TEDCO hires its first director of government relations

The Maryland Technology Development Corp., or TEDCO, has hired Jody Sprinkle as its first director of government relations.

Sprinkle’s hiring, announced Tuesday, comes after a legislative session that saw the development agency’s agenda derailed by a critical legislative audit.

“I am excited for this opportunity to help build the important relationships between the private and public sector; so vital to the strategic growth of the State’s economy,” Sprinkle said in a statement. “TEDCO leads the way in entrepreneurial and innovation development, and with the partnership of the General Assembly and the Governor, will continue to foster the growth of Maryland’s early-stage technology companies.”

Sprinkle has nearly 20 years of experience at the Department of Legislative Services and has also served as a policy analyst for the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. She starts at TEDCO next month.

“We are excited to welcome Jody to the TEDCO team. Not only will she bring years of experience with our Maryland General Assembly, but her knowledge of economic development matters will be invaluable to TEDCO,” Stephen Auvil, TECDCO’s executive vice president of operations and programs, said in a statement. “Jody’s unique expertise and perspectives will allow TEDCO to be more strategic in the future.”

TEDCO said Sprinkle will act as a liaison between the quasi-public agency and state government. Her duties will involve policy development, coordination with other agencies and compliance with state law.

The legislative audit identified problems within the Maryland Venture Fund, one of eight investment funds operated by TEDCO.

The audit forced TEDCO to play defense during a legislative session when it had planned to secure authorization for a $16 million technology infrastructure fund to support opportunity zones.

In the aftermath of the audit, lawmakers passed a measure to increase oversight of the agency and to restrict how TEDCO invests its money. The law took effect in June.

George Davis, who led TEDCO at the time, said he wished he had done more to interact with and educate lawmakers about TEDCO’s role in the state’s startup economy.

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