Five years ago, Donna Jacobs was an associate attorney with the law firm of Semmes Bowen & Semmes. Today the 1981 Georgetown University Law School graduate is a partner in the firm.
As a partner, Ms. Jacobs supervises attorneys, develops and brings in new clients and has certain administrative duties. The position also tends to make Ms. Jacobs more visible in the community.
"I've been in Baltimore for 10 years. I have a concern for the city. I'm more involved in it. It's home now. I am with the direction this city has taken over the last five years in terms of minority participation and leadership.
"I don't cut off social issues, humanitarian interests and people. I am able to incorporate a lot of different elements of life. I have not forgotten my roots, or the people who have helped and encouraged me along the way.
"I just want to continue building a practice here that I am in control of and enjoy developing."
Maryland National Bank has undergone a lot of changes over the past five years, and as a result, so has Jamilla Colbert.
Five years ago she was manager of retail operations. Now she is project manager of the checking and savings consolidation program supporting the merger between American Securities and MNB.
"I was predominantly a line manager," says Ms. Colbert, "handling numerous departments, people and functions, meeting the challenges of that day. Now I interface with the different institutions we've merged with, trying to bring the culture, systems and people together." Ms. Colbert has been with MNB for 25 years.
FRANK PERKINS JR.
Frank Perkins Jr. was advanced senior auditor at Crown Central Petroleum Corporation five years ago. He is now manager of retail auditing, responsible for auditing more than 500 retail outlets.
"Two years ago we didn't have a retail audit group, so I set up one from scratch, my objective being to build an effective retail auditing function," he says.
The next advancement for Mr. Perkins would be to director of the internal auditing group.
Making a living by making money for people is what Nate Chapman still loves to do.
Except now he's doing it for himself.
Five years ago he was an investment representative for Alex Brown & Sons Investment Brokerage. Shortly thereafter he decided to branch out on his own.
Today he owns Chapman Company Investment Brokerage.
It was a dream come true, but with five years behind him, Mr. Chapman's horizon has expanded.
"In the last five years my world has opened up to what I think is possible. I can see my way to doing the $271 million in business that Alex Brown does. Once you open branches around the country, Chicago, Dallas, you start thinking about Germany."
Some of the changes in the business world over the last five years have also influenced Mr. Chapman's thinking.
"Five years ago Reggie Lewis hadn't taken over Beatrice Foods. No black had ever done anything like that. So now I believe that I can. Five years ago no black owned a bottling franchise. Now a number of people are involved in this, including Dr. J and Magic Johnson."
Making money is a clear measurement of success, or that you've done a good job, according to Mr. Chapman.
"It's straightforward and I like that. This is like running track. First one crosses the finish line wins." The Chapman Company employs 41 people.
Five years ago, Ed Williams was a 28-year-old assistant vice president at USF&G. He was responsible for coordinating all financial statements for the company and its subsidiaries.
Now he is senior vice president of the Diversified Investment Group, handling the disposal of certain investments and subsidiaries USF&G made during its diversification efforts.
Between then and now, Mr. Williams received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.
"I feel challenged," Mr. Williams says. "I hope to make a difference in the process and not just shuffle papers from one side of the desk to the other."