Letter from Baltimore Sun publisher/editor Trif Alatzas: 2017 Business and Civic Hall of Fame

This marks the second annual Baltimore Sun Business and Civic Hall of Fame edition, an effort we launched last year to recognize the career achievements of leaders throughout Maryland. Our editorial board collaborated with area business and community leaders to highlight the contributions of these select individuals from the worlds of business, philanthropy, public service, education, the arts and more.

As a leader in business, journalism and public debate in Baltimore for 180 years, The Baltimore Sun Media Group formed this Hall of Fame to help chronicle the lasting legacies of these modern Marylanders. Ten individuals were chosen for this year's class and we officially inducted them this week into the Hall of Fame. They join a group of 12 people who made up the inaugural class in 2016, including the late John Paterakis Sr. and Helen Delich Bentley.

We plan to build on this effort annually by adding key leaders who have helped improve Baltimore and Maryland throughout their careers. Our goal is to identify a new group of individuals each year who have made this community stronger through their own efforts and their firm belief in how this city and state can be a better place for future generations. Many of them have excelled not just in their own careers but also by leading those around them to find ways to improve this community for those who live and work here.

Like last year, we requested nominations from our readers as we sought to identify a diverse group of women and men who should be considered for this Hall of Fame. A panel of business and civic leaders helped us choose the final list. Our selection committee this year included Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry, University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski III, former State Senator Francis X. Kelly Jr. and an inaugural member of the Hall of Fame class last year, and corporate board director Patricia J. Mitchell. Together, they assisted our editorial board in studying each nominee, discussing their accomplishments and helping to choose the members of the Class of 2017.

The selection panel considered various criteria including the individuals' business success, their influence in building and helping to expand organizations, community leadership, support for various causes and detailed achievements in leading this community forward. Final decisions were made by the editorial board. As part of this effort, we are donating to Junior Achievement of Central Maryland a portion of the proceeds from this special publication and the induction ceremony. We are pleased to thank our sponsors of this event whose advertising can be found throughout this publication and on baltimoresun.com.

These accomplished individuals are celebrated throughout the pages of this magazine. We hope you learn a little bit more about each of them and judge for yourselves how their work has helped Baltimore and Maryland to prosper. Thank you to each of our Hall of Fame members for their lasting efforts to improve our community. It is their leadership, passion and commitment that set the standards for our future inductees.

Here's to the Class of 2017.

TRIF ALATZAS

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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