MEDA Announces 2022 Award Winners

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 MEDA Awards. The 2022 awards, sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge P.C., recognize the exceptional people, programs and projects bringing economic prosperity to Maryland.

“Maryland’s economic development community continually rises to the challenge. While the circumstances may be difficult, their visions never waver. They create the opportunities that expand jobs and enhance our communities,” said Danny Thompson, President of MEDA.

In the Economic Development Project Category, Marriott International headquarters, nominated by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, is recognized for its sustainable design, coordination of partnerships and a projected $2.3 billion in business activity within its first year of opening. The new Bethesda headquarters will accommodate over 3,500 employees in a state-of-the-art 785,000 square foot space in 2022. During the pandemic, Marriott International masterfully pivoted to address the urgent need to reimagine its workplace to accommodate significant changes in employee and customer preferences.

In the Economic Development Program Category, the winner of the large community award is Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) Energizing Small Business Grants Program, which provides meaningful recovery to Maryland’s small businesses. To date, the program has awarded over $3.5 million to small businesses in Central Maryland. The program was nominated by Baltimore Gas and Electric. The Eastern Shore Economic Recovery Program, nominated by Caroline County Economic Development, Dorchester County Economic Development and Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, is the small community award winner in the Economic Development Program Category. In the wake of COVID-19, their scope of impact resulted in the development of multiple data visualization tools that can be used by economic developers when facing an economic crisis.

The Montgomery Can Code program, a free coding camp for middle-schoolers, will receive an honorable mention in the Economic Development Program Category for its innovation and leverage of resources. The program prepares eager students for future careers in the hottest tech industries. This program was nominated by the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.

In the Marketing Category, the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub, nominated by the Maryland Department of Commerce in partnership with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the University System of Maryland (USM), will receive the large community award for elevating the profile of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Nominated by the Cecil County Office of Economic Development, the small community category winner is “Winter Lights – Cecil Nights,” a tourism campaign praised for its creative approach.

Each year, MEDA recognizes economic development leaders who move their communities forward in extraordinary ways. The late Rhonda Ray, former Managing Director of Policy, Research and Government Affairs for the Maryland Department of Commerce, will be named to the MEDA Hall of Fame, honoring her career-long advocacy within the profession. Jennifer LaHatte, Managing Director of Policy, Research and Government Affairs at the Maryland Department of Commerce, will receive a Rising Star award, recognizing her achievements within the field. Colleen Peterson, Chair of the North/South Appalachian Highway Work Group for The Greater Cumberland Committee, is Volunteer of the Year, celebrating her 40-plus years of community commitment.

MEDA will also recognize the 2020 MEDA Award winners at the in-person celebration on April 25, 2022. The 2020 Award winners are as follows:

  • 2020 Economic Development Project: Kite Pharma, Inc.
  • 2020 Economic Development Project – Honorable Mention: The Union Collective
  • 2020 Economic Development Program: USM Maryland Momentum Fund
  • 2020 Economic Development Program – Honorable Mention: Project Bright Future
  • 2020 Economic Development Program – Honorable Mention: Project C.O.R.E.
  • 2020 Economic Development Marketing: TEDCO’s Entrepreneur Expo
  • 2020 MEDA Rising Star: Allison Akers
  • 2020 MEDA Hall of Fame: James “Jim” Fielder, Jr., Ph.D.
  • 2020 MEDA Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Peter “Pete” Kremers
  • 2020 Outstanding Contributor: Anirban Basu

The MEDA Awards annually recognize noteworthy projects, programs and individuals advancing economic development in Maryland. Awards will be presented during the 2022 MEDA Annual Conference this April. To learn more and register for the awards dinner on April 25, 2022, visit:

About MEDA

MEDA is a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals. Established in 1961, MEDA members promote the economic well-being of Maryland by working to improve the state’s business climate and the professionalism of those in the field of economic development.

MEDA’s membership includes economic development practitioners employed by government, businesses, and chamber of commerce and other professionals with interest in the economy of Maryland. Through its regular meetings, special programs and projects, MEDA members address such diverse issues as local planning, workforce, transportation, international trade, tourism and finance.

MEDA members work diligently transforming lives by creating opportunities, inspiring innovation and enriching communities in Maryland. To learn more about MEDA, visit

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