Guinness’ First Anniversary: A Look Back to the Future of MEDA Young Leaders

As Maryland looks back on the first anniversary of Guinness Open Gate Brewery opening, the first stateside experimental brewery since 1954 for the well-known Dublin brewing behemoth, we remember the start of another statewide initiative. Last October the MEDA Young Leaders Group was formed around a kick-off event hosted at Guinness Open Gate Brewery. The Young Leaders Group began as an experiment of its own; a new way to engage the next generation of economic development professionals joining the MEDA organization.

At the inaugural event on October 8, 14 MEDA young professionals from many jurisdictions spread across Maryland came together to enjoy finger foods and try new beer while getting to know their peers. After networking and initial icebreakers, the attendees voiced input on goals and initiatives to brainstorm and shape the future of this strong, cohesive group together. In keeping with MEDA’s commitment to enhance the knowledge of its members, the group also participated in a tour of the brewery. These new friends/peers/fellow craft beer enthusiasts joined the brewery events representative to learn about the brewing process, how Guinness chose to locate in Baltimore County on the site of the first Maryland distillery opened after prohibition, and the economic impact of Guinness opening a brewery here in Maryland.

As Guinness has added new beers to its rotating tap and refined processes over the past year, so too has the MEDA Young Leaders Group. What began as a group of 14 has grown to over 45 economic developers under the age of 40. The MEDA Young Leaders Group events are ever-evolving and moving to feature more communities and learning opportunities from peers.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery prides itself in allowing its visitors to have a hand in providing feedback and forming the next generation of beers. More importantly, the MEDA Young Leaders Group is helping to create the next generation of economic development leaders to work hand in hand with companies like Guinness and transform lives across the diverse communities that make up the Maryland we love. We look forward to seeing the continued success of both of these Maryland pillars in the coming years.

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