Q&A archive

Recent interviews with local business leaders

August 9, 2004

A helping hand for Md. tech startups

Ann Lansinger is executive director of the Emerging Technology Center (ETC), a non-profit business incubator with headquarters in Canton that aids start-up technology-based companies. The ETC provides office space at subsidized rates, offers mentoring services and assists with other resources.

August 2, 2004

Loans brought community jobs, hope

Last of two parts.

July 26, 2004

A look back at lender's impact

First of two parts

April 12, 2004

Building up an industry

Kent Thomas is the new president of the Building Congress & Exchange Foundation in Baltimore.

March 15, 2004

Strength in diversity

Roberto N. Allen, a business attorney at the Baltimore law firm Saul Ewing, is the new president of the Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

February 23, 2004

Q&A with Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch

As the speaker in the Maryland House of Delegates, Michael E. Busch continues to be the most visible opponent to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s proposal to legalize slot machines around the state.

February 2, 2004

Q&A with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s second session with the Maryland General Assembly is proving to be a test of his public popularity as well as his political acumen.

October 20, 2003

Pushing Maryland's technological strengths

Anthony A. Caputo, chairman and chief executive of SafeNet Inc. in White Marsh, recently was named this year's "Baltimore extraordinary technology advocate" by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council.

September 22, 2003

Ben Carson on giving

Benjamin S. Carson spends most of his time giving.

May 12, 2003

Leatherbury: A breed apart

First of three parts

May 14, 2003

Horse training's long odds

Second of three parts

May 16, 2003

The sport, and life, of a King

Last of three parts

March 17, 2003

Weighing the odds for Maryland

Michael E. Busch is the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. The Anne Arundel County Democrat was elected to the post in January.

March 10, 2003

A conversation with Michael Steele

Michael S. Steele, Maryland's lieutenant governor and the first African-American elected to statewide public office, is working with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to craft the state's economic development policy.

February 17, 2003

The benefit of 'positive personal experiences'

Stephen H. Morgan is the executive director of the Arc of Baltimore, a not-for-profit organization formerly known as the Baltimore Association of Retarded Citizens.

February 10, 2003

Crafting a strategic business plan

David S. Iannucci, Baltimore County's new executive director of economic development, recently was named to the position by County Executive James T. Smith Jr.

February 3, 2003

Charting Maryland's future

George F. Pappas is the chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Development of Advanced Technology Businesses. He was named to head the new panel in December by then-Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The move was Ehrlich's first economic development initiatve.

January 27, 2003

Taking a holistic approach

Roberta Saunders-Gray joined Bon Secours Baltimore Health System Inc. in October as chief operating officer.

January 20, 2003

Building an expansive menu

In a time of retreat for the national economy, the restaurant industry is holding its own -- and local restaurateur William J. Bateman is expanding.

January 13, 2003

The quintessential optimist

M.J. "Jay" Brodie became president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public economic development agency, in 1996.

January 6, 2003

Getting the region's fair share

Donald C. Fry is president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, having taken over the regional organization in November.

December 30, 2002

Throwing a hearty party

As the holiday season winds down, many people look forward to a big New Year's Eve celebration.

December 23, 2002

Talking with Santa Claus

For many children in the Baltimore region, the holiday season would not be complete without a visit to Santa Claus at a local mall.

December 16, 2002

From helper to helper

A Baltimore painting contractor with 38 years in the business, Gilbert Dicus Jr. is president and chief executive of Coatings Technology and Education Corp., a youth-training company that began working out of an industrial park in Curtis Bay earlier this year.

December 9, 2002

There's power in the arts

Michael Ross joined Center Stage in July as managing director, after serving five seasons in that role at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

December 2, 2002

'A sense of community' in the region

Jan Hayden is the new president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors for 2003.

November 25, 2002

Jump-starting Baltimore's convention hopes

Robert L. Johnson is the founder and former owner of Black Entertainment Television in Washington, D.C.

November 18, 2002

A conversation with Peter Angelos

Peter G. Angelos is a longtime lawyer, developer and principal owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

November 11, 2002

The importance of giving

Donna Jones Stanley is executive director of Associated Black Charities Inc., a local nonprofit organization.

November 4, 2002

The art of the deal

Dennis J. Shaughnessy is a general partner with Grotech Capital Group, a venture firm established in Timonium in 1984.

October 28, 2002

An inextricable link: Education and jobs

Your group started in 1992 with a 10-year mandate. Now, you're extending your work until at least 2010. Why?

October 21, 2002

The real victory: Regional cooperation

As president and chief executive of the Chesapeake Region 2012 Coalition, Dan Knise led a four-year effort to bring the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to the Baltimore-Washington region.

October 14, 2002

Looking forward, looking back

Donald P. Hutchinson is stepping down as president of the Greater Baltimore Committee. He'll become president and chief executive of the Maryland division of SunTrust Banks Inc.

October 7, 2002

Guitar man

Paul Reed Smith crafts mahogany and maple into the electric guitars played by the likes of Mark Tremonti of Creed and Carlos Santana.

September 23, 2002

And the winner is ...

Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and state officials will gather at the Baltimore Convention Center Oct. 22 for TechNite 2002, the city’s tech prom.

September 16, 2002

Venter's next move

J. Craig Venter has done the improbable before: racing a much larger team of federally backed scientists to a draw in the push to break the human genetic code before leaving Celera Genomics Group earlier this year.

September 9, 2002

Business school

Beginning with Baltimore City’s schools in 1996, Clark Easter has built a business helping administrators comply with federal laws governing special education students.

August 26, 2002

A better bond

With a foil made up of incredibly thin layers of simple elements, two professors at the Johns Hopkins University say they have discovered a better way to bond metal and ceramic components. Don’t let your eyes glaze yet: This nanotech solution could tap into a $10 billion market.

August 19, 2002

Rolling with it

Once red hot, the business of hosting Web sites and other applications for businesses has been tepid lately.

August 12, 2002

Tin titan

U.K.-based Games Workshop has built a $100 million business out of fantasy. Its legions of players shell out $3 to $50 per model, building armies to battle their friends. John Stallard, head of the firm’s North American operations in Glen Burnie, recently explained the hobby and tried to counter its "geeky" image.

August 5, 2002

Honest Tea's best policies

In the past four years, Honest Tea has gone from one man’s thirst for a less sweet drink to a natural beverage industry leader. Their self-titled Tea-EO, Seth Goldman, recently discussed the firm’s growth, plans for further expansion and its goody-goody image.

July 28, 2002

The business of saving the bay

Since the 1960s, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has worked to improve the bay’s environment through scientific study and education. Will Baker, the foundation’s president, recently discussed fund-raising difficulties, real estate development and the wily snakehead fish.

July 22, 2002

Riding through some turbulence

Though not yet back to its pre-9/11 passenger level, BWI has bounced back faster than most other airports around the country. Unfortunately, its popularity is sometimes reflected by long lines and traffic tie-ups. The new Executive Director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, Paul J. Wiedenfeld, recently discussed security delays, the airport’s massive expansion plans and issues surrounding his appointment in April.

July 15, 2002

Hanging fire

Peter Barris, managing general partner of New Enterprise Associates, is always on the lookout for a few good companies that need some cash to get off the ground. He recently discussed his economic outlook, the firm’s impact on the Baltimore region and venture capital’s role in the current financial crisis.

July 1, 2002

An Annapolis armada

Farr Yacht Design dominates major sailing races the way the Yankees grip baseball championships: virtually totally. Stephen A. Morris, the firm’s vice president, recently discussed its winning streak in the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race, sailing economics and how Farr Yacht plans to conquer the America’s Cup with Larry Ellison.

June 24, 2002

The bay's diminishing bounty

At the turn of the 20th century, fortunes were made and lost on Chesapeake Bay oysters. But those days were long ago. Today’s oyster and crab fisheries are faced with disease and decline. Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, recently discussed the economics of a life on the water.

June 17, 2002

Boy wonder

When he speaks to the crowd at the national millennium celebration or a California tech conference, 10-year-old David Dalrymple might need some help reaching the microphone but his words carry a lot of weight. Via e-mail, UMBC's youngest student recently discussed his team's win over the area's best budding tech entrepreneurs, his vision of our technological future and his plans to rule the world.

June 10, 2002

Down, but not out of business

In the late 1990s, USinternetworking was the poster child of a tech firm on the rise. The lessor of software to businesses over the Internet had a richly rewarding IPO, a rocket stock and was on the cover of Forbes magazine. But when the bubble burst, USi was hit hard, ultimately filing for bankruptcy in January. The company’s CEO, Andrew A. Stern, recently discussed the firm’s speedy recovery in Chapter 11, its outlook for the future and what to say to shareholders who lost it all.

June 3, 2002

Trumpeting Baltimore tech

Although his previous day job was as I.T. Manager for the Maryland Department of Tourism, Mario Armstrong may be better known locally for his technology show, the “Digital Spin,” on radio and TV. He recently discussed the position’s responsibilities, the state of Baltimore’s tech industry and conflict issues that arise when a civil servant has his own show.

May 13, 2002

Green acres despite the drought

After chickens, nursery and greenhouse crops are Maryland’s biggest agricultural commodity. Don Riddle, owner of Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, recently discussed the big business that horticulture is and how it has begun to go global.

April 29, 2002

Money in the bank

It seems that reports of the suit’s demise were premature. A recession and general, back-to-basics mood post-September 11th has put the starch back in a lot of shirts and the gray flannels back in a lot of offices. It’s not surprising then that a 97-year-old clothier is profiting from the traditional trend. Robert N. Wildrick, CEO of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, recently discussed suit sales, store expansion and the firm’s doubling stock.

April 22, 2002

It’s all happening at the zoo

Long an also-ran in the Baltimore tourism market, the zoo has unveiled ambitious plans to change that, including a $60 million renovation and a new president, Elizabeth “Billie” Grieb. She recently discussed the nation’s third oldest zoo’s economic impact on the city and how it can compete with those pandas down the parkway.

April 15, 2002

Building a fleet

Difficulties using the Web to plan a boating trip across the bay led Joy Koch McPeters to start Marinalife two and a half years ago. Today the tech firm helps boaters find slips and has developed software for marinas that automates the reservation process. As the summer sailing and cruising season gets under way, McPeters discussed her company's plans for expansion, including its recent acquisition of Nauticard.

April 8, 2002


A Columbia creamery with double-dip growth

We all scream for it and a Columbia-based franchise is making a mint hawking it. Richard J. Sharoff, CEO of MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery, recently discussed the firm's ambitious plans for expansion, including a shop in the Mall in Columbia.

March 25, 2002

Loose lips can sink stocks

So much can depend on a subcutaneous micro-infusion device. That’s what Maryland’s United Therapeutics hopes will deliver its first product to patients. It’s also the company’s hope for delivery to the promised land of profitable biotech concerns. Fred Hadeed, United Therapeutics’ CFO, recently discussed the firm’s plans for Remodulin, its product pipeline and volatile share price.

Q & A

Going long

The telecom sector is in trouble. High-flying fiber optic carrier Global Crossing recently filed for the fourth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. WorldCom and Qwest have acknowledged that the SEC is investigating their accounting practices. Many small upstarts have gone out of business. William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland, recently discussed his firm’s plans in this depressed business.

March 11, 2002


Tax tips

Alfred Giovetti is a 20-year CPA veteran as well as a columnist and teacher of tax-related issues. He recently discussed the major changes in this year's tax law and ways to save on your return.

March 4, 2002

Q & A

Broadband battle lines

In 1986, 14-year-old David Troy started a mail-order business selling Atari hardware from home. In the past 18 years he has shifted focus, creating a small Severna Park-based Internet service provider with deep local roots. The ToadNet CEO and founder recently discussed his firm's much larger competition and its bid to gain access to the cable broadband market.

February 25, 2002

Q & A

Searching for a blockbuster

Since its founding in 1993, the city has had high hopes for Guilford Pharmaceuticals. But with only one product on the market, the company has not yet sparked a biotech center here. CEO Craig Smith recently discussed the firm's drug pipeline and its financial future.

February 18, 2002

Q & A

Accounting triage

Jack Ciesielski publishes the Analyst's Accounting Observer report from his office in downtown Baltimore. He is also the owner of R.G. Associates, Inc., an investment research and portfolio management firm. Ciesielski has been a certified public accountant since 1977. He recently discussed where the accounting industry will go from here.

February 11, 2002

Q & A

Prime Meridian

As governments, both federal and municipal, have geared up post Sept. 11, many have turned to Columbia's Meridian Medical Technologies for their popular auto-injectors. James H. Miller, Meridian's chairman, president and CEO, recently discussed the firm's products and its plans for the future.

February 4, 2002

Q & A

The omega dot-com

After a brief season of hype, online advertising has been crushed by the dot-com crash. But Scott Ferber, who co-founded the Digital Harbor's Advertising.com with his brother, John, in 1998, says his company has found a profitable niche in online direct marketing. He recently discussed the market and its future.

January 28, 2002

Q & A

One spicy stock

Sparks-based McCormick & Co. Inc. is the world's No. 1 spicemaker, employing 8,400 worldwide, including 2,000 in Maryland. Robert J. Lawless, the firm's chairman, president and CEO, recently discussed its strong financial performance and its plans for the future.

January 21, 2002

Q & A

Some businesses like it hot

Dan Roche started three companies before age 40. Now, as UMBC's Venable Entrepreneur-in-Residence, he is helping other businesspeople get on their feet. He recently discussed his position at the school and his experiences in the technology field.

January 14, 2002

Q & A

E-learning the business

Amid 1999's white-hot tech market, the University of Baltimore launched its WebMBA program to offer business degrees over the Internet. Barry Brownstein, the program's director, recently discussed the school's philosophy, the impact of the tech market's decline and the pros and cons of an online education.

January 7, 2002

Q & A

Builder, baker, moneymaker

John Paterakis Sr.'s H&S Bakeries built a fortune selling bread. Now his H&S Properties Development Corp. is betting that making buildings rise in Fells Point will move downtown's center east. H&S Properties' Michael S. Beatty recently discussed the firm's big plans and its efforts to continue development in a downturn.

December 17, 2001

Q & A

Broadband blues

While the fall of energy giant Enron got all the ink in recent weeks, Excite@Home's bankruptcy may have actually meant more to its thousands of local users. Through a contract with Comcast Corp., Excite provides broadband Internet access to subscribers in the Baltimore area. Scott Allison, vice president of communications for Comcast Online's Mid-Atlantic Division, recently discussed why users were warned that they might lose access and how Comcast's new network will work.

December 10, 2001

Q & A

Christmas Incorporated

Baltimore's Becker Group provides the holiday decorations for thousands of malls, offices and casinos worldwide. Its chairman and founder, Gordon Becker, recently discussed the multimillion dollar industry and the fallout from the Sept. 11th attacks.

December 3, 2001

Q & A

Flipping the switch

Energy news hit with a ferocious one-two punch in recent weeks. First, Constellation Energy Group canceled plans to spin-off BGE and become a riskier, faster growing player in energy markets. Then, power trading giant Enron was driven into bankruptcy by faulty accounting practices. CEG's new CEO, Mayo A. Shattuck III, recently discussed what happened and where Constellation will go from here.

November 26, 2001

Q & A

Economic adjustments

Businesses great and small have been hammered by the economy this year. John Berndt, CEO of Web design firm The Berndt Group recently discussed how financial realities are cutting into his bottom line and forcing him to cut back on artistic endeavors.

November 19, 2001

Q & A

Sage advice

As director of the Abell Venture Fund, Nora Zietz is one of the few women in the venture capital field. She recently discussed technology's gender bias, investing in a down market and the failure of TidePoint.

November 12, 2001

Q & A

Aether's super Tuesday

Aether shares have ridden a roller coaster since the wireless company went public in 1999. Founder and Chairman David S. Oros recently discussed the road ahead, the AOL deal and the Baltimore County firm's plans to move.

November 5, 2001

Q & A

Black, white and green

Based in Baltimore, the Afro-American Newspapers served as a voice of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s. Its new executive editor, and former Evening Sun columnist, Wiley A. Hall III, recently discussed the paper's continuing importance in the struggle for economic equality.

October 29, 2001

Q & A

Taking stock of the brokerage business

Based in Baltimore and Washington, Ferris, Baker Watts is one of the largest local brokerage firms. Its CEO, Louis J. Akers Jr., recently discussed the effects of the terrorist attacks, the fallout from an $18 million loss and the future for regional brokers.

October 22, 2001

Q & A

Bringing the tourists back

Tourists and conventioneers pump billions into the state's economy. As president and CEO of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, Carroll R. Armstrong is working to bring them back to the city in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

October 15, 2001

Q & A

Feeding the media

Many Marylanders remember Bill Toohey from his press briefings during the Joseph Palczynski hostage crisis and his frequent appearances on the evening news. The director of media relations for the Baltimore County Police and former spokesman for Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski recently discussed the public relations business and what makes a good representative.

October 8, 2001

Q & A

Safe and secure

The terrorist attacks have put all forms of security into tighter focus. Ravi Aggarwal, general manager of the Baltimore branch of technology training center New Horizons, recently discussed how the federal government is battening down its hatches and how you can make your PC secure.

October 1, 2001

Q & A

Investing in uncertain times

After falling a record 1,300 points in one week, the Dow has gained back some of its losses. Jonathan Murray, first vice president-investments at Legg Mason, recently discussed what might be next for the market.

September 24, 2001

Q & A

Maryland's wartime economy

The acts of terrorism in New York and Washington have damaged the stock market and larger economy. Anirban Basu, senior economist at Towson University's RESI economic research institute, recently discussed the local fallout.

September 10, 2001

Q & A

Ciena's third act

Ciena appeared largely immune to the tech decline until slashed financial forecasts and slowing sales sent the fiber optic firm's shares into a tailspin. Patrick H. Nettles, Ciena's executive chairman, recently discussed the Linthicum-based company's plans for the future and how it has been able to avoid layoffs, so far.

September 3, 2001

Q & A

The cultural economy

Through marketing savvy and popular shows, Gary Vikan has led the Walters Art Museum to membership and budgetary highs. He recently discussed the museum's economic impact on the city and what's in store for one of Baltimore's most nationally recognized cultural institutions.

August 27, 2001

Q & A

Full speed ahead

Hurt by the geographic reality of its position far from the open ocean, the Port of Baltimore has struggled for years to keep the ships coming. But a series of recent deals promise better times ahead. James J. White, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, recently discussed his plans for the port and its economic force in the region.

August 20, 2001

Q & A

Stemming its losses

Annemarie B. Moseley is leading Baltimore's only prominent stem cell firm, Osiris Therapeutics. She recently discussed the company's research, its plans for an IPO and Baltimore's prospects as a biotech hub.

August 13, 2001

Q & A

Teacher's pet

Douglas L. Becker went straight into business after graduating from Gilman. At 35, he is leading Baltimore's education powerhouse Sylvan Learning Systems. He recently discussed the company's hot stock, future growth and Caliber's bankruptcy.

August 6, 2001

Q & A

Voice of academia

After a long career in journalism, including stints as head of the Voice of America and host of All Things Considered, Sanford J. Ungar was named president of Goucher College in March. He recently discussed his plans for the school, its role in the life of Baltimore and the rising cost of education.

July 30, 2001

Q & A

Last man standing

In the past eight years, Marc Steiner and his eponymous radio show have woven themselves into the city's civic fabric. The link is about to get stronger as he appears poised to take control of Baltimore's most recognizable public radio station. Steiner recently discussed his plans for WJHU, financing and his views on Hopkins' decision to sell.

July 23, 2001

Q & A

The city's advocate

James L. Shea, managing partner of Venable, Baetjer and Howard, one of Baltimore's largest law firms, was elected chairman of the Downtown Partnership earlier this year. He recently discussed his plans for the firm, managing a legal business in an economic downturn and the central business district's parking problem.

July 16, 2001

Q & A

Go-go fly zone

As executive director of the Maryland Aviation Administration, David L. Blackshear has overseen Baltimore-Washington International Airport's unprecedented growth over the last few years. He recently discussed the state's billion dollar plans for the airport and local fallout of the uncertain US Airways/United merger.

July 9, 2001

Q & A

Keeping the tech fires burning

As executive director of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, Penny Lewandowski is charged with promoting and cultivating the region's technology community. The former Northern Virginia resident recently discussed the council's role and the prospects for the city's Digital Harbor project in this lean time.

July 2, 2001

Q & A

King crab

Phillips began in the 1950s as a takeout counter in Ocean City. It now encompasses restaurants throughout the mid-Atlantic region and a string of Asian processing plants with thousands of employees. Mark Sneed, president of Phillips Foods and Phillips Seafood Restaurants, explains how they got from there to here.

June 25, 2001

Q & A

Making movie millions

Michael B. Styer wants to make Maryland a star. As director of the state-funded Maryland Film Office, Styer markets the state to movie and TV production companies looking for locations to film. Credit his office with the state's leading roles in "Runaway Bride" and "The Replacements." In a recent SunSpot interview, Styer discussed film economics, homegrown directors and, of course, upcoming attractions.

June 18, 2001

Q & A

The stock market sage

Julius Westheimer, special managing director of Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. in Baltimore, is celebrating his 40th year in the brokerage business. SunSpot recently caught up with Maryland's most famous investment adviser.

June 11, 2001

Q & A

The venture capital veteran

Frank A. Adams is managing general partner of Timonium's Grotech Capital Group. The firm, which he founded in 1984, invests funding in start-ups and more established companies. SunSpot caught up with the longtime veteran of the local venture capital market to discuss economic cycles and tech investing in a downturn.

June 4, 2001

Q & A

Paddling toward profitability

Andrew A. Stern is chief executive officer of USinternetworking, the once high-flying Annapolis-based provider of business management software over the Internet. SunSpot caught up with him recently to discuss the company's stock woes, staff cuts and plan for survival.

May 29, 2001

Q & A

Baltimore's coffee queen

Donna Crivello left The Sun in 1991 to enter the restaurant business. Today, with seven full-service cafes and coffee bars in Baltimore, one carry-out coffee bar in White Marsh and a full-service restaurant in Washington, she rules the local java market. But the Bibelot bankruptcy is cutting into her business. SunSpot caught up with her recently to find out how she is adapting.

May 21, 2001

Q & A

Developing in a turning tide

Bill Struever is the president of Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse. As possibly the city's busiest developer and most voluble popularizer of the 'Digital Harbor,' SunSpot caught up with him recently to find out how his company is adjusting to the tech slowdown.

May 14, 2001

Q & A

Baltimore's hidden resources

John Fini is the Executive Director for Technology Initiatives at the Emerging Technology Center, an incubator for tech start-ups in Canton. SunSpot caught up with him recently to discuss surviving the current trough of venture funding while waiting for the next wave.

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