Member’s Corner: Jill Porter
Name, Title, Organization:
Jill Porter, Business Development Director, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation
Explain your background in economic development:
I recently started with AAEDC and am excited to be starting my “second career” in Economic Development after working in hospitality for 23 years. My most recent experience was with Maritime Conference Center, where I was Director of Sales, overseeing a team of Sales and Marketing professionals to generate revenues for our non-profit MITAGS school and working in conjunction with the school’s business development team. I also serve on the board of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, now serve as Ex Officio for the Maritime Industry Advisory Board, and am very involved in several community organizations’ committees and the like.
What are your key priorities within your current position?
As a Business Development Director, I am focused on the retention, attraction, and growth of businesses in Tech, Cyber, Defense, Maritime, and Hospitality within the Anne Arundel County region. It’s truly my pleasure to provide access to grants and financing, and resources and to collaborate with numerous organizations to provide the business community with assistance and support.
Does one particular project spark your excitement?
If so, describe it below. Collaboration and helping others always make me light up, so the fact that I literally live in that space daily within my new role keeps it exciting. What professional pressures keep you up at night? At the moment, since I’m still new to my role, I’m in a learning mode. I want to truly understand all of the potential resources and opportunities available to support businesses, and want to know I’m helping them to navigate forward with the best possible plan.
What attributes are unique to your community?
Anne Arundel County features the historic charm of Annapolis, the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and the entertainment district of BWI and Arundel Mills. Its major assets include BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Fort Meade. Prominent defense agencies such as U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency (NSA), and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) make the county a hub for tech, cybersecurity, and defense. Maritime-related businesses are supported by our more than 500 miles of shoreline, agricultural businesses are plentiful, and our economy is greatly impacted by the region’s thriving hospitality and tourism.
What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?
Central Location, People/Talent, Diversity
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to work with MEDA on to move Maryland forward?
Ask me again in six months!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with MEDA and your fellow members?
I’m excited to be a part of the AAEDC team and a member of the MEDA community. As I mentioned, collaboration is very important to me, so please do connect with me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillly/
Please include any personal background information that you’d like to share (Alma mater, Military Service, hobbies, etc.):
I’m a wife and the Mom of two kids, so when I’m not working to support the local business community, I am hanging out with my family. We are a creative bunch and love to sing, listen to or play music, watch local plays, go to the movies, etc. We are also big believers in giving back and serving others. I also love nature, so you’ll often find me hiking or relaxing outdoors. My husband is part of the master’s division of USATF, so we also spend a lot of time traveling to new places and cheering him on at competitions.