May 16, 2017
REDI is Full Steam Ahead!
What were you doing in 1997?
While you were possibly swept away by the romance and tragedy depicted in the box office hit of 1997, Titanic, the proactive leadership of Mayor Rose Krasnow responded to the needs of the Rockville business community and helped form Greater Rockville Partnership, Inc. (renamed in 2003 to Rockville Economic Development, Inc.).
Unlike the captain of the famously ill-fated cruise ship, Mayor Krasnow successfully navigated Rockville’s economic iceberg of the time: the potential relocation of a major employer, Aspens Systems Corp. When the company opted to remain in Rockville after multiple discussions, Mayor Krasnow teamed with their President, Al Lampert, to push for the creation of a non-profit corporation to spur economic development. With Mr. Lampert at the helm as Board Chair, REDI launched 20 years ago to promote job growth and expand the City’s tax base.
Under the leadership of Executive Directors Lara Fritts (1998-2002), Sally Sternbach (2002-2012), and Laurie Boyer (2012-present), REDI has been a catalyst for economic advances in Rockville for the past two decades, including the following significant accomplishments:
—– In 2001, REDI combined with the City’s planning staff to deliver the Rockville Town Center Master Plan, which laid the groundwork for Rockville Town Square, a mixed-use development with 187,000 SF of retail and hundreds of residential units.
—– In 2004, REDI organized the inaugural Rockville Business Appreciation Week, which remains our signature event and consists of visits to over 50 companies that lead to long-lasting relationships and impactful connections.
—– In 2007, REDI led the planning and funding efforts to create the Rockville Innovation Center, an award-winning incubator, in Rockville Town Square. Today, the RIC hosts dozens of startups and has graduated numerous successful companies.
—– In 2010, REDI established the Maryland Women’s Business Center to help women start and grow enterprises positioned for long-term growth. Today, the MWBC has expanded into several counties and assists more than 1,500 women each year.
—– In 2016, REDI worked with the Mayor and Council to create Rockville’s first-ever financial incentives program for businesses. In their first 10 months, the Business Expansion Fund and Rockville MOVE Program have assisted 8 companies, with a total of 99 employees, expand or relocate in the City.
As REDI celebrates these milestones and many others, we invite you to join us on June 7th at Lakewood Country Club for our 20th Anniversary Luncheon, which will feature the premiere of our anniversary video.
For more information and to purchase tickets please click here.
As for REDI, the City and our partners—we’ll continue to stay on an even keel, sailing with the wind, for our businesses here in Rockville. (Landlocked but nautical.)
—–Michael Stiefvater, AICP, Business Development Manager