Showing posts with label Rockville Chamber of Commerce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockville Chamber of Commerce. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Rockville mayor to discuss State of the City September 21

Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton will participate in a discussion of the State of the City tomorrow morning, Thursday, September 21, 2023, at 9:00 AM at Glenview Mansion at 603 Edmonston Drive in Rockville. The discussion is being hosted by the Greater Rockville Chamber of Commerce. Brian Barkley, public policy chair for the Chamber, will lead the discussion and ask questions. Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Rockville's Marstudio named Business of the Year

Rockville branding and marketing firm Marstudio has a prominent location on MD 355 by Rockville Town Square. It now has the title of "Business of the Year," as well. The Rockville Chamber of Commerce named Marstudio business of the year at its annual Rockstar Awards ceremony at the Manor Country Club.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Rockville Chamber of Commerce names new CEO

A business and advertising executive who got her start at ESPN in 1979 is the new CEO of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce. Marji Graf will be moving to Rockville to take the reins of the growing business group from outgoing CEO Michelle Day.

Graf, who has lived in Vermont for last two decades, has been the CEO of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce for the last 10 years. She also has experience as the owner of two businesses herself over the years. Graf will officially take leadership of the Rockville Chamber on July 2.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rockville Chamber of Commerce CEO resigns

Rockville Chamber of Commerce CEO Michelle Day has announced her resignation, effective June 30, 2018. Day said she and her husband have made the decision to relocate to Atlanta, to be closer to family. She will remain on board to help find a successor, and to assist in the transition.

Under Day's leadership, the Chamber surpassed 300 members and took on greater visibility at meetings and events around town.

“Being President & CEO of the Rockville Chamber has been the greatest opportunity for me professionally, and I am leaving with very mixed emotions," Day said in a statement. "It has been an honor and privilege working with our membership, the community, elected officials and fantastic Board of Directors.”

Annemarie Agnew, board chair, praised Day's tenure as CEO. “Michelle has taken the chamber to the next level the past few years. Her energy and enthusiasm for Rockville have propelled the organization to unprecedented growth. We understand and support her decision, and are delighted that we have time to continue the good work with her!”

Are you CEO material, or do you know someone who is? Head to the webpage for the replacement search.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rockville Rewards card helps non-profits earn almost $29,000 in 1st quarter

Non-profits selling the Rockville Rewards card earned almost $29,000 in the 1st quarter, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday. The card is a program of the Chamber, aided by a grant from the City of Rockville, that allows non-profits to sell the card, and consumers who buy one to save money. In the process, the card also encourages cardholders to spend their money at Rockville businesses, as that is where the savings are found.

The Richard Montgomery Athletic Club led all nonprofits in fundraising, taking in $18,000 dollars since card sales began August 1. The cash boost will help the school's athletic programs close a $150,000 funding gap between what they need, and what Montgomery County Public Schools has allocated to them.

Other nonprofits selling the card have used the 100% proceeds to fund scholarships, house the homeless, and provide free medical care.

Cards cost $25, and will be valid until August 31, 2017 at more than 135 businesses. For more information, visit the official Rockville Rewards card website.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Dawn Crafton Dance Connection opens in Rockville (Photos)

The first visitors to
Dawn Crafton Dance Connection
enter moments after the
ribbon cutting; note the
boatload of trophies high above
the reception desk
Dawn Crafton Dance Connection, the newest tenant at Rockville Town Square, officially opened its doors yesterday evening. A dance performance by students went forward as planned, despite a passing storm.
Rockville Chamber of Commerce
director Ed Harrington (John Marshall Bank)
and the Chamber's
President/CEO Michelle Day
Then city and Rockville Chamber of Commerce officials helped cut the ribbon before a large crowd that had jammed onto the sidewalk on Gibbs Street. After the ribbon cutting, it took several minutes for the many visitors to stream into the newly-revealed lobby and studios for tours and free lessons.

For more information, or to register for classes, visit their website.

Dawn Crafton Dance Connection
152 Gibbs Street

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Rockville Chamber of Commerce to host Community Fun Day on June 26

The Rockville Chamber of Commerce will host its first annual Community Fun Day on Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Rockville Senior Center at 1150 Carnation Drive.

Get ready to meet local businesses, while kids enjoy games and activities. They'll also be able to see police and fire vehicles and meet the first responders who use them. Everyone will enjoy free BBQ.

The event will go forward rain or shine, as the Senior Center has extensive indoor facilities that can be used if necessary. Donations for the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department are not required, but will be welcomed at the event.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Southlawn business owners remain wary of industrial area study in Rockville

Business owners whose enterprises are located within the Southlawn industrial area, and in other currently-industrial parts of Rockville, are wary of the motives behind the Southlawn Industrial Area Feasibility Study now underway. Those concerns were expressed by some who attended the third public meeting on the study last night, at the Lincoln Park Community Center.

The study, which was supposed to have occurred years ago, was resurrected after a dust-up over a proposed self-storage facility next to Maryvale Elementary School in East Rockville. Residents protested, and the Mayor and Council ultimately voted to ban self-storage facilities within 250' of schools citywide.

That vote was "a very dangerous precedent," Rockville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michelle Day said at last night's meeting. The ban now has industrial businesses citywide spooked that they will be next, Day said. Along with real estate redevelopment pressures, the sense that industrial is on the way out was palpable among some business owners who attended the meeting.
A business owner (far left) comments on
the Southlawn Industrial Area Study
last night in Rockville
"Where are the industrial businesses going to go, besides Frederick," the owner of an auto repair shop not far from Southlawn asked. Before moving to Rockville, he recalled, "I had an auto repair shop by White Flint. I paid $3000 rent" per month. The repair shop that took it over when he moved is now "paying $6000. Bullying somebody out because, 'I can make more money.' I know, because that's what they have done."

Susan Swift, Planning and Zoning Director for the City of Rockville, said "nothing's being proposed yet. These are facts and findings so we can move forward. There may be that nothing in these plans change; there may be a lot that changes. But we're not trying to pit one use against another. We really are trying to benefit everybody."

Residents said they didn't want the businesses to leave, either. One who was instrumental in getting the study revived said "I'm totally fine with [industrial businesses] existing. It's part of my community. I get my car repaired there."

Another resident noted that the residential neighborhoods in Lincoln Park and East Rockville were actually there before the Southlawn industrial area. But, she added, "I don't think the purpose of this is making change. It's so we can co-exist."

Brigitta Mullican, a candidate for Rockville City Council, said "it's important to indicate to business owners that this plan is not about pushing them out."

A landowner in Southlawn said there is far more demand for the warehouse space he currently offers to his tenants than for office space.

The fate of the industrial area will indeed partly be determined by the real estate market, which was a major focus of last night's study update.

Consulting firm VHB did a more detailed study of the market since the last meeting in June. VHB's Nancy Fox noted that the vacancy rate in the Southlawn industrial area had actually increased to 16% in the second quarter this year. Southlawn industrial rents are higher than those in industrial sites in the northern part of the county and beyond. But they are lower than those in the two industrial submarkets it straddles in Rockville.

Considering what other land uses might work in Southlawn did not turn up many promising alternatives. There is already too much vacant suburban office space for this to be an appealing location to build any more, Fox said. Retail is performing better around Southlawn, however, she said. The retail vacancy rate is 5.4% within a 3 mile radius of the study area, and 6.6% along the Gude Drive corridor. By comparison, the County's moribund office market has a 15% vacancy rate.

What kind of tenants might want to redevelop or repurpose industrial sites in Southlawn? Fox said gyms, recreational space, showrooms, retail warehouse outlet stores, biotech companies and business incubators all currently find such sites appealing. Not only do they need features such as high ceilings, space, and loading facilities, but the rents are far lower than in traditional commercial space.

VHB's Paul Mayer said the team has reached a few preliminary conclusions at this point, while stressing they won't make final conclusions and proposals before running them by the public for feedback:

  • Expanding land-use types is worthy of study, but not very optimistic
  • The current industrial uses have value both for residents, and the region as a whole
  • Better dialogue is needed between industrial businesses and nearby civic associations
  • Traffic calming measures are needed
  • But there is "limited ability to change traffic patterns" on public streets
Mayer said the next meeting will be in mid-to-late October, and that VHB will have completed a traffic study by then. It couldn't be done earlier, he explained, because school was not in session and that would have generated inaccurate traffic volumes.