The head of Baltimore’s economic development agency is stepping down to join a community-building consulting firm founded by former Howard County executive Ken Ulman.
William H. Cole IV will begin as partner at Margrave Strategies in May.
Cole had worked as president and CEO of Baltimore Development Corp. since 2014.
“I’ve devoted my life to making Baltimore and the region better, and I believe that by joining Margrave, we will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of Marylanders by envisioning the communities and neighborhoods where they will work, live and play,” Cole said in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow neighborhoods and communities in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.”
During his time at Baltimore Development Corp., Cole helped create the Innovation Fund to attract businesses to Baltimore, managed the public approval process for the 200-plus-acre Port Covington redevelopment project and led the city’s efforts to expand and renovate the Baltimore Convention Center complex, as well as the redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course property. He also led business recovery efforts after the April 2015 unrest in the city through two programs, Business Recovery Loans and Storefront Recovery Grants.
“Bill has been a tremendous leader, promoting the City while growing jobs and investment during his time at BDC,” ex-officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a news release. “His energy and commitment to the city is unwavering. Even though he is leaving BDC, I know he will continue serve the citizens of Baltimore.”
The Baltimore Development Corp. board voted Monday to hire Colin D. Tarbert, currently the deputy chief of strategic alliances in the mayor’s office, to replace Cole.
“The BDC Board is grateful to Bill for his many years of service to the City of Baltimore. His tireless advocacy, leadership through challenging situations, and optimism for our City will be missed,” BDC Board Chairman Augie Chiasera said in a release. “At the same time, we know that Colin is the right person to lead us forward. He has worked closely with Bill for many years and has played an integral role in every major project. Colin simply knows how to get things done and we are very excited about the future of BDC.”
Ulman founded Margrave in 2014 with a goal to develop visionary plans for communities that leverage higher education, health care and entrepreneurialism to thrive in the 21st century.
“Bill brings a unique set of skills and experiences to Margrave,” Ulman said in a press release. “His deep understanding of economic development, job creation and investment, combined with a knowledge of higher education and state and local government, will enable Margrave to serve more anchor institutions and engage in more communities throughout Maryland.”
Before joining the Baltimore Development Corp., Cole was a member of the Baltimore City Council from 2007 to 2014 and worked as associate vice president of institutional advancement at the University of Baltimore for more than a decade. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1998 to 2002, and for six years as a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D).
Cole will work in a limited capacity on BDC priorities to provide continuity. Cole also will continue to serve as chairman of the Baltimore Hotel Corp. and Cecil Bank, according to a news release.
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