The Baltimore Sun

Database agency opens headquarters

Merkle Inc., a growing database marketing agency based in Columbia, celebrated the grand opening of its new corporate headquarters June 23 at the new five-story, 120,000 square-foot building in Columbia Gateway Business Park. The facility is equipped with a 10,000-square-foot data center, a gift shop and fitness center.

The company has additional locations in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle and Hagerstown.

Merkle recently named Ron Park as winner of its highest level of employee recognition, the 2008 Chairman's Award.

Park, who was recently promoted to vice president of Merkle's Quantitative Solutions Group, received the award for his management of some of the company's top commercial accounts, including Dell, Nike and Regions Bank.

To acknowledge his efforts, Park received a two-year lease on a new BMW X5 SUV.

Firms in incubator win Web contract

Altimax Solutions and AIMSTAR Information Solutions Inc., residents of the Howard County Center for Business and Technology Development's NeoTech Incubator, have been awarded a contract with the Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce.

The contract involves redesigning and redeveloping the new BWCC Web site and its underlying database. The redesigned Web site is expected to be launched in the third quarter of this year.

In addition to the partnership between Altimax and AIMSTAR (Applications in Multimedia for Science, Technology and Research), Koncept Media, a Web design studio headquartered in New York, will participate.


First plan : The Howard County Economic Development Authority's Business Resource Center will offer a seminar, "Developing Your First Business Plan," from 8:30 a.m. to noon July 16 at the Center for Business and Technology Development, 9250 Bendix Road North, Columbia. The seminar, presented by the Greater Baltimore SCORE, Chapter 3, is designed to provide the first-time small-business entrepreneurs with information needed to maximize success. Topics will include the business concept, market opportunity, legal structure, pricing and competition, the balance sheet, income/expense projections and types and sources of funding. The cost, which includes a sample business plan, is $60. Registration is required. 410-313-6550 or

Seeking vendors: Columbia Association is seeking vendors for its 14th Columbia International Day, to be held noon to 11 p.m. July 26 at Columbia Lakefront Plaza in Town Center. Also needed are artisans interested in displaying or selling items with an international theme. The day celebrates the cultural and ethnic diversity of Columbia. 410-715-3161 or 410-715-3175.

Software tutoring : Howard County Public Library is offering one-on-one tutoring in job- or business-related software. Tutoring in Open Office, a free, fully functioning software package that includes spreadsheets, presentations and pictures, is offered for teens and adults at all branches. Appointments are required. A tour of job-related databases, Web sites and periodicals and the library's business and career sections is available at the central library. 410-313-7850. "Research 24/7," a program on finding full-text articles and other resources, also is offered. Call a branch for an appointment.

Hospitality expo : Mid-Atlantic Food, Beverage and Lodging Expo, a two-day show to be held Sept.17 and 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center, will feature an invitation-only talk to industry professionals by Dawn Sweeney, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. 800-874-1313, or

Business Digest items may be sent to or faxed to 410-715-2816.

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