As the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce looks back on four decades of helping businesses grow, network and thrive — there is much to celebrate..
On Nov. 9, the chamber will celebrate its 40 year history with an anniversary gala at The Cove at Citron, at Quarry Lake at Greenspring, from 6 to 9 p.m. The nonprofit, membership-based organization plans to honor members, past presidents and former executive directors, and even talk about the present and future while toasting the past.
“We’re not only celebrating the chamber’s 40 years, we’re celebrating Pikesville’s businesses,” said Mark Pressman, the chamber’s current president. “It’s going to be a bit of a public reunion of sorts. We have a few people who are coming in from out of town, [and] others who have retired.”
At the gathering, leaders of the group will discuss what has been happening at the chamber and with business in general in Pikesville since the group’s inception in 1977. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and County Councilwoman Vicki Almond (D-2nd) will be special guests, and Baltimore author and Jmore columnist Michael Olesker will serve as a guest speaker.
Jessica Normington, the chamber’s executive director, said a video will be presented showcasing the group’s past four decades, along with snippets of photos and interviews.
Normington said the group wants to have as many past presidents and executive directors there as possible. In fact, some of the past presidents are helping with the planning, which has been going on for about a year.
The chamber came up with the idea for a gala last year and decided to form a committee. Pressman said the concept was enthusiastically embraced by members and the board of directors.
On its website, the chamber describes its mission as being “dedicated to the commercial, political and communal enhancement of Pikesville — a diverse and vibrant area that dates back to the early 19th century. As a membership-driven organization, we make a strong impact on our community. We help make connections. … Our goal is to ensure that Pikesville continues to be a premier place for businesses to thrive and residents to work, shop and live.”
The chamber is the recipient of the Maryland Small Business Week Administration’s “Chamber Challenge Award.” It also made the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2015 Top Chambers List.
Normington said the chamber already is selling tickets for the gala and hopes to attract between 100 and 150 people.
The chamber has worked with numerous individuals and businesses over the past four decades, a big reason that Normington said it has fared well and lasted so long.
“We’re only successful because of the businesses in Pikesville,” Normington said. “We’re only here because they’re still [thriving]. I think stability is really important, and Pikesville provides stability. I think that’s really important for a strong community.”
The group also will look at what can be done to benefit Pikesville businesses in the future. “We want to continue moving forward and providing support and resources for the business community,” Normington said.
Added Pressman: “Business has changed, and I think Pikesville is not an exception. The challenge for us at the chamber is the challenge for the business owners — helping them stay with the times.”
For one night, though, the chamber will both look back at what’s been done and look ahead to what it hopes to accomplish. “It’s going to be an evening of celebration,” Normington said.
Top photo: Jessica Normington and Mark Pressman of the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce hope to attract 100 to 150 people to the organization’s 40th anniversary gala. (Photo by Steve Ruark)
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