Howard County Chamber Board of Directors: Board Member Builds Community
Offit Kurman's Linda Sorg Ostovitz interview by the Business Monthly
By Susan Kim
June 17, 2019 | Howard County, Maryland
“Howard County is my home and I grew up here.” That’s one of the first thoughts Linda Sorg Ostovitz shares when asked about her choice of where to live and work. Ostovitz, principal and practice group director at the Offit Kurman law firm in Maple Lawn, has based her entire professional career in Howard County.
“I was a prosecutor here. I had my own solo private practice here,” said Ostovitz, who identifies herself not just as an attorney but also as a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. Over 38 years in legal practice, her workplace context has changed – she’s now part of a large law firm with almost 200 attorneys – but her sense of being “home” working in Howard County has been a constant part of her life.
Her circles of acquaintances have grown in what she describes as a “constant building” of a sense of community. “I know people from school [University of Baltimore School of Law], from professional organizations, from my charitable work, just from living here.” After losing her husband way too early to cancer in 2013, Ostovitz threw herself into even more professional and charitable activities. “I like to walk into a place where I am not a stranger, and people around me are not strangers,” she said.
A recent recipient of a Maryland’s Top 100 Women award from The Daily Record, Ostovitz sees her membership in the Howard County Chamber as a natural extension of building her community. “It’s one thing to be a businessperson out there by yourself. It’s another thing to be in a group with other businesspeople and with people who are advocating for business.” Though her own needs as a businessperson have changed over the years, she has continued to find the chamber a valuable resource.
For example, she finds that attending legislative breakfasts and discussing hot topics – such as minimum wage – helps her gain a leg up on what’s happening in Annapolis. Her involvement in the chamber also exposes her to many types of businesses. “You meet people you might not otherwise form a relationship with,” she said. In fact, those relationships are at the heart of why Ostovitz remains committed to the chamber.
“The way we rely on each other, it’s not just walking into a networking event,” she said. “It’s seeing each other regularly. It’s building trust. The reason I joined the chamber is that I feel like I can make a difference with how people are treated when they walk into a room.” As a board member for the chamber, she added, her goal is to make people feel comfortable. “It’s not to hang out with my friends. When I see somebody walk in, I want them to feel like they’re welcome.”
From a leadership perspective, Ostovitz said she’d like to see the chamber give people who attend events an even greater opportunity for visibility. “I think people come to events to see and be seen,” she explained. “One of the things we are instituting is being a little more deliberate about identifying and welcoming new members of the chamber.” An introduction can be as simple as calling out the name of a business and having the representative stand up. “It’s an important part of what we do and I would like to see us continue to do that,” she said. “I’m an existing member and I want to see who the new people are. I want to be able to greet them. Again, it’s all about relationships and I’d like to see us build them even better.”
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
In her 37 years of practice, Linda Sorg Ostovitz has served as a leader, educator and advocate. She is a family law attorney and Practice Group Director. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and serves as the Vice President of the Maryland Chapter. She also serves on the Boards of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, the Business Women's Network of Howard County, and the Columbia Patuxent Rotary Club. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Montgomery, and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a resolution without the need for litigation.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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