Chamber Selects

Membership Director

The Prince George's Chamber of Commerce has named Robin Hamilton to be director of membership and development.

Hamilton formerly was contracts manager for Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Bethesda. Before that, Hamilton spent several years as the communications manager for the National Housing Conference, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Washington.

Hamilton hopes to develop and implement new membership recruitment and retention strategies to increase membership in the chamber, which has 800 businesses as members..

Hamilton, of Bowie, is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Center in the Works

To Aid Businesses

The Prince George's Financial Services Corp., the Port Towns Community Development Corp. and the Maryland Small Business Development Center are forming a resource center for small-business owners in Bladensburg.

The Largo-based Prince George's Financial Services Corp. specializes in loans to small and minority-owned businesses. The Maryland Small Business Development Center is run by the University of Maryland at College Park and financed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Port Towns Community Development Corp. is a quasi-public economic development center that promotes economic development in Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City.

The three organizations are planning to officially open the resource center this year with the mission of retaining and developing small and minority-owned business inside the Capital Beltway. It will offer seminars and financial consultations and have a business resource library.

"It is something that is very much needed," said Jonathan Taylor of the Port Towns Community Development Corp. "Small and minority businesses face particular management issues and problems with access to capital."

300 Attend Gala

For Black Chamber

The Prince George's Black Chamber of Commerce held its second Anniversary Gala on March 13 at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville. More than 300 people attended.

Maryland Lt Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) delivered the keynote address. Joshua Smith, founder and former chairman of the Maxima Corp., an information systems firm, and now a managing partner of the Coaching Group, won the chamber's Luminary Award, given to an individual, corporation or organization that has made an exemplary contribution to small and minority-owned businesses in Prince George's County. Joan Carol, president and CEO of Joan Carol Design & Exhibit in Clinton, and John L. Huggins Jr., president and CEO of Quality Telecommunication Services Inc. in Oxon Hill, received 2003 Exemplary Business Recognition Awards.

Sanitation Official

In Leadership Class

Carla R. Joyner, chief of customer care at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, has been selected for the Leadership Maryland Class of 2003. Leadership Maryland is an independent, educational, nonprofit organization designed to inform top-level executives, from the public and private sectors, about critical issues, challenges and opportunities facing Maryland. Joyner, of Adelphi, is one of 50 people selected for the program this year.

Following a two-day opening retreat in April, participants will attend five two-day sessions focusing on economic development, education, health and human services, criminal and juvenile justice and multiculturalism. They will also attend a closing retreat and a graduation ceremony. More than 100 experts representing business, government, education and nonprofits will serve as panelists and guest speakers.

Leadership Maryland is one of 34 state leadership programs nationwide. Contact Nancy Wolff, executive director, at 410-841-2101 or visit www.leadershipmd.org for more information.

-- Krissah Williams

and Willie Pugh

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