Harford official to market area in new post

Economic development chief will join partnership

December 07, 2005|By JUSTIN FENTON | JUSTIN FENTON,SUN REPORTER

Harford County's top economic development official, who helped land thousands of jobs for Aberdeen Proving Ground, will take a new post next month directing the effort to market a region about to be transformed by the influx of defense workers and residents.

J. Thomas Sadowski will join the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, a public-private partnership, as executive vice president. He will oversee the organization's information technology/defense and financial services.

"We're asking him to lead the charge," said Christian S. Johansson, chairman and chief executive of the alliance. "He's someone who knows the region and can work across districts to make this a truly regional effort."

The base realignment and closure process - known as BRAC - is expected to spin more than 11,000 government jobs to Fort Meade and the proving ground over the next decade.

Many more private contractor positions will also be added. Estimates, which seem to change by the week, put the total at 60,000 new jobs statewide.

As with the effort to bring the jobs to Maryland's military bases and surrounding areas, officials at all levels of government are finding that there will be much overlap in the planning process.

To that effect, Sadowski's new position will keep him active with Harford as he steps into the regional spotlight. He will retain his position as head of a BRAC task force appointed by County Executive David R. Craig last month.

He previously worked with the Economic Alliance as a member of its advisory board, which is made up of economic development directors from surrounding counties.

Sadowski, 39, whose background is in real estate and investment banking, joined Harford County in 1999 after working for Baltimore County as a business development representative. In 2001, he was named one of the Baltimore Business Journal's "Top 40 Leaders Under 40." He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a degree in political science and a certificate in public administration and policy and resides in Jarrettsville with his wife and two sons.

During his tenure, the county coordinated a $300 million enhanced-use lease project at the proving ground with developer Opus East and guided the revision of development regulations for U.S. 40, which helped lead to the $200 million Water's Edge Corporate Campus in Belcamp.

He also helped land the Higher Education and Applied Technology (HEAT) research and development center in Aberdeen - which includes the Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute, a national nonprofit research company.

"Coming from Baltimore County, Harford was increasingly becoming a competitor," Sadowski said. "You saw the opportunities with all the waterfront and the infrastructure, and the huge economic asset in Aberdeen Proving Ground. The possibilities were endless."

The region's leaders have come together to see the BRAC development through. Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties have undertaken a branding effort for the U.S. 40 corridor, unveiling a logo dubbing it the "Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor."

And a Web site - APG Maryland at the Ready - offers sponsorship opportunities that range from $55 a month to $10,000 a year.

Last month, the alliance - formerly the Greater Baltimore Alliance - sent politicians, business leaders and university representatives to Boston to market Baltimore's new biotechnology parks to defense and life science-minded companies. BRAC-related trips are being planned for next year.

In Harford, Sadowski, who had a salary of $100,693, will be replaced on an interim basis by Denise B. Carnaggio, a technology development manager, Craig said.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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