MEDA Fall Conference to Demystify the Process of Doing Business with the Military

Baltimore, Md. – The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) is hosting its Fall Conference entitled Maryland’s Unique Economic & Innovative Driver from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park.

Understanding how to capitalize on business opportunities with local military installations is pivotal to Maryland’s growth. The conference will guide economic developers to position companies in ways to capitalize on opportunities military installations provide across the state. By the end of the conference, attendees will leave understanding how to take advantage of the military as an economic driver.

“Whether you have a military installation right in your backyard, in a neighboring region, or anywhere in Maryland, they can have a profound impact on your community,” said MEDA President Kimberly Clark, “Our Fall Conference will have expert speakers and panelists that highlight these opportunities for our attendees.”

Brigadier General Mike Hayes USMC (Ret.), director of the office of military affairs for the Maryland Department of Commerce, will open the conference sharing his unique perspective of the various bases throughout Maryland. He will share how economic developers can identify the key sectors for their businesses and the expansive role economic developers can play in their region.

Leslie Taylor, executive director of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), joins the conference conversations as a luncheon keynote speaker. As the CEO of an entity with over 14,000 personnel, her comments will address how naval aviation is fairing in a climate of increased global threats, readiness challenges and budget uncertainty. She will also provide insight about the importance of partnering with industry and academia to assist in the commercialization of NAWCAD inventions for use in the private sector and the importance of educational partnerships for workforce development.

The MEDA Fall Conference will round out the conversation with three panel discussions that include experts who will discuss forming alliances, leveraging installations, and creating compelling military drivers for economic development:

Alliances for Cooperation Panel

  • Rear Admiral Tim Heely USN (Ret.), Executive Vice President, Southern Maryland Navy Alliance
  • Tim O’Ferrall, General Manager, Ft. Meade Alliance

Leveraging Installations as Innovation Drivers Panel

Moderator: Christopher Wilhelm, Ph.D., Customer Advocate for Science and Technology Lead, Office of Research and Technology Applications

  • Ron Kaese, Director, Federal Programs, Maryland Technology Development Corporation
  • Charles Daitch, Ph.D., CEO, and Founder, Akonni Biosystems
  • Tom Sanders, Managing Director, and CEO, Coherent Technical Services, Inc.

Effective Military Drivers for Economic Development Panel

Moderator: Helga Weschke, Director, Federal Business Relations, Maryland Department of Commerce

  • Ashley Buzzeo, Managing Director at the Center for GIS, Towson University

TBA, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

  • Mary Lee Kolich, Procurement Specialist & Certified CVE Counselor, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers
  • Rick Decker, Executive Director, Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership of Maryland (RAMPMD)

The conference is part of MEDA’s seventh annual Economic Development Week, which takes place from Oct. 22 through Oct. 28. St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development sponsors the Fall Conference along with MEDA premier sponsors, The Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, who are also sponsoring MEDA’s seventh annual Economic Development Week. Additional sponsors of Economic Development Week include Comcast/NBCUniversal and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO).

To learn more or to register for the MEDA Fall Conference, visit

About MEDA

MEDA enhances the knowledge and skills of its members and encourages partnerships and networking among those committed to bringing jobs and investment to Maryland. In addition to quarterly conferences, members have access to opportunities, discounts, and scholarships for professional development. They may also participate in awards programs that highlight innovative economic development, redevelopment and marketing projects and programs in the state of Maryland.



Sandy Sponaugle, Program Manager

Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA)




Leave a Reply