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Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Leader Honored as State’s Best

The president of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce has been named Maryland’s 2014 Chamber Executive of the Year.

Marilyn Balcombe receives the 2014 Chamber Executive of the Year Award from Bill Scarafia, the president of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce. Credit: Laura Rowles, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Director of Events and Marketing
Marilyn Balcombe receives the 2014 Chamber Executive of the Year Award from Bill Scarafia, the president of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce. Credit: Laura Rowles, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce Director of Events and Marketing
Marilyn Balcombe, president of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, was named the 2014 Chamber Executive of the Year Thursday by the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

“I was really thrilled,” Balcombe told Patch. “[Receiving the award] is a great opportunity to highlight the great work that my chamber does. We have a very strong chamber. It’s very important to the business community. We do great things for our local economy. It’s a great opportunity for visibility and recognition for my chamber.”

Balcombe was recognized for her excellence in leadership and hard work in creating a calendar of events for chamber members, establishing a comprehensive recruitment plan, directly implementing the legislative agenda, managing the office, supervising the staff, and ensuring financial stability for the organization.

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce put together multiple networking events throughout the year for their members, including roughly 20 breakfasts, lunches and after-five happy hour networking events, a public safety event to recognize public safety officers, and a nonprofit showcase where nonprofits are given the chance to talk about their organization, according to a news release.

Balcombe said the nonprofit showcase is the largest event of the year.

“Simply put, Marilyn has made our chamber relevant and positioned it as a significant force advocating for the needs of our member businesses,” said Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce board chairman David Edgerley. “Marilyn is a respected leader in our community and a functional expert on many land use and public policy issues. She has leveraged this stature to influence others and further our chamber’s agenda.”

Edgerley nominated Balcombe for the award.

“The absolutely best part of my job is that I really believe in our mission,” Balcombe said. “And every day I get to go to work and do great things for my community. My job is to make my community a better place, and I think that’s a great job.”


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