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Baltimore Development Corporation President & CEO Cole Stepping Down

Board Names Colin D. Tarbert to Post




BALTIMORE, MD.  — The President & CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation, William H. Cole, announced today that he was stepping down in the role he has held since 2014.  Cole will be joining the Howard County-based firm, Margrave Strategies, in May.  The BDC Board has hired Colin D. Tarbert, currently the Deputy Chief of Strategic Alliances in the Mayor’s office, to replace Cole. 


The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore.  During his time at BDC, Cole helped create the Innovation Fund, which provides catalytic funding to attract scalable, high growth small businesses to start and stay in Baltimore and increase job opportunities for its residents.  He also led the business recovery efforts after the April 2015 unrest, mobilizing BDC staff into the affected neighborhoods to assist businesses.  Cole initiated two programs, Business Recovery Loans and Storefront Recovery Grants, to help businesses, which suffered property damage and/or inventory loss.  He also worked closely with the White House Task Force on various economic development initiatives to aide in the recovery efforts.  This past legislative session, he led the fight in Annapolis to save the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse.


“Bill has been a tremendous leader, promoting the City while growing jobs and investment during his time at BDC,” said ex-officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young.  “His energy and commitment to the city is unwavering.  Even though he is leaving BDC, I know he will continue serve the citizens of Baltimore.”


Colin Tarbert has extensive experience in economic and community development having served in various leadership roles in City government for 13 years.  In his current role, Tarbert was instrumental in establishing the Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, a public-private partnership whose mission is to spur development and job growth in Baltimore’s disinvested neighborhoods.  Tarbert also serves as Chairman of the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation where he has led the recent renovation and reopening of Broadway Market in Fells Point and is spearheading the effort to create a new Lexington Market.  He will remain in the Mayor’s office until his transition to BDC.


“Colin is well prepared for this role,” said ex-officio Mayor Young. “He has been intimately involved in every major project in Baltimore over the last decade and has led several key initiatives over two different administrations.  BDC is very well positioned in his capable hands.”


“The BDC Board is grateful to Bill for his many years of service to the City of Baltimore.  His tireless advocacy, leadership through challenging situations, and optimism for our City will be missed,” said BDC Board Chair Augie Chiasera.  “At the same time, we know that Colin is the right person to lead us forward.  He has worked closely with Bill for many years and has played an integral role in every major project.  Colin simply knows how to get things done and we are very excited about the future of BDC.”


Prior to his current position, Tarbert served as Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.  In that role, he was responsible for developing and implementing all major policies and initiatives related to economic and community development, overseeing seven city agencies and three Mayoral offices including BDC, Baltimore Housing, the Planning Department, Recreation & Parks, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, Visit Baltimore, and the Baltimore Convention Center.  He is responsible for the creation of a new tax credit program which has spurred the development of thousands of new apartments throughout Baltimore City.


Before working at City Hall, Tarbert was a Senior Economic Development Officer at BDC for four years.  He graduated with a B.S. in Architecture, Summa Cum Laude, and an M.S. in Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park.  He lives in Southeast Baltimore with his wife and daughter.


About the Baltimore Development Corporation The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) is a non-profit organization, which serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. Our mission is to retain and expand existing businesses, support cultural resources, and attract new opportunities that spur economic growth and help create jobs. BDC serves as a one-stop shop for anyone interested in opening, expanding or relocating a business in Baltimore City.


Bernard C. “Jack” Young

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