Leading the way in Anne Arundel

Arthur Ebersberger's business savvy, voluntarism praised

May 14, 2006|By CASSANDRA A. FORTIN | CASSANDRA A. FORTIN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Arthur Ebersberger has a larger-than-life presence in Anne Arundel County.

For a living, he's an insurance broker, but it's his crusade for the growth and development of Anne Arundel County that has earned him many accolades, including his most recent - an induction into the Comcast Business Hall of Fame of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce.

The four people chosen for the Hall of Fame, which was started last year, are selected on more than their business contributions, said Rick Morgan, a former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. "We look at their volunteer work as well as their participation on task forces," Morgan said.

The eight-member committee, which is headed by Penny Cartwell, a senior vice president at CommerceFirst Bank, suggested the names of the people thought to be worthy of the honor, and Ebersberger was one of four selected.

"Art has always been a leader in Anne Arundel County," Cartwell said. The group looked for people who have been involved in volunteer organizations as well as being a leader.

"Over the years, Art's been involved in every institution you can think of," Cartwell said.

His ventures include: chairman of Anne Arundel Health Services (2002-2005); Maryland Chamber of Commerce chairman (1999-2001); and Maryland Economic Development Commission (1994-1999).

Currently, the 59-year-old is chairman of Anne Arundel Community College and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee.

Other awards he has received include: CBIZ Insurance Services Inc. Top Casualty Property Producer Award in 2005; Anne Arundel County Business Leader of the Year, 2003; Anne Arundel Trade Council President's Award 1997; Small Business Advocate of the Year 1993; and life member of the Million Dollar Round Table for the past 31 years.

Ebersberger started in the business arena in 1968 after earning a bachelor's degree in marketing and management from Susquehanna University.

That same year, his father died, and he went to work at the family business, Ebersberger & Associates Inc.

He enlisted in the Navy, and his service included a one-year tour of duty from 1970 to 1971 in Vietnam. On his return to civilian life, he continued at his father's business and in 1985 he earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Loyola College.

Fifteen years later, he sold the family business to CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services of MD Inc., where he works as senior vice president.

Although each of his endeavors was important to him, he cited founding Leadership Anne Arundel in 1993 as the one that makes him the proudest.

"Since we started Leadership Anne Arundel, we've touched more than 700 people through the organization and put them on the right path to being future leaders," Ebersberger said.

But people in Anne Arundel County said he has done much more than that.

Kathleen Snyder, the president and chief executive of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, said Ebersberger held the chamber together before she became president.

"There was a six-month time period where the chamber didn't have a president, and things were very difficult," Snyder said. "During that time, Art held things together. He had a great understanding of what a chamber of commerce ought to be and how important it is to a community."

In addition, Ebersberger helped merge the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chambers of Commerce, Snyder said.

"His biggest contribution was getting small and medium businesses more involved with the chamber," Snyder said. Whether it's from the mountains of Tibet on a hunting trip or a meeting in a boardroom, Ebersberger is the model of a leader.

"He's always well-prepared for any effort he's involved with," Snyder said. "It doesn't matter if he's hunting or working."

Ebersberger is very engaged and engaging, regardless of what he's working on, said Martin L. "Chip" Doordan, president of Anne Arundel Medical Center.

"He's the type of person that, when he gets involved with a project, he gives it 110 percent," Doordan said.

Doordan noted among Ebersberger's most important achievements his involvement with the medical center's move to a new location and his involvement in the medical center's Vision 2010 project.

But overall, Doordan said, Ebersberger's ability to deal with most any situation sets him apart from others in the business. "Our business is not without its challenges," said Doordan. "We have to deal with the medical staff and costs of operation, ... but Art has a calmness about him. He never has a demeanor of panic or aggression."

Sandford Burns of Severna Park, who has known Ebersberger for more than 45 years, agreed. Burns got to know Ebersberger when they served in the Navy together, and both men were later involved with the Severna Park Jaycees. During that time, Burns, 62, became impressed with Ebersberger's charismatic business savvy.

He brings to the table all the experiences he has with both volunteer groups and financial institutions, Cartwell said.

"Art is such an involved individual," Burns said. "He has some of the best time-management skills I've ever seen. He never says no. He's extremely deserving of this honor and, overall, the community is better off because of him."

The others inducted into the Hall of Fame with Ebersberger include Thomas Baldwin of Reliable Contracting, based in Millersville; Becki Kurdle, a former planning and zoning officer; and Carl L. Hein Jr. of Hein Brothers Inc.

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