SHIFTING DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS Mayor Schmoke assigns Alliance oversight to GBC

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke announced plans yesterday to revamp the Greater Baltimore Alliance, a nonprofit regional economic development program.

The Baltimore mayor said responsibility for the Alliance would be transferred from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, a regional strategic planning agency, to the Greater Baltimore Committee, a private nonprofit business organization.

"The BMC's goal in creating the Alliance was to build support for the concept of a regional economic development and marketing program," Mr. Schmoke said. "We've accomplished that primarily through public-sector leadership and are pleased that the program is now being embraced by the region's business community."

The Alliance announced it has kicked off a five-year, $5 million fund-raising campaign, $500,000 of which already has been committed. And Mr. Schmoke unveiled a new board of directors to oversee the policies and priorities of the Alliance.

In addition to Mr. Schmoke, the board members include Frank P. Bramble Jr., chief executive officer of First National Bank; Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker; Willard Hackerman, president of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.; Mary Junck, publisher and chief executive officer of The Baltimore Sun Co.; Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann; and Philip M. Stolz, vice president and general manager of WBAL-TV.

The board also will reserve seats for a representative of the state Department of Business and Economic Development and others.

Previously, the Alliance had operated without its own board of directors, acting instead under the board of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, composed of Mr. Schmoke, the county executives of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard counties, and the president of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.

To attract new business, the Alliance has staged a national media relations campaign to promote the region, appealed to site location managers by direct mail, produced a booklet of the area's vital statistics, and maintained a presence at trade shows and other events for the local business and civic community.

The Alliance was created in September 1993 by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.

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