Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Leggett Names Steve Silverman To Direct Economic Development Department‏

Following is the press release from the Leggett administration.

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2009

Leggett Names Steve Silverman to Direct Economic Development Department

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced Steven A. Silverman of Silver Spring as his choice to head the County’s Department of Economic Development.

Since January 2007, Silverman, 54, has served in the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, as an assistant Attorney General, heading the Consumer Protection Division, and most recently, as Director of Aging, Healthcare and Special Projects.

“Retaining and expanding business investment and growth in Montgomery County is always important, and it is even more critical in these uncertain economic times,” said Leggett. “Montgomery County has not been immune from the economic uncertainty that has already impacted the entire nation.

“Still, our strengths as a County are enormous. These strengths provide good jobs paying good wages. They make possible and, at the same time, are strengthened by, our world-class school system and Montgomery College. They strengthen our tax base to make possible the delivery of critical services in public safety, transportation, and assist the most vulnerable in our midst, and more.

“Montgomery County cannot, however, rest on its laurels. We must continue to work to retain and grow businesses here in the county at the same time that we strengthen our programs aimed at small and minority businesses and reach out to attract investment and companies from across the nation and beyond. We are a leader in biotechnology, but to retain that position, the County must push toward the new horizons.

“Our Smart Growth Initiative is designed to meet the needs of the present and the future by bolstering future development in biotechnology to create the jobs – and the resulting tax revenue -- of tomorrow, while opening up thousands of transit-oriented housing units next to the Shady Grove Metro.

“Our outreach to foreign companies is centered on the very cutting edge sectors such as biotechnology and information technology that we are looking to strengthen here in Montgomery for the long-term.

“Our Green Economy Task Force is working to promote Montgomery County as a leader in the conception, production, and marketing of the green technologies of the future.

“Steve Silverman has the energy, intellect, and experience to take our Department of Economic Development to the next level – to work with me to help weather the challenges ahead and position this County and its businesses to come out of the downturn in a strong situation that builds for the future.

“As a former chair of the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee, he is fully versed on the whole range of issues, problems, and opportunities before us. He knows where we’ve been, where we are, and – most importantly – where we need to go.”

Silverman served as a member of the Montgomery County Council for two terms, from 1998 to 2006, serving as its president twice.

“I am very excited to be chosen for this position by my good friend Ike Leggett,” said Silverman. “I look forward to working side-by-side with him to advance our economic development efforts in these turbulent times. Much good work is being done -- and many more challenges lie ahead. I will work closely with the County Executive and with our county businesses – large and small – to protect what we have, take our strengths to the next level, and help build the tax base that makes possible our critical County programs in so many areas.”

Silverman received a B.A. from the American University (School of Government and Politics) and his J.D. from George Washington School of Law. He served as a co-chair of the Silver Spring Redevelopment Steering Committee (1998) which was instrumental in the revitalization of Silver Spring. Silverman served as chairman of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized for his work by numerous community and faith-based organizations.

Leggett is sending the nomination to the County Council this afternoon.

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Contact: Patrick Lacefield, 240-777-6507