Interviews with the 2015 EY Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists
Offit Kurman and Citybizlist would like to congratulate the 2015 finalists nominated for the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Maryland. Comprised of the region’s outstanding and innovative business leaders, this diverse group of entrepreneurs represents the state’s present and future. Winners will be announced at gala event Thursday, June 25, 2015 at The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.
Nick Miller, CEO of Parking Panda
Nick Miller is the co-founder and CEO of Parking Panda, a parking directory and reservation service. Parking Panda allows users to find, reserve, and pay for parking in over 40 cities and airports across the U.S. The app has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Mashable, and more.
Wanda Smith, Founder and CEO of Symphony Placements
Wanda Smith is the founder and CEO of Symphony Placements, a full-service staffing firm in the Baltimore Metro area. Service areas Symphony fills include accounting, legal, human resources, and administration. In 2014, the company was listed on the Inc. 5000, which ranks the fastest growing private companies in America.
Robert Wallace, Founder and CEO of BITHGROUP Technologies
Robert Wallace is the founder and CEO of BITHGROUP Technologies, an information technology consulting and innovation firm. BITHGROUP provides implementation services, technical knowledge, and project management support on an organization-wide scale. As a certified minority business enterprise (MBE), BITHGROUP takes an active role in advocating for inclusion in its industry and launching philanthropic efforts through the financing of humanitarian projects in the United States and abroad. Robert and his team have earned numerous honors and recognition such as the Daily Record Innovator of the Year Award (2010), the Baltimore Mayor’s Business Recognition Award (2009), and Maryland's Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award (2009).
Bob Graybill, President and CEO of FMS Solutions
Robert Graybill is the president and CEO of FMS Solutions, a service and IT provider to the independent grocery industry throughout North America and northern South America. With offices across the continent and in India and Central Asia, FMS combines industry-leading technology and best practices to serve clients through what it calls a “Decision Support Suite.” This September the company will host the Financial Management & Technology Conference, co-presented by the National Grocers Association, which officially endorses FMS.
Thad Bench, CEO of Benchworks, Inc
Thad Bench is the president and creative director of Benchworks, a marketing and branding firm located in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Benchworks provides creative services, PR, product launch, production, and other support solutions to clients ranging from mid-sized organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Occupying 44,000 square feet of warehouse and fulfillment space, Benchworks is able to meet the various needs of billion-dollar brands, and is among the top 1% of marketing firms nationally in terms of revenue. The agency’s clients include Chrysler, Aramark, Pfizer, popchips, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Ed Callahan and Matt Doud , Creative Director and President of Planit
Ed Callahan and Matt Doud are the creative director and president, respectively, of Planit, an advertising and marketing communications agency the two founded in 1994. Planit’s offerings comprise three service groups—Strategic Services, Creative Services, and Client Services—that combine to meet clients’ challenges through a multidisciplinary perspective and no-limits creative approach. Planit’s clients include McCormick, Royal Building Products, NPR, Universal Music Group, Acura, and Under Armour.
John Martindale, CEO of Brothers Services Company
John Martindale is the CEO of Brothers Services Company, a residential construction firm specializing in home remodeling in the central Maryland area. Voted Best Roofer in Baltimore by Baltimore Magazine, Brothers prides itself on customer satisfaction and industry leadership. Renovation services provided by the company include bathrooms, kitchens, roofing, siding, additions, outdoor living, insulation and more. With corporate headquarters in Hampstead, Brothers runs showrooms in Columbia and Timonium. In addition to his role as CEO, John is also a board member of BBB|Greater Maryland, the Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center, and the National Advisory Board at Owens Corning.
Leo Kelly, CEO and Managing Partner of Kelly Wealth Management at HighTower
Leo Kelly is the founder, CEO and managing partner of Kelly Wealth Management at HighTower, a nationally recognized wealth management firm located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. With CFP® and Certified Business Exit Consultant™ status, Leo advises a wide range of wealthy individuals and organizations, from corporations and foundations to family-owned businesses and professional athletes. Prior to his current role at HighTower, Leo was a wealth management advisor and managing director of investments at Merrill Lynch, where he earned membership in the prestigious Circle of Champions. Known as one of the top independent advisors in the U.S., Leo is a regular contributor to CNBC, Fox Business TV, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio.