were interested in building something new.

Eleanor Robertson met Sowers at a Halloween Party in 1980. Sowers went as "John Revolta'' and Robertson was an alien, but more importantly, a nurse looking for a new gig.

The location "was nothing but a flat ground of dirt,'' she said. "We talked about his vision and what he wanted to do. The concept was so fascinating. It was new to Richmond, and I thought this was really exciting,'' she said.

Robertson is now the company's vice president for human resources. Convenience and speed are crucial goals, just as they were at the beginning, she said.

Sowers cultivates that same culture for staff. Where else would you see the chief executive walk into a clinic to say hello on Sundays?

"Dr. Sowers usually comes in after church,'' said Stephanie Bennett, a registered nurse who supervises non-physician staff at the Midlothian Turnpike location.

In his 36 years at the company, Dr. Scott Greenfield said he's seen a dramatic shift in the once-negative perceptions of urgent-care centers, thanks largely to Sowers.

"When I first started, we were looked down upon. It was an unknown type of thing,'' the doctor Greenfield said. "Once you've been around for a while, you get a reputation in the community, and our reputation has become very good. The proof is in the pudding.''

By Christopher Rowland


County Legislation (CB-12-2018) states that all Prince George's County business owners, tenants, or operators of commercial and industrial properties, including but not limited to offices, stores, hotels, motels, gas stations, restaurants, factories, processing plants, and manufacturing enterprises, shall provide at least equally sized and equally convenient recycling containers to accompany each trash container on the interior and exterior of the property, including along storefronts.

To view a list of the County's acceptable recycling materials, visit bit.ly/acceptedpgc.
To review a copy of the legislation, go to bit.ly/CB122018.

For more information, contact the Department of the Environment, Recycling Section, Inspection Unit at 301-883-3635.

If you don't already have one, establish a recycling program at your business or multi-tenant facility. Setting up a program is easy and we can help!

If you already have a recycling program, submit a copy of your Maryland Recycling Act (MRA) Recycling Tonnage Report to the Department of the Environment Recycling Section. Your recycling hauler may also submit the report on your behalf with your business/property name and address listed on the report.

Recycling is Good Business: Make it Your Business!

Businesses play an important role in Prince George's County's Recycling Program. Approximately one-half of the county's solid waste stream is produced by the business sector. Businesses also account for 2/3 of the county's current recycling rate.
All businesses can recycle. The Department of the Environment Recycling Section will assist your business in implementing a successful recycling program.

"How to Start a Recycling Program"

The steps to start a successful recycling program include:
  1. Obtain the support of the executive management
  2. Appoint a coordinator and program monitors to plan and implement the program.
  3. Determine the number of people participating and the types and amounts of recyclables generated.
  4. Discuss the program with local recyclers, and seek quotes from recycling haulers.
  5. Develop an efficient collection system.
  6. Educate all employees.
  7. Purchase items that can be recycled or reused.
  8. Publicize the success of the program.
 Call 3-1-1 for more information.


HOGAN STILL REVIEWING PROJECT FUNDS: Gov. Larry Hogan continues to review more than $200 million in funding for projects the legislature amended into the state budget - including funds for school construction, community colleges, testing rape kits and the BSO - as Democratic lawmakers ramp up calls for him to release the money, Luke Broadwater writes in the Sun. But those funds are just one request of nearly 50 items still awaiting the governor's decision.
  • Hogan is still reviewing funding that lawmakers fenced off for legislative priorities, his office said Friday afternoon in response to calls to #FreetheFunds from Maryland House Democrats. House Appropriations Chair Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) said with the start of the fiscal year looming on July 1, lawmakers usually have some idea what funds the governor plans to release, Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters. "We are getting late. It's nervous time," McIntosh said.

E-Z PASS HOLDERS POLLED ON TOLLS: Resource Systems Group, a Vermont-based consulting and analytics firm, is polling a sampling of EZ-Pass transponder holders in Maryland and Virginia, to gauge drivers' willingness to use toll lanes of the sort that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) wants to build on the two roads. Parts of the Beltway in Virginia already have such lanes, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports. Hogan wants to have private sector firms finance, build and maintain express toll lanes in Maryland.

KELLY, SONS RESIGN FROM UMMS BOARDS: Former state Sen. Frank Kelly resigned Friday from the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors - just days after fellow board members had asked him to return - amid continued fallout from the self-dealing scandal that has rocked the hospital network, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports. His sons also resigned from their directors' positions.

WASSERMAN & UMMSMark Wasserman's name has only come up in behind the scenes conversations about the UMMS scandal, even though he has been its senior vice president of external affairs since 1997. Last year, he was paid nearly $510,000 to be the guy for UMMS who could open doors and bend ears. He's a political insider who was a trusted aide to the late Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Luke Broadwater and Kevin Rector write about this person, who many people trust explicitly as an honest person, but who Gov. Hogan has grown frustrated with for not showing up at a meeting on UMMS. And does not respond to queries from the press.

OPINION: DOES UMMS REALLY GET IT? The editorial board of the Sun asks if UMMS has really gotten the message that it indeed has screwed up and needed to change, writing, the "message the University of Maryland Medical System has been trying to send in recent days is summed up in big type at the start of a news release Wednesday announcing the completion of a consultant's report on the self-dealing scandal that has rocked the institution this year: 'System embraces opportunities for both process and culture change outlined in third-party report.' "

TENSIONS AT UMUC: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of the Post reports that five years ago, the University of Maryland University College considered shedding its public institution status to become a private school that is more competitive in the online education market. Leaders worried that state rules would hinder partnerships with software firms or other private-sector companies that seemed necessary for the school to gain an edge. The school relented after winning exemptions from the state from procurement policies. But some of the tensions between administrators and faculty that flared five years ago remain.

TRIBUTES HONOR THE LATE CLAY MITCHELL: Tributes poured in Friday for Roy Clayton Mitchell Jr., the former speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates who died Thursday of cancer. A proud son and lifelong resident of the Eastern Shore, Mitchell was 83. "His death is a great loss for our state and the Eastern Shore, which he loved with every fiber in his being," said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D), who preceded Mitchell as speaker, Maryland Matters reports.

  • First elected to state office in 1971, he served as the 104th Speaker of the House of Delegates from 1987 to 1992, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. "As an Army veteran and a distinguished member of the legislature, Speaker Mitchell leaves an indelible mark on our state," Hogan (R) said in a statement."Speaker Clay Mitchell was a man for whom I had tremendous respect and admiration. He dedicated his life to serving others and will always be remembered as an icon on the Eastern Shore.

NAACP CHAPTERS SEEK ETHICS PROBE: The two Baltimore County chapters of the NAACP have asked state legislative ethics officials to investigate Del. Robin Grammer's recent Facebook post that the groups called "racist and inflammatory" for what they said was a reference to lynching black public school administrators, Doug Donovan of the Sun writes.

GEORGIA ABORTION LAW COULD AID MARYLAND FILM BUSINESS: Georgia's new abortion restrictions could result in a flurry of film and television business coming to Maryland, a top state economic development official suggested Thursday, Josh Kurtz writes in Maryland Matters. Tom Riford, assistant secretary at the Maryland Department of Commerce, told a meeting of the state Economic Development Commission in Baltimore that the state is getting extra attention from the film industry since Georgia enacted strict abortion restrictions a few weeks ago. The Peach State has become a hub of TV and film production in recent decades, but Hollywood studios are threatening to pull their business given the current political climate there.

BSO MUSICIANS FACE LOCKOUT: Phil Davis of the Sun reports that Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians will be locked out of the band's facilities at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall starting today as management continues to negotiate salaries. The orchestra's board of directors approved the move Sunday evening, the group wrote in a news release, saying the board could not reach an agreement with Local 40-543, the union that represents the orchestra's musicians.

BSO SHOW TO GO ON IN BA CO: The show will go on at Oregon Ridge Park in July. BSO musicians have struck a deal with Baltimore County government to hold the popular Independence Day concert despite the BSO's previous cancellation of the event, Alison Knezevich, Luke Broadwater and Pamela Wood report in the Sun.

STUDY: AFRICAN AMERICANS MOST IMPACTED BY WATER BILLS: A new study on race and water affordability, which focuses part of its findings in Baltimore, suggests African Americans are disproportionately negatively affected by rising water bills and concludes by urging city leaders to pass new legislation to address the issue, Brittany Brown of the Sun writes.

BEING REAL ID COMPLIANTCome fall 2020, every U.S. air traveler will be required to present a Real ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification such as a U.S. passport, to board a domestic flight. Luz Lazo of the Post answers questions that you might have to make sure you are compliant. The federal government has found Maryland, Virginia and the District compliant. But, just because your state is compliant, it doesn't mean your license is, he writes.

HOYER, BROWN DISCUSS ACA IMPROVEMENT: The Affordable Care Act has improved the lives of millions of Americans, but access to health coverage remains uneven, two members of Maryland's congressional delegation and a panel of local health care professionals said Friday. Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports that the experts said race, income, geography and community conditions are all persistent factors in determining who has access to care - and by extension, lead healthier lives. The conclusions came during a roundtable discussion convened by Reps. Steny Hoyer and Anthony Brown in Largo.

ANNAPOLIS STRUGGLES WITH STREAMING: Angela Roberts of the Annapolis Capital writes about the financial struggles that city is having in streaming important and controversial board meetings - such as the Planning Commission - that the public would benefit from viewing live. A few months ago, Anne Arundel County Council began streaming its work sessions - in addition to its already streamed regular council meetings. The Maryland House of Delegates also announced in January that it will live stream its floor sessions on the state General Assembly's website. The Senate will follow suit in 2021.

CITY TO CONSIDER PLASTIC BAG BAN: Years after then Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed legislation banning stores from handing out plastics bags in Baltimore City, Councilman Bill Henry is giving it another go, reports Ethan McLeod for Baltimore Fishbowl. A proposal announced by Henry's office in a media advisory Thursday would ban stores from handingout plastic bags at the register, while also setting a 5-cent fee on other kinds of bags. It would also fine retailers $250 for the first offense and more for subsequent violations.

CITY, COUNTY CRACK CRABS TOGETHER: Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski recently got together over a table of steamed crabs to look for ways the city and county can work together. The two leaders are expected to make announcements soon on issues ranging from public safety to transportation, John Lee reports for WYPR-FM.

FORMER DEL. HAMMEN DIES: Donald G. Hammen, who represented Southeast Baltimore in the City Council and who later served in the Maryland House of Delegates, died of kidney failureMay 18 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Perry Hall resident was 79.



Two days before the Maryland Board of Public Works was scheduled to vote on Governor Hogan's proposed plan to manage traffic congestion by adding toll lanes to the Beltway, Council Chair Todd M. Turner, District 3 Council Member Dannielle Glaros, and District 5 Council Member Jolene Ivey joined officials from Montgomery, and Frederick counties, and other Maryland lawmakers, including Delegate Mary Lehman (pictured behind Chair Turner at the podium and to the left of Council Member Ivey), to urge the Board to consider potential alternatives to the traffic relief proposal.  Road widening on I-495/I-270 and the impact on homes and businesses were major concerns.  The County Council adopted CR-33-2019 asking the Board to consider the financial viability, to complete all Federal Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and fulling consult with the local jurisdictions impacted by the proposal.  The Board of Public Works voted on Wednesday, June 5th, to approve an amended plan that included some aspects of the Council's requests.  The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which has formally stated a position, expressing concerns over segmentation, phasing, transit, environment, and parkland impact, will brief the Council on Monday, June 10th.   READ the media advisory.


The Prince George's County Council convened Legislative Session on Tuesday, June 5th, during which Council Members were briefed by Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Government Operations Tara H. Jackson, and Manager of Strategic Operations, Brad Frome on 5G and small cell towers and the potential impact of this technology in the County.  Also present for the briefing were County Attorney Rhonda Weaver, and the Director of the County's Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, among others.   WATCH the full Council meeting, including the briefing. VIEW the small cell towers presentation. 


Council Members attended the funeral service for Prince George's County Police Officer Davon McKenzie on Wednesday, June 5th, at the Spirit of Faith Christian Center in Brandywine.   Officer Davon McKenzie, age 24, was off-duty when his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle along Interstate 495 in the Largo area around 11 p.m. on May 28. He died from his injuries a short time later at a nearby hospital.  Serving as a member of Prince George's County Police Department for two years, Officer McKenzie worked as a School Resource Officer at William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale.


The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) committee, chaired by Council Member Dannielle M. Glaros, met on Thursday, June 6th to consider the appointment of Leon Bailey to the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's County.  PHED members also reviewed several pieces of proposed zoning legislation including 
CB-13-2019; legislation pertaining to eating and drinking establishments in C-O Zone; CB-14-2019; legislation amending the definition of urban farms; CB-20-2019 legislation permitting laboratories in the C-O Zone; CB-22-2019, legislation related to bedroom percentages, and CB-23-2019
, a measure defining a new use, "Graduate Student Housing," within the Zoning  Ordinance.    


Access to quality health care, health promotion and disease prevention are priority concerns for the Prince George's County Council, in its role as the Board of Health, and for our residents.  County residents are encouraged to join us on June 11th, for an important conversation about our County's health and human service needs.  Sign language and Spanish language translation will be available.   View the FLYER for details.


Annapolis, MD, (June 13, 2019) -
Residential home prices climbed in May compared to the same period in 2018, according to housing statistics released by Maryland REALTORS®. Average home prices rose by 4.1 percent while the median price increased by 4.2 percent as compared to the same time in 2018.
"The units pending (units under contract) jumped to 10,108 from 8,571 in 2018, while active inventory decreased from 3.5 months in 2018 to at 3.1 months in 2019", continued Tobin. A 6 month to 6.5-month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
Of note, units sold experienced a drop of 1.8 percent due in large part to the drop in settled sales in Baltimore City as a result of the widely-reported ransomware attack.

"The average and median housing sale prices both climbed at reasonable rates in May", said Maryland REALTORS® President Merry Tobin. 

The May statewide average sales price was $367,018 compared to $352,569 in 2018, while median sales price increased to $312,500 from $300,000. Added Tobin, "This jump of 4.1 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, is robust and may, in the long term, have a negative impact on housing affordability."
The Average Sale Price compared to Original List Price for May decreased slightly from 97.9 percent to 97.8 percent in 2019.


The Maryland Department of Commerce has awarded 34 small and mid-sized Maryland companies with ExportMD grants to help promote their products and services in the global marketplace. The ExportMD grant program helps businesses finance the costs of marketing internationally, including trade show fees, brochures, and travel expenses. Applications are accepted on a monthly basis and the next application deadline is June 1, 2019. Eligibility requirements can be found on the Commerce website.

"Our administration is committed to creating jobs and new opportunities for our citizens, and the ExportMD program is a great example of how the state is partnering with our small and mid-sized businesses to help them expand globally and diversify their customer base," said Governor Larry Hogan. "Through this program, we have been able to help companies in every region of our state find new global partners, helping to boost their sales and expand their operations."

"The ExportMD program is one of the most powerful tools we offer to help Maryland businesses connect with new global markets," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "The program not only helps companies promote their products and services at international trade shows they otherwise may not be able to attend, but also offers expert guidance in navigating foreign trade and investment practices."

Among the companies included in this round of grants are Securityhunter, a government security solutions provider that recently traveled with Maryland Commerce to Mexico City as part of our state-led delegation, and Galen Robotics, a Johns Hopkins University spinout that is traveling with the Maryland delegation to BIO 2019 next month.

"The state of Maryland not only helped us exhibit in Mexico, but also made appointments for us to meet with U.S. Embassy staff and prospective Mexican partners. As a result, we are working with the embassy to roll out our 'Train the Trainer' program in the fall of 2019," said Michael S. Rogers, CEO of Securityhunter. "We know we wouldn't have been in Mexico without Maryland Commerce's ExportMD program."

"The financial assistance offered by the Maryland Department of Commerce is of enormous value to small start-up companies like ours, as we focus our cash on continuing research and development," said Dave Saunders, co-founder and CTO of Galen Robotics. "We look forward to continuing to expand our network around Maryland as we attend the Bio International Convention 2019."
Established in 1999, the ExportMD program provides matching grants up to $5,000 from Commerce's Office of International Investment and Trade. ExportMD is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, which has awarded multiple State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grants to Maryland Commerce to help fund the program.

January-April 2019 ExportMD grant recipients:

Anne Arundel County
Garrett Park Guitars
Identity Checkpoint, Inc.

Baltimore City
Baltimore Cyber Range, LLC
Galen Robotics
ICmed, LLC

Baltimore County
Longeviti Neuro Solutions
Metalcraft, Inc.
Plant Sensory Systems, LLC
Total Child Health, Inc.

Carroll County
HurleyIR, Inc.

Cecil County
Air Clear, LLC

Frederick County
ECObiotix LLC
RoosterBio, Inc.
XeoHealth Corporation

Harford County
Beacon Environmental Services, Inc.

Howard County
Ennoble First Inc.
KES Engineering Inc.
Top Travel, Inc.

Kent County
LaMotte Chemical Company

Montgomery County
20/20 GeneSystems
Biotech Diagnostics LLC
Dinocrates Group LLC
Goldfarb & Associates, Inc.
Richard S. Carson & Associates, Inc.
RIFE International, LLC
Silbiotech, Inc.
WCC International, Inc

Prince George's County
Cybrary, Inc
Hawkeye Medical, LLC
SPIN Global


Youth Leadership Bowie

The Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and the City of Bowie are pleased to announce the 2018-2019, selections for the Youth Leadership Bowie (YLB) program year: Ethan Kelly, Eleanor Roosevelt High School; Donovan Padilla, Bowie High School; Kaden Proctor, Bowie High School; Elijah Arcusa, Bowie High School; Onaje Lewis, Bowie High School; Jaden Smith, Bowie High School; Jalen Mack, Bowie High School, Nicholas Mack, Bowie High School and Kemauri Batson, Bowie High School.
Youth Leadership Bowie began in 1998 as a co-venture with the GBCC and the City of Bowie.  YLB provides a glimpse into the complex world of business and government.
This unique program exposes high school sophomores and juniors to the myriad of potential career opportunities available to them.  Leadership opportunities both experiential and observational are of paramount importance.  Problem solving skills are developed and refined as participants plan and produce a program that addresses a community need.
The program is open to high school students who reside in the City or Bowie or attend Bowie High School.  Applications are available in January each year by calling the GBCC at 301.262.0920 or emailing info@BowieChamber.org

There are now 10 certified Green Bowie Businesses in the City. The most recent to complete the program is the Starbucks at Bowie Town Center! 

Are you a business looking for ways to go green? Know a business that is green and should be certified?  Need assistance with furthering your goals of sustainability while gaining visibility in the community? You've come to the right place!

You can read about all Green Bowie Businesses and the program itself at www.cityofbowie.org/greenbowiebiz!

Staff Contacts
Ashleigh Armentrout
Tiffany Wright 
Corporate Partnership Program
The Chamber Corporate Partnership Program is an affordable and effective way to plan your marketing strategy during your annual budget preparation. Each year the Chamber offers its membership an opportunity to participate in the Chamber Corporate Partnership Program which allows our members to receive maximum recognition and to maximize the return on their investment by choosing from one of five Chamber Corporate Partnership Program sponsor levels. Three great events which are very popular with our Corporate Partners are the Annual Dinner, the Annual Golf Tournament and BowieFest. We also have many other major events from which to choose, including the State of the City and the State of Prince George's County.

Annual Investment: $10,000
Annual Investment: $5000

Annual Investment: $2500

Annual Investment $1000

Annual Investment $500

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!

For more information, contact our Membership Committee leaders Ron Watson and Terry Rogers at membership@BowieChamber.org. 

New members can join by clicking here
Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce, 2614 Kenhill Drive, Suite 117, Bowie, MD 20715
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