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by Alona Hapey and Bob Okoroajuzie
On Thursday, February 15, two members of the Hillman Entrepreneur Program were invited for a delightful event, a breakfast, networking, and presentation that is part of the 10th annual National Association of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (NABOE) celebration with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. The event occurred at Woodmont Country Club, with 230 attendees, many of whom were global CEOs and top managers of multimillion dollar companies located in the metro DC area.
As stated on its website, the NABOE “thrives in making connections, learning, and growth. It is an association of business owners and leaders who have in common their desire to learn, grow and better themselves and their organizations. NABOE serves its members by bringing thought leaders, contemporaries and vetted resources together in high-end, respectful educational settings. NABOE also offers presentations helping leaders change and direct their companies grounded in science based programs and solutions.”
Bob Okorojuzie reflected that he was immediately startled when he arrived, joking “I wish I saw a sign that said “beware of Networking”. It’s been long since I’ve been in this environment, but it didn’t take me long to adjust. I had conversations with a few business owners from, health clinics, insurance companies, etc. We then moved towards the main room to here from our special guest. Governor Larry Hogan, wonderful man. Various topics were covered by our governor, from widening I-495 and I-270 to establishing the state of Maryland as a business friendly state.”
Alona Hapey adds: “Governor Hogan, in his speech, was very kind in sharing with the audience that the State of Maryland has 10th place out 50 in a Ranking of State Economies, with a 71% approval rating for governance. Nevertheless, the most exciting news that governor Hogan shared with audience, was that Amazon revealed that Montgomery County was named on the shortlist for the additional Amazon headquarters. This will bring to Maryland 50,000 occupations with a medium income of $100,000. ”
Bob concludes: “This event truly helped me see the relationship between small businesses and our governor.”

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