On Sunday, June 12, 2022, the MIDC celebrated both its 30th anniversary of fostering bilateral trade and economic development between the Maryland and Israel and Barry Bogage’s retirement after three decades of exemplary service as MIDC’s Executive Director. Lynn Shapiro Snyder, Partner, Epstein Becker & Green and Howard R. Feldman, Partner, Whiteford, Preston & Taylor, co-chaired the 30th Anniversary celebration. The event was hosted at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
The MIDC has been supported for 30 years by its “founding partners,” namely the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Maryland’s Department of Commerce and the Commercial Mission of the Embassy of Israel. Beth Goldsmith, Chair of The Associated, Mike Gill, Secretary of the Department of Commerce, and Natalie Gutman Chen, the Israeli Embassy’s economic minister, represented the “founding partners” and congratulated the MIDC on its 30th Anniversary as well as Barry for his outstanding contributions.
Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford keynoted the 30th. In 2020, the Lt. Governor traveled to Israel with the MIDC and spoke at Israel’s CyberTech Conference. The Lt. Governor recognized the importance of the MIDC in bringing Israeli businesses and technology to the State of Maryland. Maryland and Israel have been partners in innovation with shared strengths in life sciences, cybersecurity and other high-tech industries. Both Maryland and Israel have thrived these past 30 years.
Jennifer Roby, Vice President of Finance, ELTA North America, shared its 10-year history and growth in Maryland and how the MIDC was instrumental in bringing ELTA Systems, a major Israeli defense company specializing in radar development, to Maryland. The MIDC and Barry helped ELTA explore site locations, business opportunities in Maryland, and introduced ELTA executives to Maryland’s elected leaders and economic development officials. ELTA recently brought to Maryland the first of its kind radars that attach to military vehicles which can provide 360° surveillance of its surroundings at convoy speeds and soon will be building in Maryland new radar systems and anticipate doubling its employee headcount over the next few years.
A highlight of the 30th anniversary was the gathering of the MIDC’s founders and past chairs. Marty Waxman, who then worked at The Associated Jewish Federation in 1992, organized the search committee which was responsible for hiring Barry. Founders included the late Marvin Schapiro, represented at the event by his family: Mark and Lorraine Schapiro, JM Schapiro and Dara Schnee. Hanan Sibel, MIDC’s Founding Chair, Roger Lipitz, co-founder and past MIDC chairs of the board, Abba Poliakoff and Rob Frier were recognized and congratulated for their leadership. Steve Dubin, MIDC Past Chair, was unable to attend. Alvin Katz, outgoing MIDC Chair, and David Kuntz, incoming MIDC Chair recognized their outstanding leadership and continued support of the MIDC as well as the family of Marvin Schapiro.
Alvin Katz recognized Barry’s significant accomplishments during his tenure and announced the creation of the Barry Bogage Maryland/Israel Business Development Endowment Fund that will allow the MIDC to provide support to Israeli and Maryland companies and entrepreneurs seeking to participate in MIDC programs.
We also welcomed David Speer, the MIDC’s new Executive Director, and David Kuntz, the organization’s incoming Chair of the Board. We look to the future with excitement and will continue to build on past successes and grow business in Maryland and Israel while engaging the business community, elected officials and expanding MIDC’s volunteer base.
United Airlines generously donated two round trip DCA to Tel Aviv tickets to Israel recognizing the MIDC’s role in bringing business opportunities to the region. Two lucky MIDC members won the tickets.