3 officials setting sail to 'entice' businesses Chicago reception to be on Pride II

August 10, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy will be on the Pride of Baltimore II in Chicago this evening, trying to lure business to Carroll.

"They'll be mingling with people we need to mingle with to inspire some development here," said Commissioner Donald I. Dell, who stayed home because he has too many other trips on his schedule.

William E. Jenne, administrator of the county's Office of Economic Development, also will be on board.

The Carroll officials will attend a reception on the ship from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with at least 60 other guests, including a consultant for a Midwest food distributor considering locating in Carroll.

The commissioners said they could not reveal details about the company. "Enticing" new businesses is "a delicate matter," Mr. Lippy said.

"They are interested in establishing an East Coast operation. It would be a real significant project for Carroll County," Mr. Jenne said.

Mr. Lippy said they also will talk with another company interested in Carroll. "Time is of the essence," and it's important that state officials be involved in conversations with company representatives, he said. He would not give any details about the company.

Mr. Jenne said he also set up appointments to talk with officials from six other companies that may be interested in locating in Carroll.

In addition, he and the commissioners will talk with companies invited by officials from the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development, which will sponsor the reception, he said.

DEED spokeswoman Marilyn Corbett said she could not reveal the names of the companies invited.

Many of the people on board will be consultants who scout locations for Midwest companies, he said.

"It will enable us to meet with a lot of people who could bring business to Carroll County," Mr. Jenne said. "I'm thrilled our county commissioners will take an active role in this."

Business representatives like to see that elected officials are interested in economic development efforts, Mrs. Gouge said.

Mr. Jenne and Eileen Shields, Carroll's economic development marketing manager, attended a similar reception when the Pride docked in New York City in June 1992.

Mr. Jenne said he has kept in touch with contacts he made at that reception. Establishing a rapport with company representatives brings Carroll "one step closer to a business prospect," he said.

Mrs. Gouge said she hopes to meet with some company representatives off the ship. Some Carroll companies have "sister" operations in Chicago, she said.

DEED has sponsored receptions on the Pride in Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto this year, Ms. Corbett said. The 160-foot schooner travels the world promoting Maryland.

"The Pride gives us extra visibility. It gets so much attention and so much respect," she said.

Washington and Calvert counties also will have representatives on the Pride of Baltimore tonight, Ms. Corbett said.

Mr. Lippy said he will pay his own expenses for the trip. He and his wife, Mabel, plan to stay in Chicago until Thursday evening to see some sights.

The county will pay expenses for Mrs. Gouge and Mr. Jenne, which are estimated at about $350 each. Both are staying in Chicago tonight.

The trip was not listed on the commissioners' weekly agenda, which was distributed to the news media Friday. Yesterday morning, Mrs. Gouge was reluctant to say where she and Mr. Lippy were going. A news release was issued late yesterday afternoon after a reporter began asking about the trip.

Mrs. Gouge said she did not know why the trip was not on the agenda. She said she did not want to talk about the trip without consulting Mr. Lippy.

This is the second trip to Chicago in three weeks for Mrs. Gouge and Mr. Lippy. All three county commissioners were there July 16-20 for a National Association of Counties convention.

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