Mike Gill kicks off Shore Economic Development Talks
WYE MILLS — Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill kicked off the inaugural Shore Economic Development (SED) Talks at Chesapeake College Friday morning.
SED featured six speakers offering insights, trends, success stories and business strategies relevant to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Gill’s speech, “Growing Maryland’s Economy,” focused on the importance of keeping a successful business as providing on where the state excels.
“I’m hoping (guests) reflect on the positive things that are taking place in their area of focus, and they build on those strengths,” said Gill. “If they face obstacles, they must plan to solve with the opportunities that are out there whether building on manufacturing or agriculture. We have a great team of people at commerce that work with jurisdictions.”
Gill said that Maryland is open for business with the state ranked first with the percentage of employed PhD’s and engineers and in vaccine development. In 2016, Bloomberg ranked Maryland as the fifth most innovative state.
Maryland was ranked second in opportunity, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2018; and in that same year, WalletHub ranked Maryland as the second most educated state with top ranked schools. Institutions of higher learning including the University of Maryland, the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Mar yland Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins University as the highest ranked schools in the nation.
Maryland is also the eastern corridor between Atlanta and Boston. The Port of Baltimore is the nation’s leading Roll On/Roll Off port. It is served by two Class I freight rail lines, and offers immediate access to I-95 and I-70, the major thoroughfares to points north, south and west. The Port of Baltimore handled
10.7 million tons of general cargo in 2017.
Maryland is also home to
100 of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. including Under Armour and PANDORA Jewelry. There are 20 military facilities and more than 60 federal agencies including the FDA, NASA and National Institute of Health.
In order to maintain the high level of success, Gill said that businesses must have passion, good attitude and culture to keep moving forward. He also stated that the formula for greatness included building on strength.
“The thing that dawned on me the most was customers, and how to keep them happy, especially when they give you business,” said Gill. “If you do a good enough job, you will carry a successful business. It goes to show that you have a lot of talent, but you have to have the right culture to be able to move things forward. I advise to create a culture of yes.”
Secretary Gill is a business leader with four decades of experience as an entrepreneur, a technology executive, an investment banker and public servant. He was tapped by Governor Larry Hogan to lead the Maryland Department of Commerce, formerly the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, in January 2015.
Prior to his appointment, Mike Gill led Evergreen Advisors, an investment bank, as chairman and principal. Previously, Gill founded Hoyt Capital, an investment and advisory firm serving startups and growth companies.
Gill was also a founder of First Page, which was acquired by Metrocall; served as chairman of Curtis Engine, a Baltimore power generator company; and was chairman of Bluefire Security Technologies, a mobile cybersecurity developer, from 2006 to 2008. In 1984, Gill founded AMERICOM, a Baltimore-based provider of cellular products and services to businesses in the area. Under Gill’s leadership, AMERICOM expanded nationwide with more than 1,200 team members. He started his career with IBM and held a number of positions in sales and marketing. He then became Director of Data Systems in the mid-Atlantic region for Ernst & Young.
Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill kicked off the conference that featured dynamic speakers offering insights, trends, success stories, and business strategies relevant to Maryland’s Eastern Shore.