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Join REDI’s Next Virtual Roundtable Event on May 6

New Cyber-threats in the Next Normal: 
Issues Employers Need to Address as Work Environments Evolve

A Virtual Roundtable Via Zoom
Thursday, May 6, 2021, from 12:00 until 1:30 p.m.
Register Now

Presented by:
Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) 
Rockville Chamber of Commerce

Rockville Economic Development Inc.’s Workforce Education Committee, in partnership with the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to present the next virtual roundtable in its series:

New Cyber-threats in the Next Normal: Issues Employers Need to Address as Work Environments Evolve

We’re delighted to have Joe Roundy, CISSP, Cybersecurity Program Manager at Montgomery College, to lead our conversation, which is designed to help employers understand the growing complexity and necessity for proper cybersecurity in place. Our experts will also discuss cybersecurity to protect a variety of data including proprietary bio data, employee information, banking and health information. 

Mr. Roundy will facilitate a panel discussion that includes these cyber professionals:

  • Harry Perper, Principal Cybersecurity Technologist, MITRE
  • Mark Meszaros, CEO, vCIO, at Digital Industry
  • Alexander Stolz, North American Business Head, Ekran System
  • Tom Breeden, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI Baltimore Cyber 2

Register in advance for this meeting (enter name and email):


Make plans now to attend the next virtual roundtable to learn more about this timely and critical business issue.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit from this discussion. Questions? Contact Cindy Rivarde at cindy@rockvilleredi.org.

About Our Panel

Joe Roundy
Harry Perper
Mark Meszaros
Alexander Stolz
Tom Breeden

Joe Roundy, CISSP, Cybersecurity Program Manager at Montgomery College, manages the College’s new cybersecurity lab, works with faculty and staff to develop and managing the new cybersecurity lab and Networking curricula, and oversees outreach activities including competitions and training opportunities developed with industry partners. Prior to this position, Joe was the Manager of IT Security for Montgomery College, managing the team of security engineers responsible for the IT security of systems and network within the College environment. He has also worked as security analyst at the House of Representatives and FINRA, and managed the Security practice for International Network Services and large networking and security consulting firm.

Harry Perper is a Principal Cybersecurity Technologist at The MITRE Corporation. In his role, Harry contributes his expertise to multiple projects including technology research and critical infrastructure cybersecurity guidance. He led teams at the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, creating reference architectures and example implementations for the energy and financial sectors. He has also led teams evaluating a range of cybersecurity technologies. He is a frequent speaker at cybersecurity events, including RSAC, GridSecCon, ProtectOurPower, and FS-ISAC. Prior to joining MITRE, Harry worked in the telecommunications industry in various capacities including operations, engineering, and marketing. 

Mark Meszaros is a corporate leader with 25 years of experience in guiding businesses in their IT landscape and Operations. He has overseen, engineered and developed service offerings in the areas of Voice and Data Communications, Cyber Security and Compliance Management. These have included service for small and medium companies as well as global corporate network environments, application service hosting, and cloud-based service environments. International experience includes projects in many countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Mark is presently the CEO for a Silver Spring, MD-based Managed Service Provider, Digital Industry, whose focus is predominately the SMB market in the Washington DC area. 

Alexander Stolz graduated from the University of Edinburgh, in the UK, in 2015 with a joint master’s with honours degree in politics and energy economics. After working for several years internationally in the entrepreneurship scene, Alexander moved back to the Washington D.C. area. Alexander joined Ekran System, a cybersecurity firm focusing on the insider threat APT detection. He handles all business aspects for Ekran Systems in North America. Cybersecurity and data privacy are extremely important topics in both Alexander’s professional and personal life and he is keen to share this information in order to help people protect themselves.

Supervisory Special Agent Tom Breeden entered on duty at the FBI in 2008. He has worked a variety of investigations since entering the FBI, but never left cyber throughout his almost 13 year career. He has served the FBI in divisions of Jacksonville, Philadelphia, the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, and FBI Cyber Division before he was chosen to lead the Cyber Criminal squad in Baltimore in 2020. From 2017-2020, SSA Breeden led and coordinated the FBI effort to counter botnets established by cyber criminals. SSA Breeden was nominated for the Attorney General’s award for his work against this threat. He enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with his family, and digging through log files to find that golden nugget that solves the case! He has a B.S. degree in Agriculture and a M.S. in Entomology and Plant Pathology from the University of Tennessee.

Presented By:

Second Rockville Business Forum to be Held on March 29

Local Businesses Invited to Join Conversation About Existing Needs and Available Resources

A Virtual Discussion Via Zoom
Monday, March 29, 2021, from 9:00 until 10:00 a.m.
Register Now

Second Rockville Business Forum will Discuss Available Resources and Offer Opportunity for Businesses to Discuss Their Needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous stress on local businesses, and the City of Rockville has partnered with the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), and Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) to help.

Business operators will be able to discover resources and discuss their needs at the virtual Rockville Business Forum, 9-10 a.m. Monday, March 29.

The city, REDI, MWBC and the Chamber of Commerce will discuss services they provide to support businesses. Businesses will learn how the city can help with permitting requirements and other business needs, and about available financial resources. Businesses will also be able to ask questions to and discuss needs with the panel of experts.

The forum will be held via Zoom. Register in advance for this meeting (enter name and email):


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Feel free to share this event with anyone you think may benefit from the discussion.

For more information, email Lori Crowe at REDI.

Join REDI’s Next Virtual Event on March 10

Turbulence on Re-entryEmployers, Employees and the Vaccine

A Virtual Roundtable Via Zoom
Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 12:00 until 1:30 p.m.
Register Now

Rockville Economic Development Inc.’s Workforce Education Committee presents the next virtual roundtable in its series:

Turbulence on Re-entry—Employers, Employees and the Vaccine

We’re delighted to have Michael Gottlieb, attorney and founder of Momentum Law Group, to lead our conversation, which is designed to help employers consider the issues that will arise as they ease back into the workplace and bring back jobs that do not work as well in a completely, virtual environment.  Further, the roundtable will examine the legal issues with requiring/encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

Mr. Gottlieb will facilitate a panel discussion that includes these professionals, representing clinical, legal and human resources perspectives:

  • Dr. Joe Sliman, Chief Medical Officer, The Emmes Company
  • Dr. Arlene Pietranton, Chief Executive Officer, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Lynn Perry Parker, Attorney & Founder, LPP Law
  • Jennifer Hester, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Emmes Company 

Register in advance for this meeting (enter name and email):


Make plans now to attend the next virtual roundtable to learn more about this timely workforce and employment issue.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit from this discussion. Questions? Contact Cindy Rivarde at cindy@rockvilleredi.org.

About Our Panel

Click on the images below to learn more about our esteemed panelists. 

Michael Gottlieb, Moderator
Dr. Joe Sliman
Dr. Arlene Pietranton
Lynn Perry Parker
Jennifer Hester

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Update – Saturday, January 23, 2021

SBA, in continuing established communications messaging, provides the following:

SBA is receiving a significant number of questions from lenders regarding the revised rules on First Draw PPP loans, First Draw Loan Increases, Second Draw PPP loans, and streamlined Forgiveness.  SBA wants to assure all participants and their small business customers that we understand that there are many changes that businesses have undergone since the beginning of the pandemic in order to maintain operations and continue employing America’s workers.  These changes may include entity size, location or staffing, methods of operation, organizational structure, and changes in ownership.  SBA is working with national lender trade associations and stakeholder groups along with lenders to identify these potential program and system updates.    Your partnership, commitment, input and patience greatly assist in this effort. 

SBA is providing this information along with recently released additional PPP guidance and resources. To assist lenders in how to best access PPP as amended by the Economic Aid Act, here are a couple of reminders related to existing program guidance:  

Reminder – First Draw PPP Loans Under Review May Be Delayed Getting Second Draw PPP Loan number

As described in SBA’s interim final rule on SBA Loan Review Procedures and Related Borrower and Lender Responsibilities, SBA may review any PPP loan, of any size, at any time, as the Administrator deems appropriate.  If a borrower’s First Draw PPP Loan is under review by SBA for any reason, including if information in SBA’s possession indicates that the borrower may have been ineligible for the First Draw PPP Loan it received or for the loan amount it received, the lender will receive notification from SBA when the lender submits an application for a guaranty of a Second Draw PPP Loan, and will not receive an SBA loan number until the issue related to the unresolved borrower’s First Draw PPP Loan is resolved.  SBA is working to improve the information provided to lenders about the issues and how lenders can help clear issues as expeditiously as possible.

Reminder – Second Draw loan applications require an SBA loan number used for the First Draw PPP loan that was originated in 2020.  Please verify that the applicant has the correct SBA loan number, and the correct Borrower TIN to assure that the portal can match up the two loans.

Recent Guidance Issued:

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES.

Celebrate Rockville’s Latest Historic Landmark

Frieda's Cottage Designated as a National Historic Landmark

Image Courtesy of Peerless Rockville

Article Originally Published by Peerless Rockville

On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior designated Frieda’s Cottage as a National Historic Landmark for its association with Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (1889–1957) was a psychiatrist internationally renowned for her pioneering contribution to the treatment of schizophrenia. She made history as the paramount figure at Chestnut Lodge, the premier center for the psychoanalytically-oriented treatment of schizophrenia.

Dr. Fromm-Reichmann was internationally prominent by 1935, when she fled Nazi Germany and emigrated to the United States to continue her work. Several hospitals and institutions offered her positions, but she was persuaded to come to Chestnut Lodge in 1936 by Dr. Dexter Bullard, who promised to build her a home on the grounds. The house was designed by Washington architect Walter G. Peter and constructed by Rockville builder Franklin H. Karn.

She served as Chestnut Lodge’s director of psychotherapy and her cottage housed her office where she saw the majority of her patients. During her tenure, she was instrumental in transforming the institution into an internationally recognized mental health care facility that treated patients based on a philosophy that mental illness is treatable by a combination of psychoanalysis and occupational therapy. She worked at Chestnut Lodge until her death in 1957 at the age of 67. 

Peerless Rockville restored and continues to care for this special historic property. Peerless and The City of Rockville are honored to have it designated a National Historic Landmark as it recognizes a trail-blazing woman in the field of medicine when there were very few women, who transformed Chestnut Lodge into a renowned mental health institution, and ultimately changed how psychiatrists treat severe mental illness.

Peerless Rockville plans to host programs about Frieda’s Cottage this spring, so check the website for upcoming events

Join REDI’s Next Virtual Event on February 10

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint—Mental Health in the Workplace

A Virtual Roundtable Via Zoom
Wednesday, February 10, 2021, from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m.
Register Now

Rockville Economic Development Inc.’s Workforce Education Committee presents the next virtual roundtable in its series:

The REDI Roadmap to Recovery for Rockville Businesses Post-COVID
Workforce Education and Employer Needs

Please join Monica Escalante, CFO/CCO for Montgomery Hospice for a conversation about the challenges employers face about addressing mental health issues in the workplace, especially as escalated by the pandemic. Ms. Escalante will facilitate a panel discussion that includes: 

  • Susan Webb, Director of Behavioral Health Crisis and Outpatient Services, Suburban Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Meredith “Merry” Campbell, Attorney at Shulman Rogers
  • Denise Dewhurst, Professor and Coordinator, Psychology, Montgomery College
  • Joann Bagshaw, Professor of Psychology, Montgomery College
  • Kip Ingram, Director of Bereavement Care, Montgomery Hospice

Register in advance for this meeting (enter name and email):


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Feel free to share this with anyone you think may benefit from this discussion. Questions? Contact Alexis Castillo at alexis@rockvilleredi.org.

Rockville-based Cancer Drug Developer Has Filed To Go Public

Sensei Biotherapeutics​ Inc. is seeking to raise $100 million in its initial public offering​, according to its filing with the SEC on January 15, 2021.

Article Originally Published by Rockville Patch

ROCKVILLE, MD — Sensei Biotherapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company based in Rockville, has filed to go public.

The cancer drug developer is seeking to raise $100 million in its initial public offering, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, January 15.

No pricing terms or a public offering date were disclosed. But Sensei says it intends to use the proceeds to fund the clinical development of SNS-301, an immunotherapy candidate that’s in Phase 1/2 trials.

SNS-301 is being tested as a potential treatment for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Topline data from this trial is expected by the end of 2021.

According to the filing, the money will also help fund the development of its ImmunoPhage platform — which uses genetically engineered viruses to create robust immune responses to cancer proteins.

“Our business is highly dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, SNS-301, and any other product candidates that we advance into the clinic,” the company wrote.

Sensei — which was originally founded in 1999 as Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc. — reported a net loss of $16.7 million in 2019. As of Sept. 30, 2020, the company has accumulated a deficit of $107.3 million.

The company said it has funded its operations “to date primarily with proceeds from the sale of (its) equity securities and borrowings of convertible debt.”

Sensei, which is headquartered at 1405 Research Blvd., plans to join the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “SNSE.”

REDI Seeks Deputy Economic Development Director

Now Accepting Applications for an Exciting Position to Help Sustain the Progress and Continued Growth in Rockville, Maryland.

Salary Range $80,000 – $100,000 DOQ/E, Plus Excellent Benefits

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), an innovative and highly successful nonprofit economic development agency located in beautiful Rockville, Maryland, is seeking a dynamic, talented and experienced candidate for the position of Deputy Economic Development Director to help sustain the progress and continued growth experienced by the community over the last 20+ years.   

REDI is a public-private partnership established to strengthen and broaden the City of Rockville’s economic base through business entrepreneurship, expansion, retention, and recruitment programs. Rockville, the 3rd largest city in Maryland with a population of nearly 70,000, is a vibrant community developed over 14 square miles, poised for future success. The city is located just 12 miles northwest of the nation’s capital and 35 miles southwest of Baltimore with easy access to Washington, D.C.

Rockville is served by three Metro rail stations, several major highways, and three major airports. Uniquely positioned along the I-270 Bio-Tech Corridor, Rockville is in the center of a variety of technology-based businesses and a daytime labor force of over 80,000 people. There is also a wealth of existing key business clusters providing Rockville a competitive advantage in a variety of areas including the life sciences, advanced immunology, hospitality, cybersecurity, quantum computing, advanced technologies, video gaming, professional services companies and entrepreneurship.  Rockville possesses a strong sense of community and benefits from an educated, ethnically diverse and engaged citizenry, stable neighborhoods, annual celebrations, and a wide range of recreational and cultural opportunities. The City’s downtown serves as the county seat for Montgomery County, one of the most affluent and well-educated counties in the United States. 

REDI is funded primarily by the City of Rockville, serving as its economic development agency since being established in 1997. In addition to traditional economic development activities, REDI assists with site selection and relocation support, helps to establish financing and incentive programs, and serves as a networking hub by connecting potential clients, partners and funders with local public and private leaders. The organization also serves as a liaison between the business community and City staff to discuss and help expedite projects and troubleshoot issues. 

REDI is governed by a Board of approximately 20 Directors appointed by the Rockville Mayor and City Council and consists of volunteer business representatives and residents who generally live and/or work in the City, including the Mayor and City Manager. REDI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the operation, including two full-time employees directly related to economic development. The CEO also is responsible for overseeing seven employees supporting the mission of the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC), an innovative program created in 2010 and certified by the SBA in 2013 to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, especially women-owned businesses, at every stage of building and sustaining their business.

The Deputy Economic Development Director reports directly to REDI’s CEO and will serve as the second position in the executive structure of the organization and assist in the implementation of the strategic plan for economic development and in overseeing REDI’s operations in accordance with the policy direction by the Board of Directors. The position will be responsible for ensuring the accurate updating of relevant market and demographic data used by site selectors and included in the organization’s marketing materials. Other responsibilities include administering various incentive programs and assisting the CEO with overseeing the operations of the organization including purchasing, accounting, human resource issues, equipment and other tasks as needed.   

The ideal candidate will have experience in business retention, business expansion, and business recruitment, new business start-up, and retail development to strengthen the commercial tax base resulting in the enhancement of a community’s quality of life.  Candidates with exceptional marketing and writing skills, enthusiasm, and the desire to work collaboratively with other members of the team will have an advantage. Candidates possessing an understanding of how the local development process works and are knowledgeable about a variety of economic development best practices will receive strong consideration. The selected candidate must be a recognized team player with a record of communicating effectively and working collaboratively with colleagues, state and local development officials, other economic development agencies, neighborhoods, business and community leaders, and prospective businesses and developers. Experience in marketing, strategic planning, and overseeing or reviewing financial operations, proformas, and conducting cost-benefit analyses is desired. 

Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, economics, real estate, finance, or a related field, and at least five (5) years of experience in economic development or a similar area. CEcD certification is desired but is not a requirement, and the selected candidate must possess a valid driver’s license.

Applicants should submit a confidential cover letter and résumé online at https://bakertilly.recruitmenthome.com/postings/2754; the position is open until filled with a first review of candidates occurring on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.  Following the first review date, résumés will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in the recruitment brochure. For more information, please contact Art Davis at Art.Davis@BakerTilly.com or by phone at 816.868.7042. Applicants selected as finalists for this position will be subject to a comprehensive background and reference check prior to an onsite interview.

Rockville Economic Development Inc. (REDI) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity at all levels of its organization (EOE).

Learn more about the City of Rockville, Maryland, at www.rockvillemd.gov.

Emmes Acquires Neox s.r.o., a Clinical Research Organization Headquartered in the Czech Republic

Transaction Expands Emmes’ Biopharma Effort and European Presence

Emmes, a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation, has acquired Neox s.r.o., a European-based CRO. Neox will add over 150 employees who support biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies.

“This is an important and exciting step for Emmes, demonstrating significant progress on our strategic plans to grow our biopharmaceutical business,” said Dr. Christine Dingivan, Chief Executive Officer of Emmes. “Neox adds a sizable, well-established biopharmaceutical research services business to Emmes and significantly expands our international presence.”

Based in Prague, Neox has operations primarily in central and eastern Europe, with a direct presence in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The company operates in another 11 European countries, including a recently established entity in the United Kingdom. Founded in 2004 by brothers Dr. Pavel Marek and Petr Marek, Neox has provided clinical research support for more than 1,000 studies and has built deep experience across multiple therapeutic areas. Both Pavel and Petr Marek will remain with Neox and continue to serve in their leadership roles. “Pavel and his team have built a CRO with an excellent reputation,” noted Dr. Dingivan. “Our companies share a dedication to science, long-term partnerships with clients, and a corporate culture that centers on integrity, agility and passion for excellence.”

According to Dr. Marek, “Neox and Emmes will be a powerful combination. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers with the expanded resources of the Emmes organization, as well as helping Emmes support rapid patient enrollment in global clinical trials. Our regulatory contacts throughout Europe, who understand country-specific requirements, will be an asset in helping Emmes’ current and future biopharma customers with their global drug development strategic planning and clinical operations.”

Emmes conducts its operations from, and is focused on growing, its two strategic business groups: Emmes Biopharma and Emmes Public Sector. Neox will be part of Emmes Biopharma, which also includes Emmes’ established, experienced teams in the USA, India and Canada.

“Neox will broaden our biopharmaceutical platform by expanding our customer base and capabilities to conduct global trials at sites across the US, Canada, UK, EU, and India,” noted Dr. Dingivan. “The acquisition will leverage the systems and technology investments Emmes has made to support future growth.”

This acquisition will bring the total number of employees at Emmes to over 1,000 across the globe.

Founded in 1977, Emmes is a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to excellence in supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. The company’s clients include numerous agencies and institutes of the U.S. federal government and a wide range of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies throughout the world. To learn more about how our research is making a positive impact on human health, go to the Emmes website at www.emmes.com.

South Florida Investor Buys Office Building Leased to Biotech, Life Science Tenants

Morning Calm Management Acquires Twinbrook Office Center in Rockville for $32.7 Million

Newmark arranged the sale of the Twinbrook Office Center at 1700 Rockville Pike to South Florida-based Morning Calm Management. (CoStar)

Article originally published by Ella Anderson of CoStar Research. 

A Montgomery County, Maryland, office building leased to a mix of biotech and life science industry tenants sold for $32.68 million or about $200 per square foot in a year-end sale.

Morning Calm Management, a South Florida-based real estate investment and management firm which has acquired several office properties in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, purchased the seven-story Twinbrook Office Center from Ivy Realty Services, a Montvale, New Jersey-based firm that acquired the building in 2016 for $33 million.

Located at 1700 Rockville Pike, the 163,936-square-foot structure was built in 1983 and recently underwent $3.4 million in common area renovations. At the time of the sale, the building was 80 percent leased to multiple tenants such as Dovel Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Novartis. 

“Commercial real estate located in bioscience clusters around the country continues to outperform the broader marketplace,” said Jud Ryan, executive managing director at Newmark, who marketed the building with James Cassidy and Cliff Cummings.

Ryan cited the property’s tenancy and location near the headquarters of U.S. Pharmacopeia and the NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) division as factors in the property holding its value during the pandemic.