The 2017 District Director’s Unsung Hero Award goes to the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
It’s not often we honor an organization for this award, but it’s really a collective effort that made the Howard County Economic Development Authority the obvious choice for this year’s award. Under the guidance of CEO Larry Twele (T-WHEEL) the organization has become a real game changer for businesses in Howard County. The Authority offers a direct loan program; signed up as a provider of the State’s Video Lottery Terminal Loan Fund; provides office space for both SBDC and SCORE counselors and oversees the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship. Larry and his team work daily to enhance services and opportunities for businesses, big and small, to prosper in the County.
Sadly, last summer, Ellicott City was hit by devastating flooding. We all remember the horrifying pictures and some here today were affected personally. Six inches of rain had fallen within two hours, over 140 businesses were affected and 955 jobs were impacted. The team at the Howard County Economic Development Authority quickly traded in their suites for work boots and joined the response effort serving as the central point of contact for federal and state agencies, local organizations and affected businesses and property owners. Today, the area is still in recovery, but residents and officials are well on their way restoring Main Street to its former glory.
Executive Director Vernon Thompson accepted this award for the Howard County Economic Development Authority.