Welcome AAEDC CEO Jerry Walker
This February AAEDC welcomed new President & CEO Jerry Walker to the team. Previously, Mr. Walker served for two terms on the Anne Arundel County Council representing the Seventh District. He also spent 22 years in the private sector serving as a Vice President at DCA Imaging Systems, a local office technology company.
Mr. Walker is an alumnus of Liberty University, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, and of the American University, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy.
Get to know our new CEO:
Q. Did you ever think that you would run an economic development office?
A. No. Never! After my final term on the County Council ended, I knew that I wanted to stay in local government. My colleague, former councilman Chris Trumbauer, now in the Office of the County Executive, asked if I had ever thought about economic development. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. I applied for the position because I believe I am a good fit since I am known to be a business advocate on the County Council. My business experience in the private sector, knowledge of county government and advanced degrees in policy and administration creates the perfect blend for a strong foundation to lead this office.
Q. What do you consider the main focus of the new job?
A. I think from my perspective my primary focus right now is understanding the AAEDC team members and their roles and what I can do to support them. People have complaints about various levels of county government but I have only heard compliments about economic development and the team that works here. I think my job right now is just to understand how I can support each staff member in his or her respective roles.
Q. How will you integrate with the small business community?
A. Before I came to AAEDC I worked for a small business for 22 years. The company started with four employees and now that company has over 60 employees. I was instrumental in every level of the decision making process so I have the background to understand how small businesses operate. Having been a former council member I also understand how government works. I can be an advocate to help navigate through the channels of government and make sure we are helping businesses be successful. Many of the pieces of legislation that I passed on the council were related to a business specifically asking for help on certain issues- how do we change this, how do we fix that- and turning that into legislation. So I think I will integrate very easily.
Q. What do you consider your biggest professional success?
A. I am big on developing people. Helping people be successful in their own careers is more important to me than anything else. I strive to understand current roles and goals for a person and then help to create a path. Early on I had a boss who invested in me and he told me “the best way you can thank me is to do it to somebody else” so I have ensured that I am a mentor to others throughout my career. I am most proud of seeing the people I have had a close relationship with grow and succeed professionally. I know how to help people connect in order to create an impact, which also sets me up for success in connecting businesses with people.
Q. How will your office interact with the County Executive and his priorities?
A. I am an appointee of the County Executive. In this role my job is to make sure the mission of AAEDC aligns with his priorities. I believe further directives will emerge once the County Executive Transition Team releases their reports at the end of February. However, I know our interactions will be positive because I have a good relationship with County Executive Pittman and Chris Trumbauer who is driving policy for the County Executive’s Office. I believe we will have an open conduit to reach out directly to the County Executive’s Office if a business needs assistance in navigating the red tape in bureaucracy.
Q. What is one fun fact we should know about Jerry Walker?
A. I love karaoke!