BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Somerset County business and civic leaders will welcome representatives from the Howard County, Maryland Chamber of Commerce for an Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference from Sunday, Sept. 15th, to Tuesday, Sept. 17th..

The Howard County Chamber will bring 20 to 30 business and civic leaders along with County Executive Calvin Ball and elected and appointed officials. The purpose of the visit is to learn and study best practices in economic and community development, flood mitigation, and environmental stewardship, issues for which Somerset County has hands-on experience and is renowned for its history of success and progress.  

Howard County is held in high regard for progressive programs that have resulted in safe streets, highly ranked schools, pristine neighborhoods, and outstanding parks. The visit will help County leaders with the challenges of maintaining economic vitality and the economic growth that results from this positive reputation. Leaders anticipate that the Intercity Leadership Visit to Somerset County will provide an introduction to the best practices needed to prepare Howard County for the growth that is expected to come. 

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Somerset County was selected for the initial visit because of the progressive leadership of the public and private sectors working together and the numerous other demographics and characteristics that mirror those of Howard County.

Somerset County Freeholder Brian Gallagher, who will greet the visitors on Sunday, commented, “We’re honored to have Somerset County selected as Howard County’s inaugural intercity destination. This is a reflection of the excellent reputation that Somerset County enjoys not only in New Jersey but beyond our borders.”

Somerset County Business Partnership President/CEO Mike Kerwin added, “The leadership of the current and past Freeholders working in partnership with the private sector has positioned Somerset County as a national model for smart economic growth and planning. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts by the Howard County Chamber. We look forward to welcoming them to Somerset County and sharing best practices on how we can improve our communities”

The two and a half day agenda will include:

Sunday evening – Dinner at Savor, Somerville

            Welcome

            Speakers: SCBP President/CEO Mike Kerwin; Freeholder Brian Gallagher; Mike

Amorosa, Somerset County Administrator

Monday morning – Business Partnership Conference Room

            Revitalizing Downtown Somerville

            Speakers: Natalie Pinero, Director, Downtown Somerville Alliance (DSA); Colin Driver,

     Somerville Director of Economic Development; Mike Kerwin, DSA Board

     Member

            Transportation

            Speakers: Donna Allison, Executive Director, RideWise; Walter Lane, Director of

    Planning, Somerset County.

            Affordable Housing

            Speakers: Sharon Clark, Central Jersey Housing Resource Center; Walter Lane

Lunch – Duke Farms

            Environmental Sustainability

            Speaker: Michael Catania, Executive Director, Duke Farms

Monday Afternoon – Bound Brook Borough Hall

            Flood Mitigation & Life After the Storm

            Speakers: Bound Brook Mayor Bob Fazen; John Maddocks, Somerset County Economic

    Development

Dinner – Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn

            Fostering an Environment of Academic Achievement Amongst a Diverse Student Population

            Speaker: Roger A. Jinks, Interim Somerset County Superintendent of Schools, Chrys

Harttraft, Superintendent, Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools; Brian

Auger, Somerset County Library Administrator.

Tuesday Morning - Greenbrook Township Hall

            The Revitalization of Route 22 & Redevelopment of Washington Avenue

            Speaker: Kelly Cupit, Green Brook Administrator/Clerk

            TD Bank Ballpark

            Using Public Private Partnership to Spearhead Tourism

            Speakers: Patrick McVerry, General Manager Somerset Patriots; Jacqueline Morales,

    Somerset County Tourism;

            Improving Community Health & Well-Being Through Coalitions & Collaborations

            Speakers: Tony Cava, President, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset;

Serena Collado, RWJ University Hospital.

Information on the Howard Chamber visit is available by calling the Business Partnership at 908-218-4300. Business Partnership information and events may be found at www.scbp.org.