MEDA Members’ Corner: Chris Kaselemis
Chris Kaselemis, Director, St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development
Explain your background in economic development
I worked for the City of Tucson for 28 years, mostly in the City Manager’s Office, and ended my career as the Program Director for the Economic Development Office. I have been the St. Mary’s County Director since 2015. I have an MBA from the University of Arizona.
What are your key priorities within your current position?
Grow the economy, strengthen the local businesses, improve and promote the quality of life here in the County, establish a strong entrepreneurial eco-system and capitalize on the great technology economy that exists in St. Mary’s County.
Does one particular project spark your excitement? If so, describe it below.
The growth and expansion of our St. Mary’s County Airport Innovation District. We recently had a master plan completed for the district, which includes suggestions for building out the airport area to maximize the potential of this development hot-spot.
What professional pressures keep you up at night?
There are always pressures in working in the public sector in a visible, prominent position with elected officials.
What attributes are unique to your community?
The Patuxent River Naval Air Station is an economic development powerhouse with more than 50 tenants and hundreds of labs that focus on research, development, testing and evaluation for naval air systems.
What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?
Highly trained technology workforce
High quality of life with close proximity to DC
Robust military base that fuels local economy
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to work with MEDA on to move Maryland forward?
Reduction of taxes for businesses, residents, and retirees
Is there anything else you’d like to share with MEDA and your fellow members?
St. Mary’s County is a leader in technology businesses and a leader in the Unmanned Autonomous Systems field.