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About Commerce

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How can we help?

Are you a new or existing business looking for help to retain workers or expand, or branch out internationally? Are you a company considering Maryland as a location? The Maryland Department of Commerce is here to help.

As the state's primary economic development agency, we stimulate private investment and create jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department also promotes the state's many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism.

Since 2010, Maryland Commerce has assisted nearly 4,000 small businesses and organizations; helped create or retain 40,000 jobs, and leveraged nearly $3 billion in private investment. Companies such as Amazon, Discovery Communications, Johns Hopkins Medical, Legg Mason, Millennial Media, Under Armour and Volvo Powertrain have recently located or expanded in Maryland.

​Key Services

  • Building and site location assistance
  • Finance programs, tax credits and training grants
  • Business advocacy and consulting
  • Technology transfer
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Export consulting and marketing
  • Tradeshow and conference partnership

How we're organized

Ben Wu Mike Gill Commerce Secretary Mike Gill (left) leads the department with 40 years of business experience as an entrepreneur, veteran of large technology firms and public servant. He was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in January 2015.​​ Read his bio​ to learn more. 

Benjamin H. Wu (right), an internationally recognized technology policy expert with more than 25 years of experience and management leadership, serves as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. 

Greg Derwart Managing Director Greg Derwart​ (right) ​oversees the agency's Office of Administration and Technology. 

One of 20 agencies within Maryland's Executive Branch, the agency is ​structured as follows:

  • Division of Business and Industry Sector Development
  • Division of Marketing & Communications
  • Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts

The Agency also has 13 public boards and commissions that provide recommendations and direction to Commerce. These boards focus on targeted groups and industry sectors such as small business, life sciences, federal facilities and manufacturing. They serve as a critical link to let the governor and our agency know the issues Maryland businesses are facing — and the best way to solve them.

Check out this high-level organization chart​ to see how we're structured.​​

Quick Contacts

  • Greg Derw​art - Managing Director, Office of Administration & Technology | 410-767-6309
  • Policy & Government Affairs - Rhonda Ray​, Director | 410-767-6314

Division of Business and Industry Sector Development

Steve PenningtonThe Division of Business and Industry Sector Development, led by Managing Director ​Steve Pennington​ (right), focuses on job development and deals primarily with business assistance, retention and attraction. If you're a business looking to grow or retain employees, check with this team to see if financing and incentive-based solutions are available for economic development projects.

Business and Industry Sector Development team membe​​​​rs foster strong relationships with the state's federal facilities, universities and military installations, making it easier for staff to assist you. Regional field staff, small business, biohealth technology, military & federal affairs, strategic and finance teams work collaboratively with partners at all levels to provide financial, counseling and technical assistance to businesses.

The division also helps to export your products and services to international markets and initiate or expand overseas marketing.

Quick Contacts

  • Steve Pennington​ - Managing Director, Business & Industry Sector Development | 410-767-6662
  • BioHealth Technology - Judy Costello​, Director | 240​-314-6171​
  • Business Development - Jayson Knott, Program Director | 410-767-6978
  • Finance Programs - Gregory Cole, Program Director | 410-767-6353
  • International Investment and Trade - Signe Pringle, Program Director | 410-​767-3542
  • Military and Federal ​​Affairs - J. Michael Hayes, Program Director | 410-767-2988
  • Small Business - Sean McEvoy | Director | 410-767-5675
  • Site Location - Jerry Sanford | Director | 410-767-0994
  • Strategic Industries and Innovation - Roger Venezia, Acting Director | 410-767-6394

Regional Specialists

The Regional Growth and Retention team is based geographically to assist businesses in every corner of the state. This team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals provides easy access to Commerce programs and services wherever your business is located. Our regional business development reps assist companies of all sizes seeking to expand their markets, their workforce or physical expansions within the state. They can also assist with a broad range of business needs, from identifying sources of funding, customer/supplier connections and networking, to accessing Commerce programs and resources, workforce and technical resources.

Contact a Maryland Commerce Business Development Representative in your area:

  • Heather Gramm, Director, Regional Growth and Retention - Frederick, Montgomery, Garrett, Allegany & Washington​ | 410-767-6804
  • Tim Murphy - Carroll, Howard & Anne Arundel | 410-767-0512
  • Tammy Edwards - Baltimore, Harford & Cecil | 410-767-8833
  • Faye Njaka - Baltimore City & Prince George's | 410-767-6791
  • Mindie Burgoyne - Queen Anne's, Talbot, Kent, Caroline & Dorchester | 410-718-0094
  • Steve Wall - Calvert, Charles & St Mary's | 301-274-9138

Division of Marketing & Communications

Allison SkipperThe Division of Marketing & Communications (DMC), led by Managing Director​ Allison ​Skipper Mayer​ (right), serves as the voice of the Maryland Open for Business campaign, communicating the state's competitive business advantages, assets and quality of life.

Maryland businesses have a lot of great stories to tell, so we take those successful stories and share them through our many channels, using digital marketing, media relations, publications, advertising and research to market Maryland's business community. The team also plans events and tradeshows and works closely with our business development team to promote Maryland's key strengths.

The division is committed to giving you the insight, resources, publications and online tools that you need to grow your business in Maryland. Stay on top of state business news and information by subscribing to the MDBizNews blog and the Bu​siness Pulse​ monthly email newsletter.

Quick Contacts

Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts  

​The Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts promotes Maryland's quality of life and all the fun stuff that Maryland offers in order to attract, create and retain jobs in the tourism and creative industries.

If you're an artist or arts organization looking for technical and financial assistance and incentives, a potential tourism partner or a film production company looking for assistance, check out the numbers and websites below.  

Quick Contacts