With a red carpet, great music and a vibrant energy, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce inducted three stellar leaders into its Business Hall of Fame on May 17. The walk-of-fame theme transformed the banquet room at the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel into a setting that felt more like a Hollywood award night – even if the business outfits didn’t quite look the part. “This is a great night and a wonderful way to recognize the best of the best in Maryland business,” said MDCC President & CEO Christine Ross. “We talk a lot about the importance of leadership, but these inductees walk the walk.”
Johns Hopkins HealthCare President Patricia Brown, Prince George’s Community College President Charlene Dukes, Ed.D., and recently retired McCormick President & CEO Alan Wilson were honored for their excellence in business management, entrepreneurism, courageous approaches, inspiring leadership and community impact. Brown, Dukes and Wilson were not only honored because of their visionary leadership of high-performing organizations, but also because they give to the communities where they live and work. All three sit on the boards of several charitable organizations and institutions.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was the featured speaker for the evening. With a high concentration of Maryland’s businesses, Baltimore sets a tone for the state’s economic vitality. The mayor recently vetoed the Baltimore City Council’s bid for a city-specific $15 minimum wage because of concerns over the damage it could do to small businesses, and wants to help minority businesses get more access to capital. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” the mayor said. “What matters is that you get on the same page about the needs of our city.”
The evening also marked the passing of the gavel from outgoing board chair Sheela Murthy, founder of the Murthy Law Firm, to incoming chair Nathan Beil, president of KCI Technologies.