April 22, 2015--Marking 25 years of service, the Hunt Valley Business Forum announced it will expand its offerings to build more relationships, better educate professionals and cultivate a stronger community. Specifically, the group will begin to offer more community, educational and leadership forums as well as social events. A new executive director, Carolyn Panzer, has been appointed to oversee the new programs and provide additional expertise.
“This is a very exciting time for the Hunt Valley Business Forum, and we’re excited about the new path we’re embarking on,” said Panzer. “Our goal is widen our voice and position the Forum as more of a think tank for the business community. Through service and education, we want the Forum to be a resource to ignite economic development and prosperity.”
Honoring its educational foundation, the organization will restructure its forum offerings. Community, Business and Leadership Forums will now be held throughout the year.
- The Community Forum addresses the need to know what is happening in the Hunt Valley community covering real estate and business, public safety, government and transportation.
- The new Education Forum is structured by specific job roles, including Human Resources, Business Development, Information Technology, Finance, Marketing and Business Administration. Each session will help employees be more productive and effective in their careers.
- The Leadership Forum will address the need to help professionals become better leaders in their field. Five groups will be organized including C-Suite professionals, Women in Business, Young Professionals, Small Business and Professional Leadership Training. These forums will be offered by invite-only in order to maintain the integrity of the group and the specific nature of the training.
- And finally, the Business Connections Forum, the organization’s social platform, addresses the need for business professionals to build relationships with other professionals.
About the Forum Membership
Currently, 45% of the Forum is made up of business and professionals from the Hunt Valley and Cockeysville area. Further membership spreads into Baltimore City and County, Lutherville-Timonium, Towson, Owings Mills and the outer region (including Bel Air, Columbia, Finksburg, Dundalk, Parkton,and York, Pa.) Memberships include all professional levels as well as industries, such as financial institutions and firms, real estate, manufacturing and hospitality.
Investment by the Local Business Community
In order to fulfill the new mission of the Forum, the organization is prioritizing an expanded budget and calling for investment from the local business community.
“It’s important for the business community to step up in support to ensure these valuable resources are available,” said Bernie McLaughlin, president and CEO of Point Breeze Credit Union and Hunt Valley Business Forum board member. At the Annual Meeting, the Hunt Valley-based Point Breeze presented the Forum with a $5,000 donation to be used toward general operating funds.
History of the Hunt Valley Business Forum
The Forum was initially formed in 1990as an outgrowth of the Greater Hunt Valley Transportation Management Association. Following the extension of the light rail to the Hunt Valley Mall, this gave land developers and retailers the platform to discuss transportation problems of growth centers. The group was renamed the Hunt Valley Business Forum in 1994 and expanded its resources to educational roundtables that addressed areas of concern.
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