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Influencer
Grooming Future Leaders
February 2017
Often when Aileen Eskildsen meets a college student or a young accounting professional, it takes her back to her collegiate career at Towson University. “I see the energy and fire (they need) to race up the career ladder,” says Eskildsen, who did just that when she joined accounting firm Ellin & Tucker in 1996. “I’m […]


Making Baltimore Better
August 2016
On the job, influencing people is one thing, but using that sway to connect people to each other for the purpose of strengthening Baltimore makes others sit up and take notice. At the very least, it makes influential people take your phone call. So it goes when Baltimore leaders interface with Tom Wilcox, president of […]


Thinking Big
June 2016
“I’m a fan of big ideas,” says Amber Shrodes. “I am resistant to anyone saying ‘that will never work.’” As director of the Harford County Department of Community Services, her plate is full of big ideas for the five divisions she oversees: Office on Aging, Office on Drug Control Policy, Office of Disability Services, Office […]


Patience Pays in Long-Term Projects
April 2016
An admitted die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and a native of Wisconsin, Dean Kaster’s demeanor reflects both the friendliness and the modesty of the Midwest. Retired from his position as senior vice president of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health in February of this year, Kaster was instrumental in […]


Leaving Her Mark
February 2016
“You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on people,” says Tamara Zavislan. “Being present and available is what it’s all about.” Zavislan’s impact on the northern Baltimore area began six years ago when she became the executive director of the Community Foundation of Harford County. She was its first full-time, paid employee. She […]


The Natural Giver
August 2015
Collecting toys for children; providing silent auction items; sponsoring local youth athletic teams; supporting cancer groups; supplying a NASCAR racecar for event appearances – the list is endless. A three-inch stack of thank you notes from the last six months alone is only a small indicator of the impact Brooks-Huff Tire and Auto Centers has had on the communities that surround their locations. And those are just the ones who take the time to write thank you notes, the Huffs say.


Growing on Main Street
June 2015
The construction workers at 112 S. Main St., in Bel Air are used to people in business suits ducking under the scaffolding and through the brick front façade, trying in vain to avoid the fine white construction dust on their freshly shined shoes. One can hear the workers “shhh” each other as they note the visitors and forego any loud machinery. The site is the future office of law firm Snee, Mahoney, Lutche & Helmlinger …


Making It Personal
April 2015
To describe Bret Schreiber as a “people person” might be an understatement. His own account of his background and his county government role develops a theme of service and teamwork. From his undergraduate days as a student and top lacrosse player at Johns Hopkins University, through his career at the Johns Hopkins Institutions and the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), Schreiber says he always felt like he was contributing to something bigger. “I felt I was a part of the founding ideas and was making a difference in people’s lives at Johns Hopkins. We were also making a difference in the lives of students at MICUA by helping to identify scholarship and funding opportunities,” he says.


Charting Her Own Path
February 2015
Barbara Gassaway has worked hard to become a leading market researcher with clients from Baltimore and around the world. For the past 23 years she has led her own company as it has grown in size and influence. Twice in the last year, her work has been recognized.


A Country Gentleman, A Powerful Leader
December 2014
When a candidate uses a sheep placard saying, “Vote for Baaa…ry!” he reveals something genuine about himself. This is no wolf in sheep’s clothing, but the real deal. A local sheep farmer from Darlington with deep roots in rural Harford County, who began his community service at the age of 16 with the Level Volunteer Fire Company, Barry Glassman cares deeply about agricultural heritage, economic vitality, education, public safety, accountability and people. His deep experience in governing comes from serving as a State Senator for six years, State Delegate for nine years, and County Council for eight years, while also working as a claims investigative specialist in the property and casualty insurance field.


Serving the Country Through Business
October 2014
Leadership. Results. Focus. Effectiveness. These are some of the words associated with Louisa Long Jaffe, co-founder and CEO of TAPE (Technical and Project Engineering, LLC) on paper. She commands respect simply by her background and accomplishments: 28 years in the Army Reserve while concurrently managing multiple grocery locations for her father’s business; building a solid and strategic career in media relations and public affairs at the Pentagon, including supporting the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff; and recently being named the first Woman Vetrepreneur of the Year, followed by a White House honor as a “Veteran Champion of Change.”


A National Model for a Community College
August 2014
What do Walter Anderson, editor of “Parade Magazine,” Nolan Archibald, CEO of Black & Decker Corporation, and Edwin Hale, former chairman and CEO of First Mariner Bank, all have in common? According to the American Association of Community Colleges, they are all alumni of community colleges. In fact, 45 percent of all undergraduates in the United States were enrolled in community colleges in the fall of 2012. Additionally, in 2012 alone, the net total impact of community colleges on the U.S. economy was $809 billion in added income, equal to more than five percent of GDP, according to the AACC.


Keeping the Balance
June 2014
For Harford County Executive David R. Craig, budget experience began to be cultivated in high school, before he was 15 years old. He relays the story of his math teacher, who was also the school treasurer. “Every Monday, she would give me the money from the weekend’s sports events, and I would walk it to the bank in town where my mother worked.” The teacher paid him a dime to do this task. “I’ve been working with budgets ever since.” His budget skills will be part of the legacy he leaves when he exits the County Executive seat after more than nine years in office. Under his leadership, Harford County earned the first Triple-A bond rating in the county’s history, but Craig also says his most difficult moments in office were budget-based. ”The last five years have been challenging,” he says. “We did a lot about keeping the County in good financial shape.”


Big-Time Health, Small-Town Touch
April 2014
Dr. Robert Reier’s goal is to be the small-town doctor. That is, he wants to be the health resource for Harford County, and get back to the basics of doctor-patient relationships. A chiropractor by license and degree, Dr. Reier is also a holistic specialist and an educator, and he happens to be the mayor of Bel Air. Combining all these roles puts him in an ideal position to influence the local approach to health and wellness. Indeed, he says he is trying to shift the health care paradigm by advocating lifestyle modification and optimal health.


Tamera Rush
October 2013
VP Defense Sector, STG, Inc. In a non-descript technology campus off Route 40, in a colorless corner office, sits Tamera Rush, Vice President, Defense Sector for STG, Inc., a leading mid-tier government contractor providing enterprise IT solutions on APG. Personal photos adorn her desk, but the bare walls give no indication of the powerhouse woman […]


No Secret Sauce – Just Service
June 2013
If you’re looking for B.S., you won’t get it from Beetle Smith. Not only is he reluctant to brag about himself, he weighs his words carefully out of respect and etiquette when speaking about others. Known among his contemporaries as “Beetle,” Donnell Smith is the “S” in RKS Realty, a local real estate and brokerage […]


Looking for an Advantage in Digital Marketing? Meet Hollis Thomases
February 2013
For 15 years, digital marketing strategist Hollis Thomases has been at the forefront of her industry, amassing impressive credentials along the way. Yet many people who come to her business, Web Ad.vantage, still aren’t sure exactly what she does, and Thomases admits her elevator speech is “in perpetual movement” thanks to the constantly shifting nature […]


A Civilian Career Dedicated to Army Values
October 2012
He doesn’t wear a uniform anymore, but Gary Martin is a dedicated and decorated Army professional. For nearly 30 years, he has worked to support the various missions of the United States Army – as an active duty Signal Corps Officer from 1984 to 1988, to his recent roles supporting the Commanding Generals of Communications-Electronics […]


A Community Partner
August 2012
Retirement didn’t last long for Marlene Lieb, former Associate Vice President for Continuing Education at Harford Community College (HCC). Although she celebrated her “last” day Friday, July 13, she’ll be back at the growing educational institution in October as the new Liaison for Strategic Business Partnerships. “When Dr. Golladay [president of Harford Community College] offered […]


Stepping Out and Stepping Up
June 2012
Most busy professionals keep their lives mapped out on a calendar. Eric McLauchlin also uses a spreadsheet. “My time and resources are not limitless,” he explains. “In order to make sure I was giving the appropriate attention to the organizations I chose to be involved with, I needed to validate that I was approaching things […]


Helping Make the Tough Decisions
March 2012
Some people consider development a dirty word – the ruination of what we love about where we live. Others see it as synonymous with progress – a natural evolution of response to a community’s needs and desires. As with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Harford County has been in the […]


She’s Not Finished Yet
February 2012
Suzanne Green has been up since 4am. The energetic center director for Harford County’s only Y, Green taught a group exercise class called Body Pump at 5:45am. “There were 10 people today joining me that early,” she says with a smile. “It’s a great way to start the day!” It may sound like a typical […]


From a Bakery to Bowhead
December 2011
Jan. 17 marks the one-year anniversary of Vanessa Milio’s first day at the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and the end of a yearlong celebration of the Chamber’s 35th anniversary. As the first woman to hold the position of CEO at the Chamber, the celebratory theme of “Bright Past … Brighter Future,” aptly describes what […]


Jim Richardson, Director, Office of Economic Development, Harford County
October 2011
As the Director of Harford County’s Office of Economic Development (OED), Jim Richardson points to a map in a conference room in the County office building at 220 S. Main St., in Bel Air. He traces his finger over a tightly clustered area as he explains this is where he and his office concentrate a […]


Kevin Small – A Big Influence in Bel Air
August 2011
Tucked away in a nondescript building behind the pond and pool at Bynum Run Park are the offices of the Town of Bel Air’s Department of Planning and Community Development and its newly appointed director of planning, Kevin Small. Small’s office is as unadorned as the building’s exterior with furniture and supplies left behind from […]


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