2023 MEDA Primer for Economic Development in Maryland

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Every year, the MEDA Primer offers those new to economic development and veterans of the field the opportunity to gain further insight and strengthen their knowledge of economic development in Maryland. This year, dozens from across the state joined us for an engaging and enlightening day-long session at City Garage in Baltimore. Here’s a recap of the day: 

The Primer began with a welcome from MEDA President Richard Griffin, CEcD, and an insightful conversation between Griffin and Program Development Committee Co-Chair Lara Fritts, CEcD. They discussed the fundamentals of economic development and shared successful tactics from their careers. Then, state and local economic development figures Tamar Osterman, CEcD, Roger Venezia, CEcD, and Larry Twele, CEcD, presented an in-depth overview of Maryland’s economic development climate during “Maryland’s Economy, Key Industries and Strategic Advantages.” They covered Maryland’s geography, demographics, industries, and regional differences. The panelists also discussed the state’s competitive position, assets, and challenges.

After lunch, a round of exciting IGNITE presentations invigorated the group for the afternoon. In just an hour, attendees learned more about topics ranging from the many tools the Maryland Department of Labor offers for workforce growth to how economic development impacts a local government’s credit rating. To conclude the day, a panel of state, county, and local officials convened for How Does Maryland “Do” Economic Development? during which they discussed their agencies’ approaches to growth, the importance of developing and maintaining strong partnerships, attracting and retaining international businesses, and past successes and challenges.

Check out this recap presentation created by the economic development interns from the City of Mount Rainier.


9:15 – 9:30  Welcome and Moderator
Richard Griffin, CEcD, President, Maryland Economic Development Association

9:30 – 10:00  Fundamentals of Economic Development – Q&A

An overview of the basics of economic development and an opportunity to have questions answered.

Lara Fritts, CEcD, FM, Frederick County Office of Economic & Workforce Development & Richard Griffin, CEcD, President, Maryland Economic Development Association

10:00-10:15  Break

10:15 – 11:45    Maryland’s Economy, Key Industries and Strategic Advantages

This session provides an overview of Maryland’s economy, its competitive strengths and weaknesses, and key economic assets.  We’ll take a closer look at Maryland’s different regions and key industry sectors, how Maryland competes with other states and discuss Maryland’s value proposition for new business investment.


  • Tamar Osterman, CEcD, Senior Business Development Representative, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Roger Venezia, CEcD, Director of Operations and Special Projects, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Larry Twele, CEcD, CEO, Howard County Economic Development Authority

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch

12:45-1:45  Ignite Presentations 

1:45 – 2:00   Break

2:00 – 3:00 How Does Maryland “Do” Economic Development?

Our moderator will provide an overview of how state and local representatives work together and break down the scenarios for how specialized programs depend on the jurisdiction, the company, and the overall needs of the community.

Presenters will provide a discussion of varying approaches for business startups, growth, retention and attraction, from the perspective of the state and rural, suburban and urban communities.  The panel will address significant elements of what goes into the business development process depending on the jurisdiction, the project, and the requirements of the company.  Speakers will share case studies to show the key elements of a project.


  • Owen McEvoy, Esq., Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Dave Ryan, Executive Director, Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development
  • Jayson Knott, Senior Director, Office of Business Development, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Maria Angelica Vargas, Director of International Business Development, Howard County Economic Development Authority

3:00        Wrap-up / Tour of City Garage



Wed, May 24, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm


City Garage
101 W Dickman St
Baltimore , MD

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2023 MEDA Primer for Economic Development in Maryland