US Wind, one of two companies poised to bring wind energy development to federal waters off Ocean City, has hired three staffers to lead outreach to and development of minority, women-owned, and small businesses in the state.
The team of of Minority Business Enterprise participation and compliance experts will aid the company’s business development program, promoting opportunities for minority-owned and small businesses in the growing offshore wind industry.
Maynard Smith is joining US Wind as Maryland business engagement manager. Smith, who worked to ensure that the MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino not only met but exceeded Maryland’s MBE requirements, has also worked on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project and the 2020 Black Farmers Cooperative.
Renee Cooper will be the company’s MBE program compliance manager. She is the former director of operations and process improvement for the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise.
Mike Hill brings more than 40 years of professional engineering experience to his role as small business development manager for US Wind. Hill worked with the Maryland Energy Administration to provide offshore wind training for minority small businesses and also worked alongside Smith on the MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino and Woodrow Wilson Bridge projects.
“US Wind understands that a successful offshore wind project must not only result in the development of a new renewable energy resource for the region but must also provide the basis for meaningful expansion of economic activity, especially in underserved communities,” said Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO. “The strength and depth of this team’s knowledge, experience, and relationships will be instrumental in ensuring that Maryland’s minority-owned businesses are afforded the greatest opportunity to participate in the development of our projects.”
US Wind has recently conducted virtual briefings for the Maryland-Washington Minority Companies Association and the Governor’s Office of Small Business, Minority, Women Business Affairs to provide an overview of the company, project updates, and opportunities for small, minority, and women-owned businesses to participate in US Wind’s two proposed offshore wind projects, and Sparrows Point Steel, a steel plant the company hopes to open at the Tradepoint Atlantic industrial development in Baltimore County. An upcoming briefing for the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council is also being developed.