By Ana Faguy
Montgomery County, in all its guises, came out for the 58th annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce dinner at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and County Conference Center Tuesday night.
Local government officials, business leaders and educators were there to celebrate the 2017 award recipients and witness the swearing-in of the chamber’s new board of directors. With an election year ramping up, the chamber is one of many interest groups that candidates are courting.
Jim Young, vice president of Corporate Facilities, Services and Real Estate at Marriott International and immediate past chairman of the chamber, said he was looking forward to passing the torch to his successor. He said that one of his proudest moments of his tenure was seeing the “handful of bills pass that we supported.”
The lineup of speakers included the energetic host, chamber President and CEO Gigi Godwin, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D), County Executive Ike Leggett (D), Jimmy Rhee, the special secretary of Small, Minority, & Women Business Affairs under Gov. Larry Hogan (R), and the five award recipients and their respective presenters.
One of the louder applause lines of the evening came when Raskin said, “This is an inauguration we can all get behind,” when speaking about the recently sworn-in chairman Dusty Rood, the president of Rodgers Consulting, a land use and planning firm.
DeRionne Pollard, president of Montgomery College, accepted the Public Sector Partner of the Year Award on behalf of the college, and thanked businesses for trusting MC to educate the county’s workforce.
Norman Augustine, retired chairman & CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., accepted the award for Business Advocate of the Year. His remarks also touched on jobs and employers.
“Quality jobs don’t just happen,” Augustine said. “[You] can’t be for jobs and against employers.”
The full list of award recipients and presenters follows:
David Nguyen – Founder and CEO, United Solutions, LLC
Presented by: Jim Young, MCCC chairman of the board
Legislator of the Year
Del. Anne Kaiser – Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee
Presented by: P.J. Hogan, former state senator and senior vice president, Cornerstone Government Affairs
Public Sector Partner of the Year
Montgomery College, Accepted by DeRionne Pollard, president
Presented by: Jim Young, vice president, Corporate Facilities Services and Real Estate, Marriott International, Inc.
Business Advocate of the Year
Norman Augustine, Retired Chairman & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Presented by: Lawrence Duncan, III, vice president, Federal & State Government Relations & PAC Affairs, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Visionary of the Year
United Therapeutics Corporation, accepted by Martine Rothblatt, chairwoman & CEO
Presented by: Timothy Regan, president and CEO, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company